Youth Religious Exploration (YRE)
Parents, do you ever find yourself thinking...
“What will I teach my child about the world? What values? What beliefs?”
“What spiritual community best reflects what I believe is true?”
“How can I make the world a better place for my child?”
“How do I best navigate the teen years with my youth?”
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples (UUCGN) addresses these important questions at each stage of development from preschool through senior high school and adult life.
Our purpose is to provide an environment for:
Growing bonds of connection between people of all ages;
Hearing stories and points of view from more than one religious tradition;
Experiencing worship and a sense of wonder and mystery;
Discussing the “BIG” questions and issues of concern to us;
Acting upon our values of love and service through social justice opportunities in the greater community.
As Gandhi said, “We must become the change we seek in the world.” We value and respect all people, the diversity of their ideas, their questions and the process of unfolding understanding. For people of all ages, we support many paths to spiritual maturity and periodically offer rites of passage (child dedication and coming of age) to share the milestones of life in community.
What to Expect on Sunday Morning from late August to late May
Please enter through the main doors (third set of doors on the left when you face the building). Greeters will greet you and there will be signs to alert you to the day’s activities for families with children and youth.
A playroom is available for young children (preschool–1st grade) at every service all year.
Before the Service. For families with children in preschool and 1st grade, you are welcome to come to the playroom before the service and stay for a bit while your child becomes comfortable. Please leave a cell phone number with the staff person. (This is a rarely needed but helpful precaution.) Put your phone on vibrate or sit in the back of the sanctuary and enjoy the service.
During the Service. Families with school-age children start off in the sanctuary most Sundays at 11:15 am.
After the Service. Please join the community for refreshments. If you have a child in the playroom, please pick them up 15 minutes after the service ends. Older children will be brought to the Family Meet-Up Table on the patio.
Schedule of Services
Look for posted signs each week or on our YRE calendar to see what is going on for children and youth the day you plan to come. Fill out a Visitors Card to get the weekly news in your inbox.
ALL AGES SERVICE once a month. Children start and stay with their family in the sanctuary. The service is designed with multiple ages in mind. There are also clipboards with crayons, paper, and pipe cleaners available in the foyer on these dates as you walk in that morning.
YRE GROUPS twice a month. Children start for the first part of the service through the “Time for All Ages.” As that song is sung, they proceed down the hall to the YRE wing. There are planned activities and age-appropriate sessions to meet the needs of different learning styles and abilities as well as a time for meditation and movement.
ALL AGES CHAPEL once a month. One Sunday a month, children start in Thomas Hall (look for signs) at 11:15 am to set up and run their own chapel and to engage in social time to build a community of friends.
For our exploration of world religions, here are some materials for you to discuss at home with your children.
NOTE: Our Senior High Youth Group may meet more often or at different times.
If you have a child in grades 9 through 12, contact email@example.com.
What to Expect on Summer Sundays for Children and Youth
During June, July, and August during our Summer Sunday Program, elementary-aged children go straight to the YRE wing at 10:00 am to join a multi-age group activity.
Children 4 years old and under may go to the playroom.
Elementary-aged children will be brought to their parents on the patio, where refreshments are served. A Family Meet-Up Table on the patio provides toys for children. We also have a garden and play area outside which is often where families meet each other.
Parents/guardians are responsible for their children’s safety and whereabouts after the service or group time is finished.
For more details, contact Mary Borland, Director of Religious Exploration and Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.