from the editor
For the child in everyone
Are you the parent of a Unitarian Universalist 6 to 11 years old? A grandparent? An aunt or uncle? Or, like me, someone who just finds pleasure and meaning in the children's stories that are a high point of Sunday services in so many of our congregations? If so, UU World's newest feature, which takes its bow as a colorful four-page insert in the center of this issue, is for you.
The feature's name, uu&me!, may be familiar. That's because until now uu&me! has been a widely acclaimed children's magazine published by the 2,700-member Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), which serves Unitarian Universalists all over the world who are isolated from congregations. CLF launched uu&me! in 1997 as a religious education tool for member families without access to a congregationally based religious education program. And as other congregations discovered its quality, many got subscriptions for their kids, and uu&me! worked its way into the lives of church schools.
But as an independent magazine, uu&me! could reach only a fraction of UU families. Now, as a feature of UU World, it will reach all 125,000 UU households—and with every new issue grandparents and parents and children will all be able to share conversations about uu&me!'s stories and features and religious message.
The stories in uu&me! speak in the voices of the children featured in them, but in the background are the two adults who have been the guiding lights of uu&me! since its first issue: Betsy Hill Williams, the editor, and Sue Charles, the designer and illustrator. Betsy was CLF's director of religious education when she conceived uu&me! as a way to help CLF parents be better religious educators for their own children and to appeal to all UU families trying to be religious educators at home. CLF's minister, the Rev. Dr. Jane Rzepka, is among the other editorial team members. While uu&me! is copyrighted, the editorial team hopes congregations will make copies for use in their church school classes.
The uu&me! insert should be easy to pull out of the center of the magazine—carefully tear it loose from the staples that hold the magazine together—and it's Betsy's hope that this is what will happen when each issue of UU World arrives at your home.
“Now all UU families will have this resource to help them learn together, and to share stories and activities that help children relate their Unitarian Universalist values, principles, and faith to their everyday lives,” Betsy says. “What UU World has been giving adults is now available to kids as well—a sense of belonging, identification, and connection to UUism.” Also, every issue will list Internet links to other UU resources for kids, parents, and teachers.So if there's a young UU in your family, invite her or him to sit down with you and this magazine, turn to the center, and remove uu&me! Look through it together, enjoy it together. This is a religion we all share, no matter our age.