Letter to Families

 

Dear UUCW Families,

Often families come through the doors of the UUCW in search of a religious or spiritual
community for their children. Some have moved away from the religious traditions of their
childhood and are in search of something more in line with their current views; others are
looking for a community that embraces the diverse backgrounds of the adults in the home. Many
come out of a sense of responsibility and a desire to provide for their children an understanding
of world religions so that they may move more comfortably through society as they grow.
Perhaps families have read studies that show that participation in a religious community has been
correlated with everything from self-esteem and overall hopefulness to the avoidance of
substance abuse and teen pregnancy. Whatever brings them to our doors, they come with the
best interests of their children first and foremost in their minds.

Our Religious Education Program takes great care to nurture the spiritual development of all
children and youth that are entrusted to us. It is a welcoming and inclusive community where
children are embraced and empowered to speak their truth and act on their beliefs. We
encourage questioning attitudes, with the view that a child’s sense of spirituality is a fire to be lit
rather than a bucket to be filled. For some children, our church is the only place outside of their
home where they feel such unconditional acceptance.

The Religious Education program has many exceptional volunteer teachers, coordinators and
assistants, and participation goes well beyond our Sunday morning “church school”. A range of
top-notch programming is offered to children and youth of all ages:

• Community service and social action outreach opportunities – from making gift baskets
for home-bound members of the congregation to spending time with homeless families at
the Interfaith Hospitality Network.

• Coming of Age – to help children navigate the transition out of childhood and begin the
journey towards becoming an adult.

• Our Whole Lives –to help children and youth explore the spiritual, emotional, and social
aspects of sexuality.

• High School Youth Group – a safe haven for many; an opportunity to develop leadership
skills for others; a fun and supportive community for all.

The RE program at UUCW provides for youth and their parents a place to explore important
subjects with trusted adult mentors and teachers, opportunities not readily available elsewhere.
These wonderful RE programs need staff and resources in order to grow and thrive. When
pledging this year we urge you to consider the value of this programming in your child's life. It
is only with all of our continued financial support of the church that these programs can stay
healthy and vibrant. Thank you for your generous support!

Sincerely,
Toni Ostrow, Vickie Cox-Lanyon
Religious Education Committee Co-chairs