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Faith Development in Families

  • Tapestry of Faith
    The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has created the first ever online lifespan curricula for our congregations. Each program includes stories, activities, worship and social action ideas to nurture people of all ages 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.
  • 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. This very accessible and inspiring book shows that religious community is vital to addressing the child’s natural need for spiritual growth and religious grounding. Nieuwejaar points to the crucial role of parents as the primary religious educators of children and explores 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. Full of meaningful, creative ideas for family life, this book guides you through simple steps that help families fully cherish special moments and milestones, help heal wounds of trauma and loss, and strengthen the indomitable spirit of identity within a family.


  • Last Child In the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv. A compelling book about how this generation of children is increasingly disconnected from nature and how this disconnect is harmful to the child and to the environment. It stresses the loss to our children and suggests how parents can engage their children with nature in today’s culture.


  • 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, &quottrophy&quot children, 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.

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Last updated on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

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