UUFD and Parenthood Go Hand-in-Hand For Me
by Mary Lovell
Even before I became a parent, I knew I wanted my kids to be free to learn and develop their own beliefs, within a framework of basic moral values. I knew I wanted them to have a community within which to learn and develop, but not one like the churches of my own youth. Unitarian Universalism, and our UU 7 Principles, were the answer to my search for a supportive and open community.
I wanted my children to be able to ask questions, knowing that every question was valid even if there were no easy answers. “You must have faith” (as I was told in my own youth) was not the kind of answer I wanted for my curious children. I wanted my children to learn that there are many religions in the world, practiced by people with good hearts and good intentions, but that no one of those religions could hold the ultimate truth to the exclusion of the beliefs of others.
I wanted my children to learn that there are some basic values that are shared my most world religions, even though their myths and stories might differ greatly. I wanted my children to learn that science and religion need not be seen as opposing forces. I wanted my children to learn that thought and spirit can both reside comfortably within each of us. I wanted my children to learn that each of us has a responsibility to consider our actions in light of our responsibility to contribute to the greater good.
In the early 1980’s I found UUFD, and knew that I had found the place where my young children could do that kind of learning and growing. Sometimes they were part of a very small group of UU youth. Sometimes they were part of a robust and active group of UU youth. They made friends, and they learned, and they felt safe to explore without limits or judgment.
As a parent, I got involved and did my part to keep the UUFD doors open for my children and other families like mine. There were times when I didn’t do my part—but others worked diligently, and did the work when I couldn’t.
I can’t imagine not having this group of hard-working and committed people who share my commitment to all that UUFD is and does. These people have worked together, and continue to work together, so that the next generations can have the strong moral foundation that my children received at UUFD.
UUFD helped me raise 2 wonderfully open-minded, responsible, and moral human beings. As a parent, I cannot think of a more important task. Now, I look at the UUFD folks who were involved in the most important thing I have ever done, and I am filled with respect and gratitude.
I hope this story continues for many more families, for many more years to come.