Aligning our Beliefs, Values and Actions
As Unitarian Universalists we have no creeds that unite us, instead we gather around shared values. When raising children in most religious traditions, they learn the common creeds and beliefs of the faith. Raising Unitarian Universalist children and youth can be a bit trickier – especially when they are asked about their religious beliefs.
One of the reasons our Coming of Age program is so valuable is because it offers our youth the guided opportunity to explore and discern their own religious beliefs and values. As a free faith that promotes reason, freedom and tolerance, UUism leaves it up to individuals to discern their own values and beliefs.
Within our congregation there are folks who identify as Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics, among others. What we agree upon are our Seven UU Principles. These include affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all people, a free search for truth and meaning and the interconnectedness of all life on earth.
I believe there is a strong correlation between our deepest held values and the way we live and act in the world. For our youth, I want them to spend some time really thinking about and searching within to identify what values are most important to them. As they are able to articulate these values I also want them to connect their actions in the world to those values.
If honesty is a core value, what does that look like in daily life? When we fall short of our ideals, how do we come back into alliance with our values? While this is invaluable for youth, it is also a helpful exercise at any age; and a valuable practice to help cultivate more peace, goodness, justice and love in the world.
As we encourage the youth to discern their beliefs about the big questions in life, I also like to be sure they know that unlike many of our core values, our beliefs often change throughout life. As we gain new experiences and perspectives our ideas often evolve.
As UUs we have much freedom to determine our own beliefs and that also comes with much responsibility to approach it with thoughtful intention. May we all live up to the challenge.
Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director
Sleepover Events for Children and Youth
There are so many autumn opportunities to deepen connections and have fun together!
The Elementary Sleepover and Family Potluck is coming up Nov.1st. Register HERE.
Thank you to the many adults who have made so many overnight events possible this fall—
Middle School OWL Sleepover – Ben Jones, Missy Howse-Kurtz, Ann Shepich and Rowan Renstrom-Richards
H.S. OWL Sleepover – Don Miller, Beth Bullmer, Pam Wadsworth and Rebekah Sharp
Coming of Age Retreat – Matt Johnson, Meghan Grabemeyer, Tom Cunningham and Gwen Abney-Cunningham
Mystic Lake Middle School Retreat – Megan Reynolds, Jen Rice and Wendy Murray
Contagious – H.S. Con in Muncie – Jenny Krostue
Contribuution – MS/HS Con – River Artz-Iffland
We couldn’t do what we do without so many committed adults continuously stepping up to help chaperone these events!
Youth Worship Circle and Youth Group
Who: All 9-12th Graders
What: UU Worship, Connections, planning and Fun
When: 2nd Sundays until 1:30
Where: Gather for lunch in room 8 after church
Questions? Contact youth group leader Annie Hampel.