Since moving to Central Maine, I have been mourning the loss of vibrant RE programs offered to my young child in our former home congregations in Massachusetts and California.
Anyone who knows us knows that anything resembling formal RE occurs here in our home. There is no real UU congregation nearby; there are no UU families with young children who live nearby. So we end up hosting all manner of faith-based offerings here at Twinkle’s Place.
The congregation we attend most regularly on Sundays is an hour drive and often he is the only child – or one of less than a handful who sometimes attend. There are wonderful adults there who will take time to “watch” and “be” with our children should they wish to leave the service and “go downstairs.” Yet there is not continuity in RE curriculum being offered to our youth of any age. I have been sad about that. For both of us.
I love the idea of “it takes a village” to raise a child.
And am grateful when that village appears.
We were both so very grateful to have him be “adopted” by the Ellsworth congregation – an hour an a half from here – to be included in their overnight Youth Retreat!!! Such amazing fellowship for him with his peers.
While I do feel it is important to inculcate our children with UU principles taught in formal RE settings.Kimberly Sweeney’s words in the article attached below do help shift my perspective towards being aware of the deep benefits of having him be present during the adult services and other multi-generational activities.
In my secular life it was easy to see that having him attend all manner of work projects, board meetings and other adult-oriented social activities have served to instill in him a sense of comfort in social settings.
And when I pause to consider Kimberly’s article, I realize that the same holds true for how he is rooted in our Faith, both as a result of FABULOUS RE Leaders and UU mentors,
because of his being immersed in the adult-oriented aspects of our faith, including attending and participating in services, committee meetings, planning sessions and social justice work. He truly is the epitome of Growing UU!
And his immersion in our UU Faith combined with his outgoing nature and his Trust in our UU Family has opened up doors for him to Shine in ways he loves:
And his being able to spend time with, and get to know in ways not many children his age have access to, some of the most amazing leaders we have in our UU Faith!
Talk about UU Youth Faith Formation:
And, for me as sole parent to this amazing being, it is good to pause and know that the Journey we are on together, in life and in Faith, is worthwhile.
The skills he learns will serve him his whole life.
And we can both rest easier because of it.