Sometimes parents consider religious education to be an afterthought, but it really should be an important primary thought. It’s important that we pass down our cherished beliefs to our children and youth while encouraging them to search and develop their own truths. This can be done at home, in our Fellowship services or in our religious education classrooms.
Parents are the primary teachers of their family’s own customs and traditions – religious and cultural. As parents, we accompany our children and youth in their spiritual development. We hold their hands while they question, wonder and formulate their own beliefs. At the UUFSB, we try to make this journey a fun one for our children and youth. We teach them our UU values; our principles and sources in a way that is age appropriate and fun. They develop life-long friendships with other kids they don’t get to see in school. As they get older, through LIAC (Long Island Area Council) programs like OWL (Our Whole Lives), UU Connect (a program for UU families and youth across Long Island), and COA (Coming of Age), they meet other children and youth throughout Long Island who share in the same UU community. Our own Sophia Fahs Religious Education Camp is a week-long sleep-away summer camp which provides enjoyable, practical and spiritual experiences in a safe, beautiful and natural environment on Shelter Island that will inspire children, youth and adults to explore their identities: personal, communal and Unitarian Universalist. This year we had nearly 20 children, youth and adults attending Sophia Fahs camp. Think about including your children and youth (or maybe even yourself as the camp is always looking for volunteers) at next summer’s camp. Scholarships are available through UUFSB and through LIAC.
Once again this year, we are using the Tapestry of Faith curricula from the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association). Each program includes stories, activities, worship and social action ideas to nurture our children and youth in ethics, spirit, and faith. Every session features "Taking It Home" and "Find Out More" sections for families to explore at home. And, parents can go online and read the curriculum that their children are experiencing in their religious education programs. Additionally, the UUA offers the Family Pages in the center of each issue of the UU World. The four-page, themed centerfold in UU World draws from stories, activities, and faith development guidance in Tapestry of Faith programs. These pages offer inspiration and ideas to use at home—for parents to share with children, elders to share with grandchildren, and UUs and seekers of all ages to explore. Many resources are also available on the UUA website under the Religious Education tab.
We are looking forward to seeing you soon.
Gretta Johnson-Sally, Director of Religious Education
UUFSB is a Safe Congregation that strives to protect children and youth. To find out more about what that means, click here.