Can you feel it? The energy around our religious education program and our conversation about shaping faith development for the future at UUCA is palpable. I’m reminded of the quiet but intense buzz of bees in my blossom-laden back yard right now…it’s something you can feel around you!
As we look to Summer and Fall classes and programming, the RE-Visioning is providing a congregation-wide discussion and collaboration to improve and expand the scope, impact, and quality of our faith development offerings. The RE-Visioning for Family Ministry process has been an excellent way so far for families to share their experiences, hopes, and areas of interest and commitment for our classes and activities for children, youth, and adults in the Fall–and beyond. In our final two RE-Visioning sessions, we invite non-parents to join us in shaping a core ministry of this church, in recognition that faith development DOES take a village–and we believe it also MAKES a village! The health and vitality of this congregation, our ability to touch people’s lives, reach out to new members, and sustain a viable and vital membership and ministry, within and beyond our walls, depends on it.
We have two sessions left: please do plan to come, come, whoever you are!
Potluck dinner and discussion, with childcare (RSVP needed to email@example.com)
Led by Rev. Mark Ward & Joy Berry
Sandburg Hall, 5-7pm
April 30 and May 14 (note May’s date change!)
Key takeaways from visioning thus far:
- Family ministry focuses a congregation on the unique needs of each age/stage in the lifespan. We have noted that one challenge for families in particular at UUCA is a fairly soloed system that keeps most parents tied to connecting and volunteering and leading ONLY in RE, because the recruitment needs are high and parents of course want their kids to have a great program of religious education. One consequence of this reality is that adults with children and youth often don’t have an option to pursue their own faith development, or to experience worship with the larger faith community, or to commit to leadership roles in other activities, committees, or groups. In order to have greater integration of parents and families across the life of the church, we need to reimagine how we can run a great RE program that doesn’t need the majority of parents to be teachers and leaders. The following takeaways describe our ideas to creatively change in ways that have broad benefit to all involved.
- Family ministry encourages us to see faith development as a lifespan process; we are always growing in faith. As such, opportunities to engage in structured learning can be an important and valuable part of an adult congregant’s experience at church. To that end, we have developed some offerings that adults (not just parents!) can take part in on Sunday morning. In particular, too, multigenerational learning offers particular impact on both younger and older participants, but we have had too few opportunities to experience its blessing with our current approach. To that end, we have developed all-ages offerings at 9:15 (Yoga, Worship, HymnSing, and a class on UUs and Miracles) where adults of all ages, children, and youth can be together. Children may attend with or without parents; adults may attend anytime. Interested in trying something out, or leading such programs? Look for registration and recruitment info at the RE table on Sundays through May in Sandburg Hall.
- Those in committees, on the Board, and in adult activity and learning groups are particularly invited to take part in our final two RE-Visioning sessions. We will collaborate on ways that intentional planning of multigenerational activities and events that serve the mission of your group can invite people of all ages, including parents and children, into the diverse work of the church. If we can help our adult working and learning groups build access for some adults (especially parents) they may not have previously experienced, it can be beneficial for all involved.
We are blessed to have a congregation that sees faith development as a central process. We are blessed to be part of a community open to new ideas and to sharing a process that lets us collaborate our way into a future together. Please share your blessing, and your voice, in this process.
Join us April 30 and May 14 to be part of the conversation!