Raising Children: A Small Group Ministry Session Plan

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Opening Words

'That Passeth All Understanding'

An awe so quiet
I don't know when it began.

A gratitude
had begun
to sing in me.

Was there
some moment
song from no song?

When does dewfall begin?

When does night
fold its arms over our hearts
to cherish them?

When is daybreak?

—Denise Levertov, Oblique Prayers


Focus/Topic: Reproductive Justice: Raising Children

As members of a religious tradition with a long and substantive history working for reproductive rights and a firm commitment to anti-racism, multiculturalism, and social justice, Unitarian Universalists are called to widen the current socio-political debate on “reproductive rights” to one on “reproductive justice.”

Within the framework of reproductive justice, the Unitarian Universalist Association works against the cultural, political, economic, and structural constraints that limit women's access to health care and full reproductive choice. Reproductive justice, a concept put forth by coalitions of women of color, promotes the right of all women to have children, not to have children, and to raise their children in safe and healthy environments. It does not isolate or pit important social issues against each other, rather it works to promote these rights across many areas, including comprehensive sex education, economic justice, ending violence against women, LGBTQ equality, and racial justice.

1. From your experience, describe the social, political, economic, and spiritual conditions in which you raised/would like to raise/believe are important to raising healthy children.

2. How does/can the religious community and government create and sustain those healthy conditions?

3. How can we support a woman when the desired conditions are not in place? How can we support her sense of worth and dignity when things are less than ideal?

Likes & Wishes

Closing Words

Seek for the spirit of life that is within you;
that you might know more fully its power and strength.
Seek for the spirit of life that surrounds you;
that you might know more fully its connection to you.
Seek for the spirit of life that is within others;
that you might enter more fully into the community
that embraces us, this day and every day.

—Elizabeth M. Strong