RE Thoughts (September 2022)

Monica Hughes, Director of Religious Education
DRE@uufom.org

Meeting Needs
Since being hired as the DRE, I have been to a lot of meetings and listened to quite a few congregants. What did our fellowship need and want for the children’s program? Since COVID, our fellowship attendance has become sparse, which has brought down the number of children who attend. How do we bring people back? How do we create a fun and welcoming community for children and adults? How do we help our volunteers with burnout? Although I may not have the answers for all of these questions, I do have the drive and determination to solve some of these issues. 

Open House
For starters, the RE Team threw an open house last month. We had inflatables, ice cream, and volunteers. We brought in some folks from the fellowship, as well as people from the community. We had people tell us that they didn’t even know our fellowship existed and only stopped because they saw the inflatables. 

Future Events
The RE Team has decided that we also need more events, for our fellowship as well as for the outside community. One event that we’ve planned for fellowship members is a get-together on September 10, at 9:30 a.m., at the Barstow Airport breakfast, and we would LOVE to have our community there! As for a community outreach event, we’ve decided to throw a “Trunk or Treat” at the back of the fellowship parking lot on October 30, at noon.  We would love to have the fellowship participate by handing out candy. Sign up here – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b48aca622a6fe3-trunk. The event should also be available to non-member residents to hand out candy as well. I think by having these events, it will not only be a lot of fun, but build community. We will also plan a get-together at a pumpkin patch in October, but the date is still pending. Look for more details soon.

Sunday Lessons
As far as what we’re doing inside the fellowship, the RE Team got together for a retreat and chose the lesson plans for Sunday’s children classes. The theme this year is “Children Creating Change.” We have a lot of stories and real-life examples of children creating change around the world, from Greta Thunberg to Jaylen Arnold, and so many more. We’re hoping to show the children that they’re not too young to have a voice and to create change. We would love to have more volunteers assist in the classroom, or help teach these amazing stories. 

Classroom Introduction
We will have a classroom introduction after the service on September 18, to show what we do in the classrooms. We will provide food and drinks. Come and see what it’s like to be an RE kid and how we conduct classes. Sign up here – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b48aca622a6fe3-introduction. If you enjoy this experience, please volunteer in the classrooms, as we can always use more helpers. 

Youth Group
We also have plans to start a youth group soon (!), so we will be looking for volunteers to help work with the youth. This year the teens will be talking about “hot topics,” such as climate change, safety at school, social justice and more. The teens will discuss these topics in a safe environment and afterward they will talk about how they could create change as a group. I’m not sure what they will choose, but I’m excited to see them grow and connect.