Since the timeline doesn’t quite allow us to get an interim director of religious education on board before Joy’s departure, the oversight of that area of church life has been assigned to me as of today, June 15. Kim and Jen and the RE Council are more than terrific so I’m hoping that there won’t be “way too much” for me to do, but I will be involved in decision-making and guidance for sure. Joy will be around through June 30.
This is not an entirely new area for me as I’ve been a director of religious education in three different UU congregations. For 5 years I was the DRE and program director for a congregation in Cleveland, OH, starting at half time and ending as full time, serving a congregation of about 200.
I followed that with an interim DRE position in Shaker Heights, OH, serving a congregation of about 400. And then, in what even seems amazing to me, I served as a 2-year interim DRE in Arlington, VA, which was a congregation of about 1,000 and had an RE program of about 200 along with a very robust adult education program.
However, that was a while back, and I was no Joy Berry, so my point is that I’m pretty OK at this and we’ll figure it all out together, but my grand hope is that we’ll have considerable help from congregants to keep everything going smoothly until (and after!) we get our own interim DRE.
In the meantime, I want to give a major shout out to Kim Collins, Lifespan Religious Education Coordinator, and Jen Johnson, Lifespan Religious Education Assistant. Both of them are over-qualified for their positions (as are all staff persons at UUCA–we’re really good at hiring!) and are highly dedicated to the work of UUCA’s religious education program.
I’ve had a chance to review their job descriptions and I can tell you that the knowledge they have of our programming and the work that they have normally accomplished for us will go a very long way in getting us through the summer and on a great path for the rest of the year.
Here’s my request to you. Please be generous of your time and talent, patient as we work together to do our very best for our UUCA kids, and kind when we miss something. We all have the same goal: great RE for our kids and loving support for our families.
Dr. Linda Topp, Director of Administration