Religious Education – Building Our Future – Cynthia Westby, Dir. Religious Exploration for Children and Youth

Religious Exploration at Westside matters to all of us whether or not we have children.  We are growing lifelong UUs through our RE programming.  Our children – and they are our children – are the future leaders, volunteers, congregants, and members of UU churches.  Perhaps they will remain at Westside when they reach adulthood.  Perhaps they will land in some other congregation.  Wherever they go they will have been nourished by our Unitarian Universalist sources and principles.

Our children and youth are learning from the curriculum, from each other, from the teachers, and from the many intangibles (love, concern, attention, interest, and more) that are inherent in these relationships.  We teach them to appreciate how each of our different experiences, understandings, and perceptions affects our sense of the world, ourselves,REl and mystery.

We support RE as a priority mission of Westside.  Belonging in a beloved community, our children’s sense of family grows to include all of us.  A spiritual education is something very different from what they are learning in school.  It teaches children to wonder about themselves, the world, and mystery; to discover and discern their personal faith; and to realize that their faith may change as they mature, grow, and learn.

Faith guides us as we make decisions and live our lives.  We encourage and support the process of ‘seeking’ in our children with the message that caring about and acting on behalf of what matters to them is the heart of being UU.  We want each child to know they can make a difference in the world, whatever their path.

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