Children's Education

2021-2022 School Year

The time has finally come for the children and youth of Accotink to once again return together in-person on March 13. We couldn’t be more excited to see you all. Hooray! I know it’s going to be challenging to get those legs motivated and moving again after 2 years away from church, but I hope the significant changes over the next few months will encourage your children and/or youth to want to share their Sunday mornings with us again.

Registration for Children & Youth Religious Education

Sunday Mornings

Sunday mornings for children & youth will look a lot like it did before Covid. Families will gather each Sunday morning in the Sanctuary for shared worship during the beginning of the service. After a Time for All Ages, children and youth depart for Religious Education classes which meet downstairs. Check in with one of our greeters if you need assistance. The children & youth will head downstairs to their classrooms. Signs will be posted outside the doors, and they will be directed to their rooms. You are welcome to step out of service to walk your child downstairs if they are not yet comfortable doing so on their own. Classes run from approximately 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Before the church service begins, either Olivia T, the Chair of the Children’s Spiritual Development Committee (CSDC), or I can give you a short tour downstairs and show you your child’s classroom. If you plan on visiting AUUC more than three times throughout the year, we ask that you complete a registration form, from one of the greeters, or from me. We highly recommend you register your child so you will receive our RE communications and announcements. Registration will also help with contact tracing in the event of a Covid outbreak. 

We have created a new SPRING Event Calendar for children, youth, and families!  The calendar lists dates for all the activities up to June 2022.  I will do my best to stick to the dates listed on the calendar but may need to make changes based on the availability of volunteers and health issues. If you have an event or program you would like to add to the calendar, please let me know.

Religious Education Classes

Starting March 13, AUUC’s Religious Education classes will be held two times each month. As more volunteers step forward, we hope to resume RE three times each month. Our focus for children and youth of all ages will be on opportunities for fellowship and reconnecting. Religious Education will take the form of outdoor and indoor team bonding activities, multi-generational worship services, collaborative art projects, social emotional learning, play, games, silliness, and social justice projects as well as resources to bring RE into your family life. These opportunities for fellowship and connections will help us as we move towards re-building/re-gathering with thought and meaningful intention. We will try to get outside as often as possible, so please have your child dress appropriately for outdoor activities and possibly making a mess. In the fall, we will plan to incorporate some more traditional RE classes including curriculum/lessons and the long-awaited OWL classes.

Volunteers Needed

For all these wonderful events and activities to take place, we need several more volunteers.  I have already reached out to our talented and highly dedicated team of volunteers who have helped in the past, but we are still in need of more hands to support our in-person programming for this upcoming year. We look forward to our religious education program becoming robust, active and vibrant again, but can’t do this without a dedicated group of volunteers. Please consider sharing your talents with AUUC’s Religious Education program by filling out this volunteer form. At this time, we are requesting volunteers to only help once a month, but are happy to accept any support you can offer. The children and youth always enjoy hands-on projects, so if you have a special craft or trade you want to share, please let me know. 

Safety

AUUC has implemented a universal mask requirement for all indoor church activities, including Religious Education. Each RE classroom downstairs has its own dedicated air purifier, new, easy-to-open windows, and the church has increased the frequency of our cleaning services. The comfort and safety of our teachers, facilitators, and participants is our first consideration in determining how we move forward with our Religious Education program.  Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to support you and your family.  Any changes to the mask or vaccination policy will be communicated to us by AUUC’s Board of Directors. Updates will go out directly from Accotink and notifications of any RE changes will be communicated by me as well.  

Please reach out to me or any member of the Children’s Spiritual Development Committee with any questions or concerns. We also welcome your ideas for future programming. We look forward to seeing you soon.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with the DSD to discuss any aspect of your child’s participation in AUUC’s RE program, you may initiate a conversation by contacting the DSD Ali Mills at [email protected].   

https://tinyurl.com/AUUCRegistration

Volunteer Opportunities

The programs we offer are a truly collaborative effort. They have grown out of the hopes and hard work of the members and friends of this faith community. The Children’s Spiritual Development Committee leads an extensive ministry that is staffed by many volunteers from the congregation, including those both with and without children currently in the program.

We are still in need of more volunteers to support our in person programming for this upcoming year. We look forward to our once robust religious education program becoming active and vibrant again, but can’t do this without a dedicated group of volunteers. We hope you consider sharing your talents with our religious education program at AUUC by filling out the following form. https://forms.gle/s2RwjGMLXsYJ36qQ8

All volunteers regularly working with our young people must undergo an application process to volunteer, submit to a criminal background check(s), follow our Safe Congregation Policy, and sign a Code of Ethics. In addition, volunteers in the Coming of Age Program will meet the parents or guardians of the youth prior to the program. 

If you would like to join a teaching team, assist in a classroom, or help the program in another way, please contact [email protected]

For More Information

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Children’s Spiritual Development Program, please contact:

Director of Spiritual Development (DSD), Ali Mills, at [email protected]

Children’s Spiritual Development Committee Chair, Olivia Tuggle, at [email protected]

Register now!  Use the online form