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Families (Faithful Journeys)

Families are the primary influences on the faith development of their children. As a program leader, you take on a special role: supporting parents to shape their children's Unitarian Universalist faith and moral development. By involving parents in the Faithful Journeys program, you can deepen the experience for children and their families, preparing and encouraging them to act in the world in a way that reflects the Unitarian Universalist Principles.

Each session offers Taking It Home resources, including conversation topics and other ways for families to extend the session. These may include a family game or ritual, or links to informative and/or interactive websites. Exploring session topics further at home can help children and parents to practice the skills; personalize the concepts; and make connections among congregational life, home and family life, and life's daily challenges. These experiences deepen families' experience of Unitarian Universalism.

Adapt each session's Taking It Home section to reflect the activities the group will have engaged in and, if you like, to help families prepare for sessions yet to come. If you have an email address for each family, you may wish to provide Taking It Home as a group email, either before or immediately after the session. You can also print, photocopy, and distribute Taking It Home at the session's closing.

Invite families into your sessions. Adult or teen volunteers can be extremely helpful when you implement arts-and-crafts activities. Parents who bring musicianship, storytelling or artistic skills into your sessions will help foster participants' sense of connection between their family and their religious education experience. Beginning with Session 2, Faith in Action activities for each session offer ideal opportunities to engage parents and other congregants. Find out who can enrich your long-term Faith in Action activities with their personal interests or professional networks, or simply their time.

The leader-parent relationship is very important and must be both welcoming and reassuring. When parents bring their children to Unitarian Universalist religious education, they need to feel confidence not only in the safety and enjoyment you will provide, but also in your faith leadership. Strong partnerships foster parents' commitment to becoming strong faith leaders in their own families. As a leader, you can support and inspire parents to bring intentionality and excitement to their role in their children's faith development.

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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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