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We Discover Faith Together, in Our Families

Intentional, structured religious education is one way to grow in faith, at any age. And we recognize that faith development happens outside of our faith communities, too--especially at home. We know that parents are their children's primary religious educators, not only through instruction they give, but also by the choices they make and the modeling of an attitude toward faith, meaning, and purpose that their lives offer children every day.

We support one another to discover and rediscover a seeking, active faith in the context of our family lives.

  • Tapestry of Faith 
    By creating the first, ever online lifespan curricula for our congregations, the UUA has ensured that seekers as well as members can engage in faith study at home. Each program includes stories, activities, worship, and social action ideas to nurture people of all ages in ethics, spirit, and faith. Parents can go online and read the Tapestry of Faith curriculum their children experience in religious education programs. Every session features Taking It Home and Find Out More sections to help you extend the session topics.
  • Family Pages in 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, edited by Susan Lawrence, 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.
  • Supporting Children in the Face of Disaster or Trauma
    This resource by Tracey L. Hurd, Ph.D., gives families and congregations a process of worship and activity to support children in the face of a national disaster and offers families an opportunity to draw strength from our faith in times of tragedy. Designed for multigenerational groups in the home or congregation.
  • LGBT Welcome & Equality
    This page offers resource books and videos about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues.
  • Addictions Ministry
    Addiction is a disease that in families is often characterized by silence, denial, and stigma. As UUs, we know that compassionate, nonjudgmental communication is at the heart of healing and prevention. Our families are where we learn to be open, honest, and discerning about when and how to ask for help, and the UU Addictions Ministry has resources for families.

Faith and Family

  • The Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children, by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar, demonstrates that religious community is vital to addressing a child’s natural need for spiritual growth and religious grounding. Nieuwejaar explores the crucial role of parents as the primary religious educators of children and recommends ways to foster spiritual awareness in the home.
  • The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday, by Meg Cox, offers meaningful, creative ideas for family life. This book guides you through simple steps that help families fully cherish special moments and milestones, heal wounds of trauma and loss, and strengthen the spirit of identity within a family.
  • The UUA Bookstore offers many books as well as merchandise for exploration and expression of Unitarian Universalist faith at home. For example, consider the useful book of songs, prayers and more for home use, Sunday and Every Day, or the popular Seven Principles Activity Booklets.

Nature

  • Last Child In the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv, is a compelling book about how children today are increasingly disconnected from nature and how this disconnect harms both the child and our environment. Louv suggests how parents can engage their children with nature.

Adoption

  • The Family of Adoption, by Joyce Maguire Pavao. A pioneering therapist shows, through stories of her work with children and families, that there are normal, predictable developmental stages and challenges for adopted people. She makes a timely, powerful argument for the right kind of openness within adoptive families. This is a vital book for adoptive parents and all who work with children.
  • Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption, by Barbara Katz Rothman. Weaving together the sociological, the historical, and the personal, Rothman looks at the contemporary American family through the lens of race, race through the lens of adoption, and all—family, race, and adoption—in the context of the changing meanings of motherhood. She asks urgent and provocative questions about children as commodities or "trophies," the impact of genetics, and how adopted children will find their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities.
  • And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. The Central Park Zoo is home to all kinds of animal families. But Tango the penguin's family is a bit different—she has two fathers. This true story shows the meaning of family.

Dealing with Death

  • Talking about Death: A Dialogue between Parent and Child, by Earl A Grollman. A compassionate guide for adults and children to read together, featuring a read-along story. It answers children’s questions about death and provides a list of resources and organizations that can help.
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst. This classic book for school-age children tells how a little boy copes and finds meaning when his cat dies.
  • About Death: A Unitarian Universalist Book for Kids. About Death presents a gentle, yet unsentimental, story about how a family deals with the death of their beloved dog. The story is followed by a series of questions a child might pose about death and its aftermath, particularly the rituals and cultural customs that accompany the death of a person. The answers to these questions, like the story that proceeds them, are frank and respectful of the child's curiosity. At the same time, both the story and the questions are illustrated by lovely watercolors that say, without words, yes, death makes us sad. A short poem that follows reminds us that death is a part of life. Ages 5 and up.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.