This is my last newsletter column before I start my 4-month sabbatical on January 22nd. I’d like to take this time to answer questions about what is happening during my time away and to share my goals and plans with you.
- For children’s RE, the sabbatical team is in charge. Each of the 4 members of the team is responsible for 4 Sundays. They will answer any unusual questions that come up while I’m away. They will also be in charge of parent communications. The members of the sabbatical team are Sonia Hardaway, Jenn Rehbein, Wendy Stasolla and Dan Tuft. They can all be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For special programming in 6th- 12th grade (Neighboring Faiths, OWL and Youth group), the individual teachers can answer specific questions about programming.
- For Adult Religious Education, contact Susan Colket, ARE chair at ARE@uucwc.org.
- For childcare for congregational events, contact Linda Hamilton, our nursery caregiver. The office has her number.
- For pastoral concerns, contact Rev. Kim at email@example.com.
- Four Director’s of Religious Education are also on call for Kim, if she needs them for guidance.
What are you doing while you are on sabbatical?
- I am studying three congregations with excellent RE programs that are a bit larger than UUCWC’s so I can learn what is in our near future. I’ll be looking at these areas: integrating families systemically into the fabric of church life, systems for administration, RE program goals, multigenerational services, parent support in raising a UU child, 2 service RE attendance and programming, summer programing, multigenerational social justice opportunities, anti -racism programs for children under 12, RE committee structure and purpose, welcoming visitors, curriculum choices, youth group programming and service trips, volunteer recruitment including non- parent volunteers, teacher training, communication and staffing.
- I’m attending a 3- day national conference on family ministry in evangelical churches. These churches do family ministry very well. The systems they use are translatable to UU RE programs.
- I’m participating in a one-week UU college of social justice immersion justice program on immigration at the Arizona/ Mexico border. A longer service trip for youth is in UUCWC’s future. I want to experience one before I plan one.
- I’m participating in a Quaker “Circle of Trust” group, a process of shared spiritual exploration, for 4 weekends. Our Chalice Circle and Wellspring programs are based on the Circle of Trust method. I joined this group for my own spiritual development and to gain new insights for our Circle of Trust groups.
- I will continue serving (my last 6 months) as Vice President of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (“LREDA”), my professional association.
- I will deepen my own spiritual practice and connection to the spirit by meditating more frequently and attending an 8-day meditation retreat.
- I will read books on topics such as: the future of family ministry, volunteer recruitment, anti racism education for kids among others.
- I will reflect on my own strengths and growing edges as religious educator and how I can best serve UUCWC in the future.
- I am also taking a 3-week trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in March with my husband. Attending a big family wedding weekend in NY in April and hopefully spending lots of time reading, practicing yoga and biking.
Thank you again for making it possible for me to take a sabbatical. I am excited about this opportunity and know that it will enable me to better serve you.
See you Memorial Day weekend!