Family Ministry is an approach to faith development that recognizes that faith development:
- Happens throughout our lives, at all ages.
- Happens wherever we are; on a walk, in a class, at home, in worship.
- Views parents, grandparents, caregivers as the primary religious educators for their children.
- Creates an intentional community of all ages.
Family Ministry seeks to meet people where they are and includes families of all kinds – as families – in the life of the congregation.
Family Ministry is not just about families with children. At the same time, it recognizes that families with children require significant attention.
- Children and youth participate regularly in Worship Services.
- Music Ministry includes opportunities for families, children and youth.,
- Religious exploration structured as small group ministry that supports and educates parents and other adults as well as children.
- Social justice and social action for all ages.
- Resources for at-home spiritual deepening.
- Whole-congregation social and educational events.
September Message from Diana Tycer, Director of Religious Exploration
Religious Exploration classes began on Sun., Sep. 11, and the staff and RE Committee are excited to welcome you forward to a new congregational year! I want to thank all those who rallied to the call for teachers and ambassadors – we have enough to begin all the classes. However, we still need three more volunteers to complete teaching teams, so there is room for you if you are inclined to teach this year. Please sign up if you can. If you still need to enroll a new student in RE, go here.
A lot of activities are scheduled for the weeks ahead, including Middle School and High School youth group kick-offs, the Coming of Age Ceremony for students and parents, a Path Party to clear and mulch the emergency paths behind the program building, and the first RE Parent Orientation session in 3 years! All the information on these events and more are listed below.
Children and Youth are always welcome to stay with their parents for the entire worship service on Sundays. However, religious exploration classes are offered for children and youth ages 2 through 18 most Sundays of the year. Children and youth start in the Sanctuary with their parents or guardians to participate in the first 20 minutes of Worship and then they transition to the Program Building for classes.
RE classes will meet on the following dates for the 2022-23 congregational year: Sep. 18, 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 30; Nov. 6, 13, 20; Dec. 11, 18; Jan. 22, 29; Feb. 5, 19, 26; Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr. 16, 23, 30; May 7, 21
Classes vary each year. For 2022-23 the following courses will be offered:
- Hello Friends (ages 2-5)
Teaches children about kindness and making friends with stories, games, simple crafts and songs.
- Moral Tales (grades 1&2)
Teaches children the fundamental concepts of the eight principles: kindness, empathy, generosity, equity and caring for each other and the world.
- 1st and 2nd Grade Our Whole Lives – Spring (grades 1&2)
The first in a series of Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive human sexuality courses that teache young children about families and bodily autonomy, and introduce the idea of sexual intercourse.
- Soul Matters (grades 3&4)
Teaches UU principles, especially equity, kindness, peace and social justice through the lens of the monthly worship themes.
- 5th and 6th Grade OWL – Fall (grades 5&6)
The second in a series of human sexuality courses that explores anatomy, the changes of puberty, gender identity, sexual intercourse and consent.
- Inclusive Virginia History – Fall (grades 5&6)
Provides information on the experiences of Native Americans and African-Americans in Virginia from colonial times through today. Includes trip to Smithsonian museum(s).
- Heeding the Call – Winter/Spring (grades 5&6)
Explores the values of Unitarian Universalism and connects them to transformative social and racial justice work. The class format is largely reading, reflecting, journaling and discussion.
- Love Connects Us– Winter/Spring (grades 5&6)
Teaches UU history and theology and social justice. Class format is participatory and interactive, with activities that vary weekly.
- Coming of Age – (grades 7-9)
Teachers the history, theology and practice of Unitarian Universalism and supports students as they begin their spiritual journeys and develop their spiritual identities.
- Middle School OWL – (grades 7-9)
The third and longest in a series of comprehensive human sexuality courses. This courses explores all aspects of sexuality including anatomy, gender identity, sexual orientation, body image, bullying, pornography, social media, sexual harrassment, intercourse, STIs and safe sex, pregnancy, pregnancy prevention, consent and healthy relationships.
- Crossing Paths – (grades 7-9)
This reboot of the former Neighboring Faiths explores major world religions and compares/contrasts them with Unitarian Universalism. Includes visits to other houses of worship.
- High School Class – Fall/Winter (grades 9-12)
Fellowship and spiritually deepening discussions and activities led by youth and guided by adult facilitators. This class culminates in the High School youth worship service.
- High School OWL – Spring (grades 10-12)
The fourth in the series of OWL Lifespan Sexuality courses. This 7-week course presumes students are engaging in sexual relationships or are about to do so. It reviews concepts covered in Middle School OWL and delves deeper into consent, sexual violence, exploitation and reproductive justice.
- Adult OWL (Fall/Winter)
The main adult course in the OWL Lifespan Sexuality series, this class explores sexuality issues for adults of all ages. It builds understanding of healthy sexual relationships, affirms diversity and helps participants accept and affirm their own sexuality throughout their lives.
- Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators (Fall/Winter)
This Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) curriculum is a 12-session small group ministry designed to empower parents and help them become more at ease and confident when discussing sexual topics with their children and youth. This will be offered online through collaboration with the other two UU Potomac Partnership congregations.
Soulful Home – For Faith Development at Home
UUCF has purchased a subscription for Soulful Home, a monthly packet of information and activities designed to deepen spiritual activities and encourage spiritual discussions at home. UUCF recognizes that the primary educators of values and ethics for children are their own parents/guardians and other adults in the home. The Soulful Home packets are mailed out on the first day of each month to all families with children registered in RE. Families not currently involved in RE can receive the monthly Soulful Home mailing by contacting Diana Tycer.
- MS Kickoff (potluck and games for whole family) – Sat., Sep. 10, 5:30-8 p.m.
- Fall RE classes begin – Sun., Sep. 11.
- Make-Up OWL Orientation for 7th – 9th Grade parents – Sat., Sep. 17, 4-6 p.m.
- Coming of Age Ceremony for students, parents, families and teachers – Sun., Sep. 18, 11:30 a.m., Teen Pod in the Program Building
For information about these ongoing groups or if you need Zoom links for these activities, contact Diana Tycer.
|Wed. Oct 5 at 7:30 PM||Parents and Caregivers as Primary Sexuality Educators Online Class||Via Zoom Only|
|Sat. Oct 8 at 6:30 PM||MS Youth Group Visits Cox Farms' Fields of Fear||meet outside the Sanctuary Building|
|Sun. Oct 9 at 4:30 PM||Revolution Ringers Handbell Ensemble||UUCF Sanctuary|
|Sun. Oct 9 at 4:30 PM||The Voices of Hope Youth Choir||UUCF Music & Arts Room|
|Wed. Oct 12 at 4:30 PM||4th-6th Grade Online Gaming Group||Via Zoom Only|
|Sat. Oct 15 at 9:30 AM||RE Family Hiking Group||Visitors Center Parking Lot at E.C. Lawrence Park|
|Sun. Oct 16 at 4:30 PM||Revolution Ringers Handbell Ensemble||UUCF Sanctuary|
|Sun. Oct 16 at 4:30 PM||The Voices of Hope Youth Choir||UUCF Music & Arts Room|
|Tue. Oct 18 at 6:30 PM||Youth-Adult Committee||Via Zoom Only|
|Fri. Oct 21 at 6:00 PM||OWL Late Night||UUCF Program Building|
|Sat. Oct 22 at 6:00 PM||HS Youth Group To Visit Cox Farms' Fields of Fear||Cox Farms|
|Sun. Oct 23 at 4:30 PM||Revolution Ringers Handbell Ensemble||UUCF Sanctuary|
|Sun. Oct 23 at 4:30 PM||The Voices of Hope Youth Choir||UUCF Music & Arts Room|
|Sun. Oct 23 at 5:30 PM||RE Family Potluck||UUCF Sanctuary Commons|
|Wed. Oct 26 at 4:30 PM||4th-6th Grade Online Gaming Group||Via Zoom Only|
Adult helpers are needed to assist teachers for Moral Tales (Grades 1 & 2) and Soul Matters (Grades 3 & 4). UUCF’s large RE program cannot succeed without the support of many adults from the congregation. Can you volunteer for 90 minutes one Sunday this fall to help in RE? The children need you. Sign […]
If you are a parent or guardian planning to use child care for Sunday morning worship and RE, and/or Sunday afternoon adult choir, Revolution Ringers or youth choir, please register here. Your registration will help UUCF improve plans for provider coverage and allocate personnel where they are most needed. Questions? Contact Diana Tycer.
Looking for a way to be a part of the UUCF Sunday morning worship service? The Worship Committee invites families of all sizes and configurations to sign up to light the chalice in worship services this fall. No experience or preparation necessary – just arrive on your Sunday at 9:45 a.m. ready to help center […]
Only three more RE teachers are needed to complete teaching teams for the fall. Teaching RE is fun, interesting and a wonderful way to connect with adults and children in the congregation. Teachers are needed for the Grade 1 & 2 Moral Tales class, the Grade 5 & 6 Love Connects Us class and the […]