Unitarian Universalist or other congregation for young families?

I'm starting to look for a place where my family can join in community with others who share similar values (i.e. liberal, progressive) and my kids can learn from others about shared humanity, compassion, kindness, etc, in a way that is not heavily focused on any particular Christian denomination. I was raised Catholic but no longer practicing (and don't intend to start again). My husband's family is part of the Unitarian Universalist Association. We went to the UUCB in Kensington, and my kids really enjoyed going to the kids program during the service. I really like the values and principles. However, most of the people in attendance were much older and there were very few kids. Are there any families on here who are part of UUCB that can provide input? I'm tempted to try the Mt Diablo UU to see if there are younger families there. Also interested in any other suggestions for congregation-based gatherings for liberal families that aren't focused on Christian denominations per say.

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I highly recommend Unity of Walnut Creek.  The youth leader is fun, engaging and is also a reiki master pagan.  I previously attended the Mount Diablo Unitarian Church and it wasn't for me - I found the music there to be boring and the congregation too politically focused.  Unity of Walnut Creek offers a non-demoninational positive path to spiritual living. The music is warm, lively and engaging and the message each week focuses on the core values of love, connection, service and wisdom. Check out the website and give it a try!

I am actually on the same journey as you. I am also looking for an inclusive community ideally with lots of kids for my 4yr old to grow up with. I love the tradition of having a group of people you can count on seeing on a regular basis without having to text ten times for an hour visit. Also love the idea of promoting deeper elements of the human experience.

If you live near Berkeley perhaps we can join the search together and at least have playmates for our little ones?

Hi! We started attending UUCB in Kensington a few years before the pandemic, after we moved to the Bay Area. We visited several places and ended up becoming members at UUCB. One of the reasons was that our then 8 year old really liked the children's programming, and there were quite a few families to connect with. Now, my child is in the youth group as a high schooler. The pandemic has changed things (especially for families!), but I have seen a recent increase in families who used to attend starting to return, as well as some new families coming to check us out. We also have a new Director of Family Ministry who is looking to grow the program. So, from my perspective, I think while the numbers of families and kids at UUCB might be smaller now, it has not always been that way, and is starting to grow again. Feel free to contact me directly if you'd like to chat. :)

I just want to suggest not focusing on the number of kids in the congregation and instead find a community that feels right to you. My church doesn't have a lot of kids, which means my son gets a ton of attention and love. I remember one Sunday where no other kids came to church and my son got to have a one-on-one Sunday School session with the kids Sunday School teacher, a beloved public school teacher who chooses to spend more time with kids at church. Even with only one child there, she still "took him to Sunday School" and he was beaming afterwards about reading books just him and her. I joined my church because it was a fit for ME: progressive theology, racially and economically diverse, on the traditional-side liturgically (I prefer hymns and organs to powerpoint slides and praise bands) and I'm grateful to be sharing it with my son. Of course, older churches benefit from having young families join, but I feel like we are benefitting so much more by having access to a congregation full of adoptive aunties, uncles, and grandparents. I've been at my church since I was in my 20's almost 15 years ago and seen kids grow from children to teens to young adults in the church, and I see them getting a lot of mentorship and opportunities to be involved in service and worship that I didn't get in the larger, more kid-packed church I grew up in. 

HI I went through a similar process about 8 years back. I was raised Catholic (including Catholic school) and knew that my husband I would not want to raise our kids Catholic given some challenges with our more progressive values (openness to gay marriage, belief women should have roles in church etc...). We are also also an interracial couple so having a place that is welcoming was important to us.   In our search we visited a few different denominations to understand fit for us and openness of the congregation.  If you feel your kids enjoyed UUCB in Kensington it might be a good fit for you even if there are not many kids.  We did several different congregation visits before we landed on St. Johns Episcopal Church in Montclair (https://www.stjohnsoakland.org/); I highly recommend for families there is a positive energy in the parish and they are very welcoming.  There are a handful of children who show up regularly (we all seem to have different sport or activity schedules) - so don't let low child attendance scare you at UUCB Kensington.  At St. John's, there are a lot of older and middle aged parishioners, however the community and youth minister  have been absolutely amazing for the kids and very welcoming.   Best of luck in your family's spiritual journey.