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First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany

Welcome! Youth and Children

Welcome to our program of Religious Exploration. Many Unitarian Universalists come to the religion as parents who feel a need for a religious community in which to experience a time and place that is different from the activities of the neighborhood and school. If you are seeking a community where you can explore your beliefs, put your beliefs in action and enjoy the fellowship of others seeking to do the same, I invite you to join us as we celebrate our living tradition.

Our UU tradition requires all of us, even children, to be seekers of truth and meaning as we understand it. In our program, the children and youth learn that there are many sources to use to develop their beliefs. The curriculum includes studies of the major world religions as well as Humanism and earth based traditions; teaching the value and need to engage in social justice; and ways to understand personal experiences as sources and tools for faith development. Our Sunday school program, in age appropriate ways, encourages children and youth to question as part of their learning. The adults are the guides and fellow travelers on this journey with the young people. The teachers frame the explorations with UU values, and each person’s responses are honored and valued as a resource for all. I’d like to support you and your family along your path. Feel free to call on me.

In faith,

A Message to Visitors:

The parents and other adults of the congregation who volunteer to teach are responsible and committed mentors and spiritual companions of the children and youth as they undertake their religious journeys in life. We invite you to join us as we share how we practice our living tradition.

A Message to the Children and Youth:

You are special and important to all of us at FUUSA. This is your congregation. The teachers, other adults, and I as Director of Religious Education, hope to get to know you and we hope that you will get to know us. Each week we will talk, listen, tell stories, ask questions, learn and have fun together. You have responsibilities here; for example, we want you to treat others fairly and kindly. And we will help to do that. But you also have a say here, so please talk to your teachers or me about how things are going. We want this to be a happy place, where you feel at home.

A Message to the Congregation:

The Religious Education Council and I thank you for supporting our program. We count on members of the congregation to volunteer to teach and be mentors. I encourage you to also reach out to our children and youth by participating in intergenerational activities. Real learning and development happens when adults share who they are more than what they know. When adults use this perspective in their interactions, not only do the young ones learn and grow, but making connections with children and youth becomes a transformative experience for the adults as well. Obviously, the aim of our Religious Education program is not to transmit facts; we aim to transmit values. Values are transmitted, not by what we say, but by what we are. So we, as a congregation, transmit our Unitarian Universalist values to our children and youth by all of our acts of exploration, worship, social action, and fellowship.

A Message to the Parents:

No matter how worthwhile our program is, what goes on during the short time your child spends in Sunday School can be effective only if it forms part of a pattern that continues at home. The things our children and youth hear us say and see us do every day determine their total attitude toward life and spiritual development. Our children and youth are best served when we adults are clear about our own values and realize them as best we can. This is not easy for us to do. However, our vital and nurturing community at FUUSA can support all of us in our attempt to live our lives according to our principles by working, learning and having fun with others who are seeking to lead dedicated lives as well.

Religious Education – Children and Youth Links