Faith Formation

Whether you call it Religious Education, Religious Exploration or Faith Formation, this is how we build the future of Unitarian Universalism. It is how we transmit our values and our heritage to the children and youth of our denomination. It is how we as adults deepen our understanding of our common faith and our individual faith journeys. It is one of the most important ministries our congregations engage in.

A good Faith Formation program is also one of the main reasons many people join our congregations. They are looking for a religious education for their children that conveys information and a sense of belonging without imposing dogma. They want to provide roots and a sense of tradition, without telling their children what to believe.

In all the congregations I have served, I have taken a great deal of responsibility for the Adult programs. Besides coordinating the program, usually with at least one congregation member, I offer classes or workshops for adults, usually in the fall and spring. In addition, I lead or co-lead the New UU class at least twice a year.

 

I think it is important to offer learning about aspects of Unitarian Universalism, including its history. I enjoy educating congregations about Unitarians in Transylvania and their history by sharing photos of my trip there. I have led workshops for Worship Associates and for leading worship, and have used various UUA curricula; for instance, Articulating Your UU Faith. I am particularly fond of and knowledgeable about the Enneagram (a personality typing system), and have shared it in many ways. I also encourage lay people to offer classes or workshops.

I believe Covenant Groups, by whatever name, constitute one of the most important ministries we offer in our congregations. I support it actively, by meeting monthly with the group facilitators and helping to develop session plans. It is the first thing I suggest to new members as a way to get connected and nurtured.

Faith Formation is one of the main vehicles of personal interaction and community building. It is a place where our children learn what it is to be part of a loving community of people dedicated to working, learning and playing together. For adults it can be a space where they engage themselves and each other in the larger pursuit of understanding and meaning. For all it is a way to communicate and pass along our heritage as Unitarian Universalists, our mission as a congregation, and our care and mutual interest as individuals.

As a minister, I am committed to supporting a strong, vibrant Faith Formation program.

© 2018 by Rev. Jane Thickstun