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If you haven't already heard the news or recently logged on to the UU World website, there is a new, interactive blog on Unitarian Universalist parenting created by our district's own RE and small congregation consultant, Michelle Richards. What makes this blog so different from the thousands of other parenting blogs out there is the Unitarian Universalist focus.  Because Unitarian Universalism offers a different parenting experience than many other religious traditions do—and not just because of our diverse theologies--parents raising their children in our faith frequently face situations that other parents may never encounter.

Unitarian Universalist parents have had ethical dilemmas about whether to allow their children to participate in a school play that depicts Native Americans in a stereotypical fashion, whether their sons should join the Boy Scouts in spite of that institution’s stance on non-believers and homosexuality, and whether or not to confront a teacher who presents misinformation or biased religious ideas in a public school classroom.

Some parents are seeking to recreate the specialness of the religious traditions they remember from their own childhoods; however, having rejected the faith of their youth, they are unsure how to adapt those traditions or how to develop new rituals for their families. Other Unitarian Universalist parents have had little or no exposure to a religious faith during their childhood years but still desire to “do religion” with their children.  Even parents who were raised as Unitarian Universalists may still be challenged in this regard; many of them were raised in a time when fear of indoctrination made it taboo to expend much effort instilling a Unitarian Universalist identity in children.

The idea for this blog was floated around to promote the release of the book on raising Unitarian Universalist parenting which is now available from the UUA Bookstore.  However, once the blog began running, an unprecedented number of comments and reactions started showing up in response.  The number of responses are a telling factor of just how hungry parents and others have been for just such a virtual conversation.

The blog will continue running throughout the month of April as uuworld.org will be hosting a weekly conversation led by Michelle Richards about raising Unitarian Universalist children. Michelle, a religious educator and mother of two, is the author of a brand new book, Tending the Flame: The Art of Raising Unitarian Universalist Children, from the UUA’s Skinner House Books. Each week, she’ll initiate a conversation about some of the unique challenges and joys of raising UU children. You are encouraged to share your comments, pass on the links and to pubicize this blog in your congregation newsletters and websites.

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