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Children's Religious Exploration
Contact our Director of Religious Exploration, Liz Kramer: dre@firstparishportland.org
Call the First Parish office, 207-773-5747, or Email office@firstparishportland.org


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Children and Youth Religious Exploration  



Children and Youth Religious Exploration is not your typical Sunday School!   Using as our foundation the Unitarian Universalist Principles, we strive to help the children and youth in exploring their own beliefs and values.   We often use art, theater, and stories in our exploration.   One of the key philosophies of Religious Exploration at First Parish is "learning through play," and we try to ensure to make RE as fun and dynamic as we can for all the children.

We offer Religious Exploration classes on Sunday mornings for all ages: from our infant/toddler childcare through Youth Group for our High School students.

Sunday Mornings for Religious Exploration can take a few forms.   Most common is regular classes.   On these mornings the children and youth will begin with their parents for the beginning of the worship service.   After some time together, the children are "sung to their classes," at which point they will either join others in their age group for class, or they will be with all ages for a large group activity.

On the first Sunday of each month, rather than joining adults in the sanctuary for the early portion of the worship service, Children and Youth gather in the Children's Chapel for their own unique worship experience before going to their Religious Exploration classes.

Several times per church year, First Parish holds Intergenerational Worship Services.  Children, Youth, Young Adults, and First Parish members of all ages worship together for the duration of the service. Childcare is available on these days for the youngest members of our community, but older children are expected join the community in worship.

For more information about what is happening on any given Sunday for participants in our Children's Religious Exploration program, please see the Religious Exploration Calendar.

Religious Exploration programming ends at 11:15am.  Our expectation is that parents of children who are in fourth grade or younger will meet their children at the completion of class, prior to joining in the post-worship fellowship and coffee.


Children's Religious Exploration Classes

This year, all classes will be working with the Unitarian Universalist Principles.  In addition to this, on one Sunday each month, participants will focus on a specific Faith in Action project aligned with the Congregation's Faith in Action theme for the month. 

Infant-Toddler Class

Childcare is available for the youngest among us, in the Play Room on the second floor of the Parish House.   Our Nursery Room Supervisor is Rebecca Washko.  Childcare is available from 9:50 until 11:20.

Preschool to Kindergarten

This class meets in Room 2 on the second floor of the Parish House.  This year, they will be exploring the UU Principles through the stories of Dr. Suess.

First to Second Grade

This group will meet in Room 3 on the second floor of the Parish House.  They will be using the Tapestry of Faith curriculum: "Love Surrounds Us."

Third to Fourth Grade

This group will meet in Room 5, downstairs in the Parish House.  They will be using the Tapestry of Faith curriculum: "Faithful Journey."

Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Grade

This group will meet in Room 6, downstairs in the Parish House.  They will be using the curriculum "In Our Hands."  Their Lead Teacher for the year is Christina Oliva.

Youth Group

This group will meet in the Children's Chapel on the second floor of the Parish House. Under the guidance of their advisor, Hillary Stucker, they will create their own curriculum and explore Unitarian Universalism, and how to put their faith into action.