Children & Youth Programs

Our Children & Youth Programs for Sunday mornings have recently been restructured and we welcome families of all ages to visit us!

10:30 AM Sunday Morning Programs for Children & Youth

In the words of William Ellery Channing, an extraordinary UU forebear, we strive “to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life.”

PreK – 5th grade and Youth (5th – 8th grade) Programs are offered on Sunday mornings. Nursery childcare is also provided for infants through age four. Most Sundays, the children and youth attend the beginning of the worship service in the sanctuary and then proceed to the classroom space for their own activities.

Our program is facilitated with the support of our Children & Youth Program teachers and volunteers from the congregation. We strive to partner with parents in raising children who are curious, courageous, and compassionate.

Childcare is also provided at most worship services and at many congregational meetings and events.

We believe that learning, growing, and exploring never ends – our congregation is proud to offer Children & Youth Programs that include educational and social programming for infants through adults.

The UUA offers that “… faith is a journey we take together…education takes a lifetime. It happens both within and beyond a congregation’s walls. We support one another as individuals, families, and communities in an ongoing search for truth and meaning…” ( Religious Education opportunities are central to UUCGT’s mission of “creating a better world by nurturing the heart and expanding the mind.”

Our congregation is a place of community building, spiritual learning, and social justice-making for people of all ages. Through activities both lively and quiet, children and youth learn about themselves, their own spirits, Unitarian Universalism, and neighboring faiths. We also take part in service projects.

Adults have opportunities, too, including book groups, Sunday morning classes, evening presentations, and much more! We offer a wide array of social activities for all ages in an effort to build community and enhance our journey together.

Registration Forms for Children and Youth

Please contact Betsy Hammerberg, Director of Religious Education, for a copy of the required 2019-2020 RE Registration forms for all children and youth (including nursery age children). Each family needs to complete a new set of forms annually.  

Please return the completed forms to the office by scanning and emailing, snail-mail, or drop forms off at the church. 
Questions? Contact the office at 231-947-3117.

World Religions

The children will be spending the 2019 – 2020 year learning about World Religions in a fun yet thoughtful way.

They will examine the beliefs, practices, and rituals of Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism, Earth-centered religious, and Unitarian Universalism. Our goal is to have students walk away with the understanding that:

  • Religious communities share common stories, rituals, and beliefs, which help them explain and understand the world
  • All religions are equally valid, as is the choice to not have a religion

We will spend 2 – 4 weeks learning about each faith tradition, and as the children add to their knowledge they will be encouraged to find commonalities between religions.

All children in Kindergarten – 9th grade will begin the RE session together with a chalice lighting and introduction to the day’s learning. They will then split into two age-based groups to take part in activities and discussions.

Beginning on October 13, the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program will take place approximately twice per month during the regular RE time. On these days any 7th – 9th grade students who are not enrolled in OWL are welcome to join the regular RE class.

UU High School Youth:
This year we will be making an effort to not only connect our high school youth with one another, but with their UU community by creating mentor opportunities in committees they have an interest in.  We will also seek to involve High School Youth more actively in the Sunday Service.

Our Whole Lives (OWL)

Comprehensive Sexuality and Health Education for Youth

This course is offered to Youth who will be in grades 7-9 during the 2019-2020 school year. Families do not need to be members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse to enroll.

The program is facilitated by Katie Tomczyk, MS and Joan Sheard. Classes will be held twice a month from October 2019 through April 2020. Consistent attendance is required in order to maintain a safe and comfortable space for all participants.

For questions about the OWL Program, please email Betsy, Director of Religious Education at

For more information about OWL, click on the following links:

Introduction to OWL Program, Katie Tomczyk, facilitator

OWL Brochure

UUA – OWL Program

Traverse City Record-Eagle article

Northern Express article


All-Congregation, Multi-Generational Worship Services
Several times throughout the year, UUCGT holds All-Congregation Sunday Services, when the children and youth remain in the sanctuary and participate actively in the entire service with the adults.

All-Ages-All-Families Events & Programs
We frequently offer additional social events and special programs for all members of the community including Wednesday Night Suppers, picnics, and seasonal celebrations and activities.

Social Action
All persons, even very young children, have a sense of compassion and a desire to help others.  We nurture that quality in all ages by engaging in regular community service and social action projects, such as cooking for our congregation’s lunch program for the hungry, supporting our LGBTQ community, supporting justice efforts for all peoples, advocacy on behalf of our Earth and all creatures, and much more.