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Youth Programming

The purpose of religious education for youth at UUSM is to provide religious community for young people — a place where they can develop and articulate their values, give service, find acceptance, and have fun.  Youth in our RE program take part in a number of activities, ranging from social outings and events & service projects to year-long curricula in classroom settings with engaging adult leaders and mentors.  We offer a specific set of opportunities for those in our Youth program to take part in meaningful dialogue about things that really matter, and to celebrate transitions into young adulthood.


Coming of Age

Like many Unitarian Universalist congregations, UUSM offers a Coming of Age curriculum for 8th through 10th graders.   This program is designed to promote, honor and affirm our teenagers’ passage toward the greater freedoms and responsibilities of adulthood and to impart a deeper comprehension and appreciation of Unitarian Universalism.   Key themes are exploring values, beliefs, spiritual life, and UU identity. 

The program has four parts:

  •     pairing youth with adult mentors;
  •     discussions and retreats that foster self-awareness and confidence-building;
  •     service to the church and community;
  •     and a culminating affirmation ceremony.

By participating, we hope that the youth will understand they have an important role in their family, their church, and the larger community; develop a personal value system; and realize they are non-judgmentally accepted in our community and that it is a safe place for them to be themselves.   Coming of Age is offered every other year.


Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education Program (OWL)

OWL for 7th-9th Graders

This holistic program explores issues of sexuality, identity and personal choice and responsibility for youth.  OWL is more than about sharing information; OWL investigates the attitudes, values, and feelings that youth have about themselves and the world while teaching compassion, respect, and justice.  This program is offered every other year.

OWL for 10th-12th Graders

Using a comprehensive approach, this program helps senior-high youth gain the knowledge, life principles and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing ways. Includes a parent orientation and 12 sessions. This program will is offered every other year.


High School Youth Group

Youth develop relationship and leadership skills within a covenantal community of their peers and adult advisors.  Their program is balanced through the year in the areas of Building Community, Social Action, Worship, Learning, Leadership and Congregational Involvement. The High School Youth Group meets weekly on Sunday evenings.



Every year, the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo celebrate the graduating high school seniors in our congregation, marking their transition from youth to young adulthood.

In our annual service, our graduating youth have an opportunity to reflect on their childhood, their community, and their hopes and dreams for the future. We offer them our blessings and good wishes—and the assurance that their spiritual home is always available to them in their life journeys.