685 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
(781) 749 -1671 |
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Second Parish in Hingham

Unitarian Universalist

Learn: Religious Education Program

Summary by Age Group

Our One-Room Schoolhouse

As a small church, each year we enjoy the flexibility of structuring our Religious Education to meet the specific needs of the children attending. Working creatively with all ages from kindergarten to middle school, and cooperatively with Old Ship Church for high school youth, our students learn about give and take across different ages – and how each person has something to contribute.  We have three classrooms upstairs, but the open doors preserve our one-room schoolhouse atmosphere.  All children are always supervised.

Ages 6 months through 5 years

Nursery Care is provided for our youngest children upstairs in Cushing Hall, in a room adjacent to our large classroom. If you have young children who will be in the Nursery, please arrive early to connect with the caregiver and get your children settled.


Kindergarten through Grade 7

Students in kindergarten through grade 7 attend the first part of the formal worship in the sanctuary with their families. The children and the teachers then go upstairs to our big classroom where, after some moments of quiet reflection, they share their own joys and concerns.


Next, they start to explore the religious education curriculum.  This year we will explore the seven UUA principles as a guide to Unitarian Universalism, other faiths, and universal values.  We will use stories from Todd Outcalt’s Common Ground: Lessons & Legends From The World’s Great Faiths and Parallel Myths by J.F. Bierlein.  We will also use supplemental stories from other sources as we navigate through the year.


This year we are going to explore a different UU principle each month.  In kid-friendly terms, the seven UU principles are:


• We believe each and every person is important.

• We believe all people should be treated fairly.

• In our congregations, all people are accepted and we learn together.

• We believe each person is free to search for what is true and right in life.

• Everyone deserves a vote about the things that concern them.

• We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.

• We believe in caring for our planet Earth and every living thing that shares it with us.


We will prepare for this exploration asking why we gather together every week in church.


From time to time we’ll take a break from the regular curriculum to work on the Christmas Pageant, service projects like Lemonade for Womenade, and good old fashioned play.  Packing fresh produce for clients of the Hingham Food Pantry before major holiday distributions is also part of the religious education we offer our youngsters.


Values Quest

A monthly program for busy families who would like their elementary school age children to have a church experience.  Our goals are to present a fun, activity-based and inspirational program that teaches values through the examples of respected individuals. This class is open to all children, especially those who do not attend church regularly.  It is geared toward children in kindergarten through grade 4.


This program will be offered once per month, on the first Sunday of the month.


Grades 8 and Up Programs

Students in Grades 8 and higher have the opportunity to participate in three programs.  Important Messages is offered at Second Parish. In addition, every other year Our Whole Lives (OWL) or Coming of Age (COA) is offered in cooperation with Old Ship Church in Hingham. Any student who wishes to participate and his or her parents should meet with Rev. Kelsch prior to enrolling.


Important Messages

Last year Issues of Faith invited teenagers to gather for an hour late Sunday afternoon once a month to explore individual and established beliefs.  This year, Important Messages invites those youngsters and any newcomers to prepare a service for Sunday morning to share their insights with the congregation.


Coming of Age

The Coming of Age Program provides an opportunity for young adults to explore and articulate their own spiritual and religious beliefs through workshops, conversations, lectures, and steady reflection. At the completion of the program, the students present their individual faith statements to both congregations.


Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a nationally renowned program on human sexuality developed in collaboration by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.


The program presents a comprehensive approach to human sexuality in an age-appropriate manner and is based firmly on the values of respect, responsibility, justice and inclusivity. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.


The curriculum helps young people apply these values to their behavior and provides them with information and skills they can use throughout their lives. The OWL program includes a comprehensive parent orientation, and parent permission is required for young people to participate in this class.


Check out

Newton's Neighbors!

Newton's Neighbors is a show about a young puppet named Newton who tries to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. He visits professionals and hobbyist in the town of Hingham to explore their crafts and take part in some participatory activities.  His latest interview is with Kate Sotolova of South Street Gallery in Hingham.

Watch it on Youtube here: Newton's Neighbors

©Second Parish in Hingham | (781) 749-1671  |  Email: Office@SecondParish.org