line art of a small girl with a large watering can

Spring is a time of new beginnings, but also a time of planning and preparation for the future. While many of us are itching to get out into the garden and the dirt and plant all the things, we must first plan our gardens and prepare the soil. Right now in Religious Exploration, we are planning our garden for next year! We are looking at things like registration and attendance numbers and figuring out how to group grades, which spaces to use for what, what curriculums we’ll use etc. We are talking to our volunteers, parents, and children and youth about what worked this year and what didn’t, just like how gardeners take stock of which plants thrived and which plants didn’t do well in the previous season. 

It’s also time for us to cultivate a new crop of RE leaders and teachers! Religious Exploration at UU Asheville is like a community garden, it only works because a large group of folks tends it together. Every Sunday morning, 15-25 caring and curious adults take time to invest in our children and youth and cultivate learning, relationships, and fun. Last Sunday, our high school youth were serving hot donuts during coffee hour to help encourage congregants to engage with our annual giving drive. Our Pre-K group was doing experiential learning using different senses to explore nature, while our K-3rd groups combined together to hear a story about community and then helped prepare and beautify our campus by spreading mulch and painting rocks for our actual garden. Our 7th-8th, Our Whole Lives class was learning about pregnancy and parenthood while our other middle school group explored Imagination as a quality of a justice maker. Like a community garden, everyone who participates in RE nurtures their soul and reaps the benefits of being with our children and learning and playing alongside them. 

We always need more helpers in our garden of love and community! Working with our children and youth is rewarding, fun, and fulfilling and I promise it will benefit your own spiritual development in the process! We will also equip you with all the tools you’ll need, including fun training. We have all sorts of needs and we have the perfect fit for you, look for us during coffee hour beginning in April and find your place in our garden! If you already know what you want to do or have an exciting idea – email me! I’d love to hear from you!

Kim Collins 

Religious Educator