Middle School Grades
Youth in 7th-9th grade meet every Sunday morning during our second service and participate in one adult service on the first Sunday, or Justice Sunday, of the month. We will have three advisors working with this age group. The goal of the youth group is to create community and respect for one another through weekly discussions and lessons taken from the Building Bridges curriculum developed by the Tapestry of Faith team from the Unitarian Universalist Association. This curriculum is a world religions program designed to deepen youth’s understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search.
On Justice Sundays, the first Sunday of the month, we have “Youth Sundays”. The sermon topics are justice oriented and “youth friendly” and help the youth understand the role of the Unitarian Universalist faith in our lives. The Junior High youth will provide all the Sunday volunteer duties that support the Sunday service (e.g. lighting the chalice, collecting offertory, greeting and handling the microphones). Jr. High youth will also attend the service during this Sunday. This will be the fourteenth year that we have held a youth Sunday, and it has increased the exposure of the youth in our congregation as well as giving them a sense of what a Unitarian Universalist service is all about.
The Coming of Age program is offered every other year, alternating with the Our Whole Lives (see below). Coming of Age will be offered this program year, 2016-2017. If you have a child who is interested, please contact Emmie Schlobohm and plan on attending one of our Parent/guardian Orientations.
The Coming of Age program is an important rite of passage for young Unitarian Universalists entering 7th-9th grades. This program invites our youth to be more active as a participant in the general congregation as they grow into young adulthood. Youth interested in participating in the Coming of Age program will be matched with adult mentors. Mentors and youth are encouraged to spend time together getting to know one another through the year and work together at a community service project. Our Minister, Sara LaWall, and our Director of Religious Exploration, Emmie Schlobohm, will also meet with the youth and their mentors once a month to discuss spiritual topics and answer questions regarding the writing of a faith statement or personal credo that is presented to the congregation in May.
As a culmination of the Coming of Age program, the Jr. High youth also make a pilgrimage to Boston, Massachusetts. Their fundraising efforts are led by enthusiastic parents. The trip is led by the Director of Religious Exploration with the able assistance of several adult chaperones from our congregation. All Jr. High aged youth are eligible to participate with the understanding that taking part in the accompanying year’s Coming of Age program is a prerequisite. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is located in Boston, along with many important sites in UU and US history. The trip offers youth the opportunity to get a sense of the larger movement of which we are a part and appreciate how UU history is intertwined with US history.
Our Whole Lives – a Sexuality Curriculum (OWL) written by Pam Wilson, a nationally known sexuality educator and speaker will be presented again in the 2017-2018 program year to our 7th-9th graders. Trained facilitators teach this 26-session class. Class schedules have varied throughout the year. We will set the schedule in the fall of 2017. Youth may not drop into this class. They must be registered and have parental consent to take part.
More information about all of the Our Whole Lives program can be found here.