Religious Exploration at First Parish

At First Parish Church, children and families are a vital part of our community. We invite all ages to Sunday services and church gatherings. Just as Rev. Norm emphasizes at the beginning of every service, “this shared, worshipful space has been created to welcome you.”

All children, from babies through high school youth, should be registered for the religious exploration programs in order to participate. This step helps us ensure better communication, connection, well-being, and safety of children and youth.

Are you interested in getting involved with Religious Exploration? We need volunteers from our community to join our Religious Exploration Committee! Committee meets once a month over zoom for 1 hour and creates meaningful opportunities for children, youth, parents and caregivers, and intergenerational community. If you are interested, please email the Director of Religious Exploration.

At First Parish, we believe that Religious Exploration is a lifelong process of personal and community transformation.  We provide spiritual and educational opportunities for all ages to deepen, engage, and nurture our lives while staying faithful to our Unitarian Universalist Principles. Our Religious Exploration team (our Minister, Director of Religious Exploration, and Religious Exploration Committee) strive to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for all ages. Our programs allow children, teens, and adults to connect with one another in such a way that empowers them to explore their spiritual identity, deepen their understanding of Unitarian Universalism, and become champions of justice, diversity, and environmental stewardship in our local community and beyond.

Religious Exploration is inspired by Unitarian Universalist shared values and beliefs.

  • Understanding Unitarian Universalist theology and heritage
  • Developing Unitarian Universalist identity
  • Cultivating our individual and collective spiritual practices and sense of well-being

Nursery Care

Nursery Care is provided in our playroom on the second floor of the Parish Hall for infants and young children during Sunday services and other events. Parents are always welcome to stay with their children, but must fill out a registration form with emergency contact information if leaving children there.

Children’s Religious Exploration

  • Sunday services frequently have a Time for All Ages. We invite children and their families to come to the front of the sanctuary for this short, interactive portion of our worship service (staying at your seat is also an option).
  • We offer Religious Exploration programming for children Pre-K – 8th grade on most Sundays. At the conclusion of Time for All Ages, children can leave the sanctuary and go to the RE classroom, which is upstairs in the Parish Hall. Children will join the Director of Religious Exploration and a volunteer from the congregation for the remainder of the service. Parents and caregivers should come upstairs to meet children when the service is over.
  • Our curriculum focuses on building community, developing an understanding of Unitarian Universalist faith and history, and exploring our own personal faith and beliefs.
  • Please complete the online registration form if you would like your child to participate.

Youth (Adolescent and Teen) Coming of Age

Coming of Age is a program for adolescents that provides tools they can use to shape their spiritual journeys. These workshops provide time for a deep process that transforms lives. Coming of Age will meet monthly over the course of the academic year and culminates with a worship service designed and led by the youth for the congregation. To learn more about the Coming of Age program for 2024-2025 at First Parish, please reach out to our Director of Religious Exploration.

Adult Religious Exploration

We offer several different Adult Faith Formation events and workshops throughout the year. The goal of these is to help the adult members of our congregation create meaningful connections with one another, and to broaden and deepen their connection to Unitarian Universalism, First Parish, and the Interconnected Web of Existence. Information for specific workshops is made available in our newsletter (most recent newsletter is linked on our home page) and on our calendar.

Faith Formation supports all ages by:

  • Offering opportunities for spiritual growth and religious education
  • Creating congregational experiences that include and value all ages
  • Equipping families to continue faith development at home and in family life
  • Encouraging all to practice UU faith values in daily life and in the wider world