From our Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth

Family Ministry Summer Office Hours

In July and August, Rev. Sierra-Marie will be doing a combination of professional development and 2024-2025 preparation time. During this time, she will generally be available to meet by appointment and answer phone calls and emails with the exception of vacation time from August 9th-August 18th. Please note that her summer response time may be slower. If any additional vacation time is added, however, an email auto-reply will notify you of when she next will be available.

Informational Fair!

Our next program-year for children and youth launches in September. Spread the word! Know a family with children who might enjoy checking us out? Our next informational fair for families (with a bounce house and other activities for children) will be on Sunday, September 8th from 10:30AM-12:00PM. Please talk with the families you know about this fair, share on social media groups and on your own social media pages, and print and post copies of this program flyer in your community. 

Volunteers Needed!

At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury, staff and ministers are all part-time. Our programs are the result of the efforts of the whole community. Help is needed with the children, youth, and family ministries next year! That doesn’t mean everyone will be working directly with children (roles with children take a volunteer application and background check). There are greatly varying opportunities to contribute. Please take a few minutes to fill out this form with your volunteer interests, and Rev. Sierra-Marie will be in touch to help you get matched with the right opportunity for you. 

Save the Date Notices – Children, Youth, and Family Ministries

Families with children and youth, please mark the following dates on your family calendar:

  • Sunday, August 25th – Backpack blessings 
  • Sunday, September 8th – Homecoming/ingathering service and the Children, Youth, and Families Fall Ministry Fair, 10:30AM-12:00PM! We are inviting families from across Greater Danbury, so please help spread the word. The Fair is for all ages but our promotional materials reflect a special focus this year on building programs for families with preschool-aged children. 
  • Sunday, September 15th – Fall programs will begin launching

Register for 2024-2025 Children and Youth Programs

Please click here to register your children and youth for 2024-2025 Nursery Care or Children and Youth Programs. This registration form takes most families about 10-15 minutes to complete and is a required form for nursery care and all programs. 

A Note on Welcoming Newcomers in Children and Youth Ministries

In an effort to be as welcoming as possible to families newly joining us, we have been reducing our use of abbreviations. When we use an abbreviation, we make sure to always stop and share what it means. Even though it takes a little longer, it is worth ensuring that we aren’t using insider language that can make newcomers feel left out and uncertain what we are talking about. 

This last year, we decided to move away from the term Religious Education or “RE” because in this era it too is a bit of “insider language” that is unfamiliar to families newly joining us, especially those who do not have prior experience with another religious community. 

Newcomers tend to ask things like “Do you have programs for kids?” When we respond to their questions by talking about “Religious Education,” this opens more questions than it answers. For this reason, we have started using more familiar and direct terms like “Programs for Kids,” “Children and Youth Ministries,” and “Family Ministries.” Please note that we no longer have a Children and Youth Religious Education Ministry Team. This team has been renamed: Family Ministry Team.