Children & Youth

We believe that exploration – seeking, learning, growing and living- is a key facet of spiritual life for people of all ages. At First Parish, we honor the explorer in each of us through church programming and in our support of individual and group activities. We believe that development as a spiritual person is a lifelong activity that begins in early childhood and continues throughout our lives. Religious Exploration (RE) programming for children, youth and adults, as well as multigenerational opportunities are at the heart of First Parish life.

At the core of First Parish RE is our Sunday morning coop school for children in preschool through 8th grade. Operating September through June, RE classes are taught by volunteers who are trained and supported by the Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration and the RE Committee. With a class for each grade meeting roughly three out of every four Sundays, the RE program provides children and youth with developmentally appropriate opportunities to explore topics that include UU heritage and history; morals and ethics; community; social justice; health and sexuality; world religions; and spiritual exploration. We look at the program as a cumulative process, with each class opportunity adding to the child’s overall development and growth.

A broad array of other programs, including our UU milestones, two Youth Groups, adult education, family and parent gatherings, and multigenerational worship round out RE within the church. While these programs vary, they are consistent in providing even greater opportunity for spiritual engagement and development at whatever pace, and in whatever way, makes sense for each member of the community.

Finally, the RE program at First Parish stresses the importance of what we like to call RE @ Home. Classes and structured opportunities are only a small part of a person’s daily life and we work hard to support the ways in which individuals and families can explore faith, religion and spirituality in a sustained manner over the course of their lives.

We encourage you to do your own exploring through these web pages to discover just what First Parish has to offer to you and your children. If you’re interested in more information, please contact the DLRE. If you’d like to register your child(ren) for our RE program, you can do so here.


Mark LaPointe, DLRE

RE Committee of First Parish in Needham