Welcome to Faith Development for Children at Main Line Unitarian Church. We offer classes on Sunday mornings year round (age grouped from September through June, one-room schoolhouse in July and August) at 10:00 a.m. Our Faith Development programs seek to:
• Develop Unitarian Universalists who are fully functioning religious beings engaged in honest dialogue, lifelong learning, and exploration of self and world
• Sustain strong families and create multigenerational relationships that value all
• Invite and promote questioning, curiosity, and religious freedom
Changes are occasionally made on Sundays to accommodate the population in attendance. Subscribe to E-Notes to hear about updates or changes.
Each Sunday service includes a Story for All Ages, when teachers, children, and families are together with the rest of the community for a portion of our Sunday worship in the sanctuary. This is a special time when younger members of our community are brought into the circle of those gathered to worship in the manner of Unitarian Universalist congregations—becoming familiar with the traditions and rituals of our faith. We encourage families to bring children to a Story for All Ages at an early age.
Children are welcome to use activity packets (found outside the sanctuary doors) to keep hands busy and minds alert. Nursery care is available for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers during this time. After a Story for All Ages, the congregation sings to the teachers and children as they depart for their classes.
Volunteers may submit a registration form either online or in paper form:
Faith Development Registration Form 2017-2018 (complete online)
Faith Development Registration Form (print and hand in)
2017-18 Children’s Faith Development Calendar
First, third, and fourth Sundays: Story for All Ages in the sanctuary, then RE classes
Second Sundays: Story for All Ages, then 6th-9th to class. PreK-5th to Faith in Action, in the McGinness Room
Fifth Sundays, when they occur: Story for All Ages in the sanctuary, then RE classes
*Note: There are several special Sundays when we have Multigenerational Worship—during these Sundays families stay together in the sanctuary throughout the service. Check E-Notes for schedule changes.
2017-18 Children’s Faith Development Curricula
3 and 4-Year-Olds Celebrating Me & My World This class celebrates the wonder of being a special person; the delight of a world full of living things and elements; and the security of knowing that many different kinds of people love and help each other. Simple rituals such as a sharing circle, story time, exploring, and closing are repeated each week.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Based on the work of Maria Montessori and Jerome Berryman, UU religious educators have adapted their ideas into a unique learning environment called Spirit Play. Each session is based around a shared story. Through story, our children learn about Unitarian Universalism and its history, and develop an underlying sense of the spiritual and the mystery of life. Wondering questions and hands-on exploration encourage independent thinking. This year’s stories focus on the Promises (Principles) of Unitarian Universalism.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Our Whole Lives (OWL) (before or after services in Winter)
Our Whole Lives helps parents in their jobs as primary sexuality educators. At this age level OWL focuses on proper names for body parts, differences between genders, and ends with a basic understanding of where babies come from. Parents are included through home links in all that is explored with the kids—opening opportunities for healthy conversations with our young children about personal safety.
2nd and 3rd Grade
Based on the work of Maria Montessori and Jerome Berryman, UU religious educators have adapted their ideas into a unique learning environment called Spirit Play. Each session is based around a shared story. Through story, our children learn about Unitarian Universalism and its history, and develop an underlying sense of the spiritual and the mystery of life. Wondering questions and hands-on exploration encourages independent thinking. This year’s stories focus on the Sources of Unitarian Universalism.
Stepping Stones (before or after services in Spring)
This is a right of passage for our children in building their growing UU identity. Stepping Stones helps them understand in more depth—the adventurous and creative Unitarians and Universalists who have shared their talents with the world. At the end of this four-week program, they will be recognized in worship and have the opportunity to become an integral part of a worship service in the life of our congregation.
4th and 5th Grade
Harry and UU
Back by popular demand, Harry and UU is a social action curriculum for grades 4-5 based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Through the themes in these books that closely relate to the seven principles, children are immersed in the idea that one can work to make the world a better place. This curriculum has meaningful sources and projects that are relevant to children, and in turn, keeps them engaged.
4th and 5th Grade
Our Whole Lives (OWL) (before or after services in Spring)
This eight-session program helps 4th-5th graders learn about and discuss the physical and emotional changes of puberty. Along with their parents, children read It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie H. Harris, which examines topics such as values and sexuality, communication and decision-making. Each session includes a HomeLink—a homework activity for parents and children to complete together.
6th and 7th Grade (and 8th that are not in OWL)
Building Bridges is a world religions program 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. This program includes field trips to experience the worship life of other faith communities. Building Bridges encourages acceptance by fostering firsthand experience and dialogue with different religious communities, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and earth-based spirituality.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Eighth grade OWL is a comprehensive sexuality education program that includes age-appropriate information about human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It’s grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, addressing not only the physical components, but the spiritual, emotional, and cultural as well. Instructors must attend OWL teacher training, and parents must attend a parent orientation meeting in September. Youth are expected to attend each weekly class. This group does not attend a Time for All Ages.
Coming of Age (COA)
Coming of Age has been redesigned for MLUC 9th graders, in recognition that they are at the beginning of a journey—able to reflect on all they have learned, while investigating and defining their own beliefs. This program invites students to deepen their understanding of UUism and their knowledge of MLUC, and to begin a contemplative process around their own spirituality. The COA year includes opportunities for service, fellowship, fun, and adventure. Activities on both Sunday mornings and at other times engage youth in a process that culminates in the creation of personal credos (Latin: “what I set my heart to”). In spring, a youth-led service celebrates a unique threshold in their spiritual journey when youth share their own credos with the congregation. Parents and youth are required to attend a parent orientation meeting in September. Youth are expected to attend each weekly class. This program requires a high level of commitment by parents and youth. COA also includes a program from the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia called Walking the Walk, a nationally-recognized initiative that provides teenagers with experiences, skills, and resources to live in a diverse world, deepen their own identities, and break through walls that divide them from people of other religious, cultural, & economic backgrounds. Youth will engage in five sessions with other faith communities (New Horizons Islamic School, The Narberth Havurah, and Beth Chaim Reform Congregation) to understand each other’s faiths more deeply and discuss issues. COA does not attend a Time for All Ages.
Interested in evening Youth Groups for Grades 7-12? View our Youth page for details.
Childcare on Sundays
Nursery care is available on Sundays for babies and toddlers. We encourage families to bring children to as much of our time together in the Main Meeting Room as possible, but children in Pre-K are also welcome in the nursery during a Story for All Ages and Multigenerational Worship. Contact .