About Our Program for Children and Youth
The philosophy of our Religious Education/ Family Ministries Program at Community Church is to give our children the tools to live spiritually, to live justly, and to live with meaning in the world. We want our program to encourage children and youth to make their own decisions and to think their own thoughts, to nurture in them a search for truth, a respect for all people, and a wonder for the universe.
Our Sunday morning sessions are inclusive and welcoming to all children no matter their abilities and interests. Our volunteers and staff, which include Shawn Jones, Jil Novenski, Carla Ogden and Gerald A. “Jerry” Brown; along with the children, parents, and friends work together to make engaging community.
Infant to Age 3: Nursery Nurture
Our youngest children will receive warm and loving care here. Parents are required to bring bottles, diapers, and any special instructions. If needed, parents are welcome to visit.
Younger Children: Love Will Guide Us
Following a curriculum by Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann and Cathy Cartwright, in this program, the children learn to seek guidance in life through the lens of our Unitarian Universalist Sources, with an emphasis on love. Together we ask questions such as, "Where did we come from?" "What is our relationship to the Earth and other creatures?" "How can we respond with love, even in bad situations?" "What happens when you die?" Sessions apply wisdom from our Sources to help participants answer these questions. Participants will learn that asking questions is valued in Unitarian Universalism, even as they begin to shape their own answers.
Older Children: Riddle and Mystery
This curriculum assists children in their own search for understanding. Each of the 16 sessions introduces and processes a Big Question. The first three echo Paul Gauguin’s famous triptych: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? The next ten, including "Does God exist?" and "What happens when you die?" could be found on almost anyone’s list of basic life inquiries. The final three are increasingly Unitarian Universalist: Can we ever solve life’s mystery? How can I know what to believe? What does Unitarian Universalism mean to me?
Journey into Adulthood
This first-rate Coming of Age program brings your youth into young adulthood as Unitarian Universalists.
In tandem with local Metro New York youth groups we offer exciting educational and social opportunities. They include:
Youth Cons: Youth Conferences on community, leadership, theology, etc.
YSOP: Youth Service Opportunities Project, a terrific social justice program.
Popcorn Theology: Films (PG or PG-13) on theological and ethical issues.