First Parish of Sudbury invites all of our children to join together for meaningful worship and growth. We want our children to personally experience our Unitarian Universalist faith and all the wonderful ideals that it embodies. In our Religious Education program, we will share stories and activities that bring our UU faith to life. Most significantly, we will spend time together sharing worship and wonder, love and friendship, kindness and compassion, and enlightenment and growth.
Each Sunday, we invite our children and youth to begin the worship service in the Sanctuary so that families can enjoy the first few moments of the service together. The beginning of each Sunday worship service includes a Time For All Ages. Some weeks, we share a children’s story that relates to the theme of the worship service, and other weeks we invite our children and youth to share important milestones from their lives with the congregation. It is our hope that these special times for children help our youngest members to form meaningful connections with the larger faith community at First Parish of Sudbury. Following the Time For All Ages, the children, youth, guides, and DRE leave the Sanctuary to attend their Religious Exploration classes.
“Chalice Children” Nursery Class (ages 0-5)
For children under 5 years old, nursery care is available during Sunday morning services. Our nursery classroom is a safe and fun environment for young children, and it is stocked with toys, books and activities that are age-appropriate for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Two experienced adult volunteers staff our nursery each Sunday.
Moral Tales (grades K-3)
Moral Tales is a Tapestry of Faith curriculum that “provides children with the spiritual and ethical tools they will need to make choices and take actions reflective of their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values”, by helping them to learn ways to navigate challenging decisions. Classes each week include stories, wondering questions, and a variety of games, cooperative activities and art projects that encourage the students to explore and express new ideas together in a safe, comfortable and fun learning environment.
Toolbox of Faith (grades 4-8)
The Tapestry of Faith Toolbox of Faith curriculum “invites participants to reflect on qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith”. This curriculum also uses stories, discussion, and a variety of projects and cooperative activities to guide students as they explore the tools of our UU faith.
All-Ages “Social Justice Sunday” RE Classes
Each month, our students participate in an all-ages “Social Justice Sunday” RE class, led by the FPS Youth Coordinator. In these classes, the students focus on a variety of social justice and environmental justice themes, engaging in discussion, activities and projects that are aimed at making positive change in the world.
All-Ages “Arts Sunday” RE Classes
We are proud to offer monthly “Arts Sunday” RE classes, which give students of all ages the opportunity to participate in the First Parish of Sudbury Children’s Choir. The students are currently very excited to be rehearsing for a performance during our Religious Exploration Sunday worship service in May! In these classes, our students also have time to express their creativity through a variety of art projects, and they will have the chance to display their work at our end-of-year art show on RE Sunday!
Junior Youth Group (grades 4-8)
For youth in grades 4 through 8, we have a Junior Youth Group that meets every month with our Youth Coordinator. The Youth Coordinator leads the Junior Youth Group in activities, projects and outings that are aimed at empowering the students to create positive change in our community and around the world. They also have opportunities to collaborate with other local youth groups for meetings, community service projects, and events.
A child’s experience at First Parish is just one aspect of his or her religious development. While every child will participate in enriching and meaningful programs here, it is at home where the spiritual development of each child will blossom. We encourage parents to support their children in all efforts to bring their religious education experience home with them. Whether it is adding a prayer to your dinner ritual, having honest conversations about your child’s religious questions, or sharing an act of kindness for a neighbor, there are many great ways to bring the UU faith into our homes and daily lives. The minister or DRE would be happy to explore this subject more with you.