Multi-Age Community Service
Multi-Age Community Service
Families & Faith Development, Multigenerational Faith Development

Multi-age community service is an emerging model for UU family ministry. The trick with community service is to not just serve the community: is to link the service explicitly with our UU values and to offer intentional opportunities for spiritual growth. 

Making Community Service Be Faith Development

  • Three phases must be included: Preparation, the service itself, and then reflection. Reflection is the essential component that makes service a faith development experience.

  • Invite participants to build connections between what they’re experiencing and doing with their UU identity and values. For young children, this will be more concrete. For older children and adults, this can be more abstract. Include questions for discussion that appeal to both concrete and abstract thinkers.

Resources for Guidance and Ideas

  • Susan Dana Lawrence's book, Creating Justice Together: Service Projects for Families and Multigenerational Groups (UUA 2014), curates activities from Tapestry of Faith, some of which are designed for service at home and others designed for service in the community.

  • Tapestry of Faith. This multi-age multi-curriculum series includes dozens of "Faith in Action" activities that can be adapted for use in family ministry. The book above (Creating Justice Together) includes only some of what’s there.

  • Your own congregation and community connections.

Considerations for Community Service with Children

  • Many community service organizations and sites in the community have minimum age requirements. It is possible, and is still good ministry, to offer service projects for families whose children meet the minimum age requirement of the site. Every project does not need to include every age.

  • Community service can be a cross-cultural experience. Projects can help inspire or reinforce multicultural anti-oppressive learning in the congregation. Creating Justice Together includes some guidance for bringing an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural lens to service work.

For more information contact pwr@uua.org.

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