Why Do Your Kids Need Formation?
Parents and caregivers often come to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango to be a part of a community that helps them raise their children to become kind, respectful, fair-minded, and caring. At UUFD, we want our children to lead us into the future to side with love and fight for justice.
Unitarian Universalist faith formation, participation in worship, social justice work, and multigenerational gatherings reinforce what parents teach at home. We nurture truth-seeking, spirituality, and the progressive moral values that will shape and support our children as they grow.
All are welcome in our community. You are welcome no matter your racial identity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation or theology.
This is the faith of the open minds,
This is the faith of the helping hands,
This is the faith of the loving hearts.
What will the children learn?
This will be an exciting year in Faith Formation at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango. As people of faith and peace, we are called to respond bravely in thought, word and deed to rampant racial injustice in our nation.
This year, we will frame our church’s teachings about the inherent worth and dignity of every individual through Raising Anti-Racist Children, curriculum developed by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.
It will be a year of growth and challenge for us as a nation, and we shall guide our children and youth through it with courage, honesty, and visions of possibility and change.
Above all, we are tasked with educating our children to be advocates for racial justice and allies for people of color.
What are the Faith Formation sessions like?
Elementary Aged Children
Faith Formation at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango will begin in our worship service on the Zoom platform beginning at 10 a.m. each Sunday. Children participate worship through the Time for All Ages story which takes place about 15-20 minutes into the service.
Following the children’s story delivered to the whole congregation, we will use two break out rooms for a 30-minute lesson while parents remain in worship.
Our sessions begin with a lighting of the Chalice, the symbol of our faith. Chalice lighting words bring us into community, setting the time apart as special.
This is usually followed by “Sads and Glads”. This ritual provides a way for children to share important events that happened in their worlds since they last met with the group. Sharing is an important part of creating a connected group.
Our teachers then lead the children as they explore the story that was presented during worship.
Preschool and Kindergarten
Our experience has shown that very young children do not thrive on Zoom. We have created an at-home program for the very young that focuses on Raising Anti-Racist Children.
Kindergarten and younger children will receive selected picture books to read with their caregivers along with simple discussion prompts. They are also enrolled in our Traveling Stuffie Program.
Enrolled children will receive one of our Traveling Stuffies and their journal through the US Mail.
Our stuffies represent a wide variety of animals of many colors, sizes and genders. Story prompts will lead our younger children to learn about diversity and how to act as advocates in the face of bullying and discrimination.
Children are invited to bring the stuffie with them for a weekly adventure, and then write or draw about those adventures in the stuffie’s journal. The child’s parents then send the stuffie along to the next child using a prepaid label. (All our stuffies are fully machine washable.)
Who leads the faith formation sessions?
All our sessions are led by paid teachers. This provides the continuity that children need and ensures a higher quality of programming. To ensure safety, all online sessions include two adult teachers.
Sara Sautter is our Interim Director of Faith Formation. A Credentialed Religious Educator, Sara has worked as a religious professional for 24 years. She is serving the congregation as an interim.
Kiara Stacey is a student in Elementary Education at Fort Lewis College and leads the older elementary class. Cara Keyser leads our younger elementary class. A talented singer and musician, Cara often adds live music to our program .
For security purposes you will enter a waiting room before being admitted to our worship or faith formation sessions. For Zoom events that include children, you may be asked to answer a few questions.
We are glad you are here. Please use the form below to tell us about your family so we can welcome you.
How do I get my children involved?
Give us a try! Log on this Sunday and join us.
If it seems like a good fit, we encourage you to enroll your children. This enrollment provides important safety information.
Information will be shared with the Director of Faith Formation and the Membership team. Our goal is to keep children safe and include your family in communications about the life of the church.