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The Program (A Place of Wholeness)

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time. — T.S. Eliot

Unitarian Universalists of all ages are inheritors of a theological history, as well as co-creators of the future of our living tradition. A Place of Wholeness is designed to help youth develop a holistic understanding of their Unitarian Universalist faith and community, articulate what this means to them, and feel confident in living their faith with integrity.

For many youth, especially those raised in Unitarian Universalist communities, the principles, values, and theologies of Unitarian Universalism are in their bones. A Place of Wholeness is an opportunity to examine their faith journeys to better understand themselves in the context of Unitarian Universalism. Every workshop begins with the same opening reading, the last lines of which are: "We are part of this living tradition. Through it we become whole, and through us it becomes whole." It is this sense of interdependence that the program reinforces.

There are several overarching themes that structure this program. Wholeness—the primary theme of the program—is defined as the way in which our Unitarian Universalist "outsides" match our Unitarian Universalist "insides" by understanding, professing, and living our faith. Wholeness is also important in the sense that each person is integral to the wholeness of the Unitarian Universalist community. Related to the path to wholeness is the faith journey, which is an ongoing exploration much like T.S. Eliot describes in the above quote. Participants explore their spiritual journeys thus far and by applying the metaphor of migration—of birds, and of people—to their lives.

Each workshop explores a different theme of our faith by introducing its roots in Unitarian Universalism, then helping participants give it "wings" by making it their own. James Luther Adams' Five Smooth Stones of Religious Liberalism ground these themes in each workshop.

The work of Earl Morse Wilbur and other historians are reflected in six core values of Unitarianism and Universalism explored in this program. These core values include faith, love, hope, reason, freedom, and tolerance.

A Place of Wholeness begins with our Unitarian Universalist communities and the experiences and stories of the youth participants. At "the end of all [their] exploring," participants will "arrive where [they] started and know the place for the first time," understanding both their Unitarian Universalist community and the story of their faith journey. They will see themselves as an integral part of our living tradition.

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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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