The Unitarian Church in Westport offers faith formation programs to encourage children’s natural curiosities and yearning wonders about the world as they wander through their days. We explore the mysteries of our existence drawing from many sources: awe and wonder to be alive, the words and actions of people who have challenged systems of oppression with justice and love, the wisdom of the world’s religions, Jewish and Christian teachings that call us to treat others with love and respect, and the guidance of reason and science to search for answers to persistent questions. Indeed, we believe that asking questions may be more important to the development of spiritual identity than finding answers.
We refer to our adult volunteers in our faith formation classrooms as ‘teachers,’ but they are more like guides, exploring with our children and youth to extract meaning from experiences. Indeed, our learning is experiential. Young people seem to discover best with their present experiences: what they are capable of understanding, what they have noticed about life and the world, including relationships to others and the environment, and what they sense and feel.
What they need first is to notice for themselves, and have many opportunities to learn their own firsthand direct relations with their universe. In the words of Unitarian religious educator, Sophia Lyons Fahs, “They need to notice for themselves what belongs to God before someone has told them.”
We nurture our children and youth to develop as community-oriented, sympathetic, and open-minded individuals. If we can achieve an education that follows this philosophy, we may teach our children the ways in which the world’s peoples are similar, and we might then view our differences from a positive perspective, not one that divides.
Typically, our Faith Formation programs follow an academic year schedule, September to June. If you are interested in learning more about what we will be offering children and youth (PreK-12), I invite you to explore the Faith Formation pages of our website, or you may simply contact me.
In fellowship and faith,
Acting Lead for Children and Youth Faith Formation
(203) 227-7205 ext. 15
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