Welcome to Religious Education at May Memorial!
For a detailed overview of our program please view the Religious Education Prospectus for the 2018-2019 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 2018-2019 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.
"Wonderful Welcome" 1st-2nd grade
“Welcome. Welcome in love. Welcome in friendship. Welcome in faith. The Wonderful Welcome curriculum engages and challenges leaders and children alike to explore how and why we are willing to welcome others into our lives. We welcome not only strangers, but family, our peers, our neighbors and even entities that are not people such as our animal friends and nature itself.
Each session begins with a Wonder Box that contains a symbol of the session’s theme. The Wonder Box engages the children’s curiosity and encourages a spirit of inquiry and reflection.”
"Toolbox of Faith" 3rd-4th grade
“Toolbox of Faith invites participants to reflect on the qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage, and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith. Each of the 16 sessions uses a tool as a metaphor for an important quality of our faith such as reflection (symbolized by a mirror), flexibility (duct tape), and justice (a flashlight).”
"Jedi Academy" 5th-6th grade
“Jedi Academy will offer padawans (students) an opportunity to develop practical spiritual skills. The curriculum is separated into five training categories: Courage, Insight, Skill, Senses, and Spirit. The focus is on a development of mindfulness, peace and justice.
At the conclusion of the 20 week class padawans will have the opportunity to complete the Jedi trials to become Jedi Knights."
"Coming of Age" 7th-8th grade
"The Coming of Age, or COA class, is a cooperative program with First UU. It is a year long program where participants explore theology, spirituality, and history through discussion, drama, music, writing, and art. The program includes being matched with an adult mentor with whom they can participate in intergenerational worship and service projects. The class will also have the opportunity to participate in a UU Heritage trip to Boston, MA in the spring. Coming of Age youth will create a credo statement that will be presented to the two congregations in youth-led worship services in June, and after successful completion of the program youth may choose to become members of their congregation by “signing the book”. Presenting one’s credo statement is a UU rite of passage that acknowledges the transition out of childhood and allows youth to share their growth and wisdom with the congregations."
"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 by appointment. You can reach the DRE by calling the main office 315-446-8920 or by email Director of Religious Education.