What is Faith Development?
The following statement from the Unitarian Universalist web site informs faith development at UU Santa Fe:
“Exploring religious truth, meaning and experience is central to Unitarian Universalist faith, and faith development is central to our liberal religion. In communities and as individuals we seek lives of meaning anchored by values and a commitment to promote principles of justice, love, trust, safety, tolerance and encouragement. We want to deepen in spirit and nurture our souls; we strive to contribute to and shape the wider world for the greater good. We recognize that we are part of an interdependent web of life.”
Nurturing UU Faith at UU Santa Fe is designed with our mission statement at its heart.
Our Mission: We nurture hearts and minds, practice beloved community and work for justice.
Faith Explorations for Seekers of All Ages
Faith exporation encourages religious understanding and personal spiritual growth through a variety of classes, workshops, events and opportunities for discussions. Classes and workshops are scheduled throughout the year. They are staffed by trained volunteers, staff, and invitees. To register for Adult Explorations classes you may sign up on designated sheets in the foyer at the church, contact the class facilitator, or on the website.
We also offer Small Group Ministry programs for adults. These programs are designed to develop deeper relationships among fellow UU Santa Fe members. They are small facilitated groups of people who meet on a regular basis, once or twice a month, to have productive conversations about a variety of topics. The purpose is to develop nourishing relationships that foster growth, learning and spirituality. These groups provide a safe place to explore core values as well as meaningful topics.
Junior and senior high youth groups have a varying curriculum. In addition to Sunday morning classes we offer a Coming of Age program and Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.), a sexuality education program. State and District youth conferences and evening socials are another vital part of our youth program. Our teens and their parents are served by volunteer leaders and the Director of Religious Education.
All classes and activities for children from nursery through grade six are cooperative ventures. Our children are taught with great care and compassion by a volunteer staff. We have a strong commitment to families and to the health and safety of our children. Each year’s curriculum includes Unitarian Universalist history and identity, social justice, and world religions.
All are welcome here.
In the spirit of the Unitarian Universalist principles, we wish to provide a welcoming environment to every adult, youth and child in our congregation and throughout our UU faith development program. We openly affirm both traditional and non-traditional family structures in all of their variety. We strive to incorporate curriculum resources and class offerings which emphasize our commitment to diversity and which strengthen us all to stand against prejudice in its many forms. Community building and social justice are an integral part of programs for all ages.
Cooperative Religious Education Frequently Asked Questions
•When are services/ classes?
Worship services are at 8:30 and 10:30. Nursery and classes meet concurrently with the 10:30 service.
•What should children wear?
We encourage comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor play and/or art activities and outer wear according to the season.
•Do you serve food?
Snacks are not served regularly in most classes, though preparation and eating of foods may be included as part of a morning’s lesson. We ask that food and other allergies be clearly noted on guest and registration forms.
•Are my children in church with me?
Children attend the beginning of weekly services with parents and go to their classes following a “time for all ages.” Children are always welcome to remain with their family in the service. Throughout the year multi-generational services are planned that are appropriate for all ages.
•Can my baby stay with me in the service?
Yes! However, a staffed nursery is available at the 10:30 service for care of young ones when parents and children are ready to separate. The nursery provides a quiet place for breast feeding and diapering and we encourage parents to stay with their children if desired.
•Do I need to volunteer?
We are a cooperative program and depend on all families to volunteer in some aspect, whether on Sunday morning or at other times. We understand that each family has different schedules and needs and their abilities to volunteer may vary from one year to the next. Our safety policies specify the need for two adults in every classroom so parent/guardian assistance in Sunday classes is to be expected on a rotating basis.
•How much does registration cost me?
There is no charge for Sunday classes though donations may occasionally be requested for special projects or field trips. Our progam does depend on the contributions of members and friends for opperational funding. We welcome your financial contributions to the extent you are able. Special programs such as Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives sexuality education classes require a special fee.
•Do I have to be a congregational member to enroll my child in faith development classes?
There is no membership requirement for families to participate in our program. However, parents/guardians are still needed as volunteers throughout the cooperative program and we hope that as families become connected to the congregation they will want to make a financial pledge to help support the program.