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 programs take place concurrent with our 9:15 worship. Childcare and playtime is available during our 11:15 worship service.
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 also 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 fifteen minutes into the service, our ministers lead a Time for All Ages after which children may leave the sanctuary for classes, programs or playtime.
CRE Classes During Our 9:15 Service
CRE classes begin once the children leave the first service, usually at 9:30.
- Preschool – Starr King Preschool
- Kinder and First Grade – Room D, Blake Building
- Second to Fifth Grade – Room C, Blake Building
- Middle School – Room B, Blake Building
CRE classes end at 10:30, fifteen minutes after the end of our first worship service. This allows parents a few moments to enjoy coffee and conversation before their children arrive. Our staff or volunteers escort the children to social time in Parrish Hall and the Courtyard and reunite them with their families.
Family Chapel Sundays
On the fourth Sunday or each month we host a Family Chapel. Designed for families and children, these chapels focus on the theme explored each month and take place from 10:30-11:00. We enjoy performances by our full adult choir, share our joys and concerns, meditate and sing together and complete our theme exploration for the month.
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 2017-2018 our 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 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.