Children’s Religious Education

Children’s Religious Education Class Guide

Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes are offered to 7th, 8th and 9th graders every other year.  The next session will be in 2016-2017.  Parents are required to attend a parent orientation prior to registering their child in an OWL class.

Additional Children’s Religious Education Offerings

Religious Education Calendar

Religious Education Volunteer Opportunities

Registration Information

In order to participate in our program, you must register your child(ren) with the 2016-2017 Religious Education Registration Form for all classes, nursery through High School. Ours is a cooperative program, so all parents/guardians must pay a registration fee and volunteer in some way. If you need a financial waiver, please contact Janet Watts (dre@charlestonuu.org 843.723.4617). There is no waiver for volunteering.

 Our Purpose

The purpose of the Religious Education Program is to:

  • Create an environment where children will feel loved and safe;
  • Encourage and support our children’s spiritual and ethical growth;
  • Provide an open and compassionate community that promotes acceptance and principled guidance;
  • Offer young people a place to explore Unitarian Universalism and other faiths;
  • Encourage innate curiosity, wonder and joy;
  • Provide opportunities to apply and model the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism

What will my child(ren) learn about…

…God? Many people think their lives are part of a larger force, and they call that larger force “God”. People the world over have different ideas of what God is like. We share many of those ideas with our children and encourage them to develop their own. Our children also learn that belief in God is not necessary to the living of a good and meaningful life.
…Jesus? Our children learn about the historic Jesus, his life and times, and the impact of his ministry. They learn that Jesus was a loving human teacher who helped people understand each other and be kind to one another. In following the guidance of the ideals of love, peace and forgiveness taught by Jesus, we make the world a better place in which to live.
…The Bible? The Bible is a collection of books telling about the early days of the Jewish people, their ideas about God, the teachings of Jesus, and what some of his followers said about him. The Bible is not taught as the “singular work of God”—rather Bible stories are used to teach a lesson, and acquaint our children with their Judeo-Christian heritage.
…World religions? The children and youth learn about the scriptures, deities, holy days and customs of a variety of world religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Judaism, Baha’i, Sikhism, Paganism, Humanism and Native American spirituality. Through these studies we hope to show our children that there are many spiritual paths people take to find meaning and there is no one path that works for everyone.

Our Staff

Janet Watts, Director of Religious Education (dre@charlestonuu.org)

Melissa Zahler, Religious Education Assistant

Marina Penna-Morrison and Jule Lane (High School)

Amanda Gabriel and Rafael Navas, Preschool

Delores Crawford Nursery Attendant

Religious Education Committee

The Religious Education Committee embodies congregational responsibility for the religious education for children and youth by articulating directions and supporting the professional and volunteer staff in realizing the goals of the program.

Meeting with the Director of Religious Education, committee members articulate the direction and design of the religious education program by listening to parents and congregants, planning and implementing religious education events, supporting training sessions, and working with other adults in the wider congregation to build a religious community.

Religious Education Committee Members

John Massey, jmassey@ccprc.com, Chair

Downing Child, Vice Chair

Audrey Brown
Kevin Eakes
Erica Hattings, Vestry liaison
Alex Hild
John Hyatt
Joe Krause
Marina Penna-Morrison
Kris Rife, Social Justice liaison

Religious Education Program Safety Policies

No teacher should ever be alone with one child (unless it’s their own child). If you are the first to drop off your child and there is only one teacher, you must stay until another teacher or child arrives.

We perform background checks on all individuals who work with children and youth.

Children younger than High School will not be dismissed on their own. Please be mindful of this when socializing after the service.  You may pick up children from the Annex until 12:45 and children from the 1st – 8th grade classes will be on the playground at Charleston Day School.

Snacks offered include granola bars, raisins, or other fruit/veggies, and a gluten-free option. Please remind teachers if your child has food allergies.

Teachers are trained on the best route to exit in an emergency. Limited first aid kits are provided in every classroom and a more complete kit is in the office.

Click here for our Safe Church Policy.

Expectations for Behavior

In the Religious Education program, we seek to engage children and youth within an atmosphere of mutual respect and kindness. At the beginning of the church year, all classes create a “Class Covenant,” stating how they will be in community with each other. In order to ensure a safe learning environment for all participants, we expect a method of interacting guided by our covenants. In the event that a child needs help meeting these expectations, the following steps may be taken: verbal correction, removal from group, conversation with the Religious Education Director, consultation with parents, parents asked to take part in class.

In the spirit of community, we ask that our children and youth “be present” in class. This means they do not bring books and toys into the room with them, unless it is meant to be used with the lesson. Ideally all children will be present in mind and spirit, but if your child has a special need to bring a book or toy from home, please speak with Janet.