Dear FUUSN Community.
Hello! It is with great excitement and joy that I introduce myself as your new Director of Lifespan Religious Education. I look forward to meeting and getting to know each of you, and to the adventures we will share in this coming years.
I want to tell you a little more about myself. I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and have been living in Boston since 2001. I have a background in elementary education and received my M.Ed from Lesley University back in 2008. I started working as a religious educator five years ago and have served in both Dorchester and West Roxbury. I’m a trained circus artist, performer and dancer. I like to do cartwheels, and love to do handstands. I am a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, and also identify with my Jewish heritage, which came to me from my father’s side of the family. As a teenager I practiced Buddhism, and the power of those early years sitting in silence has stuck with me. I’m married to my partner of 20 years whose name is Nima Samimi, and we have a wonderful five year old son whose name is Rostam. I am big fan of young people. I’m also a big fan of teenagers, young adults, adults, and older adults. I truly value the unique strengths, wisdom, and leadership of people of all ages. I think parents are wonderful, incredible humans. One of the greatest joys of doing this work, for me, has been getting to support other parents as they strive to give their young people a spiritual foundation in Unitarian Universalism.
Something else you should know about me is that I love to play, laugh and be close to people. I believe that human connection is powerful, so I spend a lot of time enjoying people and figuring out how we can build deep, fun, authentic, life-giving and world-changing relationships with each other. I am a deep feeler and thinker. I welcome realness, honesty, and humility. And I would prefer that we abandon trying to be perfect, but instead strive to be ourselves, knowing that each of us is a deeply good human being who sometimes makes mistakes.
Maybe the most important thing you should know about me is that I believe there is a place in this world for every person. Creating that space in my heart, and in the programs I lead, is the work of my life. I am thrilled to bring everything I am and all that I have learned in my 41 trips around the sun to my work here at FUUSN. Thank you for this opportunity to become part of the living memory of this historic congregation.
If you have any inclination to introduce yourself to me I would absolutely love to meet you. Send an email, picture, or link (maybe you are an artist or youtuber) to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email me to set up a time to get together. You can also find me and friend me on Facebook at Amanda Graff DLRE. If you have a young person who might like to meet me before September please help them to be in touch. I like to go out for ice cream and play in parks, so we can meet wherever makes the most sense for you. Oh boy, I can’t wait! I’ll see you soon… Amanda Graff, Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration at FUUSN