About Us and Religious Faith Formation

First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford                                                               
 2 Westford Street, Chelmsford Massachusetts 01824                                                                                                      
Office Phone: 978-256-5133
Religious Education Faith Formation Contact Information:                       
Director of Religious Education  Faith Formation and Youth Programs
Dolores GHeredia-Wood     Email: [email protected]
Sunday Morning Program:  9:50 am to 11:00am


 Welcome!

Welcome to a very exciting and fun Religious Faith Formation at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford!

Faith Formation is religious education that encompasses our entire community and guides us through the ethical and spiritual religious formation of our Unitarian Universalist congregational identity.

The Religious Education Faith Formation Program is dedicated to growing community and to cultivating wisdom through exploring spirituality, faith and ethical living that form our UU Identity.

It is the mission of the Religious Faith Formation Program to cultivate in our youth a sense of worth, confidence and belonging in knowing that they are beloved members of the UU community wherever their ongoing journeys take them in the world. We are committed to the idea that spiritual journeys are ongoing from birth until death. The journey begins here. Together all congregation members, families and youth are the beloved community that is the foundation of the UU Faith Formation of our Unitarian Universalist Identity and will always be part of ourselves whichever paths we choose to travel.

The Religious Unitarian Universalist Faith Formation vision is that they become empowered by our love so they contribute positively and responsibly to the World.

…And why Faith Formation!

Faith indeed has many faces and as Unitarian Universalist we tend to go beyond the denotation of a word to its many connotations However for our purposes the definition of the word faith is dependent on its partnership with formation: Formation, as a UU religious foundation.

FAITH:     1-having confidence or trust in a person or thing; 2. belief that is not based on proof; 3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion; 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.; 5. a system of religious belief; 6. the obligation of or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.; 7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc… Internet Dictionaries

Religious Faith Formation provides us a foundation we can use our whole lives, like the joy in our sense of being beloved members of this community. It also provides us with the ability to cope when we get so desperate we think stress is the new normal. Without religion it’s difficult to fill the voids in our world. If we lack the religious faith formation that provides us with faith in our UU religion… we doubt the gift of hope, that inner compass, which lets us know we are going to be all right in this journey. Even if we are not sure how it may be, a well thought out process…or a divine mystery.

 

FORMATION: the action of forming or process of being formed; emergence, coming into being, genesis, development, evolution, shaping, origination, establishment, setting up, start, initiation, creation…
RELIGION: ( Origin-religare-to bind)  A particular system of faith and worship; the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods; a pursuit of interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance;

 

Religion responds to that calmer inner voice that can give us peace, when outside voices muddle our thinking and emotions, calling us to war with ourselves and others. Faith Formation is not meant to give answers, but offers the key. It opens our youth to question, to discern, to empathize, to understand, to love and have compassion for others while maintaining their own identity and self-worth. This is how they know that revelation is not sealed and it’s up to each of us to reveal the life affirming mysteries of love.

 

UU Religious Faith Formation:  Trusting in creating a foundation UU values & beliefs & principles. Gratitude and knowledge of our past, peace in our present, and hope for a bright future for our youth and Unitarian Universalism and the world.

 Our cooperative church program offers religious education programming children from age three through high school seniors that is held at the same time as the church service. Our program and curriculum is grounded in and guided by the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources. A nursery is provided for children less than three years of age. The basis of our programs vision is the UU Faith Formation of our youth through Faith (Religion). Ethics and Spirituality.

Goals of our program include:

  • Awareness of  Unitarian Universalist History and principles, past and present.
  • Encourage the development of a Unitarian Universalist identity.
  • Understanding of Multicultural perspectives and religions worldviews.
  • Intergenerational Community Worship in Sanctuary(minimum once a month)
  • Promote good works and community involvement.
  • Promote respect for the natural world and the dignity of all life.
  • Teach respect for self and others.
  • Instill a sense of the importance of continual questioning and the art of listening.
  • Provide meaningful worship experiences during Faith Formation Chapel Services
  • Make the Religious Education a Faith Formation experience with a focus of enjoyment and enrichment in our Unitarian Universalist Community
  • Cherish the intergenerational activities and build more community between children and adults.
  • Implement the practices and procedures of our Safe Child Policy at First Parish & CORI RE volunteers.

 

Parental and Church Involvement

  • The RE Faith Formation  Program is a cooperative venture between the church and the home. Parents, members, and friends of the First Parish community are needed to give emotional and physical support by:
  • Recognizing that religious faith formation comes primarily from the home.
  • Becoming familiar with your child’s group leaders and agendas .
  • Bringing children to class regularly and on time.
  • Sharing your time and talent with RE Faith Formation program.

Please note: Allergies are a shared responsibility.

Parents with children with allergies, please make sure children make others aware of their allergies.