Unitarian Universalist Faith tradition acknowledges that children are not “blank slates” or “empty cups” that adults must fill up with information. Instead, we understand that each child has unique experience, orientation, feelings, and thoughts.
Faith Formation is about sharing the essential aspects of our UU faith (such as the principles) so the child can understand who we are and why we are. We offer the tenants and practice of our faith to help all of us build our values, character, and faith community together.
We want children of all ages as well as adults to feel they are an essential part of the life of the congregation, that they belong, and their ideas matter. As with adults, children will be invited to learn language and skills to help them build their capacity to be part of beloved community.
Many small congregations such as the UU Church of Utica are having to reinvent ourselves after the disruption of the pandemic. Some families are understandably choosing to remain home rather than expose themselves in the less than stringent COVID policies. Other families worked very hard to keep their children engaged on weekends when churches were not open and so Sunday morning church is no longer an automatic “shoe-in” with family life.
So, we are experimenting! Come join us and help us co-create what’s next. Here is what we have in place:
Children of all ages are always welcome in the sanctuary with adults. There are no separate “Religious Education classes”. Children may remain with their adult(s). They are welcome to sit at a table that is always available at the back of the sanctuary with supplies for writing, reading, and creating. Sometimes there are age-appropriate handouts that integrate UU principles and values, sometimes connected to the focus of the worship service. Sometimes there are blankets on the floor to read on bellies, or nap.
Also, if families want the option to use resources for children, we are happy to send the “packet” to the family mid-week before the service. This way, the adult(s) can support the child and listen in as well on Zoom. Just contact the minister firstname.lastname@example.org if you would enjoy having this option.
We hope you consider rolling into this new phase of learning and being together in community. It will be our joy to welcome you. If you have questions, contact the minister at email@example.com
Our Safe Congregation policy can be found here.