With my Acting-Director-of-Lifespan-Religious-Education hat on, I can tell you that not only did our planning and lead-up to this church year go well, but the programs are now hitting on just about all cylinders. Our recruitment went fabulously (we could use a few helper-adults in Spirit Play classes), ALL of our teaching teams are deluxe(!), you heard from Gordon Clark a few weeks ago in this blog space that YRUU (the teens) is energized and well-attended, and Juliana Austin and Melissa Murphy have rounded up a Middle Grades Youth Group that is providing a way for both our middle-schoolers and their parents/guardians to get to better know each other.
Your Religious Education Council* is terrific, too. They are thoughtful, helpful, and stepping up to take the leadership roles that a volunteer organization so depends on. In a retreat this summer, the RE Council proposed this mission statement for itself. (It’s still in draft but close enough.)
The UUCA Religious Education (RE) Council’s mission is to act on behalf of the congregation in partnership with the Director of Lifespan Religious Education towards well-resourced and integrated faith development. Our dedicated RE Council members connect religious education with congregation members by communicating, inspiring, and supporting all of us as we develop our beliefs and live our UUCA values of connection, inspiration, compassion, and justice.
Practically, they meet once a month to briefly review how things are going in lifespan RE and then to look ahead at programming opportunities for children, youth, and adults. This month the Council tackled issues like offering a multigenerational activity at the Wednesday Thing, thinking ahead to the Christmas Eve Family Service, and thinking about how we can help parents get to know one another better outside of Sunday mornings. Next month we will be taking a look at adult religious education. They also are often part of a teaching team, serve as family greeters on Sunday mornings, and are “on call” downstairs should things go awry.
Our two part-time RE staffers, Jen Johnson and Kim Collins, have stepped up brilliantly in this transition year. They are, in fact, doing just about everything that needs to be done to support our active, caring Sunday school programs. They buy and organize supplies, communicate regularly with the teaching teams; spend quite a bit of time helping with the organization of our Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives classes; hire, supervise and schedule our childcare workers; plan and sometimes help lead RE activities, and keep me informed of all that’s happening (well, the big stuff anyway).
And speaking of Coming of Age, that class and their parents and teachers have been doing a whole lot of planning so that we now know that the end-of-year trip for that class of 6 boys will be headed to the UUA General Assembly again (this time in Kansas City), the entire class will attend the Youth Con at The Mountain Retreat Center in late winter, and that you will see them a lot as they fund-raise with “Food Sundays” (it may not always be soup!), food at the Wednesday Thing, and their “big event” in February.
I told you RE rocks!
*Here are UUCA’s RE Council Members: Louise Anderson, chair; Jennifer Gorman, Ann McLellan, Katherine Murphy, Gina Phairas, Missy Reed, Jim Steffe, Kelly Moser-Wedell. I THANK THEM and YOU SHOULD, TOO!
I don’t want to leave out recent past members who contributed last year and at the RE Council retreat: Nancy Bragg, Joy McConnell.
Dr. Linda Topp
Director of Administration