Sitting in a stroller. Bright red hair, eyes wide open– a two-year old is transfixed by his mother rehearsing a song for worship.
Two children, curled up in a window in the sanctuary, watching blue-birds (or is it blue-jays?)
In my first month here at SKUUC, these two images are prominent in my mind. In one of my meetings with Diana Dickerson, I found myself talking about the special spark there seems to be in the SKUUC community, particularly in how many of the adults pay such loving attention to the little ones running, bouncing, and prancing around. There is a sense of connection and community that is special. Children are present and apart of the community– you’ll find them in a rehearsal or curled up in a sanctuary window. I know many UU congregations struggle with “the feel” of the relationship between children, youth, and adults. When it comes to our children’s spiritual and moral development, this elusive but palpable sense of warmth, care, and respect between the younger and the older is absolutely essential to teaching our children what Unitarian Universalism is. I want the children to learn that a UU congregation is a truly safe, multigenerational community, where the people of our faith, of all ages and life stages, can come together and be ALL of who they are.
One of the most important legacies of Unitarian Universalism is its approach to education. In many religions, the approach to spiritual development and religious education take the form of indoctrination—instruction in dogma and ritual. In liberal traditions, like ours, our goal is to nurture the unfolding of children’s unique spirituality and to cultivate strong moral character through the relationships and traditions of our religious community. The lessons our community members teach on Sunday morning are just one part of children’s religious education—we are all teachers and we are all learners! May we continue to fan the flames of this special SKUUC spark I have noticed, where care, acceptance, and support is experienced by all—particularly our children!
Director of Family Ministries