Welcome to Religious Education at May Memorial!
For a detailed overview of our program please view the Religious Education Prospectus for the 2017-2018 church year.
Passing Along Our Values
Our Mission: "We embrace all spiritual journeys and encourage service as we build a more loving and just world."
May Memorial offers religious education programming for children and youth from preschool through senior high grounded in the six sources and seven principles of Unitarian Universalism. We also offer children's worship and intergenerational worship to meet the spiritual needs of all ages.
All ages begin in the sanctuary together on Sunday mornings at 10:30am where they participate in the beginning of worship through a story for all ages. Then children and youth leave the sanctuary to attend youth group or children's chapel and classes which conclude at 12:00pm.
May Memorial has two experienced nursery staff members, Mike Finn and Phoebe Vitharana, who welcome children age infant through 5 years old into our downstairs nursery space. We have a spacious room with lots of toys and books for infants and toddlers and Mike and Phoebe are happy to make works of art with the children, play games, or participate in a variety of other activities with the children.
The nursery opens at 10:00am, 30 minutes before the worship service begins, so that families can take their time getting little ones settled. And the nursery remains open until 12:00pm to give parents/guardians an opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and some conversation in the social hall after the service has concluded.
Classes We Offer
All children and youth who participate in programming at May Memorial from the nursery through senior high program are required to have registration information on file with the Director of Religious Education. To streamline this process because of the combined junior and senior high programs there is one online registration form used by both congregations. The form provides us with important emergency contact information, health and food restriction information, photo releases, and your permission for your child(ren) to participate in our programming.
Register here for the 2017-2018 program!
"Picture Book UU" Pre-K and Kindergarten children aged 3-5
Based on a series of picture books that illustrate the UU identity and values, this curriculum will introduce 3, 4, and 5 year olds to our faith in a fun and accessible way. Each lesson is built on one picture book with activities and crafts to enrich the story. The class will conclude with a light snack and free play.
"Love Surrounds Us" 1st-2nd grade
“At the core of our Unitarian Universalist community are our seven Principles. The Principles encompass all the ingredients of a good and faith-filled life based on equality, freedom, peace, acceptance, truth, care, and love. This program explores all the Principles in the context of Beloved Community. The program concentrates on the communities that are most recognizable to [this age group]—their Beloved Communities of family/home, school, neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community.”
"Love Will Guide Us" 3rd-4th grade
“In this program, participants learn to seek guidance in life through the lens of our Unitarian Universalist Sources, with an emphasis on love. Together we ask questions such as, "Where did we come from?" "What is our relationship to the Earth and other creatures?" "How can we respond with love, even in bad situations?" "What happens when you die?" Sessions apply wisdom from our Sources to help participants answer these questions. Participants will learn that asking questions is valued in Unitarian Universalism, even as they begin to shape their own answers.”
"Building Bridges" 5th-6th grade
“Building Bridges is a world religions program to deepen youth's understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search.” This class will explore the beliefs and practices of world religions and have the opportunity to attend services at neighboring houses of worship.
"Our Whole Lives" 7th-8th grade
The Our Whole Lives, or OWL class, is a cooperative program with First UU. It is an evidence based, age appropriate, comprehensive human sexuality class with emphasis on Unitarian Universalist values. Included in the program are lessons about anatomy, relationships, sexual health, and more. The guides who lead OWL are approved and background screened and additionally have attended a training class offered by the Unitarian Universalist Association specific to the subject matter and age level.
"Teenz" 9th-12th grade
The senior high youth group is comprised of youth from both May Memorial and First UU who are in 9th through 12th grades or the equivalent ages for homeschooled youth. They are led by two paid youth advisors (one on staff at each of the two congregations) and two volunteer advisors. The Syracuse UU youth, affectionately known as Teenz, are a vibrant and involved group. They meet on Sunday mornings throughout the church year with a focus on community building, community service, and developing leadership skills.
The Religious Education program could not exist without volunteer support. Please contact Stacy Sceiford, our Director of Religious Education to find out how you can get involved!
For More Information
Stacy Sceiford, the Director of Religious Education, is available for office hours on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00pm, or by appointment. You can reach the DRE by calling the main office 315-446-8920 or by email Director of Religious Education.