COVID-19 UPDATE: The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara is complying with all Santa Barbara County and California State regulations regarding Covid-19. Our ability to have in-person events will depend largely on the current colored tier our county is in. You can always review the Santa Barbara County Public Health website to see the current status for indoor and outdoor events. Thank you for your understanding.

What is CRE?

CRE is our shorthand for Children’s Religious Education. We have classes every Sunday for children from kindergarten to eighth grade. Childcare for the very youngest children is also available.

What do children learn in CRE?

Our children are taught progressive Unitarian Universalist values to encourage a lifelong spiritual search for truth and meaning. We also familiarize them with the spiritual practices of the world’s great faiths to foster religious literacy.

Worship for adults and classes for children follow the same theme-based ministry. Some of our past monthly themes have been Expectation, Belonging, Awe, Integrity, Resilience, Liberation, and Play. In children’s classes, each theme is explored through reading, games, and crafts.

Our K through 5th grade elementary program is active, creative, and story-based. In past years we have used UU curricula from Tapestry of Faith to encourage children to think about their relationships with self and others as well as their values.

Our junior high class, made up of sixth and seventh graders, has used the UU curriculum Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong by Richard S. Kimball. Comprised of four units, this program guides junior high youth through ways to determine right from wrong with a Unitarian Universalist perspective, identify their values, and act on their new understandings.

Can we visit CRE classes?

Yes, please! Your family is welcome to visit any of our religious education classes, but we don’t allow you to drop off your child with us until you fill out our enrollment form. The information we collect about you and your child on the enrollment form helps us keep your child safe. Click here to enroll your child in CRE.

Who teaches CRE?

All of our classes are taught by trained professional staff and assisted by volunteer church members. Background checks are required for all CRE staff.

When do classes take place?

When not under Covid-19 restrictions, classes are held during both Sunday services, from September to June. Our 9:15 a.m. classes are broken up into specific age groups (see below), and our 11:15 a.m. class brings together children of all ages. During summer when we move to one service at 10:00 a.m., CRE also moves to one class with activities and lessons appropriate for all children.

Is childcare available for toddlers?

Yes. We offer childcare for toddlers and preschoolers in Starr King Preschool (located in our lower campus) on Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Our childcare program is staffed by two experienced adults, and children have the option of participating in a spotlight activity or playing freely.