Religious Exploration & Group Meetings

Children & Youth

Children and Youth Religious Exploration programming at UUCJ strives to


/in’spī’ur/ v. excite energies, ideals, or reverence


/fāTH/ n. a confident or wholehearted belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

We actively seek to invoke a sense of wonder and awe about life, and it’s many gifts. We work towards cultivating a sense of UU identity while fostering divergent thinking. We explore our UU values through experiential lessons and engaging stories. We do not want only to take the children from A to B. We want to give them A and help them realize their own path to B and beyond! Our kids are often given leadership opportunities and asked to help craft their worship. After all, it is THEIR worship!

We center our programming around what we call the Big Ideas.

These ideas are values and concepts stemming from our seven principles.

At each stage of programming, we focus on three Big Ideas and each session is related to one of those Big Ideas.

We believe that a child exploring these Big Ideas on a consistent basis will live an enriched life.


 tadpole-cove-bannerTadpole Cove (0-PreK)

Tadpole Cove is a welcoming, energetic space for children from 0 to 5 years old. This nursery provides structure and familiarity to children while encouraging exploration and curiosity through play and socialization. Tadpole Cove is open from 9:30am – 1:30pm. Please join us in the Howe room.

Big Ideas

You are Loved   You are Never Alone   Love Made You

Register Here!


water-village-with-nameThe Water Village (K-5th)

The Water Village is a loving community where children are invited to be a part of a living story. Water Villagers worship together through an engaging story, UU rituals, and experiential learning activities. They experience what it means to be a community and learn how to practice UU values. Please sign-in at the blue kiosk outside of the Sanctuary. The children travel together from service to The Water Village.

Big Ideas

I Treat Myself with Love    I Treat Others with Love    I Treat the Earth with Love

Register Here!

Last Week in the Water Village!
Big Idea: I treat others with Love
One way to do this is by sharing our experience or knowledge with others. Giving them what we have learned. We can do this through a story.
Last Sunday, in addition to our Chalice Lighting, Joys & Sorrows, and Meditation, we explored the following: Rip Van Winkle, How stories connect us and change as they spread (played telephone to highlight this), How we treat others with love and what makes us feel loved

Highlights of the discussion after the story

  • Our children seem to agree that getting hugged makes them feel loved.
  • Our children definitely heard the message of not taking food or drink from strangers! Silly Rip Van Winkle!
  • Our children see giving as an important part of treating someone with love.
  • Our children quickly grokked the idea of stories changing over time.

Suggestions for home

  • Have a story night at home where the family takes turns telling stories to each other.
  • At dinner, ask your children how they treated someone with love that day.

walenthorpefinalHouse of Walenthorpe (6th-12th)

The UUCJ Youth Group program is now called Walenthorpe. Walenthorpe was created using the three values required for the group’s success: honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.

The youth are participating in a story-land community in a wizardry school, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s world of Harry Potter. They are crafting and participating in this living story while learning about various topics. There will be strong fantasy language throughout the program, with lessons and values woven through that are very practical and UU.  Walenthorpe meets in the Darwin room every Sunday from 12:15pm – 1:15pm.

The Big Ideas

Should I practice honesty with myself and others?    Should I practice open-mindedness?    Should I practice willingness?

Register Here!

Last week in Walenthorpe!

We explored the following topics; The tension between the 6 sources, relationships, Web of life

The children had a conversation about the 6 sources and what they took away from the sermon. Following this discussion we did a string activity to demonstrate several things; our connections to each other, the connection between the 6 sources, and how tension can be good thing

We also did some “trust leans” with each other.

Highlights from their discussion
  • Our sources depend on each other
  • The sources are like different branches of government and need checks and balances
  • Everyone needs a support system
  • You cannot lean on everyone in the same way
  • Relationships should be equitable not always equal
  • We can and should trust each other


For adults, we offer Religious Exploration classes and group meetings throughout the week:

  • UUCJ Journey: Building Beloved Community: Read more about this new series for 2017 and register.
  • Spiritual Studies: This class studies selected readings or books on spirituality. All are welcome. For more information contact David Keel. Sundays @9:30am in the Channing Room.
  • Playing with Ideas: This class meets Sundays @ 9:30-10:30 in the Anthony Room.
  • We Agnostics: An AA meeting for atheists, agnostics, and others of a more liberal religious persuasion. Tuesdays @ 7pm in the Anthony Room.
  • Jax Soto Zen Meditation: Led by Dr. Roger Cochran. Mondays @ 7:00pm in the Anthony Room. (Does not meet on 5th Monday of the month).
  • Covenant Groups: Build personal connections in an atmosphere of mutual trust. Our Covenant Groups are a small gathering of people who meet regularly to get to know each other and explore significant questions involving spirituality and the business of living. If you are interested in joining a group or would simply like more info, contact Christopher Pridham.



I do not think it is the business of a poet to be a guru. It is his business to write poetry, and to do that he must remain open and vulnerable.
~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)