The Unitarian Church of Harrisburg offers children's religious exploration (RE) programming each Sunday morning at Clover Lane.
Please try to arrive about 15 minutes before the service. Greeters in the lobby will welcome you, get name-tags for your family, and ask you to fill out a visitor registration form. Arriving a bit early allows you time to look around; to meet other families, the RE Leaders, and/or the Director of Religious Exploration; and to ask questions. Please include any special needs or allergies on the visitor registration form to best provide a positive experience for your child.
We provide fidget materials, toys, and projects for babies, children, teens, and adults in both sanctuaries. Members and guests should sit where they are most comfortable and move around as needed. Joyful noises and movements are the signs of a living, thriving church. We welcome them!
All ages start together in the sanctuary. Some Sundays, families remain together in the service. Other Sundays, children, youth, and RE Leaders will recess to their RE session downstairs during a song (about 15 minutes into the service.) We encourage you to go with your children to help them find their way and settle in. If you do not arrive early, just go with the rest of the children and leaders, let them know you are new, and they will accompany you to the RE room. Please stay in the session or activity with your child if you would like.
After their third visit, families must complete the UCH RE registration form (button found at top of page.) This helps our Director of Religious Exploration and RE Committee monitor attendance, communicate with families, and tailor activities for their children & youth.
Families of babies, toddlers and preschoolers are welcome to:
- keep their little ones with them in the service
- take breaks in the lobby and return to worship
- listen to worship through the speakers in Fuller Chapel (upstairs) or the Potter Room (downstairs)
- to send their younger children along with nursery care volunteers as RE recesses after the first 15 minutes of worship whichever option (or mix of options) works best for you.
Care for infants and toddlers is integrated into our general children's programming. Our youngest children begin RE time in an all-ages setting to interact and build relationships with older children and youth. Then they move to developmentally appropriate activities and free play in the Potter Room.
Families are encouraged to take the time to help make their children comfortable and inform the child care providers about any anticipated needs. Two childcare providers from the congregation engage and guide the children. Parents and caregivers are welcome to sit in any time.
Nursery care continues until 11:45, 15 minutes after the worship service, to allow parents and caregivers the chance to fellowship during Coffee Hour.
RE Children Program Overview
All children (K-7th) & youth (8-12th) begin their Sunday morning in the sanctuary worshiping with their families.
Religious Exploration classes and activities last 15 minutes after the worship service. Children in 4th grade or younger must be picked up in the room by their parents/guardians. Children in 5th grade and older may dismiss themselves into Coffee Hour at 11:45, after the Closing ceremony.
Monthly programming includes:
- 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays: ChUUrchcraft! - ages 5-12
Our 2019-20 focus uses Building Bridges, a curriculum that studies other religions, beliefs, and faith traditions through a combination of engaging activities, thought-provoking discussions, on-site visits to local places of worship, and Minecraft (yep, that Minecraft!)
We have already visited a Jewish synogague and a Buddhist temple and will be visiting five other places of worship:
- Hindu temple
- Muslim mosque
- Catholic church
- Presbyterian church
- Baptist church
Kids work together to recreate what they've learned into a Minecraft world that contains a UU church, complete with rooms and grounds ready to be dedicated to the religions, beliefs, and faith traditions we've encountered. Creative mode, to be clear. No creepers, no trolls!
3rd Sunday: MakerSpace - ages 5-18
An opportunity for kids to engage with the 7 UU Principles and practice UU values and fellowship around self-directed activities. Stations include: CrafterSpace, TinkerSpace, BakerSpace, GardenerSpace, BuilderSpace, and MoverSpace.
Special programming (offered Sunday morning before service) includes:
- Elem (5-6 grade) - Our Whole Lives (OWL) - Winter 2020 (offered biannually)