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Lifespan Faith Development | UU Fellowship of Gainesville

The vision statement of our Fellowship reads, "We are a diverse religious community committed to lifelong spiritual growth and compassionate service to each other, our community, and the earth."

"Lifelong spiritual growth" takes many forms in our community. We find spiritual growth in the worship services we attend. We grow in the relationships we build through programs such as our Circles of Life program. We grow in commitment and community when we work together on social service projects. And, of course, our Religious Education Program exists specifically to nurture our spirits, our bodies, and our minds. For some, the words "Religious Education" may have a sterile and austere ring to them, evoking images of indoctrination sessions where dogma is drilled into one's head until we learn the "one true way" of the church. This image could not be farther from the reality of our program of faith development here at UUFG.

Our Religious Education programs encourage participants to recognize their potential to learn at all stages in life. The Religious Educationprograms for children, youth, and adults provide means to grow and mature in body, soul, and spirit.

Educational Philosophy

The Unitarian Universalist educational philosophy is not to impose doctrines upon either our children or each other. Our way is to give ourselves a place where everyone can safely and honestly create a personal faith — one that grows from reason, experience, and love.

Read more about the UU philosophy of religious education and the curricula that is available to UUFG from our parent organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA).

  • Children Religious Education

    The Religious Education program at UUFG is a nurturing, safe, and intellectually challenging community in which children learn and grow. Children and youth cultivate meaningful relationships with adults and peers as they develop spiritually, socially, mentally, and emotionally. We emphasize self-worth, tolerance, and an inquisitive, questioning mind. Children are taught by direct instruction, often with enriched UUA-recommended curricula. Lessons in Unitarian Universalism merge with studies of the many religions of the world, the very sources of the living tradition that inform our faith. These subjects are not disparate pillars but provide a firm foundation.

    The growing intersection between the political and the religious in the United States has resulted in a determination to give our children the tools to participate in the discussions and debates shaping our country. It is our obligation to provide the necessary skills so our children will have a place at the table and a voice in the dialogue. We teach the lessons of the Bible without teaching its divinity. We teach about the values and truths found in world religions. Most importantly we give our children and youth what they long for: they are grounded morally and spiritually with discussions of justice, compassion, truth, conscience, and dignity. 

    It truly does take a village to raise a child. At UUFG we are all part of a supportive and loving village. Our village includes every member of our congregation, whether they relate to the children as ministers, musicians, teachers, assistants, CYREC members, or volunteers. Our intention is to fully integrate our children and youth into the UUFG community.

  • Youth Religious Education
  • Spiritual Practices

    Do you have a spiritual practice? Do you know what a spiritual practice is? Does the very term sound somewhat intimidating—especially to Unitarian Universalists? Did you think that UUs do not have spiritual practices?

    For UUs: “A spiritual practice is an action designed to make a change in our deepest selves. It is something we do to gain new understanding of ourselves and leads to growth, change, and a more loving way to be in the world. We stretch ourselves in spiritual practice. Meditation, prayer, walking mindfully, hiking, and feeding the homeless can all be forms of spiritual practice.” Each person should consider having an individual, daily practice; a group practice, weekly or monthly; and an annual retreat.

     

  • Children's Classes
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