Thank you to the 65 people who participated in an “RE Envisioning Conversation” at the end of October/beginning of November and who submitted their thoughts online. In all three sessions, people shared deeply about their own spiritual journeys, what has been meaningful to them and their children, what challenges they face in nurturing their spirits, and ideas for religious education at UCM heading into the future. The children and youth also shared their ideas in a special RE program in early November.
Members of the Religious Education Committee, Adult Religious Education Committee, Executive Team, Liza, and Joan met with Hilary Allen, a staff member with the New England Region UUA, on November 18th to synthesize all of the rich data and to begin to plot out next steps.
As a congregation, we are clearly already nurturing an engaged, multi-generational community and offering many opportunities for reflection, growth, and learning. It is also clear that we can continue to innovate and adapt to provide even more relevant and transformative religious education and spiritual formation experiences for all ages and to address the particular challenges of family life in the 21st century.
In the month of January, an ad hoc group comprised of Rev. Joan and members of the Executive Team, Governing Board, and both Religious Education Committees will meet to further develop long-term goals for religious education at UCM and also to discern the best configuration of staff and volunteers to support our goals. We will consider questions like: How do we want to support each person’s spiritual journey here at UCM? What is the right name for this area of ministry? What kind of staffing structure will allow us to live into our goals and vision?
The current Acting Director of Religious Education position will continue on through the end of the church year as planned. Rev. Joan and the Executive Team have been and will continue to be in conversation with Acting DRE, Liza Earle-Centers, about the position going forward and to discern together the best way to support the evolving ministry of religious education at UCM.