Life becomes religious whenever we make it so: when some new light is seen, when some deeper appreciation is felt, when some larger outlook is gained, when some nobler purpose is formed, when some task is well done. —Sophia Lyon Fahs
IN TODAY'S SESSION... The children learned about Unitarian religious educator Sophia Lyon Fahs, who lived out our third Principle, acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth, and left Unitarian Universalist religious education the legacy of her approach. Fahs encouraged children to ask, to explore, and to develop spiritually through their own experiences of awe and wonder. In the spirit of Fahs, this session reached out to children's different interests, skills, and learning styles with a variety of spiritual practices. We sang the song "Sing and Rejoice," drew our ideas of mystery and wonder while listening to music, and created miniature Zen gardens. Our signpost to guide us in faithful action was "Keep Learning."
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... the concept of spiritual growth. Ask your child, "What does 'spiritual' mean? What are some things that you personally do to attend to your own spiritual growth? How can you tell if a person is spiritually mature?" Listen to your child's answers, and share your own answers to the same questions.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... For a week, be alert to ways you might help your child identify and take advantage of the ways they learn best. Is it easier to memorize spelling words while moving around? Does it help you to set grammar rules to a tune? Are math concepts easier to grasp with beans or kernels of popcorn to manipulate?
FAMILY ADVENTURE. Sophia Fahs believed in the power of nature and science to inspire awe and wonder in children. Go on a family outing to an astronomy observatory, a nature preserve, an aquarium, or a natural history museum, looking out for things that make you think, "Wow, that's amazing!"
A FAMILY RITUAL. Affirm learning something every day with a ritual time, at dinner or before bed, for each family member to share something they learned. Identify and elevate spiritual along with intellectual or physical growth, sharing items such as "Today I remembered how important it is to really listen," or "Today I was able to practice being calm instead of losing my temper."
FAMILY DISCOVERY. The Families section in UU World, Unitarian Universalism's quarterly print publication, has stories and activities that can help your family share spiritual growth. Read and download PDF files here of the current and previous Families sections since Fall 2009.