Junior Youth Religious Education (Sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders)

Youth in this class ask deep questions and closely examine their values. They push boundaries. Bonding with peers is often top priority. They make choices that will set their path to adulthood. As group members explore concepts such as self-worth, empathy, and counteracting the marginalization of others, they can safely express their thoughts and feelings in Religious Education sessions and social events.

Those who will be in eighth grade the following school year may participate in the Coming of Age program. In it, participants reflect on their personal values and understandings of the world. Each one partners with a mentor, and they meet weekly to discuss Unitarian Universalism. Mentors help participants organize their thoughts, articulate their beliefs, and write their personal Credo Statement to share during a worship service. Participants show how they've taken the principles learned in Religious Education and made them real in their own value-and-belief systems and, hopefully, their lives.

Seventh- and eighth-graders have the option of taking a comprehensive sexuality education program, which can help them make responsible choices about their sexuality, called "Our Whole Lives" (OWL). The OWL curriculum is offered every other year at Emerson Chapel.

Each year, the junior youth, in collaboration with the minister, create and present a worship service.