Growth – Children & Teens
SUNDAY MORNING RELIGIOUS AND CHARACTER EDUCATION CLASSES
At UUCC, we want our children and youth to feel part of a supportive and caring community as they freely explore the concepts of religion, develop their own spiritual beliefs, and build relationships among their peers.
Most Sundays, children and youth join the adults in the Sanctuary for the first 15 minutes of the church service. This is an opportunity to experience several important moments: the lighting of the chalice, the reciting of the Words of Affirmation, and a hymn or two. Kids listen to the Children’s Story and then head to their religious and character education (RCE) classes. On the way, they collect non-perishable food items brought by congregants for the local food pantry at Respond Now. If they haven’t already done so, caregivers may now take little ones to the Under 5’s Room (nursery and preschool). From time to time, we hold intergenerational services, which are specifically designed to interest and engage kids of kindergarten age and older; they stay in the Sanctuary for the entire church service.
Children Under 5
UUCC employs a childcare assistant. We care for babies and toddlers, along with preschoolers, in our Under 5’s Room (Classroom 2). Most parents bring their own diaper bag, bottles and sippy cups, but we also have a large stock of supplies. There is a changing table in the nearby restroom.
When the church service ends
We ask elementary, middle, and high school students to meet their parents in the Gathering Room when their RCE class ends. This way, parents can begin socializing, and RCE teachers do not feel rushed to finish their lesson or activity.
Infants, toddlers, and preschool children stay in the Under 5’s classroom until they are picked up by a parent or adult designee.
If you are visiting
Please introduce yourself to the Greeter(s) at the church doors and let them know that you would like your child(ren) to attend the RCE class.
If visiting children feel hesitant or not quite ready to attend an RCE class, they are welcome to stay in the service.
The mission of the UUCC Religious and Character Education (RCE) program is to provide children and teens with a fun, safe, and caring environment in which they are encouraged to explore ethics and spirituality guided by Unitarian Universalist principles. We aim to carry out the mission of the RCE program in the spirit of love, trust, cooperation, patience, and mutual respect.
Director of Religious and Character Education
UUCC employs a part-time Director of Religious Education (DRE), Dan Feldt. Dan has taught in the RCE program at UUCC and has served on the Religious Education Committee for the past sixteen years. This background gives him a valuable perspective on the elements of an involving educational experience. With a MFA degree in Theater Arts, he brings a sense of collaboration to his interaction with the children and the RCE instructors. He’s also directed a number of holiday plays at UUCC. Dan believes that the lively introduction of new ideas and respectful dialogue between the children and the teacher set the cornerstone for a life of spiritual growth and discovery.
He sees the living out of UU principles of compassion, thoughtfulness, and integrity in the now twenty-somethings from his earlier RCE classes.
Currently, Giggy Wagner is our Elementary Grades Lead Teacher and Coordinator.
Giggy received her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle School Education from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky in May 1997. She taught English as a Second Language, Spanish, and English Language Arts in grades three through twelve for seven years in Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois and Texas. In 2005 Giggy began graduate school at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan ultimately receiving her Master’s of English: Composition and Communication. Since receiving her Master’s in 2007 she has taught at the Community College/University Level in Michigan and the South Suburbs of Chicago.
An RCE Committee helps to plan and direct curricula, budget, special events, etc. For more information call our church office at 708-481-5339.
The DRE organizes and leads teams of volunteer teachers, all of whom are members of UUCC. While each teacher brings a unique style to the classroom, we expect all teachers to:
- model the Unitarian Universalist Principles
- set a tone of respect and caring
- try to recognize and bring out each child’s special gifts and qualities
- encourage questions and discuss children’s own thoughts and ideas