Religious Education Program Summary by Age Group
As a small church, each year we enjoy the flexibility of structuring our Religious Education to meet the specific needs of the children attending. Working creatively with all ages from kindergarten to middle school, our students learn about give and take across different ages – and how each person has something to contribute. All children are always supervised.
Ages 6 months through 4 years
Nursery Care is provided for our youngest children upstairs in Cushing Hall, in a room adjacent to our large classroom. At this time we are planning on in-person gatherings, while making the space as safe as possible. We are planning on outdoor classes for as long as the weather will allow. We will move inside (socially distanced, masks) when the weather will dictates as such.
Please call (781) 749-1671 if you have any questions about our safety precautions.
Check out Newton's Neighbors!
Newton's Neighbors is a show about a young puppet named Newton who tries to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. He visits professionals and hobbyists in the town of Hingham to explore their crafts and take part in some participatory activities.
Watch it on YouTube here: Newton's Neighbors
Kindergarten through Grade 7
Children in kindergarten through grade 7 attend the first part of the formal worship in the sanctuary with their families. The children and teacher then proceed to our own space either upstairs (or outside, if the weather allows) for shared consideration of Joys and Concerns and our weekly lesson.
Each lesson incorporates a story, a short discussion, and a craft or activity. This year, our lessons will draw upon the Soul Matters curriculum. (Click on the links to view the curriculum on the UUA website.)
We will also be teaching Bible stories throughout the year. This is a way to keep growing our understanding of and familiarity with the major Christian narratives. We teach these stories similar to how school teachers introduce Greek myths to their students - as important pieces of literature with which well-rounded people should be familiar. We allow the students to find their own meaning in the stories. It is up to each individual whether he/she/they choose to believe each story as "true" or simply learn from the stories the lessons they offer.
Each December, we perform a creative version of the Christmas story. This past December 2020, we created a unique video "The Spoons Go To Bethlezoom" to tell the Christmas story. Check it out on YouTube!
Grades 8 and Up Programs
Students in Grades 8 and higher have the opportunity to participate in several programs. Issues of Belief, for 8th grade students, and Talk About, a group for high school students, are offered at Second Parish. In addition, every other year Our Whole Lives (OWL) or Coming of Age (COA) is offered in cooperation with Old Ship Church in Hingham. Any student who wishes to participate and his or her parents should meet with Rev. Kelsch prior to enrolling. Please reach out if you and/or your child are interested in participating in future sessions.
Issues Of Belief
A monthly program for 8th grade students, Issues of Belief offers a place for young people to discuss issues on their minds. Meeting in a relaxed atmosphere, they have a chance to voice their thoughts to Rev. Kelsch whose main role is to facilitate dialogue. The group will meet once a month from October to April. Right now we are planning on meeting in person, but as the safety precautions regarding Covid are constantly changing, please call (781) 749-1671 for the most up-to-date information.
Similar to Issues of Belief, Talk About is also a monthly program - but geared toward high school students. This program also offers a place for young people to safely discuss what’s on their mind. Rev. Kelsch creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, in which the students have an opportunity to open up. The group will meet once a month from October to April. Again, given the ever-changing status of Covid, please call (781) 749-1671 for the most up-to-date information about the meeting location (as to whether it is in person or online).
Coming of Age
The Coming of Age Program provides an opportunity for young adults to explore and articulate their own spiritual and religious beliefs through workshops, conversations, lectures, and reflection. At the completion of the program, the students present their individual faith statements. Please reach out if you and/or your child are interested in participating in future sessions.
Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a nationally renowned program on human sexuality developed in collaboration by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.
The program presents a comprehensive approach to human sexuality in an age-appropriate manner and is based firmly on the values of respect, responsibility, justice and inclusivity. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
The curriculum helps young people apply these values to their behavior and provides them with information and skills they can use throughout their lives. The OWL program includes a comprehensive parent orientation, and parent permission is required for young people to participate in this class.
Please reach out if you and/or your child are interested in participating in future sessions.