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Nurturing UU Faith for Children and Youth

Cooperative Faith Development Programs for Children and Youth

CYFM programs 01.17

Welcome to Children and Youth Faith Development Ministry!

At the UU Santa Fe we view faith development as a life-long process. We believe that our children and youth, their parents, guardians and siblings and all of the adults in our congregation are both learners and teachers in this process. We base our faith development on our congregation’s mission statement, our Principles, on many sources of wisdom, and on our interaction with the wider community. 

Here you will find information about our Children, Youth and Family Ministry with links to details about specific classes and age groups including:

    • Sunday Morning Schedule
    • Sunday Morning Programs
    • Staff
    • Enrollment and Communications 
    • Health and Safety policies

We look forward to the coming year and all that it hold for us here at UU Santa Fe. 

The Sunday Morning Schedule

Sunday morning class for 2016-17 will begin on August 21 and classes will continue and run through May 28, 2017. Classes for children and youth is offered concurrent with the second service beginning at 10:30 am and ending at 11:45. Generally this allows parents and guardians to enjoy a few minutes of adult fellowship prior to picking up their children.

We ask that all children through grade 4 are met by parents no later than 11:45 time. If you must arrive later or earlier, please notify your child’s teachers before class begins.

Sunday Morning Programs

Each Sunday when classes are in session, children and youth attend the beginning of the worship service in Fogelson Hall, leaving for their classes at the appropriate time. On most Sundays, a “Story for All Ages” is shared by the Minister, the Director for Faith Development, or another member of the congregation and special music of interest to children is frequently offered. Individual classes may also include time for lighting a chalice and sharing personal joys and sorrows.  (More information)

Sunday Morning Staff 

The congregation has a Consulting Director for Faith Development, Emily Carroll. You can reach her at the church (982-9674, ext 4) or via email (dre@uusantafe.org).

Volunteers: Our classes and youth groups are staffed by volunteers, many of whom are parents. As in all cooperative programs, parents and/or guardians are expected to assist in their children’s classes three to four times per year if they are not one of the regular teachers. The Children, Youth and Familiy Ministery Committee is committed to a diverse Sunday morning staff and encourage members of the wider congregation to volunteer.

Enrollment and Communications

We have a simple enrollment form that we ask each family to complete. This is generally done the first time you visit us and includes an inquiry about allergies as well as the option of noting an email address. Since most of our communication is done via electronic means it is hoped that families will provide an email address so we can keep you up to date. Enrollment in the Sunday program for children and youth does not imply congregational membership. Information about membership in UU Santa Fe can be found here.

Guidelines for Conduct

We all make mistakes at times or fail to live up to the promises we have made to one another. At those times, we will lovingly remind each other of our better selves, get the help from someone we trust, and listen to one another. It may be helpful to apologize and make amends for what we have done. If we see these principles not being followed, we each have a responsibility to respond because we want this place to be safe for all. If anyone has difficulty keeping the covenant while they are in group meetings or worship, the following will happen…

First…A responsible adult immediately offers a quiet reminder that the behavior is out of bounds.
Next…The adult and child/youth hold a private conversation.
Then…The child/youth has a private conversation with the Director of Faith Development who will be in touch with the parents.
After a family conversation…The parents contact the DFD to indicate the child or youth understands the behavior was unacceptable and agrees to work harder to keep the covenant.
In the case of repeated difficulties, a parent or guardian may be asked to be with the child’s group for an agreed upon time or the child or youth may take a break from attending if that is agreed to be more appropriate.

Health and Safety 

Parents are ultimately responsible for the safety and behavior of their children. Other adults in the community may also provide guidance as they see it is needed. We ask that parents be aware of our Church School Covenant and safety policies and that you help your children and youth understand and abide by them while they are at church.

For the safety and well being of children, youth and adults participating in our program, the CYFM committee:

      • asks for notice of allergies or other health concerns when registering so we can note allery needs in each class.
      • holds periodic fire drills with clearly posted evacuation plans.
      • requires that those who volunteer with children and youth be members or friends known to us for at least one year.
      • requires that two adults staff each classroom.
      • expects that parent or guardian will supervise children before and after classes – both inside, on the playground and in the courtyard – and at all church functions unless child care is provided.
      • asks families to review together the “Covenant for Cooperative Church School” to help us all act in ways that are respectful at all times.
      • requires that those who drive for field trips provide a seat belt for each passenger and also provide insurance information to be kept on file.
      • requires that all drivers for church sponsored activities be 25 or over.

We ask that younger children – grade 4 and under – be met by a parent or guardian after the worship service. We realize that occasionally the service may end later than 11:45.  In those instances all classes will usually continue until the service is over. It is expected that parents or guardians will remain at church during the Sunday programs. In the event that you must be away from the church we ask that you notify the DCYFM and leave a contact number for reaching you in case of emergency. Parents are also asked to make prior arrangement with the classroom teachers if a child must be picked up before the scheduled end of class. Though individual families may have different rules while at church, children younger than grade 5 may not be unsupervised and children under 12 years of age may not be put in positions of responsibility for the care of younger children. 

The playground and courtyard are play areas but they all require supervision. The rock garden is a memorial garden and should be treated with respect. Climbing, sitting or walking on the courtyard wall or garden shed is highly dangerous. To protect the apricot tree as well as young climbers, special bands have been placed on the branches to designate how high it is safe to climb. Please remember that it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to supervise your children if they are going outside before or after or to arrange for your child under 11 to be watched by a responsible youth or adult.

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