The last of the four Tapestry of Faith strands is probably the least understood. After all, the whole shebang is called “Faith Development,” right? Why does there need to be a specific strand with the same name? Here’s how the Lifespan Faith Development Staff Group at the UUA looks at it:
Rather than referring to a specific portion of the vision statement, the LFD Staff Group says, “Together, all of the vision statements of Tapestry of Faith describe the development of a vital, lifelong liberal faith.
“This strand–faith development–emphasizes each person’s religious journey as a participant in a faith community and faith tradition, and each person’s lifelong process of bringing head, heart, and hands to what is of ultimate meaning and value.” Makes sense? So here are the Goals:
- To participate in an evolving and deepening faith
- To experience Unitarian Universalism as a faith with lifelong value
- To be willing and able to engage with life’s challenges and transitions
- To engage in making meaning of life and finding purpose in life
- To affirm life, seeing all life as a gift
- To explore and articulate one’s own faith
- To feel a sense of belonging in a faith community and part of a tradition.
The Elements are:
- Exploring the religious Big Questions such as, Who or what is God? Why are we here and what is expected of us? What is the meaning of life and death? Why do good and bad things happen? Is the universe a friendly place?
- Integrating faith components:
- What we know (cognitive)
- What we trust (affective)
- How we act (behavioral)
- Applying one’s faith to life issues
- Exploring and articulating one’s evolving beliefs and personal faith
- Understanding and utilizing religious language and concepts
- Reflecting, discerning, thinking critically
- Understanding with [Sofia] Fahs that “Life becomes religious whenever we make it so….”
So, what do I think of all these outcomes? If this is what we’re truly trying to do together as a people of faith–life, learn, and grow in the direction of the LFD Vision Statement and these specific Goals and Outcomes–then I’m proud to be part of the team!
Next, I’ll post on the time line for the release of the individual Tapestry of Faith components.