Tagged: “Staffing”

Re-Imagine Religious Education

“If we are to bring the the love and grace of this faith to our families’ lives, we must intentionally support the faith formation of children and adults.”

–  Kimberly Sweeney, The Death of Sunday School

A “ReVision “team was formed in March 2020 at Second Unitarian Church in Omaha, Nebraska with the goal to reimagine religious education.

  • The traditional model of Sunday School is labor intensive and ineffective –  only 12% of our UU youth remain UUs.
  • Many churches (including Second Unitarian) are finding Sunday School unsustainable in our present culture.

It has long been recognized that parents and families play a significant role in faith development. Faith formation is a life long journey.

Photo of a 1960s style church interior with a congregation standing and singing. Many are holding flowers PreCOVID Flower Communion Worship in our sanctuary.

  •  Children (and adults!) need rituals. Rituals help us to find comfort and wisdom in the celebration of our faith and the ups and downs of life. Rituals help us to celebrate who we are as Unitarian Universalists.
  • We all need a Beloved Community where we ‘belong,’ and a community of good role models in life. We also need special time with our UU peers of similar age
  • There is a strong need for intentional ministry to young families, for their sake as well as for the future of our church. 
  • Beloved Community encompasses all ages and abilities. 

“Faith development is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is the faith we teach. The congregation is the curriculum.”

religious educator Connie Goodbread

The vision – what we expect religious education in action to look like

A screen capture of the Soul Matters website We desire to connect all ages to a cohesive faith message.

  • Supporting faith development in the home
  • The monthly Soul Matters themes will be used in worship and supplemental curricula
  • Children and adults of all abilities will be welcomed as part of the Beloved Community in worship on three out of four Sundays
  • On the last Friday of the month, September – May, we will have an evening meal and short vespers service, followed by related activity options to close out the worship theme for the month. This is intended to be for all ages, and it is especially intended to be parent friendly.
  • Children will be welcomed to participate in Social Justice causes to live their faith and be with role models that demonstrate living our faith.4 individuals socially distanced standing outside our church building with a Black Lives Banner behind them We are active in social justice causes: we want to give our children and youth more oppotunities to be involved.
  • There will be a variety of faith formation opportunities for adults.
  • The DRE will be involved in overseeing religious education for all ages, including adult programming.
  • Teen Ministry will consist of YRUU, teen/adult groups such as a “Popcorn Theology” movie discussion or book discussions, and Coming of Age programming culminating in a service where teens have an opportunity to share their Credo statements.
  •  Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality classes will be offered periodically for the different age ranges K-adult.A screen capture of the OWL page on the UUA website We want more regular OWL programming for all ages to serve our community.
  • Vacation Summer Camp could be offered with an emphasis on the history of our faith with lots of play, acting out of the stories and fun activities

Religious education happens when people in our church listen, value and encourage us toward our better selves. In order for Second Unitarian to carry out these inspirational goals, we need the guidance and support of our very gifted Director of Religious Education. We want to increase her hours to provide faith formation, Support ReVision, and coordinate childcare. To do so fairly and to adhere to suggested UUA salary guidelines, we would need to raise $4700.00.

Nurture Justice Ministry in NH!

The mission of UU Action New Hampshire is to amplify Unitarian Universalist voices and values in the public square throughout New Hampshire. After running for two years as an entirely volunteer organization, this spring, we hired Tristan Husby as our first Executive Director, in order to take our work to the next level. Your donations will help us fund Tristan’s new position, which is funded in large part by a matching grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility.

As our only staff member, Tristan is growing our organization through relationships, education, and action.

Our goal is to build and sustain relationships with communities directly impacted by the injustices we oppose: Tristan will deepen our connection with the immigrant communities in New Hampshire, which we have formed through our work on the NH Immigrant Solidarity Network as well as the NH Bail and Bond Fund.

In the 2019-2020 church year, Tristan will travel to UU congregations across New Hampshire, both our member congregations and currently unaffiliated congregations. By building these intra-faith relationships, Tristan will foster collaboration among congregations and ensure that churches share effective methods and actions with each other.

He will also remain in touch with our membership by maintaining our online presence, including our newsletter, website and social media accounts. Through these channels, Tristan will ensure NH UUs know when and how to contact their elected representatives on bills such as granting drivers licenses to immigrants without social security numbers and raising the cap on net-metering.

In collaboration with partners such as the UU College of Social Justice, Rights and Democracy NH and others, Tristan will host workshops designed to sharpen the skills and analyses of NH UUs to make effective change. We currently have such workshops scheduled for Saturday, October 5.

Finally, Tristan will help UUANH foster new projects, particularly around climate justice in NH.

Your donation today will ensure that we can support all of this programming, as well as administrative work, that is necessary to take our State Action Network to a new level.