Religious Education at Thoreau/Stafford

Religious Education

Welcome to Religious Education at Thoreau/Stafford where we provide tools to help us

  • grow spiritually
  • build stronger families and relationships
  • make friends
  • create the world we dream about

Children and Youth

Nursery care is available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for infants through three-year olds.

Religious Education provides experiential opportunities to help grow spiritually, build stronger families, improve relationships and build a better world. The Religious Education classes for children and youth are offered during the church service.

Elementary School: Theme Based Exploration -- Using stories that illustrate the theme of the month, this multi-age class rotates throughout the month to different ways of expressing themselves in relation to the theme. Graphic arts, drama, food preparation, needle arts, music and other hands-on experiences encourage the children to have fun and be involved while integrating their thoughts about the topic.

Grades 6 - 12: Middle and high school students will be using a curriculum whose goal is creative empowerment; helping all participants discover themselves as creators and as one with positive and universal creative forces. They will be enriching their experiences with course-relevant questions from the ten church themes.

Other Programs for Children and Youth

Coming of Age: Youth from 8th and 9th grade who choose to participate, will attend the class at the Museum District campus. It encourages youth to explore their beliefs within the UU tradition with both teachers and mentors. There is a youth and parent meeting about the class in August at which time the youth can make a decision about participation. This class will discuss the monthly theme as part of their work.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education for Youth is offered in conjunction with the Houston Cluster of UU Churches. OWL for grades 7-8 and grades 10-12 will be offered at churches in the Houston area. Our Religious Educator will provide detailed information about these courses in the spring. These courses are part of a lifelong Unitarian Universalist program to provide a healthy understanding of our sexual selves and our relationships with partners. This program typically meets Sunday afternoons and requires parental orientation and consent. Contact: OWL@firstuu.org

Ways to Help in Religious Education for Children and Youth

Teachers are the backbone of our religious education program. It is an exciting and rewarding experience. Teachers generally teach in teams of four so that they are able to rotate in and out of teaching. Teaching gives you the opportunity to be with the younger segment of our community, to make an important contribution to the whole, to learn more about Unitarian Universalism, and to meet other adults in our community. Most teachers volunteer for two to three Sundays per month from September to May. Teachers attend a Teacher Orientation in the fall.

ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The core of adult religious education is our Growth Groups. These are small groups designed to provide members and friends with a setting in which to get to know each other while discussing the week's sermon and how the subject matter affects our daily lives and spiritual growth. In the words of our Senior Minister, the Rev. Daniel O'Connell, Growth Groups:

  • Encourage you to a spiritual challenge
  • Gently hold you accountable;
  • Cheer you on when you thrive;
  • Support you when you falter;
  • Be a tribe where you are truly known, and where you can truly know others.

At the Thoreau campus, Growth Group generally meets once a month at the beginning of a sermon series to explore the theme. To join or for more information, contact the growthgroupteam@firstuu.org.