Religious Education Overview

Our youth education program is dedicated to giving children a chance to explore religion and spirituality with open minds, to enact social justice aims with helping hands, and to form close connections with their peers and teachers through warm hearts.  Classes are inviting, exploratory, and diverse.

During the school year we offer organized Sunday morning religious education experiences and regular social activities for newborns through 12th graders. We are also establishing a youth group. During the summer months we give our teachers a break and use our popular “World Travelers” curriculum. Classes are combined and students explore a variety of topics. Past explorations have included a search of the cosmos; “visits” to Laos, Australia, Italy, Germany, California, and more; canoeing up Deep Creek; and installing an observation beehive. To learn more about the youth classes and activities at UUFM, please look to the information below.

All children need to be registered each year.
Please complete the registration form here: RE Registration Form


Class Meeting Times and Places

Youth Education classes meet during the adult service. The nursery is open at 10:30 and remains open until the service ends. All other classes begin after the children have been dismissed from the adult service (this is usually after the Story for All Ages) and conclude at 12:00 noon.

The classes meet in the fellowship building, gathering all together at first, and then dividing into age groups – each with its own space. Please see the doors for age group markers as they may change per year depending on class size.


Our Classes and Lead Teachers

Nursery for 0-3 years old: In the nursery we combine structured time with free play. Each week, class begins with an introductory welcome song. Then the children listen to a story and do an activity related to the theme of the week. Themes range from colors and numbers to holidays and special celebrations. Afterwards, they sing, dance, and tell nursery rhymes. The class concludes with free play. Of course, with babies and toddlers, structured time is not always completely structured, and free play is always allowed!

Pre-K (with Sandy Nelson): The Pre-K curriculum is on a two-year rotation. One year the children follow the UUA curriculum, Chalice Children, while the other year they follow the congruent UUA curriculum, Celebrating Me and My World. Each lesson begins with “lighting a chalice” (the children put felt chalices marked with their names on the bulletin board) and sharing joys and concerns. Then they read a book related to the theme of the day, discuss the key points, and do an activity. The goal of these classes is to introduce the children to more formal lessons while revealing the basic principles and values of Unitarian Universalism.

K-2nd Grade (with Katherine Colburn): The K-2nd Grade curriculum is on a quarter system. During the first quarter students focus on Unitarian Universalism’s relation to world religions (Native American, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and more). The second quarter focus in on the seven principals of Unitarian Universalism, and the third quarter focus includes the Jewish and Christian heritage of Unitarian Universalism through Bible stories.  Fourth quarter encompasses our summer “UU World Travelers” program. The goals of these classes are to inspire exploration, questioning, social action, and appreciation for our selves and others. Additionally, each year there are monthly themes that the whole congregation explores together.

3rd-6th Grade (with Matt Sayre): The 3rd-6th Grade curriculum is also on the same quarter system.  Their focus areas build off of the K-2nd curriculum. They compare and contrast various religions; explore “What is religion? What is Unitarian Universalism?” by studying our religion’s roots and major tenets; and do close analysis of a select few Bible stories and/or hymns. The goals of these classes are to further their understanding of religion and to help them form their own sense of spirituality. Download  a 2016-2017 syllabus here.

7th-12th Grades (with Molly McGaughey): The youth curriculum is founded in the Unitarian Universalist Coming of Age program. The focus of the first year is on their emerging individual identities and their collective roles as Unitarian Universalists in their communities. The next year they connect the intellectual with the spiritual by reflecting on their spiritual path and its milestones and ultimately writing a meditation. The third year they follow the UUA curriculum, Neighboring Faiths, and visit numerous places of worship in Manhattan, comparing those experiences with their own at UUFM. The goal of these classes is for the students to explore their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development.


Social Action

Two or three times a year the students assist in collecting non-perishable food items for the Flint Hills Breadbasket, a local food pantry. Students have also collected aluminum cans and used the funds to make donations to various agencies. During the summer months there are a variety of opportunities to help at local community meals. For more information contact Director of Religious Education Sandy Nelson.


Social Activities 

In addition to lessons and social justice, our youth like to have fun together. We provide many opportunities for this.

Parent Night Out/Kid Night In:  On the first Friday of every month, we give our parents a night off and the children a chance to bond. From 6:30-9:30 p.m., our youth (ages 3-12) do art projects, play games, have a snack, and watch movies together. Parents must RSVP in advance for this event as space is limited.

Family Fun Event:  Once a month, we plan an activity for the whole family. Past events include camping out, pizza and fun at the Splash Park, bowling at KSU’s bowling alley, an ice cream social, a Thanksgiving potluck, and a Christmas cookie swap.

AWed Dinner:  On the first Wednesday of each month, Fellowship members and friends are invited to a potluck dinner, beginning at 6 pm.  Following dinner, scheduled committee meetings gather around the Fellowship building.  Those not attending meetings are encouraged to socialize in the Inez Alsop room.

Game Night: On the third Wednesday of the month we meet in the Alsop room at 6:30 p.m. and play a variety of board games or card games. There’s always something new – and snacks! Fun for everyone from 1 to 100. Bring your favorite game next time you come.

Teen Lunch: On the third Sunday of the month teens (7th – 12th grade) gather after the service for lunch either at the fellowship or off site.