Call and Response: Journeys in UU Lifespan Faith Development

Resources for Families...So Faith Can Grow, Part II

By Pat Kahn

“…parents are continually asking how they can better understand and interpret UU values during the week. They feel under pressure to respond to such questions as: What is the Bible? What do UU’s believe about God, or about heaven and hell? Parents want to know how they can make their homes stronger centers for UU values.
—Makanah Morris and David Hicks McPherson, in 
Being a UU Parent

As you know if you read “Part 1,”posted on 4/18/14, there are so many resources to share that we created “Part 2.” Here are more wonderful programs and reading selections to support UU parenting, all available from the online UUA Bookstore:

The Parent Trilogy offers three programs for learning and growing together: Being a UU Parent offers 5 sessions and 17 handouts on theology and real-life child rearing. Parents as Resident Theologians includes 6 sessions and 12 readings to help parents and kids explore together their beliefs about God, prayer and other religious issues. Parents as Social Justice Educators provides 6 sessions on values clarification and how to talk about social issues.

The Gift of Faith by Jean Nieuwejaar celebrates the importance of nurturing our children's spiritual growth. The book calls parents to make clear, strong choices regarding the messages children receive about religion. By sharing her own stories and experiences, Nieuwejaar shows how religious community can help clarify and deepen the faith of parents, who inevitably are children's primary religious educators. She explores ways to foster spiritual awareness in the home, including rituals for marking the events in children's lives as religious occasions. (Discussion Guide online.)

Tending the Flame is a practical, proactive guide to Unitarian Universalist parenting by mother and experienced religious educator Michelle Richards. It offers information about children's developmental stages and suggestions for incorporating spiritual practices into family life, teaching the UU Principles in age-appropriate ways, answering difficult questions on religious matters, and dealing with religious disagreements. (Discussion Guide online.)

Chaos, Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting: An Anthology includes essays from authors Barbara Kingsolver, Rosemary Bray McNatt, Anne LaMott and others. In these reflections on the ways parenting challenges, enriches, and magnifies our spiritual selves, parents will find moments of joyful recognition and compassionate understanding for the unique spiritual adventure of raising children. (Discussion Guide online.)

Nurturing Children and Youth: A Developmental Guidebook by Tracey Hurd outlines typical progressions in physical, cognitive, social, emotional, moral, and spiritual development from infancy through early twenties and includes key characteristics typical at each phase of development. The author provides important suggestions for supporting a child or youth in developmentally appropriate ways, in the context of UU values.

Next Steps!

  • What are some of your favorite parenting resources?
  • Make time to share resources and strategies for your children's spiritual development with a partner or a close friend.
  • Do you have, or could you start, a book group focused on parenting? Consider reading a selection about UU parenting together. The discussion guides (free online) are designed for both individual and group reflection.

About the Author

Pat Kahn

Pat Kahn served as the Professional Development Programs Manager in the Faith Development Office, with responsibilities that include the RE Credentialing Program, the Music Leader Certification Program and the Renaissance Program. She worked for the UUA in November, 2011 until June, 2019 as the...


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parent trilogy book cover

parent trilogy book cover