Religious education at Channing, like Unitarian Universalism, is non-creedal and promotes the seven principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
We encourage children to develop their own statements of belief after learning about Unitarian Universalism, but also about different world religions and great thinkers throughout time. Children draw from diverse perspectives to find what applies to them at this moment in their lives. As they get older, they join in discussions about the big questions of the universe, such as why bad things sometimes happen and what happens after you die.
Learning to Think for Themselves
From September through June, we welcome children from ages 3 to 18 to our one-room schoolhouse setting, building their understanding of religion, the concept of beliefs, and the search for truth. Working through different media and at age-appropriate levels of sophistication, children have the opportunity to begin to develop the critical capacity to think for themselves about religion and values.
Our philosophy of religious education aligns with the adult concept that you are on your own religious and spiritual path, hearing what speaks to you at each point in life.
Children learn from many viewpoints, including mentors from within the church. These adults come to Unitarian Universalism with their own different religious backgrounds and philosophical perspectives, so children can be matched with members who best fit their explorations. We address different themes each year: one year we’ll focus on the Unitarian Universalist principles, another year it may be the array of world religions, and another year, a social justice focus.
The program also engages children in making a difference through social justice projects. In addition to Sunday classes, we take part in activities like cooking for the community meal or raising money for the Pell School in the Newport opportunity zone, one of our partners.