Westside supports a variety of family programs and activities for children. Below are just some of the actitivies at our church that nurtures family and children, regardless of what your family looks like or who you are.
Our Whole Lives
OWL is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups. It helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. For more information, please contact our Director of Lifespan Religious Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming of Age
Coming of Age offers youth the opportunity to explore the values of Unitarian Universalism and apply those values to their own lives and spiritual beliefs. Middle and High School youth that wish to participate will spend a large portion of the school year investigating each principal in depth while applying them to their own belief systems. Youth may also be paired with mentors who will share their own experiences as a Unitarian Universalist. At the conclusion of the program the youth are offered the opportunity to sign the book to become members of Westside UU and there is a trip to Boston to visit historic sites tied to Unitarian Universalism. All of the new programming for youth will be an investment for our entire church. For successful programs it will take a village of adults to facilitate committees, guide programs, mentor, and even travel with our youth. Our first need is to form a committee for the Coming of Age program. The duties of the COA Committee are to recruit all necessary adult participants: Guides, Mentors and other adults, create calendar for workshops, and oversee the implementation of workshops, coordinate mentor activities, organize, plan, and oversee any fundraising for Boston trip. Anyone is welcome to join the committee and offer expertise. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Fall or Spring
These trips are for families and singles of all ages and make-ups. We arrive on Friday afternoon, set up camp, and go for a hike and stargaze. The next day we play a variety of games, gather around a campfire, make a craft, hike, and maybe fish or canoe. Some of us just take time to relax. Campsite jobs are shared evenly, including the kiddos, so everyone gets a turn to cook and clean – and even this is fun! We camp in as green a way as possible with limited paper products and we take home our recyclables!
This is a favorite annual party the kiddos will NOT want to miss! We have fabulous trunk or treats, group games, and play individual carnival games for prizes! Parents and kids alike will enjoy this afternoon together of food and fun – don’t forget to wear your costume!
RE in the Park
Fall and Spring
Twice a year we enjoy having our own worship service and having our classes outside! Families bring their children to the park across from the church, and sign them in with the teachers before returning to the church for the usual worship service. (Some parents elect to stay, as they know what a great time we have.) We then hold a short worship service before breaking into our classes. Afterwards, we have games and snacks before the adults come back to pick up the children. This is a favorite event for both students and teachers. Ask about our famous moment of loudness.
The children and youth will ring in the holiday season with a YUULE celebration which may include a play, service or our popular Yuule Ball.
Offertory Usher Training
Occasionally, our children assist in offertory during service. This is a wonderful way to give to our community. Children ages 5 years and up are welcome to attend a short training in their RE classes or join the ushers by the piano at the front of the sanctuary. Please contact our DLRE Nicci Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a child who is interested and would like to receive training.