We hope youâ€™ll join us on Saturday, March 21 for the Interim RE Startup as First Unitarian Church of Baltimore looks at the past, present and future of the congregationâ€™s religious education program for all ages. Childcare will be provided!
Vibrant RE programming for Children, Youth and Adults is an important part of the mission of all growing and thriving congregations. So we need you: parents of children in the program, volunteers, mentors, teachers, committee chairs, current and former church leaders, people who know part of the history of our RE program and people who are familiar with RE at a previous church.
The Startup will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beforehand, there will be a light brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please RSVP Interim DRE Karen Lee Scrivo at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 19 so we have enough food and chairs for all.
The Interim RE Startup will be facilitated by Rev. David Pyle, our new Joseph Priestley District executive director. No stranger to First Unitarian, Rev. Pyle has been working with the Board of Trustees on several important issues and will be conducting the upcoming Healthy Congregations workshops that First Unitarian leaders will be participating in.
The Interim RE workshop will focus on three areas: History, Roles and Responsibilities and Goals and Planning.
History: Where Do We Come From?
When starting out on any journey, itâ€™s important to remember where weâ€™ve been and how we got to where we are now. Looking at the history of RE for children, youth and adults, will help us understand the congregationâ€™s rich traditions as well as some of the challenges of maintaining and growing an RE program that speaks to all ages.
As the 20th century philosopher George Santayana reminds us, â€œThose who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.â€
Roles and Responsibilities: Whose Job is It Anyway?
Effective RE programs are a partnership that includes the religious educator, minister and RE volunteers. Like any successful partnership, it works best when we all agree on who is responsible for what.
The interim period is a good time to clarify this and see if the current assignments are working. Itâ€™s important to revisit these periodically in light of our rapidly changing world. The many changes that have occurred during the 21st century have affected all of our lives and churches need to adapt. Itâ€™s not surprising that things that worked well in the past may not be working now.
Goals and Planning: Where Are We Going?
In religious education, as in other aspects of church life, thereâ€™s generally more work to do than there is time. So it is critical to have goals and priorities that guide our choices and let us know where to put our limited time and resources. Itâ€™s also important that we all agree on those goals and priorities.
Once we have common goals, itâ€™s much easier to work together to find the best path forward. A clear sense of First Unitarianâ€™s goals for religious education will also help in the search for a permanent religious educator. Youâ€™ll have a much better sense of who youâ€™re looking for and what skills and experience are most important.
So we hope you can be part of this important conversation on March 21. If youâ€™re interested but canâ€™t make the Startup, please let us know so we can keep you informed and involved in future discussions as we move forward. It takes all of us to create and maintain a transformative religious education program for all.