We offer a vibrant and active Religious Education program for children and youth, from toddlers to age 18.  Enviro pioner

Religious Education includes classes, groups, multigenerational worship, social events, community service projects, field trips, and social justice activities.

The Summer Scoop:

Please click on the links below for the following forms.

Director of Religious Education Office Hours

Monday 12-2:30
Tuesday 4-7
Wednesday 12-2:30
Thursday 4-6

For more information or to register your child, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

During the school year, children in RE classes begin Sunday mornings in the Great Hall and after our community greeting, hymns, and story for all ages, leave the Great Hall for smaller age-based groups. Children are always welcome to stay with their parents during the entire service in the Great Hall. 

You are also welcome to simply drop in during the year!  If you are visiting for the first time, please know that all children are welcome in our RE program on Sunday mornings, or for childcare during the more intimate service gatherings of the summer.  Please check in with Jessica Harwood, the Director of Religious Education, or a member of the RE Council before worship begins so that we can properly welcome and accomodate your child. You can also email Jessica ahead of time at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We provide infant/toddler childcare and preschool classes at all services except Christmas and New Year's Day.  On weeks when there is a Multigenerational Service (and no regular RE classes/groups) parents have the option to keep even their young children in the Great Hall as long as it is a positive experience for them (and you!).

For the school year 2017-18, we have care for crawling babies and toddlers, and classroom/group experiences for pre-schoolers through 8th grade.  Feel free to get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 413-584-1390 ext. 203, if you have enrollment or other questions. 

Early Childhood Program

Ages Crawling babies-5

10:00-11:15 (Begin in the pre-school room)Early childhood room

Join our excellent early childhood teacher, Asa Spelman, for child-centered play and exploration.  We offer age appropriate, safe, and responsible support for babies and toddlers.

Elementary Program

Grades K-5

10:00-11:20 (Begin in the Sanctuary)

This year, the elementary program will follow the themes of the congregation at large, from justice to mindfulness to hope. Students will explore these topics and how they pertain to their own lives, UU faith, and the world. Each week, the group will gather as a team, discuss issues related to the topic, and explore them through art, music, games, drama, crafts, trips, and community service.

Junior Youth

Grades 6-8

10:00-11:20 (Begin in the Youth Group Room)

Junior youth will have a varied Sunday schedule that includes:

Popcorn Theology

This is a Unitarian Universalist Curriculum that uses popular movies to explore questions of theology and ethics. Youth watch excerpts of popular movies and discuss issues from inner peace to gratitude to the concept of a soul.

Neighboring Faiths

This year, we will collaborate with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst to visit local places of worship, including a mosque, Quaker meeting house, churches, and temples.

Other Events

Junior Youth will also participate in community service projects, adult worship, and social events with the Amherst Unitarian Society. Junior Youth events may also take place on occasional Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.


Programing for youth in grades 9-12:

The High School Youth Group (9 - 12th grade), meets each Sunday afternoon and is open each fall to any interested high school youth. The group holds an open orientation/exploration process during the first 8 weeks of the year. After an orientation process, they are asked to commit to the program and the group is closed until the next fall. For more information, click here.10305176 717301100727 421113572589284085 n                                           

OWL stands for “Our Whole Lives.” It is a life-span sexuality education curriculum written by The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and United Church of Christ Chruches, in conjunction with SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations.

OWL is offered this year (2017-2018) for students in grades 10-12, high school levels. It is a class to support young people to develop positive relationships through informed decision making. It is a sexuality education course  with a focus on factual information presented in a responsible, ethical, relational context. This course requires a parent orientation and informed consent prior to a child enrolling in the class, and regular attendance is expected and necessary, as there is information presented in sequence. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more. 

We also offer the elementary and adult OWL classes on a less regular basis.

We think of what we do as having three components

  1. Covenant, or the promises we make to one another,
  2. Community, the kind of interactions we value and honor, and
  3. Curriculum, the content focuses through which we experience and explore the first two as well as the principles and sources of our faith.

three components of 3 cs

We have multi-age activities and age-grouped programming for children in grades K thru 8 on Sunday mornings.


COA stands for “Coming of Age”. This class will not be offered in 2017-2018. Most UU congregations offer a COA group, usually in 8th and/or 9th grade.  The name of the program refers to the idea that young teens are “coming of age” into a new level of decision making and reflection about their place in the world, their values, and beliefs. 

While specific times for COA will vary depending on teachers’ availability, classes will generally be on Friday evenings and/or Sunday afternoons. The session will not be held every week; instead, longer classes will be held a few times a month to facilitate group development and opportunities for more depth.

The Coming of Age class engages the young people in experiences with intentional relationships with one-on-one adult mentors, teachers, and one another.  It is in the context of relationship that they explore values, beliefs, justice concerns/social service.

Among the activities during their COA year are:

  • In relationship with the Minister, they participate in leading worship in varied ways throughout the year, and at the end of the year present their credos - brief statements of values and beliefs - during a worship service.
  • In relationship with their mentors, they explore their values, draft and write their credos, and select and accomplish a social service project.
  • In relationship with their peers, teachers, and DRE, they explore relationships, values, beliefs, and justice concerns through various means such as music, drama, art, games, thinking/learning/sharing.
  • In relationship with parents and families, they fund-raise and take a religious heritage trip to Boston.
  • In relationship with the High School Youth Group they are invited to join and learn, and sometimes HS YGers join the COAers in an activity.

Religious Education

"The great end in religious instruction, is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own….In a word, the great end is to awaken the soul; to bring understanding, conscience and heart into earnest vigorous action on religious and moral truth, to excite and cherish spiritual life."

-William Ellery Channing

Mission Statement
Religious Education at USNF provides lessons, activities, community service, and events to youth from toddlers through 18 year olds on Sundays.  RE brings together community members to learn, grow, grapple, celebrate, and serve together. 

Vision Statement
To create a community of engaged, active, thoughtful youth whose souls and minds are awakened, curious, and passionate.


  • Explore and practice the Unitarian Universalist principles, values, and commitments.   
  • Allow youth to participate in a group and feel the support of the community.3 UMCW church is where practise being web big size
  • Nurture spiritual exploration. 
  • Inspire caring for self, each other, and the world. 
  • Build self esteem so youth feel they can make a difference. 
  • Encourage an appreciation for the natural world. 
  • Teach about the history of the denomination and about our neighboring faiths. 
  • Bring together members of the congregation. 

USNF Religious Education Brochure
For more information or to register your child, please email dre@uunortham

2017-2018 Registration Form

Please use the drop down menu above for more information.

See our calendar here