Our Religious Explorations (RE) program is small but active. We currently have 10 regular youth participants ranging from ages 6 to 16. We have another 10-15 occasional participants who join us throughout the year. We provide classes for two age groups: K-6th graders and 7th-12th graders. We also have child care for toddlers and preschoolers. This year’s curriculum focuses on religious holidays as a tool to learn more about major world religions. Among other themes, we will explore common celebrations and traditions in various faiths, including Unitarian Universalism.
Our youth RE experience includes an emphasis on social service to our fellowship and the community at large. Our youth design and carry out social service projects periodically throughout the year. In addition, our congregation and youth maintain a “Giving Garden” to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for UUFC’s monthly Torres Shelter meals and our UU community. The garden is also a tool to learn more about nature, inherent in our 7th UU principle (Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part).
Kids in the youth RE program have a lot of fun while they learn, sharing joys and concerns, reading stories for discussion, participating in activities, developing projects…and as one student says, “having healthy snacks, my favorite!”. Our fellowship has ample space to run around and is housed within walking distance to Bidwell Park, where we occasionally conduct walking field trips, with permission from parents. Our 4th UU principle affirms a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We provide our youth a range of experiences to explore and develop their own understanding of truth and meaning.