What is Religious Exploration (RE)?
A place for families to grow together ◦ An accepting place for all children: from all kinds of families, from all cultures, genders, and backgrounds ◦ A place to learn about ourselves and our world ◦ A safe place for youth to explore their identities and share their lives ◦ A place full of music, stories, songs, and laughter ◦ A place to make friends ◦ A place to be introduced to new ideas and to share excitement! ◦ A place to borrow books ◦ A place where children of all abilities are welcome ◦ A place to practice reconciliation ◦ A place to play ◦A place to get involved. ◦
Download the "Goals of the RE Program" pdf to learn more about why we do what we do.
Click here to learn more about more about Katharine Childs, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Religious Exploration Staff.
What Happens on Sunday Morning?
For Pre-school and Elementary-Aged Friends
Children are invited to spend the beginning of the Sunday morning service with their families in the Sanctuary
- Children are invited to get their nametag from Katharine or Yvette in the lobby before the service begins
- Busy boxes are available in the lobby for kids who might need a little something to keep occupied
- Having the wiggles and making a little bit of noise are welcome parts of being in worship as a multigenerational community.
Each Sunday morning, our service includes a Time for All Ages: a period of storytelling or interactive spirituality to engage all of our UCM members & friends.
Following the Time for All Ages, young people come downstairs for an hour of learning and exploring through play, singing, making, and conversation. Parents are welcome to join in the Pre-school and Elementary classes.
This year (2017-18) we are:
- Engaging with UCM's monthly themes (e.g. Creativity, Growth, Interdependence)
- Exploring the role of celebration to inspire inquiry and curiosity, and the empowering force of Unitarian Universalism
- Experiencing ourselves as someone who explores, creates, discovers, celebrates, and plays!
For High-School and CEGEP-Aged Friends
Youth begin most Sundays in the Sanctuary with the whole congregation. A sharing circle anddiscussion topic follows downstairs in the youth room. Discussion topics reflect the monthly UCM themes, current events, and community building.
Several times a year, to celebrate important occasions in our congregational life (e.g. All Souls, Solstice, Earth Day, etc.), our whole UCM community spends our morning worship time together. During these special services we showcase the talents of our young people, and create a service which is entertaining, meaningful, and to which people of all ages can respond.
Several times a year, our youth (aged 14 to 20) participate in Unitarian Universalist conferences and meet ups which allow them to meet other UU Youth, explore spiritual topics, and attend workshops as part of the Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education program.
Coming of Age and Bridging
As a faith tradition, Unitarian Universalism marks life transitions with special, unique rituals. Celebrating the passing out of childhood, and supporting young people as they join the adult world are important events in the lives of our members & friends. The Religious Exploration program has a special place in marking these events, and periodically will offer transition programs.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education Program
Developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education program delivers fact-based, respectful, and broad-ranging information on sexual health and relationships for people of all ages. Beginning as early as grade 1 with information about human reproduction, safe touching, and body parts, the program extends through to workshops for adults about healthy relationships and sexuality. OWL stresses the involvement of parents in their child’s sexuality education, reminding us that our children’s healthy development begins with our attitudes towards sex and relationships.
OWL workshops are periodically offered at the UCM by trained educators. Our youth groups attend an annual OWL weekend with other congregations in our region.
Have you registered for Religious Exploration? Registering your child or youth ensures we have necessary emergency medical information, helps us tailor our program to our UCM members & friends, and makes the program better for everyone! Register here!
Special Info for Parents of Infants & Toddlers
Infants and toddlers are welcome in the Sanctuary with their families. The Nursery is open on Sunday morning from 10 am until 1 pm for infants and toddlers to play in a supervised environment if they do not wish to sit with their families in the Sanctuary.
There is a comfortable chair in the snack room (off of the Nursery) for nursing parents; those preferring a more private space may use the Thomas Room (upstairs, please ask a greeter to show you the way), where the Sunday service may alsobe heard over the speakers.
There are diaper changing tables in the bathrooms on the Basement level, and the Nursery level. There is a child’s potty in the bathroom on the Nursery level, please wash it immediately after use.
For your convenience, registered infants & toddlers may keep a diaper bag at the UCM.