Youth Religious
Exploration (YRE)



We are all world wide learners teaching and learning together no matter our age. The adults in the room are guides, but we learn too. We plan activities and age-appropriate lessons to meet the needs of different learning styles and abilities.

Philosophy Section
Explore UU Roots Identify With Jewish Teachings Peace + Social Action Learn About World Religions Identify With Christian Teachings Understand UU Princinples

Explore UU Roots

In the Spirit Play stories, we can explore UU greats like John Murray and Susan B Anthony, we also focus on our symbols like the chalice and our covenant to one another. At UUCGN we like to have special guests from the congregation come in and share their talents and stories--they are also a part of our roots.

Identify With Jewish Teachings

During the year we explore several of the Jewish stories and celebrations. Studying these traditions as a UU community highlights how the roots of these stories have helped define our faith.

Peace + Social Action

At UCCGN from a young age children get actively involved with making the world a better place. Whether it is learning about Rosa Parks, going to an MLK JR parade, learning to save gopher turtles on one of our field trips or helping with the Weekend Meals.

Learn About World Religions

Through Spirit Play stories we explore celebrations such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Chanukah and Passover. Not always every year. We like to have a person of Jewish faith is possible and of course music!

Identify With Christian Teachings

Through story, celebrations, traditions, art and music we explore and sometimes challenge our christian heritage. Our roots in our judeo-christian heritage run deep and the stories and history run 2000 years.

Understand UU Princinples

In every story we ponder on which of the seven principles it covers. We learn that the principles weave in and out of our lives everyday. They are all connected to us and to our community as we strive to be more peaceful and more inclusive.


for parents

Ever find yourself thinking...

  • What Will I Teach My Child?

  • Which Spiritual Community fits?

  • How do I navigate the Teen Years?

  • How Can I Make The World A Better Place For My Child

If you're worried about...

  • How to talk to your child?
  • When to broach sensitive topics
  • How to start a non-threatening conversation

Our approach is

  • Growing bonds of connection 
  • Practicing Active Listening and Empathy
  • How discussing BIG ideas makes your family closer


What to expect on sunday morning?


before the

Religious exploration class

after the



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.


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.

once a month

One Sunday a month, children start in Thomas Hall (look for signs) to set up and run their own chapel and to engage in social time to build a community of friends.


our youth program

youth Group

Our youth group holds a monthly social activity on Friday or Saturday evening: movie night, Halloween party, and game night. The group also goes on overnight camping trips, travels to the Mountain Retreat Center in North Carolina for Youth Cons, and goes on a Youth Service trip every two years.

coming of age

Like the Confirmation and Catechism programs of other faiths, Coming of Age (COA) is a mentoring program* to help youth assume responsibility for their faith journeys. Participants explore personal spirituality and religious questions, being part of a faith community, and how to be a religious person in the wider world. The program culminates in a rite of passage ceremony where youth present a statement about their values, beliefs, hopes, and experiences.

mentoring a UU Youth

Our Coming of Age program typically has at least ten young people, ages 14-17, and participating in this program is an essential capstone to their religious education experience. A vital component of the Coming of Age program is the Adult Mentor. Mentors are matched with COA youth, attend occasional Sunday morning group meetings, and meet individually with their “mentees.” This is an opportunity for adults to connect in meaningful ways to the formation of the next generation of UUs and learn firsthand what a wonderful group of young people we have at UUCGN.


meet our director

Welcome parents

Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples (UUCGN) and our Religious Exploration Program for children, and youth. Learning is a lifelong process that begins in childhood. I am so glad that you are here and hope that you will join us as we search together for truth, meaning, and connection in life. As a Unitarian Universalist, my hopes for you are the same as my own. We strive to create a safe community of caring adults, youth, and children where we can:

  • Question and explore who we are and what we believe.
  • Discover the mystery and wonder of life and the earth.
  • Learn from those who came before us and create a better world.
  • Have fun as an intergenerational community!

Children need safe and sacred spaces to create who they are to become. At UUCGN we know it takes a village. Our program is benefited by your time and talent, and hopefully your life is enriched by the connections you make along the way. I look forward to working together with you.


Director of Youth Religious Exploration

Stephanie Bottom Section
Passionate Community Builder Creative Involved Available Fun Empathetic Thoughtful


Stephanie cares deeply about the UU church, her RE program, and helping children become who they're meant to be.

Community Builder

Wherever she can Stephanie builds community amongst her students, parents, and other leaders in the church. The RE program regularly collaborates with other service groups such as the Weekend Meals program to create intergenerational activities for kids to participate in.


Embracing creativity is a core principle of our RE program. We welcome the arts, music, acting, and multi-sensory activities in our garden.


Stephanie is a passionate builder who is currently engaged in re-shaping the YRE program to best to serve the children and families in our congregation.


Reach Stephanie in the Educational Center on Sundays or in her office during the week. Have a question or need help with something YRE related? Stephanie is available and ready to help!


We teach, we enrich, we encourage, and we also have tons of FUN!


Empathy is a core principle Stephanie lives by. When communicating with families or children, she listens actively and truly cares.


Our UU family is a caring community. That's also true of Stephanie and the YRE program. We're extremely proud of the kind, generous culture we've established in YRE. Our children are extraordinary examples with their open hearts and open minds leading the way.

voices for our youth program

our wonderful yre program

Rev. Tony Fisher

the owl program

Ann Fisher

coming of age program

Martha Miller Cornell

our children's choir

Martha Miller Cornell

Children & Youth


Nov 13 Spirit Play:  The Empowerment of Voting and The Beat Goes on with Music Principles: 1,2,4,5&,6 Nov 20 All YRE Read More

EXPLORE THE VOTE AND THE BEAT GOES ON WITH MUSIC! Last week we explored a little social justice by helping with Read More