…if religion is ultimately about what we love, then “faith” is not so much about what we think is true (or hope is true, despite lack of evidence), but about being faithful to what we love.— Peter Morales, President, Unitarian Universalist Association (2009 - )
Rev. Morales asks us to think about religion as the practice of being faithful to what you love. In order to do this, you must decide what you love and do your best to live that love faithfully every day. Signs of Our Faith guides children to do their best to live faithful lives every day. It presents fourteen traits or values that most Unitarian Universalist love, including the quest for knowledge, reverence for life, supporting one another on our faith journeys, and public witness. Children examine how their lives do and can exhibit these traits and values, and come to understand that their faith is a living faith whose histories and teachings are fortifications for living faithfully in a complex world.
Signs of Our Faith engages children to explore ritual practices of our faith that remind us of these traits and values. Some of the rituals are enacted in the congregation. Some we conduct alone, or in our interactions with family, friends, and peers; others are offered to the wider world. This program helps children understand the abstract concept of a ritual by naming rituals as signs of our faith. Rituals are defined broadly, so that naming and dedicating a baby is a ritual, but so too is befriending a new child at school. Through the concept of "ritual," children discover evidence of their faith in everyday actions and are encouraged to ritualize or form into habit such traits as caring, welcoming, and making fair group decisions.
Signs of Our Faith asks young people to see themselves as leaders of their faith. They build experience performing and, at times, creating rituals to share in their families as well as the congregation, and are thereby positioned as co-creators of the faith. Leadership in Action, alternate activities included in every session, invite children to lead the flower ceremony, host an appreciation event for congregational leaders, and write meditations and prayers for congregational use. By sharing their leadership with a wider group, children deepen their connection to our faith and see themselves as needed leaders in the congregation, other UU communities, and the world beyond.
Your leadership of this program is truly a sign of great faith. It is a sign of lived faith. Your leadership will be an example to the participants that will outlive any particular activity. May this program help you nurture the next generation of UU leaders.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
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