Michele Grove Will Be Our Interim Director of Religious Education
We are happy to announce that, after a national search and careful discernment by the RE Advisory Group, Board, and Minister, we offered the position of Interim DRE to Michele Townsend Grove, and she accepted. She and her family will move here from South Dakota in August, and she will be with us for two years, including supporting us in the search for a permanent DRE. Michele is a religious educator with over 25 years of experience, and this will be her fifth interim DRE position.
She visited us last week and she was very impressed by what she saw here: the growing energy, deep sense of community, committed staff and minister, and thriving commitments to education and learning. If you had a chance to meet Michele while she was here, you know she is positive, creative, receptive, and collaborative. She sparkles! We are looking forward to the re-visioning of religious education and lifelong learning that she will be leading for us as part of the interim process. She is, literally, a national leader in the relatively new field of interim DRE work. Thank you to all who have contributed financially so that we could bring a person of her experience here as our interim.
We celebrate that our children, youth, parents, and adults of all ages are all integral and valued members of our congregation. For children and youth we have a Religious Education program that meets on Sunday mornings during worship (one to two times each month children and youth join the beginning of the service).
Our RE program consists of seven classes, from preschool children to YRUU - Young Religious Unitarian Universalists - for the high school youth. The RE program is led by the Director of Religious Education and supported by a strong team of volunteer teachers. Parents and adult members of the congregation are involved as teachers or as mentors in the Coming of Age class. We strive to have several multi-generational events each year, and have had a successful week-long summer day camp for the last three years. The RE program encourages our children and youth to grow morally and spiritually.
Volunteer teachers often find their experiences in RE to be a profoundly rewarding life experience. Teaching teams are intentionally staffed with enough people to allow teachers o have an opportunity to attend some Sunday services. All teachers receive full background checks before working directly with our children, and we have a Safe Congregation policy.
We use curricula developed specifically for Unitarian Universalist congregations, including the Tapestry of Faith curricula.
Currently, the RE program involves 24 teachers leading seven classes with over 100 children and youth in the following classes: preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade, 2nd and 3rd grade, 4th and 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th and 8th grade, and YRUU (high school). Visiting children and youth are always welcome, except in the programs below for junior high students.
We are proud to offer the year-long nationally respected OWL (Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education) for 7th and 8th graders, generally every 2-3 years, and the year-long UU Coming of Age for the same age group every 2-3 years. In 2018-19 we will be offering the Coming of Age program.
We also have a Children's Choir, which is volunteer-led and sings twice a month in our Sunday services.
Adult RE offerings include a number of lay-led discussion and book groups, as well as a lay-led meditation group which meets at 9 am before the Sunday service. For more information, visit our Groups page. Our minister, Rev. Florence Caplow, also offers adult religious education opportunities. To find out more on upcoming casses offered by our minister, visit Upcoming Events.