Dear FUUSN Members and Friends,
As I start my third week here at FUUSN, I am truly inspired by this congregation and excited for our future together. So far, I have gotten to know some of you, understand what you love about this congregation, and learn about the different ways you serve this congregation. For those I have not yet met, I look forward to meeting you, too, so let’s make that happen soon.
Speaking of our future together, there are new approaches to Religious Education (RE) that I hope to introduce this church year, and you will begin to see those changes on RE Kick-Off Sunday on September 18th. While learning and growing are important, we cannot do that without connection and creating comfy, safe spaces together. This year Religious Education will be all about building community and making connections with one another and with other age groups. Now, you are probably wondering… “What’s the new guy stirring up?”
Well here are some experiments we’ll try out this fall:
Spirit Circles: On September 18th and on the 1st Sunday of each month (with a couple of exceptions – like January 1st), the children, youth, their youth and adult teachers, and (maybe you!) can gather in the children’s chapel to share joys and concerns, introduce a new reading and discuss what it brings up for us, and do an activity together. This is an opportunity for all children in our RE program to connect across ages and grade levels and to build community together. It will probably get messy and that’s okay. Being in a community can get that way sometimes!
Pajama Sundays: On the 3rd Sunday of the month beginning on September 18th, infants, toddlers, and children (through 5th grade) can wear pajamas and youth (6th-12th grades) can keep it as (appropriately!) casual as they might like! (Hey parents! That’s one Sunday you don’t have to fight with your kiddos about what to wear to church, right?) I mean, my personal theology is that children and youth should be comfortable in church and so, I think, they should always be welcome to wear pajamas, but I am not yet sure how that will fly here. This way, though, they are explicitly invited to do so one Sunday a month.
5th Sunday Fun Days: Whenever there is a fifth Sunday, our children and youth will have a chance to have fun together. While it may seem like they are not learning anything, they are learning about their connections to one another and with FUUSN. Our first will be October 30th where we will celebrate Halloween with a twist! The week prior we will learn about our favorite Unitarian Universalists and the kids will be invited to dress up as their favorite! (They can also dress up as Bruno from Encanto and, while that might be a stretch, I am willing to see if they can make a connection to UUism in some way, especially if that created an at-home RE moment!)
Guest Teacher Days: This is an opportunity for the kids in RE to get to know a member of the congregation (who does not typically volunteer in RE) through a shared learning experience. Wanna share your passion with the younger crowd but not sure how? We can find out how to get you on the schedule and we can work together to make sure the session you prepare for is successful. This is a chance to try your hand at volunteering in RE while exploring a more sustained commitment. (Or not!)
Obviously, some of these ideas won’t stick or we will find they don’t fit us when we try them on but I look forward to the experiments ahead. Got ideas? Got feedback? Never hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,