The mission of the Religious Exploration Program at Neshoba is to provide a welcoming and supportive congregational environment that nurtures self-respect, life-long learning, spiritual growth, and faith in action. Our program aims to engage individuals in experiential learning that explores diverse religious beliefs, promotes a sense of community, forms an understanding of social responsibility, and facilitates the practice of our UU values and principles. It is the goal of the religious exploration program to inspire wonder for life in its infinite diversity and challenge each to find and share their talents, gifts and creativity.
At Neshoba Church, our Family Ministry & Religious Exploration program is an exciting opportunity to deepen our understanding of Unitarian Universalism. Faith development is the entirely of what we do (and who we are) as a community. The people ARE the curriculum. It is here in this sacred space where we safely gather to heal, to inspire, to challenge, and to bear witness. The guiding values of our liberal religion were succinctly offered by theologian James Luther Adams in an essay on the 5 Smooth Stones of Liberal Religion. These smooth stone values: hope, love, justice, courage, and joy will shape our time together this year as we aim to deepen our faith through participation in spiritual practices, creative acts and thoughtful discussions. It is here where you have the opportunity to be messy, to be playful, and to wonder. To be open to learning along-side others of all ages can help move us more deeply into our hearts and find balance. And through reflective action, we can help change ourselves and bring peace to our world. You and your family are welcome to join us on this journey.
Our Unitarian Universalist Principles for Children
- Respect all people
- Offer kind and fair treatment to all
- Yearn to accept and learn about ourselves and others
- Grow by exploring what is true and right
- Believe in our ideas and act on them
- Insist on freedom, justice, and peace for all people
- Value our home, Earth, that we share with all living beings
Sources of Our UU Faith for Children
- Wonder and Awe
- Heroes and Heroines
- World Religions
- Judeo-Christian Teachings
- Science and Reason
- Earth-centered Traditions
Our Promise, Our Covenant
We covenant to support our entire community, in all our diversity, in their spiritual journeys by offering information, joyful experiences, life examples, and thoughtful discussion of our Unitarian Universalist Principles. We promise to promote a safe, considerate, and enjoyable community with friends, family, and trusted advisors, to stimulate natural curiosity, enthusiasm for listening and learning, and a desire to serve others.
“It is my wish that we may all feel free to rest, that we may all feel free to dance, however we are called, from one moment to the next, by that quietly insistent impulse toward the sacred.
And that we may feel safe and free here within our Unitarian Universalist churches – especially here in our churches -- to share the joy of our dance, and the dreams of our rest, each of us, one with another.”
~ Rev. Beth Lefever, minister of Neshoba Church