Religious Education Youth Groups serve Grades 6 through 12. Youth programming for these age groups is developed with the Six Components of a Balanced Youth Group in mind:
- Community Building
- Social Action
- Positive Youth-Adult Relations
Sunday Morning Religious Education Youth Programs:
- Junior Youth Group - Grades 6 and 7
- Junior Youth OWL and Transition Year - Grade 8
- Senior Youth Group - Grades 9 through 12
Additional Religious Education Evening Youth Programs
- Coming of Age Grades 10 & 11
- Bridging Program Grade 12
Additional Church Opportunities for youth
- Volunteering in Younger RE Classes
- Religious Education Youth Subcommittee
- FIRST Lego League
- UU School of Rock
- Family FUUN Night
Junior Youth Group - Grades 6 and 7 meets on Sunday mornings with youth advisors. Youth explore the six components listed above through games and other community building activities, service projects, stewardship, popcorn theology (exploring theology and ethics in popular film), and field trips. This class may also hold occasional special events throughout the year on Fridays or Saturdays. The advisors are four adult volunteers who work in teams of two and rotate each Sunday. Email updates are sent weekly to students about upcoming events and High School sessions; please give your family and youth email addresses for these communications to the Religious education Administrative Assistance.
Junior Youth OWL and Transition Year - Grade 8 meets on Sunday mornings throughout the church year. The year start with group building activities at the church and then from October through mid March eighth graders participate in the OWL program offsite from 10:00-12:30 (Our Whole Lives, a comprehensive sexuality program). From March through June the 8th grade youth group will participate an the end of the year program that will take place at First Parish on Sunday mornings.
Senior Youth Group - Grades 9 through 12 participates in a program tailored to their interests and needs as Unitarian Universalist youth, again with the six components of a balanced youth program in mind. In addition, once a month they meet for an extended session in order to complete projects, etc. Email updates are sent weekly to students about upcoming events and High School sessions; please give your family and youth email addresses for these communications to the Religious education Administrative Assistance. Some examples of past and current Senior Youth Group activities include: Sorting clothing at the Lowell Wish Project; working on wall mural that symbolizes important activities and the UU Principles and group discussions about moral and ethical dilemmas facing UU teens.
Coming of Age Grades 10 & 11 - In addition to the Senior Youth Group, ninth and tenth graders may also participate in the Coming of Age (COA) program. It provides youth, together with a mentor, the chance to spend a year clarifying personal religious beliefs, culminating with a service celebrating the passage from childhood to adolescence The COA group meets on Sunday evening from October through May.
Bridging Program Grade 12 - This program is offered to 12th graders. It is run the by the Director of Religious Education and meets on Sunday evenings once a month from March through June. The Bridging program offers a place for youth to reflect upon what it had been like to grow up Unitarian Universalist as well as learn about what opportunities are available to them after they graduation from senior youth group. They explore campus ministry opportunities and local and national young adult programs. At the end of the year, seniors prepare speeches and take part in the First Parish Bridging ceremony on the 3rd Sunday in June which honors their transition from youth to young adults within Unitarian Universalism.
Volunteering in younger RE Classes - High school youth are also invited to assist in teaching younger RE students.Youth can fill out the online volunteering survey or talk with DRE Sadie Kahn-Greene if they are interested.
Religious Education Youth Subcommittee (REY) - Junior and Senior youth representatives are invited to take part in this subcommittee which works with the Director of Religious Education and REY chairperson to oversee, organize and evaluate current youth programs at First Parish. This committee meets once a month and consists of representatives from all youth programs including youth, advisers and parents.
Current REY members are: Maura Snow (Chair), Carlene Merrill, Amy Totten, David Blackburn, Fred K., Chris K. & Marion M.