Crossing Paths takes the approach of religious pluralism. Instead of claiming that one religion is better than others or that all religions are really the same, this view understands religions as separate systems of belief dealing with distinct human challenges. Rather than seeing all religions as different paths leading to the same mountaintop, this view sees each religion as its own beautiful mountain. Crossing Paths is about exploring a new “mountain” each month, thus our tagline “Many Mountains; Many Paths.” Crossing Paths is not a dry comparative religion class; it is an exploration of ourselves and other faiths through games, skits, crafts, meditation and use of the senses.
There will be two groups running simultaneously, one for children grades 3-5 and ond for youth grades 6-12. Each month will focus on a different religion and will typically have four sessions: one learning about the religion, two preparing for the visit, three visiting a service of the other religion (note: these will, by necessity, not all be on Sunday mornings) and four debriefing the visit. Both groups will meet on the same schedule and attend the services together.
The faith traditions covered include:
- Unitarian Universalism
- Indigenous Spirituality
We aren’t just visiting other faith traditions; we are learning how to engage with other people of faith, and diversity in general. Crossing Paths doesn’t just fill our youths’ heads with knowledge, it also helps them develop practices and skills that will help them in all aspects of their life.
The program will primarily run on Sunday mornings. There will be visits to other faith communities worship services throughout the program – some of these will necessarily be at other times. The program will run from September 2019 until June 2020. Children/youth are welcome to join the program at any time, though the start of a new religion would be the best time to join.
We want to empower you to engage your youth in what they are learning and experiencing. In other words, we want this to be a family journey!
We also want to invite you to learn and deepen your own faith through talking with your youth and engaging some material on your own. In other words, we want you to share in the journey.
We will regularly email or text you “Dinner and Drive Time Tips.” These tips support engagement with your youth during strategic moments when you have your youth’s attention, like dinner time or while driving them to or from events. These tips will help your youth be better prepared for the upcoming session. We will send you questions to talk about with your youth before and after each session.
These tips will also be for your own reflection. We don’t just want you to ask your youth what they are doing; we want your youth’s experience to be an invitation for you to reflect on your own faith.
This year we are offering this as a pilot project. Members of FUCV or other UU congregations are free. Non-members may participate by donation (as a guideline, around $50-100 per term would cover the costs of the program).