I grew up in a UU church in east San Diego. I remember putting together a radio play about a time machine that interviewed Unitarians and Universalists from the past, such as Paul Revere and Beatrix Potter. There was the time when my high school youth group went and visited a local mosque and had a tour. And the time when we had a multi-Sunday project of creating fictional societies with different political systems; I was in the liberal democracy and my friend was in the peaceful anarchists.
All of these activities taught me the importance of my religious history, the respect and understanding of different faiths, and the value of community, free-thinking, and the worth of each human being. I also learned that church is a place of fun and exploration, a place with “cool” and loving adults who supported me, and a place that anchored my spiritual journey.
Last year in my internship at Neighborhood I taught both 6-7th Grade OWL and Rites of Passage. Both were amazing experiences that only increased my understanding of the importance of our UU Religious Education. All of the teachers at Neighborhood provide an invaluable service to our community, by facilitating and encouraging the learning and development of youth and their spiritual lives. Where else can youth learn about evolution, sexuality, spiritual practices, and immigration rights but right here at church?
I am so grateful that my parents raised me as Unitarian Universalist. Whenever I return to my home congregation in San Diego I am filled with good memories and receive a warm-hearted welcome. I love that our faith supports life-long spiritual learning, and I hope you do too! May we all continue to live, learn, and love together in this beloved community.
Christina Shu, Ministerial Intern