Middle School-Junior Youth (Grades 7 and 8)
The presence of Youth is valued, vital and visible at UUCR. Our adolescents and teens deepen connections with their peers here, partner with adults in living our mission, and participate as leaders in our congregation. Adult members and friends support youth in their gatherings and encourage congregational connections that draw on emerging skills, nurturing a developing identity with Unitarian Universalism.
Our Whole Lives (Grades 7 and 8)
Our Whole Lives (or OWL) is a comprehensive sexuality education program jointly published by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the United Church of Christ (UCC). “Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality.” (http://www.uua.org/re/owl) Our middle school OWL programming supports this congregation’s commitment to providing ethically oriented, age-appropriate sexuality education to all of its youth. (Other tiers of OWL programming are offered to children in grades 1-2 and 5-6 alternating years).
Our Junior Youth programming rotates from year to year, offering OWL and also, ‘Building Bridges-a World Religions Program’. Next year our middle schoolers will study other faith traditions with this year long program that includes several visits to other religious settings. You can learn about this curriculum at http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/bridges.
Junior Youth Group (Grades 7 & 8) – “Sometimes on Sundays”
Our Junior Youth Group (Sometimes on Sundays), known as “SOS”, provides a safe and nurturing space for youth to connect to form friendships, engage in service work and have fun together. The group meets once per month on Sunday evenings when OWL is not in session.
Other Opportunities for Involvement
We offer opportunities outside of R.E. classrooms for middle school aged youth to engage with their church community. Youth are invited and welcome to participate in worship services and service projects. Junior Youth often assist Sunday morning classroom leaders in our Nursery/Playschool program and are active throughout the year with intergenerational social or service activities.