A message from Dave Cicero, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
What is “RE”?
Whether “Religious Education”, “Spiritual Development”, or “Faith Formation”, the work of a Director of Lifespan Religious Education (or “…Enrichment”, or “…Exploration”) is meant to round out the experience of a UU congregation member. Connecting with others during Sunday worship and church activities is where most of us start.
Some of us find that more is needed to locate and feed our spiritual centers. Social action events, community service projects, and serving the UUCW community in certain capacities bring some people the joy and spiritual fulfillment they seek. But a program for educating or increasing participants’ awareness of paths to fulfillment (which, often and ironically, lead back to serving others!) is for those who need something more personally meaningful.
Envisioning the Future
As we begin emerging from our COVID cocoons, anticipation of the coming year grows and planning for the future begins. So I encourage you to do a few things: First, please complete and submit the “Planning Survey” that UUCW Staff and Leadership are sharing with you soon. It will give us a better understanding of what has worked this past year AND how we might best serve your needs in the future.
Second, please share with me specific suggestions and preferences for RE – for both kids and adults. This can be done via email, phone, or by joining the online RE Council meeting being held the evening of April 5. I will share the Zoom meeting link and agenda with you as soon as I hear of your interest in being there.
Finally, if you are part of a family with children or youth, please consider what your involvement level will be this Summer and/or Fall. Summer RE in 2021 may be more “home-based”, as it was in 2020, but with opportunities to connect and share during “multi-gen” Worship events. (These have yet to be confirmed and planned as I write this, but that means your input now is especially valuable.) I’ll be sharing information about that soon.
An Invitation to Growth
The extent of all RE programs depends on annual pledges and volunteer assistance. Exploring – and sharing – the many sources of wisdom and inspiration that UUs value can be, like learning itself, a lifelong process. Won’t you consider sharing your talent or skill in some way? There are several ways to do so, from helping lead/teach a group of children/youth or adults to serve on the RE Council to helping plan/present special events. Please contact me to discuss how you might help, and the support I can provide.
Registration of children & youth for RE (which, for Fall, will take place this summer) includes an expectation of helping in some way with the program. That commitment need not be seen as “payment” but rather as part of one’s own “faith formation”. We have RE teachers here at UUCW who have admitted to gaining the most spiritual fulfillment at church from their interactions with children and youth. My role, as DLRE, is to facilitate the sharing of authentic experience, and to foster that kind of growth in everyone.
May we all remain well,
Director of Lifespan Religious Education
If you have questions, contact Dave Cicero.