About Religious Education (RE)
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).
Do I need to enroll my children?
Yes, please! The information we collect on the Enrollment Form helps us keep your child safe. Click here to enroll.
Who Teaches CRE?
All of our classes are taught by professional staff assisted by a volunteer church member.
When do classes take place?
During the summer, through September 8, our Makerspace program is concurrent with our single worship service at 10:00.
Why do we do CRE?
Our children are taught progressive Unitarian Universalist values, character, ethics and are encouraged in a lifelong spiritual search for truth and meaning. We also believe in religious literacy, that children should be familiarized with the spiritual and religious practices of the world’s great faiths.
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?
In the summer, we host a MakerSpace. Kids are given a variety of materials and urged to use their creativity to make a item in response to a prompt.
Kids explore in these creative zones:
Sewing Zone – With a full sized sewing machine, lots of stuffing and fabric to work with, we expect some new stuffed creatures and garments to be created.
Mag Zone – Using magazines, we will create story books, collages, pop-up books, masks and whatever else glossy pictures lend themselves to.
Take Apart Zone – Perhaps our most popular station, we took apart the church’s old telephones to see what was inside of them. We look forward to pulling apart a keyboard, a CD player and other simple electronics.
Jewelry Zone – New this summer, the Jewelry Zone will allow kids to create wearable art from a number of materials made into earrings, pins, bracelets and necklaces.
Drawing Zone – ALL THE STUFF! From crayons to paint and markers to pastels, this zone will open up the budding artist’s creativity.
Junk Modeling – We’ve saved our cardboard and now we are turning it into mazes, armor, cars and whatever else we can think of!
Tech Zone – Here is where we use our copper strips, tiny lightbulbs and snap circuits to create light up cards and simple machines.
Social Justice Sundays
Social Justice Sundays occur once a month and provide an opportunity for children and youth to “put legs on their faith” by doing good works for the community. Activities will usually be linked to the monthly organization the church is sharing our collection with. One Sunday we might sell lemonade to benefit Showers of Blessing for the homeless while another Sunday we might make stuffed animals for Cottage Hospital. Social Justice Sundays are All-Community projects that take place during our middle hour, between 10:15 and 11:15. This allows families and congregants to work together.
What do my children learn in CRE?
At USSB, we follow a theme based ministry. The themes are explored in worship, in children and adult classes and in small group study. In addition, resources are available to help parents, a child’s primary religious educator, extend the themes at home.
For 2018-2019 our themes include:
- September: Vision
- October: Sanctuary
- November: Memory
- December: Mystery
- January: Possibility
- February: Trust
- March: Journey
- April: Wholeness
- May: Curiosity
- June: Beauty
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 reading, 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.