At UUSM, we believe there are many paths to faith and beloved community. The Crossing Paths program introduces neighboring faiths and builds bridges in our interfaith community.

Crossing Paths will next be offered at UUSM in 2020-2021.

To learn more or join the youth email list, contact Tanya Webster, Director of Youth Religious Exploration.

In the Crossing Paths program, youth first learn about a religion, then the next week, attend a worship event at a neighboring faith and meet after with a youth leader for discussion and questions. The following week, our youth debrief, explore the similarities between our faiths, and reflect how UU identity might also differ, yet still uplift tolerance and support for a respectful, pluralistic society.

The selection of religious traditions covered in the course varies each time, but core units include Unitarian Universalists, Buddhists, Methodists, United Church of Christ, Humanists, Hinduism, Catholics, Quakers, Baptists, Earth-Centered religions, and more.

The Crossing Paths curriculum describes the program as follows:

“Crossing Paths joins the long line of visit-based UU curriculum going back 70 years. Church Across the Street was published in 1947. More recently, we’ve seen Neighboring Faiths (1997) and Building Bridges (Tapestry of Faith). Our Soul Matters version honors these previous curriculum and adds its own unique components, including an emphasis on theological grounding, a distinct take on religious pluralism (“Many Mountains, Many Paths”), an abundance of experiential learning and a deep commitment to family-centered activities.”

Through the UU Lens

Sources of our Faith

Crossing Paths offers our youth positive experiences with different religious paths, many of which are reflected in our Sources. If you’d like, try singing the Sources Song written for our younger UUs by DRE Katie Covey. It’s a fun and easy summary of our UU sources (tune Do-Re-Mi):

One: The wonder we all share,

Two: The voices of the people,

Three: Religions of the world,

Four: The synagogues and steeples,

Five: We use our minds and reason,

Six: Earth-centered love of seasons,

Seven: Our own UU tradition,

That will bring us back to me and you, U.U.

Is it true that Unitarian Universalists themselves can believe anything?!

It is true that UUs have no shared creed. We are instead encouraged to develop our own truths with responsible, thoughtful exploration. However, we all covenant to affirm and to promote statements of shared beliefs. Congregations and members of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant to affirm and promote Seven Principles which are the ethics which all UUs agree to strive towards and uphold.

For an easy summary, try out the Principles Song, also written by Katie Covey, DRE  (tune Do-Re-Mi):

One: Each person is worthwhile,

Two: Be kind in all you do,

Three: We help each other learn,

Four: And search for what is true,

Five: All people have a say,

Six: Work for a peaceful world,

Seven: The web of life’s the way,

That will bring us back to me and you, U.U.

Shared Theological Statements

Nicknamed the “five rocks,” these statements were crafted several years ago by Rev. Nancy Bowen and the UU Mountain Desert District religious professionals, inspired by James Luther Adams’ Five Smooth Stones of liberal faith. While not yet adopted by the UUA, these statements provide a view of shared faith that many Unitarian Universalists of all backgrounds believe.

One. All souls are sacred;
Two. There is a unity that makes us one;
Three. Courageous love can transform the world;
Four. Salvation is in this lifetime;
Five. Truth continues to be revealed.

Faith Traditions within UU

All non-harmful beliefs are welcomed within Unitarian Universalism, including these key traditions listed below. Learn how our many faith traditions are woven into the UU quilt.

Atheist and Agnostic
Buddhist
Christian
Earth-Centered
Hindu
Humanist
Jewish
Muslim

We hope your youth will join the UUSM Crossing Paths class in 2020-2021!