What is CRE?
CRE is Children’s Religious Education. That’s what we call Sunday classes for children at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara (USSB).
When do classes take place?
Our children’s and adult education classes take place during our middle hour – between 10:25 and 11:05 – between the two worship services.
Why do we do CRE?
We believe in religious literacy, that children should be familiarized with spiritual and religious practices. Our children are taught progressive Unitarian Universalist values, character, important world religions and encouraged in a lifelong spiritual search for truth and meaning.
We provide children and youth with an environment that is nurturing and supportive; one that encourages personal exploration and grounds them in our Unitarian Universalist faith. We are committed to providing an environment that encourages and empowers children to seek and to learn.
How do we do CRE?
The CRE Church Year begins after Labor Day and continues through mid-June. During this time, worship services take place at 9:15 and at 11:15. Children are encouraged to attend worship with their families.
About ten minutes into the service, our ministers lead a Time for All Ages after which children in preschool and under age nine are sung from the sanctuary (“Go Now in Peace”) and to child care in the Star King area of the church.
This is a social and play time for children and helps them feel connected to other children in the church.
CRE classes begin at 10:25. Children who are already in child care will be escorted from child care to their classes by our paid child care staff.
Children who arrive at this time should be taken to their classrooms by their parents.
- Preschool – Starr King Preschool
- Kinder and First Grade – Room D, Blake Building
- Second to Fifth Grade – Room C, Blake Building
- Middle School – Blake Lounge, Blake Building
CRE classes end at 11:05. Parents must pick up their children from their classrooms. Children who have not been picked up by 11:10 will be escorted to child care in Starr King. Parents may pick their child up here.
Once a month parents and their children may take part in a Family Circle, Family Chapel or Helping Hands event, usually on the fourth Sunday of the month. These are all-family events during which parents and their children worship, do “good works” for a local social justice cause, or explore faith themes together. These all-family events take place in the Jefferson Room from 10:25 to 11:05.
What do my children learn in CRE?
The 2017-2018 church year began with the themes of Family, Community, Courage and Conscience using stories from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
This has been followed by thematic learning that mirrors the theme being explored in worship and in our adult small group discussions, Covenant Groups. These themes include:
- Abundance – November
- Hope – December
- Intention – January
- Perseverance – February
- Balance – March
- Emergence – April
- Healing – May
- Joy – June
Classes begin with a welcome and review of our class covenant, the agreement that we make about how to be together.
After lighting the chalice, the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith, the theme is introduced. Then the theme is explored through a variety of activities that may include readings, games and crafts.
Finally our theme is summarized, the chalice is extinguished, and we say goodbye and thank you to our church family until the following week.