Children, Youth, & Families
We offer activities for children and families each Sunday (except for 5 th Sundays of the month). On full service Sundays (2nd and 4th ), after families are greeted and sign in their children and youth, they can sit together in the Sanctuary to enjoy the opening elements of our service. We have Busy Bags and stuffed animals to support children during that time of worship. Each service includes a “Time for All Ages,” when children, youth and parents are invited to move up to the front to hear a story or participate in an activity designed for all ages. After this, our congregation forms an arch and sings our children out to Religious Exploration (RE) classes, which start in the Social Hall downstairs.
On 1st Sundays, families are invited to participate in our Whole Community Circles, where we learn together and practice new relational skills with nonviolent communication, connection through conflict, and restorative justice in sacred circle formats. On 3 rd Sundays, families are invited to a monthly Parent Group, open for drop-in or regular participation. On both of these Sundays, children are invited to engage in a multi-age RE class for games and hands-on activities.
Nursery: Infants through Preschool Years
We have an inviting Nursery for littles from infancy to age four, and a Quiet Room on our balcony (stairs to access) where you can watch and listen in a space where your child can make sounds without worry. We support developmental growth with responsive care and many stations and activities for independent and collaborative play. Our trained Nursery caregivers will keep in touch with parents through the service as needed, by text.
Connect & Explore: K-8th Grades
Collective input from children, youth, families, and volunteers has helped to shape our RE ministry in this post-pandemic environment. Our focus this year is on meaningful connection and building relationships. We want our children and youth to know each other, to feel known and seen as they wish to be seen, and to engage in multigenerational relationships in our broader, beloved community. To nurture the desire and practice of children, youth and families to come to this Westside UU community on Sundays, we are offering fun, hands-on and project-based activities each week, where children and RE volunteers are all invited to find joy in their time together. We will create a sacred and inclusive container for this to happen with opening and closing rituals, sharing snacks together, meeting children at their developmental stage, and co-creating a living covenant for how we want to be together. We hold this relational and joyful time as a top priority, believing that many other important intentions and learnings in our RE programs will grow organically from a place of trust, where children, youth and parents feel a sense of belonging, and joy in participating.
Parents can sign up for a weekly email communication with RE activity updates, and our Westside Week for updates about all congregational activities.
Youth Group: 9th-12th Grades
We are co-creating what we hope will be weekly connection opportunities for our high school youth, integrating the relationship building, fun, and discussion elements of UU youth culture with rite-of-passage rituals. We are building on themes of exploring what you believe and developing your own credo, which are central to UU Coming of Age curricula. We have a dynamic youth advising team that includes young adults with varied identities and lenses. We are working together with youth and families to determine regular meeting times. Youth will also have many opportunities to engage in regional UU youth activities and leadership.