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Children & Youth Ministry
Welcome Rejoice and Come In
Paula Baker
Sept 2023

A flaming chalice - symbol of UUSE

With the start of a new school year, so begins another year of programs and activities on the Garden Level. For me personally, “Back to school” has always been a challenging time. Even now, having been out of school for longer than I’d like to say, the butterflies always come back. And maybe even more so now that I have a child of my own. The abrupt shift from the easy pace of summer to a sudden ramping up of activities; trading lazy hangouts with friends and family for an early morning rush down cinder block hallways into a whole host of unknowns. What will this be like? Who will I meet? Can I do this? Of course, transitioning to something new is not limited to “back to school,” we experience it over and over in life—but it may be the first time many of us experience it in such crystallized form. And at least for me, the feeling still returns every year in late August.


This year is no exception. And this year at UUSE, as a congregation we too move into a new phase, as RE becomes the Children and Youth Ministry, and we move forward on the firm foundation of Gina’s legacy. The search committee has concluded their work, and we are thrilled that a new Director of CYM will soon be announced. [Editor: Meet our new CYM Director!] 


The CYM committee has remained in constant contact through the summer and thanks to all the generous volunteers who have already stepped forward, we are mapping out an exciting year. Yes, there are some butterflies, and some unknowns. But as a committee, we are stronger than ever, and ready to hit the ground running. What will this be like? WE CAN PROMISE IT WILL BE FUN! Who will I meet? LOTS OF WONDERFUL PEOPLE OF ALL AGES! Can we do this? WE CAN DO ANYTHING AS LONG AS WE’RE IN IT TOGETHER!! 

Here is just a preview of what’s ahead: 

• Nursery will continue to be open on Sundays throughout the year during the second service 

• Spirit Play for our 4 & 5-year-olds 

• For elementary schoolers - a variety of workshops including art, music, yoga, woodworking and more (thanks to a fabulous mix of multi-talented volunteers who have offered to share their time and interests) 

• The return of the popular “Twilight Zone” program for middle-schoolers 

• Our Whole Lives (OWL) 

• Junior & High School Youth Groups 

• And for families and children of all ages: o Halloween Trunk-or-Treat 

o Holiday Card-Making and Cocoa 

o Game Nights! 


As always, we encourage members of the congregation to join us in our activities. We could not offer such a robust program without the help of our volunteers. Volunteering doesn’t have to be scary! You don’t have to lead an entire class; we often just need to have an assistant. You can come with a friend if you prefer to team up! All that’s required is a willingness to help – we’ll provide a warm welcome, all the instructions you need, and our endless gratitude! Please use these links to sign up: 

Nursery (ages 3 and under) 

Workshop Adventure (Grades 1 through 5) 


Advanced Workshop Rotation for 5th Graders 


Twilight Zone (6th, 7th and 8th grades) 


Junior and High School Youth Group sign-ups coming soon! 


And finally, thank you to the many families who have already registered their children for the fall program. If you haven't yet, PLEASE REGISTER your child for the 2023-2024 CYM program using this link. 

For questions, comments, thoughts, or concerns, you can always reach the CYM Committee at: And be sure to email us your back-to-school photos as you get them!! We’d love to add them to our annual slideshow for the Homecoming service. 

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