School of the Spirit
What We Offer Through the Lifespan Program
We provide children, youth, and adults an opportunity to explore, reflect, and learn in a nurturing spiritual and justice-making community. Our Unitarian Universalist religious education program, which we call the School of the Spirit, offer all ages, inspiring:
- Ethical growth – internalizing enduring values like justice, equity, and compassion, and gaining tools to act on them in everyday life.
- Social growth – connecting with peers and people of all ages on a deeper level. Finding acceptance among people who see beyond the superficial.
- Spiritual growth – feeling a connection with the sacred within, among, and beyond us.
Our School of the Spirit Programs
This year our School of the Spirit staff are proud to offer age specific programming for FOUR distinct age groups all of whom will be exploring the Sources of Our Faith through the lenses of our monthly Soul Matters worship themes and engaging in three social justice immersion experiences spread throughout the year.
The Soul Matters theme for October 2019 is Belonging.
“Many Mountains, Many Paths”
Grounded in the idea of religious pluralism our classes will be engaging with a different religious tradition every 4 weeks (or so), discovering not only what these different traditions believe but also how we as Unitarian Universlists can draw wisdom and meaning from their teachings.
In addition we’ll offer opportunities for youth and families to join our Middle School class (6th-8th grades) on visits to these different faith communities. Visits are primarily for our middle school class but will be open to all, space permitting.
In October, February and April/May we’ll have justice immersion experiences during which all ages will come together to learn and engage in action together. Each immersion will take place over 3 consecutive weeks (1st week learn, 2nd week act, 3rd week reflect) and will be primarily planned by our High School youth group.
HeartJam (Preschool – 1st grade): Our early childhood education program maintains the same structure as our SpiritJam program, but with a greater focus on activities, readings, and care geared towards children in preschool – 1st grade.
SpiritJam (2nd-5th grade): Using the monthly worship theme as our guide staff teachers create “Jams” or learning experiences to explore different faith traditions. SpiritJam activities include thoughtful art projects, meditation practice, music, community service activities, playground games, and more. We focus on experiential learning and sculpting the learning to our audience, allowing us to offer engaging experiences for a very diverse range of mindsets and personalities.
MysteryJam (6th-8th grade): Our middle school program this year is utilizing the Crossing Paths curriculum a Soul Matters version of the impactful Neighboring Faiths youth programs used throughout many UU congregations.
Crossing Paths joins the long line of visit-based UU curriculum going back 70 years. This Soul Matters versions honor these previous curricula and adds its own unique components, including an emphasis on theological grounding, a distinct take on religious pluralism (“Many Mountains, Many Paths”), an abundance of experiential learning and a deep commitment to family-centered activities.
Information on upcoming visits will be included in the weekly eblast (sign up here) as they approach and will be sent out to all registered families in advance.
Our Whole Lives (OWL): is a nationally renowned series of sexuality education curricula developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in partnership with the United Church of Christ. At BVUUF we try to offer the program for different age groups in alternating years. OWL equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture to help them make informed, responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, OWL provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
In 2019-20, we will be offering the program for 5th/6th graders and 10/11th graders; registration is required.
Click here to view our 10 year plan for Our Whole Lives classes (subject to change)
Summer Day Camp: We offer an annual week-long summer day camp for kindergarteners through 5th graders. Older kids and youth can apply to be camp counselors or counselors-in-training. Read about this past year’s camp.
8/9th Grade Coming of Age: This program is offered every other year and will be offered next for the 2020-21 school year.
COA celebrates the transition from childhood to youth. The teenage years are a time of tremendous growth and change. Throughout history, many cultures marked this human passage with rituals, learning, testing, and celebration; we do the same. Two retreats bookend the program with classes between, where each youth will pair with an adult mentor to tackle the “big questions” and develop their faith statements. Registration is required for participation in Coming of Age.
High School Youth Group: We are thrilled to offer a combined high school youth program with our sister congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder (UUCB).
On Sundays our youth meet at the Fellowship during our worship service (currently 12:30pm) to dive into social justice topics and help plan justice immersion events for the rest of our School of the Spirit youth.
Additionally on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday evenings (7-9pm) of each month we have our combined meetings with youth from UUCB and participate in activities planned and led by the youth themselves.
We also offer opportunities for involvement in regional UU youth activities including several weekend gatherings called “cons” and a week-long summer camp called QUUest.
Youth are also encouraged to participate in the various parts of congregational life, and serve on committees, lead services on Sunday mornings, and volunteer in the preschool room with the younger children. Please email Galen at YouthCoordinator@bvuuf.org if you or your youth would like to be part of the conversation as we grow our Youth Programming.
Adult Classes: We offer an ever-changing array of classes for adults to continue their faith formation. Click here to see our current offerings, or to share an idea you have for a class in the future.
School of the Spirit Council
(SoSC) governs and guides the lifespan programs of the School of the Spirit which includes adult classes, youth program, and SpiritJam, our elementary program. Our mission is to Wonder, Deepen, Discern, and Act.