Youth Religious Education

The mission of the Youth Religious Education (YRE) Program at Neighborhood Church is to:

NURTURE spiritual growth
HELP develop personal religious beliefs
CREATE a foundation for Unitarian Universalist Identity
FOSTER trust in community, church & humanity
ENCOURAGE living a life that makes a difference

This summer, Neighborhood children in Kindergarten through 8th grades have the opportunity to attend a lively camp themed activity on Sunday mornings. Based on a UU summer camp program by the same name, Chalice Camp brings all the fun and comradery of summer camp to your kids each week. While exploring themes like “it’s a blessing we were born” and “it matters what we do” the children have been participating in activities like arts, crafts, and creative play. In the coming weeks, they can look forward to mandala making, yoga, games, sculpting with clay, and water fun!

Our regular schedule of classes will resume September 17, 2017- May 20, 2018

Thematic Approach – Unitarian Universalist Identity


Our chosen curricula for grades 2-5 is part of our Unitarian Universalist Association’s new series, Tapestry of Faith, designed to nurture UU identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith and vital communities of justice and love. All the curricula offer a grounding in Unitarian Universalist Identity while using rituals, hands-on activities, and stories from a variety of cultures and faith traditions. This year’s choices help children explore questions like, “What does it mean to be a UU? What do UU’s believe? What is justice? And how do we put our faith into action?” We encourage them to explore how we practice our faith in our lives and in the world. Best of all, these curricula are available for free, online and are customizable to suit classrooms and individuals. You can view this online curricula at

Written by UU Religious Educators, the Tapestry of Faith series offers clear lesson plans, a host of activity choices for all learning styles, a faith-in-action component and spiritual preparation for teachers. Parents are provided with a week-by-week curriculum plan as well as weekly classroom updates and resources to bring the classroom into the home.


Ways We Worship

Youth Worship/Justice Sundays
Periodically throughout the year, all our children will gather together for youth worship and a group activity focused around our social justice theme of child labor. We want to provide children with the experience of ritual; to learn about the ways in which Unitarian Universalists worship, what it means to be part of a larger faith community and to forge relationships with our ministers and staff. During these worship Sundays, an offering will be given and received by the children. At the end of the year, the children will put their money to work by donating the money to a charity, or worthy cause.

First Sundays
Children gain an understanding of the ways in which we worship together by attending the first fifteen minutes of services in the Sanctuary on the first Sunday of every month (K – 8th). Seated with their families, they join with people of all ages in singing hymns, silent prayer and listening to a story. Please see the YRE calendar for specific dates.

Intergenerational Services
Throughout the year, we will have Intergenerational services in which the children and youth (K – 8th) are in the sanctuary for the entire service. These services provide an important opportunity for children to witness first-hand the way their parents worship in the sanctuary when they would usually be in their classrooms. These services tend to be more interactive, plus children and youth have opportunities to co-lead the worship. These services are great for families learning and worshipping together.


Youth Religious Education (YRE) Committee

Within the mission of Neighborhood Church and the Youth Religious Education, the YRE Committee represents congregation concerns about religious education for children and youth and supports the professional staff in realizing the goals of the program.

Meeting once a month with the Director of Religious Education and RE Assistant, committee members plan and implement Religious Education Events, support training sessions, serve as a sounding board for staff decision making and act as religious education ambassadors to the greater church community and families.

If you have concerns or comments about programming for children and youth, please contact Matt Vasko, Director of Religious Education.

Visitors are always welcome!