Children and Youth
Religious Exploration for children and youth is a cooperative venture involving both children and adults in the church community. In a liberal religious tradition such as Unitarian Universalism, religious learning, spiritual growth, and faith development are viewed as a lifelong journey each person takes.
We may hold different beliefs but we covenant to journey together as a community, using as our guide our common principles and values. Together, we strive to create an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and spiritual growth for ourselves and others.
The curriculum-based, grade-specific Religious Exploration Program for children and youth meets on Sunday mornings from 10:30 to 11:45 AM from September through June. In the summer, we hold Nature Church at various free, outdoor spaces around Ithaca.
Indoor RE programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19. We are currently holding outdoor RE activities. If you are new to FUSIT and would like to register your children & youth in the Religious Exploration classes, click here.
Below is information on how RE worked pre-pandemic. We will update this page with additional information when we resume in person services.
What can I expect on Sunday morning?
- Babies and young children (up to 4 years) may go directly to the Nursery, before the worship service. The Nursery opens at 10:15 a.m.
- Parents of pre-k-middle school children should sign-in each child on the attendance clipboards at the RE table in the parlor.
- High School Youth Group students may sign themselves in with parent’s knowledge, and proceed to the Youth Group meeting space in the Annex, where teachers will check the list against students present. High School Youth Group students may proceed to their meeting spaces at 10:30 am. Please do not proceed to classrooms prior to meeting times.
- The worship service starts at 10:30 a.m.
- Children join their families in the Sanctuary for the first portion of the service.
- You may sit anywhere.
- Around 10:40, children are called to the front of the Sanctuary for Time for Wonder, a child-friendly story or presentation. Children do not have to come forward if they don’t want to. You may join your kids at the front of Sanctuary and sit with or near them.
- We ask that parents who arrived late, or were otherwise unable to add children to the attendance sheet, please go with them, and sign them in to classroom lists at that time. Teachers will pick up attendance sheets, check children present against the sheet, and proceed to classroom spaces. Please, at no time should ANY CHILD under High School age proceed to RE classroom spaces without an accompanying adult.
Do I need to accompany my child to RE class?
New attendees and visitors should accompany their children to their classes to help acclimate them to church surroundings. Once children are comfortable walking to class on their own, they don’t need to be accompanied by a parent.
Should I stay with my child in the classroom?
You are welcome to help your child settle in, and you may stay for the length of the class if you think your child will be more comfortable with you there.
Children are also welcome to stay in the Sanctuary for the worship service or you and your child may listen to the service from the Parlor.
When is class over? Do I need to pick up my child?
FUSIT RE programming will run until 11:40, at which time children will proceed to the Arch Room (second floor of the Parish House) with teachers for conversation, snack and fellowship time. Middle School students will be accompanied by teachers to join High School students for Fellowship in the Parlor. Teachers will bring attendance sheets to the Arch Room, to hand to RE Staff, who will supervise dismissal. Teachers may then proceed to the parlor for Fellowship.
A healthy snack and water will be provided for children at that time. Please let us know ahead of time if your child has any food allergies. Parents should pick up their children between 11:40 and 11:50 and SIGN OUT on the attendance sheets provided.
Need more information? Stop by the Religious Exploration table in the parlor on Sunday and speak with a member of the Religious Exploration Team.
How can I register my Child?
Please register all children and youth participating in Religious Exploration Classes. Click here to register for Religious Education classes.