Faith Formation

Faith Formation Forms

Faith Formation Programing

Our Principles and Sources

Resources for Families

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome!

Faith Formation Explorations in our Sunken Garden

Welcome to Faith Formation (FF) at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society (SUUS)! 
Here at SUUS we are dedicated to love, faith, justice and reason.  Children and youth are valued members of the SUUS community, and our program is rich in offerings for all, including Sunday morning classes, worship experiences, justice opportunities and social events.

Please check the calendar and sign up for our weekly newsletter for more details about programming by emailing office@shorelineunitarian.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

 Click HERE to download a Welcome Letter from our Director of Faith Formation.

Faith Formation Forms

Faith Formation Registration Form 2022-2023

Download and print: Volunteer Application for Position & Background Verification Release Form

Draft Faith Formation Children and Youth Accommodation Policy


Faith Formation Programming: 2022-2023

Sunday Morning Explorations

(Sundays, 10:30am – 11:45am from September – June)

Multi-generational service, May 1, 2022

Kid’s Korner: Childcare will be provided on Faith Formation days only. We encourage all families to participate in whole congregation worship for multigenerational services. Children ages preK and younger can sign-in with Childcare Assistant at 10:15pm in the Fellowship Hall. Parents/Guardians will need to sign children out after worship.

K – Grade 5: Faith Formation Explorers join a caring community in which children begin to make meaning of the language of our Unitarian Universalist faith and life’s questions.  This Montessori style classroom incorporates games, imaginative activities, art and UU rituals. 

Grades 6-8: use games, discussion and hands-on activities to explore Unitarian Universalism Principles, traditions, history and values. This year we are excited to introduce the newly updated Crossing Paths materials (formerly known as Neighboring Faiths), as well as Our Whole Lives (OWL) for grades 7-9.

Youth Grades 9-12: will explore community based social justice projects and senior youth will prepare for their Bridging Ceremony later in the year.

ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS:

Worship  

Child Dedication Service
Bridging Ceremony,
Jacob’s Beach Guilford

Multigenerational Services are held monthly and children and youth are encouraged to attend along with the adults.  These services are designed for all ages, and often take place near a holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Check the calendar for detailed scheduling information.

Whole Congregation Worship – Each Sunday, children and youth join the first 20 minutes of the service for chalice lighting, music and a story for all ages.

Christmas Pageant, 2022

Social Justice

Social Justice :  Faith Formation offers service projects and social justice activities for children, youth, families and members. Activities may include making items for people who are homeless, fundraising to support a local or international cause, food scarcity awareness/action and outreach and animal advocacy.

Birthday Bags for the Food Pantries

 

Food and Juice Drive
Pack a Purse for the Homeless
Hospitality Center
Run for IRIS in New Haven

Social Connections

Faith Formation offers a wide variety of inter-generational social connections. Highlights include: 

  • Halloween Party – People of all ages meet to connection and fun
  • Holiday Caroling
  • Mystery Pen Pals – Children and adults are paired anonymously, exchange letters and then participate in a reveal dinner at the conclusion.
  • Family Meet-ups
  • Game Nights
  • Hikes for All Ages
  • Fire Pits
  • Movie Nights
  • Ice Cream Socials
Halloween Party 2022

Our Whole Lives Programming:

  • Our Whole Lives (OWL) is based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education, and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). For detailed information about Lifespan Sexuality Education for OWL click here.
  • Our Whole Lives takes a holistic view of sexuality. It provides accurate, age appropriate information while helping people clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
  • Grades K-1
  • Grades 4-6
  • Grades 7- 9
  • Grades 10-12

Rites of Passage

Child Dedications

This faith community marks significant milestones and transitions throughout our lives with ceremonies.  For children and youth, we celebrate child dedications (where we honor the miracle of life and our commitment to caring for infants or older children), Coming-of-Age (completion of our coming-of-age program) and Bridging (high school graduation or an equivalent life transition).  Speak with Amy Buckley, Director of Faith Formation, to learn more about these rites of passage.

Our Principles and Sources

The rainbow, and its acronym ROYGBIV, is used in our program to teach our children and affirm the 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles:

Respect the importance of all beings.
Offer fair and kind treatment to all.
Yearn to accept others and encourage spiritual growth.
Grow by exploring ideas and values together.
Believe in our ideas and act on them.
Insist on peace, freedom and justice for all.
Value our interdependence with nature.

The Living Tradition we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
  • These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.

Resources for Families

The Our Whole Lives website, with information about the curricula – http://www.uua.org/re/owl/

Website with advice from Mr. Rogers for talking with children about tragic events – http://www.fredrogers.org/parents/special-challenges/tragic-events.php

UU Parenting Blog by Michelle Richards (not current, but a great discussion of parenting and liberal religion) – http://blogs.uuworld.org/parenting/

UU@Home has suggestions and support for at-home faith development – http://uuathome.com/

“Tending the Flame – The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting” by Michelle Richards.

The UUA bookstore InSpirit has books for all ages related to children and parenting –  http://www.uuabookstore.org/

Frequently Asked Questions

What do visitors do on a Sunday morning?

Visitors are always welcome! Join us for multi-platform worship every Sunday.

  • On most Sundays, children will enjoy a Story for All and depart the service after the offertory to meet in the “Sunken Garden” on the side of the building for a Pre-K and older activity guided by adults.
  • Check in with our Greeters in the foyer for details on the days activities.

Are there explorations every Sunday?

Explorations are held most Sundays, September through May.  On certain Sundays, children remain with their families in a multigenerational worship service.  These services are designed for all ages and are a great way to enjoy a worship service as a family. 

What do children learn in Faith Formation Explorations?

The goal of our youth faith formation program is to build community within and across generations and foster the religious, spiritual, and ethical development of our children and youth.

Our explorations focus on exploring UU values and faith development.  Topics include Unitarian Universalist Principles, values, history and practices, as well as world religions, justice issues, and learning about ourselves and our relationship to the world.

Explorations are also an opportunity for children to be a part of a community of people who learn and work together, as we consider big questions, take action on justice issues, support each other, and have fun.

Is There a Fee?

There is no charge for participating SUUS’s faith formation program.  Members and friends are asked to pledge financial support to SUUS each year, at a level that is appropriate for them. These donations support all the work of the congregation.

Who are the teachers?

All of our explorations on Sunday morning are led by the Director of Faith Formation and Volunteers. Our volunteers include adults of all ages, with and without children in the program.

How Do I Volunteer?

In general, adults who are new to SUUS do not teach for the first year, to give you time to get to know this community.  However, we welcome your involvement with special events, social justice projects or serving on the Faith Formation Committee.   Contact Amy Buckley, the Director of Faith Formation.

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