Call and Response: Journeys in UU Lifespan Faith Development

For a Child's UU Identity: Love and Help

By Gail Forsyth-Vail

Love and Help Activity Book Second Edition

By Gail Forsyth-Vail

From inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop

A Program in Unitarian Universalist Identity for 7-11 year olds. Suitable for use in the UUA Cub Scout and Webelos Religious Emblem Program.

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What promises are made in my family about how we treat one another? How am I like my friends and how I am I different? What are some Unitarian Universalist things I know by heart? The second edition of Love and Help, a UU identity activity book and program for 7- to 11-year-olds, asks these questions and much more!

A dual purpose resource, Love and Help leads to a religious recognition emblem for UU Cub Scouts and Webelos and helps UU families and small religious education programs to shape a UU identity in children of the same age group. Love and Help will be useful in congregations with tiny religious education programs organized by parent volunteers.

White boy about eight years old showing confident excitement and wearing a plaid shirt

The UUA published the first edition of Love and Help in 1984, a year before the adoption of the UU Principles and Sources. It served as both a Cub Scout resource and to offer a children’s UU identity program for congregations and families. There have been many changes since that time in the ways we communicate with children and in the way we talk about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist (including the Principles!). This new edition provides new illustrations, stories, activities, and thought-provoking questions to help children learn more about their UU faith.

The first section of Love and Help invites a child to look at what shapes them and the circles of caring that surround them: family, friends, and congregation. Children think not only about what a group, family, scout pack, or faith community offers, but also what they offer in return. Children might use these activities to get to know themselves and each other; you can also involve families.

The second section focuses on Unitarian Universalism. A brief story for each Principle comes with a reflection question and an activity. Children are asked to explore, think, and express, often involving adults in their lives in the “expressing.” They look at our Sources and the story of the flaming chalice and learn about their own congregation. These pages could be used sequentially as an RE curriculum, or from time to time over the course of a year. An individual child (such as a Cub Scout orWebelos) can work on the section, or a small group could work together. The frequent invitation to consult with trusted adults (under the watchful eye of the parent or the RE leader) can lead to fun interactions and pull people into working or talking with children who might not otherwise have been involved.

Do take a look at Love and Help! We are eager to hear how you use it in your context.

Next Steps!

Love and Help is available for purchase at inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop.

Visit the UUA's Religious Recognitions for Unitarian Universalist Scouts page. If your congregations hosts or sponsors a scouting group, put yourself on our map!

Find the Unitarian Universalist Principles in language suitable for children and links to more UU identity resources on the UUA website.

Read the March 24, 2016article, “UUA renews relationship with Boy Scouts of America,” inUU World.

About the Author

Gail Forsyth-Vail

Gail Forsyth-Vail, a credentialed religious educator, master level, is the author or developmental editor of several UU history curricula and resources. Before retiring, she served as interim director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Lifespan Faith Engagement Office.


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