We are glad that you are interested in our Religious Education program for children and youth at UUCV! Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you and your family in any way.
Director of Lifelong Learning
Program Goals and Philosophy:
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that the central religious act is to freely choose what to think and believe, and that this is best done in a loving community. The Religious Education Program at UUCV is designed to give children and youth the tools and education they need to make their choices, make spiritual connections, build a community, and enrich our world. We seek to create a safe and loving community that appreciates diversity and is a place to have deep conversations in a culture of open hearts and minds.
Our program is organized around three goals:
- Have an understanding of what it is to be a Unitarian Universalist, with the values expressed in the 7 Principles, 6 sources, UU History, and Identity
- Acquire Religious Literacy about the world's religions.
- Develop the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to live in a loving community, including: responsibility, decision-making
UUCV's Vision for Youth Ministry:
Youth have been at the forefront of our Unitarian Universalist story since before it was a Unitarian Universalist Story — the national youth groups of the Unitarians and the Universalists merged before the two denominations officially joined together in 1961. We frequently refer to this as a living tradition, meaning it is not fixed and bound by creed or stuck in the past, but is instead open to continuing revelation and evolution. Our youth are poised to be a renewing force that pushes us to evolve and continue to be a living tradition.
Unitarian Universalist youth ministry has focused on promoting freedom, autonomy, and individual self-expression for the generations of youth we have served. These values are still dear to the hearts of many UU's, and are absolutely a part of any UU youth ministry program.
Recently, however, many have come to see that today's youth have different needs. Autonomy, self-expression, leadership development, even service work — these have all become fairly normal aspects of adolescence and high school. What youth ministry volunteers and professionals are hearing from youth now is a longing for affinity, for a place to just be without pressure to perform or achieve, and for a safe space for discernment and quiet contemplation of the challenges of life.
We have a vision for our ministry to youth: that it bring youth closer to the adults of our congregation rather than separating them into age segregated silos; that it act as a calm center of relationship and caring when life seems frantic; that it guide youth going as deep into their spiritual and faith explorations as they want to go; that it give youth roots and wings — a tradition and a vision of possible futures.