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.

Second Parish Religious Education Program

Leigh Baltzer, Coordinator of Religious Education
Email: cre@SecondParish.org

For more information about our Religious Education Program, Please contact our minister, Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch at minister@secondparish.org.

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's program is based on the curriculum "Character Education" by John Heidel and Marion Lyman-Mersereau.  Each month we will focus on a specific value -- e.g., respect, compassion, commitment, faith, love.  We will discuss the meaning of that value and how it is expressed through thoughts, words and actions.


We will be using stories to help illustrate each value.  Some of the Bible stories we will be using are: The Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, Joseph's Coat, Miriam & Moses, David & Goliath, Wise King Solomon, Jonah & The Whale, and The Good Samaritan.  We will also be using other stories from different cultures and religions, as well as stories that are just plain fun! (Leonardo The Terrible Monster by Mo Willems is one of my favorite children's books.)


During our time together we will also be making crafts that relate to the values & stories we discuss.  Many of the crafts will be made with the purpose of sharing with others, both within one's immediate family and within the larger family of one's community.  In this light, we will discuss the importance of service and helping others.


Each lesson includes a combination of oral story-telling, verbal sharing, physical activities, and arts & crafts to keep the children engaged.

The overall goal is for the children to have fun while exploring the idea that we are connected to something bigger than ourselves.


The youngsters will explore in two constantly fluid groups, determined by factors such as age, interest, and compatibility. When the groups are formed, they will each be charged with a different task. Sometimes it will be appropriate for the students to all work together.


Grades 8 and 9 Programs

Second Parish works together with Old Ship Church in Hingham to offer two programs for older Middle School and High School students in alternating years.  Not only does this give us a larger class and greater reinforcement from peers, but trained adults from both congregations learn from each other as they advice and facilitate the program.  The Coming of Age program will be offered this year (2016-2017).


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.  This program will run in 2016-2017.


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.  This program is offered in alternating years.


OWL classes will be held on Sunday afternoons, and not during the Sunday morning worship services.

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