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Call and Response: Journeys in UU Lifespan Faith Development
Call and Response
Faith Development

Voices of our faith, for the journey we make together in spirit, justice, and love. Please read, respond, and share!

  • The Joys (Not!) of Nature

    “So, what are we supposed to do?” My 13-year-old daughter mumbles the question. It’s a fresh, almost-summer day and we’re parked at the entrance to Den Rock Park, car doors flung open as we wait for the others. She and her friend slump in the back seat of my car, noodling on...
    By Susan Lawrence | 6/3/2014
  • Resources for Families...So Faith Can Grow, Part II

  • Using the Internet to Create (Virtual) Community

    I love to play Sims. In Sims 3, you sometimes find an Unknown Seed. If you have enough gardening skills, your Sims can plant the seed and see what grows. It might be a money tree! In real life, we also plant seeds without knowing what they will ultimately become. In 2012, I...
    By Jessica York | 5/16/2014
  • Noah: A Sticky Story

    Storytellers make choices all the time. We choose which parts of a story to lift up and which to downplay or omit; which characters to develop, and how; and which dilemmas to emphasize. This is especially true when it comes to stories from the Bible. It was so with the great...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 5/6/2014
  • Where Are We Now... in UU History?

    I am taking a UU history class with the Starr King School for the Ministry. But to you, my colleagues and friends, I’ll admit a secret: I’ve never been fond of history. In high school, history seemed to be a long list of dates and monarchs and wars. Classes improved in college...
    By Jessica York | 4/28/2014
  • Resources for Families: Enriching the Ground So Faith Can Grow

    The family is a huge factor in a child's faith development. Reverend Makanah Morris has likened family life to a ground in which seeds of a child's faith are planted. She writes, "The seeds are planted in the early environment, but the ground can also be prepared for spreading...
    By Pat Kahn | 4/18/2014
  • Preventable Suffering: A UU with Autism Confronts "Coffee Hour"

    Ramon Selove and his wife, Shellie Selove, are Our Whole Lives sexuality education facilitator trainers. They are members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley (VA). by Ramon Selove Meeting people, touching people, and general noise levels during and...
  • Spring and Rejoice!

    An 18-inch blanket of snow surrounds my house and it is far too early to put the winter clothes into storage. Yet, the birds are singing every morning, the days are longer, and grocery store conversation has turned to spring. Springtime...a time of delight for the human spirit!...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 3/30/2014
  • Of Lions and Lambs

    We know that the Universe's one constant is change. Systems are full of chaos. We've seen that in our weather systems this month, when March came in like a lion. Northern parts of our country are preparing for another big snow storm. Here in the South the beginning of March...
    By Jessica York | 3/20/2014
  • From This House to the World

    by Sandy Weir “From this House” is a joyous, South African-style song by composer Ben Allaway . It evokes the image of people walking out into the world after finding power and a sense of purpose at their house of peace, their community space to celebrate, learn, and work out...
  • Camp Matters! Growing UUs through Intentional Community

    I first experienced a UU camp retreat when I was still in high school. At Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine, I found a community trying to live according to its highest values in a place apart from an outside world which often felt so violent, unjust, and broken. For me, Ferry Beach...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 3/4/2014
  • How Prepared Is Your Library to Help You Learn about Islam?

    Last fall, as the Faith Development Office was preparing discussion guides for Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer by Sarah Conover (UUA/Skinner House, 2013), we learned from Mary Benard, Editorial Director of our Publications Office, that Muhammad had been reviewed by...
    By Pat Kahn | 2/22/2014
  • 30 Powerful, Family-Friendly Ways to Love

    Many parents and educators would say “love” is the most important value to demonstrate and to teach the children in our care. Some of us might say "justice." The annual 30 Days of Love campaign from Standing on the Side of Love , which closes next week, offers reflections and...
    By Susan Lawrence | 2/12/2014
  • Identity Formation, Faith Formation: Educating UU Youth

    The Indian philosopher, Chanakya (350-283 BCE), said, “Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.” As the Faith Development Director at the UUA, I often ask myself, “What sort of education is available for...
    By Jessica York | 2/5/2014
  • More than Groundhog Day: Wisdom in the Belly of Winter

    February 2, Groundhog Day, presents a small, persistent cultural marker of a spiritual observance hundreds of years old. The Christian Candlemas is the day candles are blessed for use in the year ahead, in remembrance of the day the infant Jesus was said to have been presented...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 2/2/2014
  • Dancing with Mandela

    In 1990, the year of Nelson Mandela's release from Robben Island, I was a great enthusiast of world music. Specifically, the sounds of southern Africa captivated me, the rhythms of that particular, different drummer. I could not get enough of the jazz group Sakhile; the...
    By Susan Lawrence | 1/19/2014
  • Beginning at the End of the Last Ice Age

    About five years ago, I began a sabbatical with a compelling charge from the congregation I served: “Go and find stories and bring them back to us!” I took that charge seriously. I traveled by car the length of the Mississippi River and around Lakes Huron and Superior. I wanted...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 1/7/2014
  • One UUA Common Read, Many Strong Contenders

    Members of the UUA Common Read selection committee read a lot of fabulous books to prepare for our mid-summer selection meeting. While we ultimately came to consensus on the 2013-14 selection, Behind the Kitchen Door , you might consider this year's other, wonderful nominees for...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 12/28/2013
  • Let the "Gratitude" Season Last All Year

    Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday. Not all family gatherings are harmonious. There might be pressure to prepare “the perfect meal” just like a parent used to make. Then there is that business with Europeans spreading their empire and claiming new lands—even though those...
    By Jessica York | 12/16/2013
  • UUs and the Battle for Christmas

    Many of us like to point out our UU connections with well-loved Christmas music and rituals. Charles Follen introduced the first Christmas tree in the United States. Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women sacrifice their own Christmas presents for impoverished neighbor children....
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 12/3/2013


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