If we are not teaching our children, who will? If you have not yet seen this film, rent the DVD Jesus Camp. It will light a fire in you to stay focused on being present with our church’s children. This would be another great film to watch and talk about. The trailer for the movie is on Youtube, so check it out:

This past Sunday I preached about children’s faith development and how serving our children is a spiritual practice. Trusting in their own developments and articulations of god/divine/ultimacy is a way of reinvigorating that process in ourselves anew. If you feel a hint of apathy about children or children’s religious education, I highly recommend watching the film Jesus Camp. Some Evangelicals are touching the hearts and minds of small children and, at a very young age, cultivating a socio-political-spiritual identity that, for some, is fulfilling the will of god. For others, this indoctrination is just plain scary. In the meantime, the documentary’s frank and open-minded presentation of these adults and children of faith has me wondering what these folks are doing right that we could also do. Meaning, can we develop within our children a Unitarian Universalist identity while still maintaining openness to the flowering of their own spiritual lives? Can we teach without indoctrinating? Explore without cutting off other paths?

I just saw that in the Fall 2006/winter 2007 issue of Religious Humanism (by the HUUmanists) there is a reflection on this film by Lynn Hunt that is also very insightful.