by Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education
Follen’s volunteer RE staff are an amazing group of people, fun to be with, mutually supportive of one another, and, who, by and large, truly enjoy what they are doing. Most would say there is deep satisfaction-and often a lot of fun-in what they do. Just ask Kerri Spilker, who gave a testimonial to that end at the Sunday Service on June 13.
We are not just teaching information about religion, the “great stories”, values, and Unitarian Universalism, although we certainly do that. More importantly, our volunteers in RE provide the “face” of our faith community for our children and youth. We hope it provides a “home away from home”, a safe place to explore ideas and feelings, a nest for growing friendships, a place different from their other activities. In Religious Education classes, young people can connect with the big questions and concerns that face all people: What is life about? How do I cope with loss and death? How do I make difficult decisions? What is the impact of white supremacy culture? They are “seen” here, loved here, and can grow a sense of connection to a wise and worthy people-in the present and from the past- who try to live their values and honor life’s gifts. As we move forward from our own stories of the pandemic, the Follen faith community and RE will be a critical touchstone.
If you witnessed this year’s RE Sunday Service, you heard three of our High School Seniors speak to the importance of our church in their lives… how it has helped ground them, and framed their beliefs in a way that allows them to live out their values in the world. I encourage you to think about your part in the “village” it takes to raise UU kids, and to offer your special self to the children of Follen Church beginning in fall, 2021.
As of this writing, we have volunteer openings in these classes:
PreK-2nd Grade, Phase 1 Term- Assistant Teacher (Outdoors with Ms. Jody in the lead, 4 Sundays beginning September 20)
PreK-2nd Grade, Phase 2 Term- 2 Assistant Teachers needed (Indoors and outdoors, approximately once per month, beginning in October)
3-5 Grade, Phase 2 Term – 2 Co-Teachers needed (approximately 8 Sundays throughout October-May, taking the lead planning roll for 4-5 of those)
Middle School Youth Coordinators- 2-4 people (plan fun group activities like bike rides, social action projects, sledding, etc. 3-5 times per year.)
FUUY Youth Group – 2 more Youth Advisors (2 Sunday evenings per month and occasional extra-curricular activities)
LOOKING FOR A SHORTER COMMITMENT? We are seeking 2-3 people to assist with One Room RE activities during up to Sunday mornings