You cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. – C.S. Lewis
Katie Covie, our Soul Matters RE coordinator summed up our monthly online DRE brainstorm lab on the theme of Emergence. We came to understand a unique quality of emergence. That is, you don’t know what is emerging until it has already emerged. You can’t fully tell what is coming until it has come! Or to put it another way, being a people of emergence involves doing all we can, trusting the process and keeping an eye out for unexpected opportunities to emerge.
And so it is with our RE program; each spring, I put out a call for volunteers to teach, to guide, to advise and facilitate our Sunday school groups. No one is compelled to volunteer. And everyone knows that our program is dependent on volunteers. Our volunteers come from all different constituents of our congregation: parents of children of any age, empty nesters, those looking for a new way to support the congregation and fulfill their own spiritual and personal development. I trust this process of staffing our Sunday morning program and I hope you do too. I hope you have been keeping an eye out for unexpected opportunities and consider volunteering in RE as on way you can nourish your soul and help change the world.
LEAH’S TOP 10 REASONS FOR VOLUNTEERING IN RE
- Learn new skills in a team setting. Each team has at least two experienced volunteers and one or two who are new to volunteering. And I offer coaching to on how facilitate groups of children and youth. New volunteers assist an experienced volunteer a few times before they lead a session themselves.
- Grow in your own faith. Sunday school is a place where everyone can deepen their sense of being at home with the universe; where they can think about their own experiences and explore what meaning other stories have for them; where they can express joy; and learn skills to carry their values to the wider world.
- Snacks. Pause for time to gather with the group to enjoy a healthy and tasty snack, relax and chat
- Have fun with children and youth. Some parents enjoy volunteering in their own child’s class; others volunteer with children older than their own, to get a taste of what things will be like in the future. Some volunteers enjoy working with the youngest children; others enjoy hearing from and guiding older elementary children and youth.
- Attend Sunday morning religious services too. The REC and I are looking to lighten the load so that each team members can count on volunteering usually twice a month, sometimes once a month.?
- Be a part of a well-organized program. I have an orientation for first-timers in August. Teams organize themselves about who will lead and who will assist each Sunday using a google doc I create. Each Tues I send a reminder to each group about who is leading, who is assisting, and what session is coming up.
- Have an opportunity to be creative, if that’s your thing; or follow a plan, if it’s not. If you are arts and crafty, you can bring those skills to the group. If not – no worries. The Tapestry of Faith program that we use for most of the groups has several activities each week for volunteers to choose from; I also offer to help volunteers plan their sessions.
- Create caring communities for children and youth that are unlike any other that are available to them. Sunday school can be a place for each person to bring their whole selves, and be invited into a group where compassion and equity is fostered by trusted adults
- Be welcomed into our “village”. Parents count on our religious community to help them to equip their children and youth with skills they need for a lifetime as religious people.
And the top reason to volunteer in RE is…to change the world. From veteran RE volunteer, Leah Akins – Teaching RE has been one of the most powerful experiences in my adult life because I get a chance to touch children’s lives in way unlike any other teaching experience in that your role is to teach morality, love, compassion, empathy, open-mindness, sexual awareness…. Their generation has the power to change the world for the better; in my opinion there is no better way to spend your time!
Interested in signing on for this great and happy endeavor? Use the signup sheet in Channing Hall or email or call me. As always, I’m happy to talk with you and answer any questions you might have.
In faithful service,