of Scituate, Massachusetts
First Parish
Unitarian Universalist Church
Religious Education
The mission of the Religious Education (RE) Program at First Parish of Scituate is to promote a welcoming and inclusive community that values children and youth. Guided by the seven UU Principles, we strive to nurture the spiritual development of our children and families and to empower them to act on their beliefs and meet the challenges of a changing world.

Our Goals

Our goals for faith formation of our youth:
We value each child’s quest for truth and cultivate acceptance of one another’s evolving beliefs. We encourage thinking, questioning, listening, perceiving, and sharing.  In our groups and classes, we uphold democratic process and emphasize fair treatment.  With this approach we strive to help children:
  • Find their place in the universe and experience feelings of wonder for and connection to all of life;
  • Build a true sense of themselves as lovable and capable human beings responsible for determining the quality and direction of their lives;
  • Develop appreciation for the worth and rights of others;
  • Explore spiritual paths in order to clarify and articulate their personal beliefs and values;
  • Understand and act on their ability to work for positive change in the world;
  • Gain an appreciation of the natural world and an understanding of their responsibilities to it.

Childrens Programs: What We Teach

Childcare (18 mos. – K)

Loving childcare with storytelling and creative play is provided for toddlers. Parents sign their children in before service, or bring their children upstairs when children and teachers leave for RE classes.  Parents sign their children out at the end of the worship service (11:30) before attending Coffee Hour.

Elementary (Grades 1-5)

We teach a 3-year rotation that covers, in turn:
  • The major world religions
  • The Judeo-Christian tradition
  • UU identity
In this rotation, for 2018-19, the focus is Judeo-Christian. Age-appropriate curricula for these groups are made up of fun, engaging activities that introduce our faith to young children through spiritual stories, art, and sharing circles. The program provides children with spiritual and ethical tools to make choices and take actions that reflect their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values.

Youth Group Programs

We have two programs for our teens, both of which run in conjunction with two other local UU churches – First Parish in Cohasset and Channing Church in Rockland. We have found the sharing of resources and nurturing of connections between the youth of our congregations to be a valuable part of their UU identity formation. The middle-school-age group alternates curriculum on a two year cycle: “Our Whole Lives (OWL)” sexuality education one year, and a program that introduces youth to the faith traditions within our larger community the next. Our high school-aged youth participate in a dynamic youth group that meets on Sunday evenings.

Grades 6-8: Junior Youth: Civil (Dis)obedience
Teachers will be encouraging the 6-8th graders to become free-thinking individuals. Utilizing discussion, examples, and action, they will embark on a spiritual journey to begin to sort out their feelings about themselves and their world; they do the difficult work of starting to create their adult selves, to discover what they believe about life’s big questions–the nature of humanity and the divine, beliefs about death and faith, and to acquire a strong background in Unitarian Universalist history.

Grade 8: “Coming of Age”
This rite-of-passage course matches our eighth grade students and above with adult mentors from our congregation. Together they will work on a check-list of subjects, exploring worship, social justice, religious history and tradition, First Parish as an organization, and their own spiritual autobiography. This class culminates in a worship service and celebration during which students’ personal credos are shared.

Grade 8-9: “Our Whole Lives" (OWL)
The OWL sexuality education program is offered every other year in conjunction with two other local UU churches (First Parish in Cohasset and Channing Church in Rockland). This class offers students the opportunity to identify, clarify, and discuss issues about self-esteem, media images, gender identity, relationship building, communication and caring, as well as to learn important facts about the human body, sexual harassment and abuse, and sexual practices.
OWL will be offered in the 2018-2019 church year.

Grades  9-12: (Senior High Youth Group ... aka SciCohRock)
The free and responsible search for truth and meaning continues with our high school students. This program explores values, ethics, and character in real life, and how beliefs and actions translate into making a difference in our community and our society. Students also continue their personal identity development. Our goal is to help high school students to transition to post-high school as a UU and to affirm UUism as a lifelong, sustaining faith.
                  Currently, this dynamic group meets with youth from three area UU churches. Youth Group activities have included the Walk for Hunger, social justice projects, and intergenerational fundraising activities.
                  In addition, they are invited to participate in overnight UU Youth Conferences (known as “Cons”). Cons are a large part of the youth experience. Our advisors and youth leaders take great pride in the strong communities that are fostered and the leadership skills our youth develop. Cons encourage spiritual and emotional growth for all youth. Our teams, based out of the host churches or collaboratives, work together to organize and run each conference. It is the youth who lead activities, prepare meals, coordinate worship, and much more. Some of the things you might find at a con include a coffeehouse, workshops, a hike, or a people pyramid!