Liz Davis-Chaffin, Director of
Our Religious Education Programs
The religious education program for children and youth encourages open
inquiry into the questions that life brings, respect for every
individual person as well as for the community.
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,–
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.
— Emily Dickenson
Children in the religious education program need to be registered for
each church year. The registration and
forms for the current church year are available in offline format
for you to print and mail or drop off at the church office. We function
as a cooperative and rely on church community members to share their
time, interests, talent, and ideas.
- Nursery care is available for babies through preschool. Care is
available each Sunday, 9:50 – 11:30 am in the East Wing nursery.
Family members are welcome to drop off or stay, noting the needs of
- Religious Education for pre-k children through grade 6 begins with
their families in the church sanctuary; children and grownups listen to
a story for all ages read by the minister. The whole congregation sings
our children to their RE sessions as they transition downstairs to the
Vestry to meet for Circle, then depart to their meeting spaces. Parents
are invited to transition with children new to the program or as
- Middle Matters (grades 6 – 8) is held in the Great Room at the Parish
House. MM hosts a circle meeting for our junior youth. They explore
themes such as social action, neighboring faiths, and our UU principles
and UU sources. Through chalice lightings, discussions, and hands-on
projects they explore new ideas and actions. They focus on worship
elements in art, music, and ritual in preparation for a youth-led
service in the spring.
- Social Action: The church community supports outreach
project CityReach Boston. This is an Ecclesia Ministries
interfaith program offering service-learning opportunity for youth
age 14 years and up. Youth help organize items from a church-wide
clothing drive, and then attend an overnight experience in Boston;
youth learn from a specialized team who share what it is like being
homeless, as they share personal stories. Youth participate in
clothing and food distribution to individuals experiencing
homelessness. Youth leaders encourage time for reflection and
sharing following CityReach experience.
- On Sunday mornings, 9-12th graders are
invited to stay in sanctuary for worship service or volunteer in RE
during Sunday mornings. Teen helpers can be assistants in younger
children‘s groups with support of parents and RE teachers.
- Specialized roles in childcare and coffee hour are
supported by the RE Council. Youth involvement in leadership and
worship roles are encouraged and supported by Worship Committee.
Individualized youth action plans are created in collaboration with
the Director of Religious Education.
- Bridging program for 12th graders — The
Bridging Support Team (BST) meets with senior youth (Bridgers) to
support current faith development and navigating transitions.
Monthly small-group discussions are held with peers and BST.
Bridgers serve the lead role in Youth-led service and receive
guidance in theme selection and sermon development.
- Evening Activities: pizza and movie nights are held
quarterly, and special projects occur throughout the year.
- The Coming of Age Program (14 years and
up) provides a substantive spiritual program for youth in
transition from childhood to adolescence. This program runs every
other year; the next edition will be in the 2017-2018 church year.
Sign up in the spring of 2017.
- Our Whole Lives is a values-based human sexuality
program. We offer two groupings every other year, alternating with
Coming of Age.
OWL is an excellent program that integrates sexuality education
and values from the perspective of our Unitarian Universalist
community. Youth learn about sexuality in a positive and supportive
atmosphere. The program is sponsored by a collective in our region
and taught by facilitators from the Groton, Harvard, Littleton,
Stow/Acton, and Sudbury UU churches who have completed an official
OWL training course. There is a parent orientation. Signed
permission is required for participation.
For 5th- and 6th-graders, an 8 week
session highlights Respect, Responsibility, and Relationships
during Sunday morning RE. There is a parent orientation. Signed
permission is required for participation. Parent small-group
ministry sessions are offered.
For 7th- to 9th-graders, OWL sessions meet
January – April.
Overview of the Our Whole Lives Program: The OWL program is
written for seventh to ninth-graders and is part of an “all
ages” UU curriculum concerning human sexuality education. It is
important to provide our youth with accurate, timely information about
sexuality and to help them strengthen their values at this important
time in their lives. Contact DRE
Occasional after-service programs are held on subjects of interest to
- Small Group Ministry at First
Parish Church of Groton, and many other Unitarian Universalist churches,
is about fulfilling two human hopes — for deep connection, where
we can be truly known and accepted for who we are; and for spiritual
exploration, time to reflect on issues of profound significance in our
- Workshops and other discussion groups are held throughout the year.
1 Powder House Road …
P.O. Box 457 …
Groton, MA 01450-0457 …
Most recently updated 2016-11-17