We nurture and empower our children and youth to explore and discover their power, compassion, and hope in the unfolding of their lives. – UUSMC Values Beliefs and Mission [DNA]
Thirty years ago, this church emerged with the core idea that it was to be a “full-service” church. I have understood this to mean that our founding members envisioned a community where we served one another with open hearts, no matter who we were and from where we came. I have also understood this vision to mean that we include the youngest of our community as people to whom we offer our most profound gifts of time and attention. So intrinsic is the idea that our children and youth are core to the vision of this church, much of the conversation as we developed our DNA (Values, Beliefs, and Mission) centered on ensuring our programs and vision not only included the children and youth but focused on them.
The children and youth of today, of 2019, live in an incredible time of digital interconnectedness, of information, of rapid and often confusing change. They are exposed to a host of diverse voices vying for their attention. Perhaps what they (we) need most is a way of grounding their (our) lives and experiences in a place of exploration and self-discovery; a way of compassion and hope; from a place that invites them (us) to awaken to love. An awakened life is one that can navigate the pace of information, change, and voices with a clear sense of purpose, grounded in values and possibility. This is how I see our programs of Religious Exploration — empowering our children, youth, and ourselves to explore their selves, their belonging, their power to make a difference, and their leadership as they awaken to love.
We are at an inflection point in the life of this church. If we are to remain true to our founding vision, and our core values, beliefs and mission, we all must find a way to affirm and support our children (and they are all our children) and our program of Religious Exploration.
So, we are inviting you to offer a gift of your time, your talent, your wisdom, your curiosity, your courage, your love to our program this year.
There are many ways to help. Teaching and assisting in the classroom is, of course, critical. (See below for descriptions of the classes.) Our goal is to have enough teachers and assistants such that each would only be in the classroom one Sunday per month. We offer ongoing training and support for the teachers and assistants to empower you to be successful. And, there are other ways of helping the program inside and out of the classroom. See notes below on those options, if teaching or assisting is not possible for you.
The possibility of this church, the pursuit of our mission, the actualization of our values becomes real in this world, and in our lives when we take a clear action of love and support of our children and youth. Please let us know you are ‘in!’