Our Promise to Houses of Worship
Working Alongside you
Kids4Peace Boston sees just how busy religious leaders and congregations are, educating and helping their young people to become individuals of faith and character. We commend your hard work! We also realize just how busy young people are. Overscheduled days and exhausting evenings can often mean a struggle for your young people’s hearts and minds.
At Kids4Peace Boston, we complement and work alongside your efforts to raise youth of character, driven to bring about social change through the lens of their own faith traditions. Kids4Peace aims to help young people put feet to their faith by inspiring them to explore their own faith traditions, respectfully observing the faith traditions of others, and then moving together to bring about the healing and change this world needs.
We promise we will:
Provide space for young people to safely explore their own identities and the identities of those who are different from them, particularly focused on religious identity, but including race, ethnicity, ability, socioeconomic status, and more.
Respect the religious beliefs and practices of all our participants. Staff work to ensure that prayer practices and worship customs of participants are honored at all times by adults and youth alike. This includes making every effort to accommodate religious dietary needs, prayer practices, and other religious practices throughout our programs.
Encourage young people to draw from the elements of their faith tradition that most speak to them and use these teachings to serve the common good and find shared ground with those who are different from them.
Help young people build deep friendships across lines of difference that society draws, and help them use these interfaith and intergroup friendships as a community of support from which to lead social change and advocacy
Give young people the knowledge, tools, and desire to become leaders for positive social change, not just in the future as adults, but right now
Create a space where the physical and emotional safety of young people is always our top priority, even while asking participants to grow and stretch beyond their comfort zone.
We promise we will Never:
Proselytize or allow anyone associated with the program (including but not limited to staff, volunteers, and participants) to attempt to convert others to a different religion or faith
Allow youth to participate in the prayers or religious practices of other faiths. Fostering a deep respect for religious observances different from one’s own is at the very heart of the interfaith learning that occurs in Kids4Peace Boston. At times, Kids4Peace Boston participants are invited to “observe with respect” during the worship services of each faith and encouraged to ask questions afterwards, a powerful experience of mutual trust. Kids4Peace Boston does NOT, however, practice “interfaith prayer” or allow participation in one another’s services. While these can be meaningful in adult interfaith dialogue, they are not appropriate for children.
Define who is “religious enough” to participate in our programs. At times, our programs include sharing religious practices, beliefs, and customs with one another. Having a personal connection to Christianity, Judaism, or Islam is an important part of meaningful participation in the program. However, we do not define what practice means to families, and we welcome children of all observance levels within their tradition.
Push a singular viewpoint on participants. In all matters, participants in K4PB’s programs will be asked to consider multiple views, engage in conversation across difference, and think critically to form their own opinions.