Religious Exploration Programming

The great end in religious instruction is
not to stamp our minds irresistibly upon the young,
but to stir up their own;
Not to make them see with our eyes,
but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own;
Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge,
but to inspire a fervent love of truth;
Not to form an outward regularity,
but to touch inward springs.
~ William Ellery Channing

Religious Exploration

We value our children and youth because of their own innate worth as people and because they are the future of our community and our world.

As Unitarian Universalists, we do not seek to provide our children with ready-made answers to life's questions in the form of a fixed creed or doctrine. Instead, we seek to provide our children and youth with an environment in which they may grow up with a strong sense of values, morals, religious understanding and identity. To this end, we are committed to offering a Religious Exploration (RE) program which will enrich the lives of our children and youth, helping them to recognize and realize their full potential and build firm foundations for meaningful, ethical lives.

A note from our Youth and Young Families Coordinator:

Hello and welcome to our Religious Exploration community at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills.  We are happy to have you with us.

Here at UUCC, we offer a safe space where children and youth can ask big questions, where curiosity and wonder are encouraged and the ideas of children and youth are valued.  It is here where our children begin their life-long process of spiritual discovery.  It is here where our children discover the meaning of beloved community. 

I look forward to getting to know you and welcome your questions as you seek a spiritual home for your family.

We are glad you’re here!

In beloved community,

Jane Podell, Youth and Young Families Coordinator


Worship is an integral part of our Religious Exploration Program. It provides children with a sense of community, a feeling of at-oneness with each other and the world, an affirmation of what we believe and a feeling of inspiration.

On most Sundays: Our children begin their Sunday morning experience with their families in the sanctuary.  They take part in the chalice lighting, first hymn, wonder box and remain present through a "Time for All Ages" that addresses the sermon topic of the day in an age-appropriate way.  They are then sung out of the sanctuary to their Religious Exploration classroom.


Multigenerational Worship: Once a month, our minister leads worship in the sanctuary designed specifically for the whole community-- people of all ages. On these Sundays, the children stay in the sanctuary for the entire time. These services are created with the knowledge that the children will be present and often involve video, stories, and lots of music!

Children's Chapel: Once a month, children attend Children's Chapel instead of RE class. Led by Roselyn Daniell, the children learn UU rituals of worship ~ chalice lighting, the sharing of joys and sorrows and the sharing of stories related to questions of importance.

Social Action

One of the hallmarks of Unitarian Universalism is social activism. That’s because UUs have always believed we must apply our faith to the world we live in. The Religious Exploration program is designed to encourage our children and youth to become involved in social action within our community and the world at large. Social Action is integrated into our R.E. program throughout the year.

Religious Exploration Programming ~ 2018 - 2019

(September 2018 ~ August 2019)
Our Religious Exploration program runs all year round including the summer months.

Nursery Care

Infants, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

Our nursery provides a safe and happy place for infants, toddlers and preschoolers while parents attend the service. Our youngest children are under the care of a paid and background checked adult caregiver who is experienced in working with young children of various ages. If parents prefer to stay with their child in the Restless Room (across the hall from the sanctuary), they can still hear the sermon while allowing their child to have extra space to wiggle and express themselves.

One Room Schoolhouse

Kindergarten through 5th Grade

In this multi-age classroom, children explore a monthly theme based on a Sacred Story which is chosen by the minister. During our time together, we explore ideas about right and wrong, the divine, why bad things happen, etc. Each class time begins with a chalice lighting and the sharing of joys and sorrows. The power of a meaningful story is placed into the hands of the children who explore their wonderings and reflect its meaning through discussion or art work.

Youth Group 

Middle School and High School

The Youth Group is designed to facilitate the transition between the structured children's program and the self-directed church participation of the adult. Because of senior youth graduating and lack of youth moving into this age range, we have postponed youth group meetings until September of 2019. Along with the support of adult advisors, this group will plan programs which include community service, worship experiences, and leadership opportunities while producing a safe place to come for spiritual growth, friendship and community. We will meet bi-monthly and during the year, we hope to engage them in events with youth from other congregations in the Metro NY and Hudson-Mohawk regions.

If you have any questions about our R.E. program, please contact Jane Podell, Youth and Young Families Coordinator at

Parents please note: Registration is required to participate in our program. Please click the link below to download the RE registration form.