Religious Education Volunteer Opportunities
Sunday Mornings: Our volunteer teachers work 1-2 Sundays per month with our children during worship service. (When we return to two services each Sunday, children’s religious education classes will be offered during the second service only, until further notice.) Most classes require little or no weekly preparation, though training is required for Spirit Play teachers. We prefer to have a set group of teachers work with each class for an entire semester (September – December, or February – May) to provide consistency and build relationships. Programming during Intersessions (August and January) usually consists of a variety of interest-based activities and varies from year to year.
High School Youth Group: Youth mentors meet with high school youth for discussions and activities, attend special events, plan service projects, and more.
OWL (Our Whole Lives): Facilitators for OWL undergo an intensive training. Class schedules are determined on an annual basis by facilitators and RE staff.
Adult Religious Education: If you have an idea for a class you would like to teach with adults, please contact Michele Grove.
Religious Education teachers for children and youth report that what they love about teaching is getting to know the children and their families. Often they maintain those connections as the children grow up, creating an important intergenerational bond within our community. In addition, we hope that teaching will serve as a religious education experience for the adult volunteers themselves. To facilitate this, we will be offering a monthly gathering for teachers (including parents, who by default are always religious educators) where we reflect on the themes of the curricula, share insights, and get to know each other better.
RE Development (RED) Committee
This group is tasked with helping to dream, plan, and implement religious education programming.
The group meets once a month either in person, via Zoom, or multi platform. It will consist of 4-7 people representing a variety of facets of religious education at UUCB, including those with interest in programming for children, youth and adults as well as OWL and anti-racism/anti-oppression work. There will occasionally be materials for the committee to review between meetings, and various other tasks to complete outside of meetings. Committee members will decide what time commitments are reasonable and sustainable for them.
The RED Committee will collaborate with the REC/DRE in the following ways at various times throughout the year:
- Brainstorming program possibilities
- RE planning for specific semesters
- Planning special events
- Recruiting volunteer teachers, facilitators, and others
- Reviewing ARE proposals
- Reviewing RE policies, structures, and future needs
- Soliciting congregational feedback
- Promoting RE programs and events
- Provide feedback on communications platforms
- Review statements of core values, mission and vision, and goals
- Reviewing curricula and class materials
- RED Committee members are encouraged to participate in educational opportunities whenever they are so moved. Examples include workshops, trainings, and seminars offered in our congregation, experiences at GA and MidAmerica meetings, lay courses offered through LREDA and UULI, and other local and online trainings. If possible, RE will subsidize the cost of these educational opportunities.
- Committee members are encouraged (though not required) to join the REC/DRE in reading relevant texts in preparation for each year’s thematic focus, as well as other topics of interest.
Religious Education Support Crew
This volunteer group supports religious education at UUCB by helping to prepare and organize materials for RE classes and special events.
Here are the types of activities most often needed:
- Preparing Spirit Play baskets and works
- Preparing materials for special events (i.e. Easter Egg hunt)
- Assembling materials for RE programs (i.e. Home Altar kits)
- Copying, laminating, cutting out, etc.
Other tasks could include:
- Organizing craft materials and other supplies
- Inventorying supplies to see what is needed
- Occasional errands (usually to Michaels, Menards, Target, or Kroger)
- Formatting/graphic design (i.e. working in Publisher, Canva, or other to create materials that look nice!)
RE Support Crew members provide a valuable and much needed service to the religious education program. We hope that this service will be an opportunity for volunteers to get to know each other and fellowship together.
Religious Education Children & Youth Library Team
The Library Team is tasked with helping create and maintain a well-organized library that promotes UU values, builds connections and understandings, and inspires meaningful action.
The team is responsible for the following tasks:
- Help sort and organize the existing RE collection
- Scan barcodes (or in some cases manually enter information) to enter existing collection into RE’s Library Thing catalog
- Work with the Adult Library Committee to integrate that collection and devise a system that makes it easy to find books on the shelves
- Create Patron accounts for all registered RE families, and send account information to each
- Reshelve returned books
Possible additional tasks:
- Work with the RE Development Committee to define the mission and focus of the library;
- Suggest materials to add to a Wish List
- Suggest activities and/or events that promote the library and encourage people to use it;
- Help plan, organize, and run a Book Fair
- Create lists of recommended books, write occasional reviews of books, identify books that relate to particular promises/principles or other aspects of UUism
As social and cultural shifts change the way many people relate to faith communities, our library could become an important tool for spiritual growth, building UU identity, and connecting with our congregational mission. The work of this committee will be extremely important, and hopefully will be experienced as an exciting opportunity to be involved in the creation of a potentially powerful learning resource.
Committee members will have access to our collections, including new acquisitions as we grow. They will also get to help guide our growth and expand our congregation’s use of this resource.
RE Greeters & Hospitality Team
Members of this team help to make children and families feel welcome and comfortable on Sunday mornings (and potentially at other times).
- Greeting families and children before the service(s), and directing them to the family section for worship;
- Explaining the current RE schedule, location of classes, process for picking up children, etc. as needed;
- Accompanying the children and teachers as they leave after the Children’s Moment, and ensuring that everyone finds the right classroom;
- Briefly checking in with teachers and childcare staff to see if anything is needed.
- Keeping a walkie-talkie with them when they return to service, and leaving the service to assist teachers if called upon.
Helping families and children navigate the religious education offerings on Sunday mornings is a valuable and much-needed service. Parents can better focus on worship when they know where their children are, and children can engage in their programming more fully when they feel comfortable and welcome.
Greeters have the benefit of getting to know all the children and their parents, becoming a familiar face and a trusted presence.