To register your family for Religious Exploration for Children and Youth, please go to the form by clicking here. Thanks!
General Information About Our Program for Children and Youth
Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church (TJUC) offers programming for children and youth that nurtures spiritual growth, ignites a passion for justice, and supports the discovery and expression of one’s own beliefs, within a compassionate community where all are valued.
What we call Religious Exploration (RE) is intended to be a lively and engaging discovery of what is right and true for each person. RE is focused on shining a guiding light on the path as caring adults accompany young people through a process of becoming adults who are equipped to make a difference in the world through developing their own beliefs.
What can parents and other responsible adults do to contribute to this important area of the development of young people?
- Be involved! Answer the call to volunteer in a CYRE group or even serve on the CYRE Program Team, which steers the course of the entire program.
- Make being at TJ a higher priority and encourage frequent attendance. If your child came every Sunday during the program year, not counting the summer months, our caring and committed CYRE volunteers would have only about 30 hours to make a difference in their lives. That isn’t very much time for the life changing work that we can all do together.
The Children and Youth Religious Exploration Program Team (CYRE) supports the value of an integrated program where these major threads are interwoven:
- UU identity- Our principles and sources, our heritage and history (who are we and where do we come from?)
- Spiritual development – Feelings of wonder, awe, mystery, a sense of the sacred, experience of transcendence, sense of being part of something larger, spiritual mindfulness, spiritual practices
- Ethical development- Living our values and principles, making the world a better place, good citizenship of wider communities, stewardship of our religious community, stewardship of the Earth
- Faith development (growing in faith together)- Making meaning and finding purpose, acting on values, reflecting on action, exploring Big Religious Questions, exploring and articulating theology, philosophy, and beliefs
The CYRE Program Team and DLRE are grateful for the support and participation of our many volunteers and the truth is, the program can’t happen without you. All families are asked to support the program by volunteering to the best of their ability. Please explore how you will help during the new program year.
The Director of Lifespan RE, Barb Friedland, welcomes opportunities to talk with families. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 425-6943)
Thank you for being part of the TJUC community,
The CYRE Program Team and Barb Friedland, DLRE
- Families who will participate in the CYRE program need to register annually.
- Visiting families are asked to complete an information form as part of our safe congregation policy.
- New families may visit and participate fully on three Sundays before completion of a CYRE registration form is needed.
- TJUC’s CYRE program functions like a cooperative and we are grateful for the support and participation of our many volunteers. All families are expected to support the program by volunteering to the best of their ability. Please explore how you will help during the new program year.
- There is no fee to participate in the CYRE program, however donations of supplies and materials are requested at times.
- All CYRE groups above the nursery level practice an offering ritual, which is given to an appropriate organization that fits TJ’s mission. Parents are asked to support the importance of learning about generosity by supporting their children’s and youth participation in group offering rituals.
Sunday Morning Routine
- Young people in our Kindergarten through High School groups begin each Sunday in the Sanctuary with their families for the opening parts of the services.
- Children in childcare may go directly to their room.
- Children and youth will go from the Sanctuary to their meeting rooms with their guide teams after the beginning portion of the service.
- CYRE groups concludes at 12:15 pm.
- Children from nursery through 1st grade must be picked up from their meeting rooms by a parent or other responsible adult at the end of classes at 12:15 pm. Please be prompt in picking up children so that CYRE adult guides may enjoy coffee hour.
- Children and youth in all other groups will be allowed to leave their meeting rooms to meet their families at 12:15 pm.
- Please remember that RE time is planned to end at 12:15 pm, regardless of occasions when the service ends early. Please avoid picking children up before 12:15 pm so that the groups are not disrupted and may derive the most benefit from their Religious Exploration experiences.