Values and Vision
Religious education is about faith development: honing the skills, understandings, and practices that help us all live more fully as Unitarian Universalists. We strive to offer programming that parallels UUCB’s congregational mission of Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, and Changing the World.
Religious Education (RE) programming occurs in many forms: classes, seminars, circles or workshops that may be one-time events or ongoing programs; congregational reads; book groups; film viewings; discussions; drop-in meetings; publications; blog posts/essays on website; and/or videos.
Building Community: UU Identity & Faith Development
In our congregation, we build community each time we engage with one another through worship, educational programming, Chalice Circles, committee and task force work, and all the other things that make up our congregational life together. Religious Education examines the foundations of this community: What is it that brings us together? Who are we as a community, and what do we stand for? How do we as individuals fit into this community? How have our beliefs, as individuals, as a congregation, and as a denomination, evolved over time?
Here are some questions we address in each of several areas of UU identity and faith development:
Principles/Promises, Sources and Theology
- What are the values that we, as Unitarian Universalists, hold in common? What is the basis of our faith, and what does that mean for us in relation with each other?
- How and why did our theology evolve as it did? Who are key figures in our history?
Personal Credo/Spiritual Journey:
- What do I believe? How did I arrive at these beliefs? How can I explain it to people outside of the denomination, when they ask?
Finding a Place in UUCB:
- Where do I belong? How do I get involved, or expand my involvement?
Changing the World: Social Justice
While the work of Changing the World may take place primarily through our SJ task forces, Religious Education is concerned with understanding injustices in their historical and cultural contexts, reflecting on our own lives, and exploring frameworks for effective change. This foundational work is necessary as we seek to avoid inadvertently replicating or bolstering the very structures we wish to dismantle.
Here are some of the questions we consider as we educate ourselves about changing the world:
- Historical View: How have systems of oppression evolved and been sustained throughout history?
- Cultural View: What are the cultural expressions of injustice; how are racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, etc. baked into our culture (schools, government policies, legal system, economic system, entertainment, etc)?
- Personal View: Identifying and dismantling our own internalized systems of oppression around race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. Learn new ways to be with respect to each.
- Theoretical View: What is our moral/ethical responsibility to act? What kind of action is called for? How are we accountable? Why do we pursue social justice through our church, vs. other organizations? What are some theories of social change? Can we envision a more just world?
Seeking the Spirit: Connecting with our Spiritual Selves
As UUs, we come from many different religious and spiritual traditions, from Christianity to atheism. Some of us carry wounds from earlier experiences in religious communities, which we may need to work to heal. No matter where we are in our spiritual journeys, we can continue to explore fundamental questions:
- Where do each of us find the Spirit of Love and Mystery that some people call God?
- How can we deepen our connection with that within ourselves?
- What skills, habits, and practices can we build that ground, center, and build clarity and resilience?
- How do we cultivate our spiritual connections to the natural world?
- What wounds, fears, and myths keep us from wholeness?
- How have people around the globe and throughout history understood themselves as spiritual beings, sustaining and sustained by religious traditions?