Our Vision of Religious Exploration
The Unitarian Fellowship strives to provide a Religious Exploration program that encourages spiritual growth and development and grounds our children and youth in Unitarian Universalist principles and values.
We commit ourselves to fostering a supportive and respectful environment of lifespan learning in which we promote and model the skills for being in community, and for living ethically in our changing world.
You can keep in touch with our RE program activities and events by joining our private Facebook group: The Children’s RE Program at the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough.
UU Principles & Sources for Children & Youth
Our children & youth’s Religious Exploration (RE) program is guided by the same seven principles that guide adult Unitarian Universalists, which have been reworded to make them more accessible to the young:
- Each and every person is important.
- All people should be treated fairly.
- In our Fellowship, we accept one another and learn together.
- Each person is free to search for what is true and right.
- Everyone deserves the right to speak out and vote on things that matter to them.
- We work for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
- We care for our planet Earth and every living thing that shares it with us.
In the same way, the sources of wisdom from which Unitarian Universalists grow are reworded for our youth. These ideas come from many places:
- The sense of wonder we all share;
- Women and men long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair;
- Jewish and Christian teachings, which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves;
- The use of reason and the discoveries of science;
- The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life;
- Faithful words and actions that shape our Unitarian and Universalist heritage.
On Sunday mornings, September- end of June, we offer dynamic programs for children and youth ages 6-14, rooted in the principles of acceptance, dignity, mutual respect, equality, compassion, democratic process, and a belief in the interdependence of all life.
We follow an experiential learning model and offer a range of learning opportunities in each session, including arts activities, cooperative games, nature activities, and group sharing and discussion.
The program is led by a our Director of Religious Exploration (DRE) and a team of enthusiastic and caring volunteers.
High-quality care for infants and children up to age 5 is provided by paid child care workers. Individualized attention with appropriate toys and activities are provided to help create a safe and comforting environment.
We offer multigenerational services approximately six times a year where adults and children gather in the sanctuary to worship together.
Family Fun Fest: Friday May 24, 6-8pm
Once a season, the Gr. 5-8’s in our RE Program plan a party, and this time, they chose the theme of Super Heroes! The Grade 5-8’s are invited to come at 5pm to help set up the food, games, crafts and decorations. This event is free! A superhero themed dinner will be provided. Once we are done eating together, the grown ups will go upstairs for some time with Rev. Julie while the children stay downstairs and continue to party heroically. This time, we encourage everyone to come dressed up as a super hero! Please RSVP as soon as possible and let us know if you have any food allergies that we should be aware of. You can RSVP on our Facebook event page or by e-mailing Gloria at rec.peterborough (at) gmail.com.
Our Senior Youth Group (Grades 9 and up) meets at UFP on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm, September-end of June. Under the supervision of our trained Youth Advisor volunteers, our youth are encouraged to develop their own program and to share their talents with the Fellowship through special projects such as youth-led services. Throughout the year, the youth have the opportunity to connect with other UU youth when they travel with our Youth Advisors to UU “Cons” (weekend youth conferences), including the CUC annual youth conference “CanUUdle” in May.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education program
Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision-making, and has the potential to save lives.
For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (“OWL”), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality and relationships education curricula delivered in age groupings from age 5 to adult. Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, OWL provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality.
To learn more about the OWL programs offered at UFP, click here.
To learn more about OWL program in general, including the curriculum for the different ages, click here.
Volunteer involvement is integral to our cooperative Religious Exploration program, and we encourage your participation. Whatever your schedule or talents, there’s always room for you to help make this an extraordinary program for our treasured children and youth. We welcome volunteers all year long! To discuss your interest in the program, please contact Gloria Proctor-Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org, our interim DRE.
Phone UFP office: