Even though the weather doesn’t show it, we’re headed into summer and in a few weeks, we’ll mark the ‘official’ end of the regular church year and the beginning of a slower, reflective time. Although the prevailing behavior in many Unitarian Universalist congregations was to shut the doors in the summer time (and, some suggested, tell God to go on vacation) it’s increasingly clear that Follen Church – and many sibling UU congregations – are seven days a week places, where things may quiet down, but they definitely don’t stop!
On June 11, we’ll mark transitions in the church and the graduation of many of our high school seniors with a service that honors endings and beginnings for them. It will be a time to recognize all that our graduating youth have achieved, as well as the new challenges they will encounter as they move out into the world – to work, to college, to gap years, to adventures. I hope you will be sure to be present for that service to celebrate these youth and this community.
Beyond that, the Religious Education Team has been hard at work on examining new ways to offer learning that will provide greater continuity in classes, more flexibility for those who volunteer in our RE program, and ways to build a team model of teaching and learning. The program will debut in the next week with sign-ups requested for all age levels, PreK-grade 8. We hope that you will want to be involved – whether you have children and youth currently in our program or once did – perhaps long ago. Additional learning and support is needed for next year’s large Coming of Age class, the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program, our youth group for grades 9-12, our middle school youth group for grades 6-8, and more. Follen’s RE program operates on a participatory, cooperative model – so many hands will make lighter work, and help us reap the rewards of a vibrant religious education program. Please talk to any member of the RE Action Team or me about getting involved; signups for our class clusters will be running in the Community Center after church starting on Sunday, June 4.
Next year we’ll also be offering a Coming of Age program for parents and other adults, as we examine some of the ‘big questions’ youth examine during that landmark tenth grade program; we’re also considering offering an adult education program focusing on memoir-writing for older adults, reflecting on life’s learnings and challenges and how you have experienced them.
Religious growth and learning evolves through all the ages and stages of our lives, and at Follen Church, we experience it in many different forms. If you have an idea, a wish, an innovation – please contact me and let’s discuss it! I welcome your thoughts and your energy to this creative and evolving mix that helps to grow our spirit.
Interim Director of Religious Education