Volunteering in RE Q and A:
Why do people donate their time and effort to children and youth?
Sharing the excitement of learning and exploring new ideas with children can be a very special experience. Volunteers often say that they learn as much, or more, from the young people as the young people do from the volunteers. The fresh outlook of children and youth helps us adults to keep our youthful perspective.
The curriculum materials we provide allow you to explore and clarify your own religious ideas, delve into the varied religious heritages that have influenced Unitarian Universalism and celebrate religious traditions of other cultures, and ways to put your faith into action.
I’m still forming my own beliefs. How can I teach religion to children?
As UU’s, most of us spend our entire lives formulating our religious beliefs. It’s a part of what we’re all about! Since we have no creed, we don’t try to “teach” our children religion. Instead, we help them to question, to wonder, to grow their own spirituality and world view. We teach them how to think about religion, not what to think about it. Our teachers don’t need theological certainty, just open minds and open hearts.
But I don’t know how to teach!
That’s okay – we’ll help you! The Religious Education Council and I provide support. I give an orientation to first timers before the semester starts. First timers get matched on teams with experienced volunteers. I check in with each class on Sunday mornings and I meet with teams to give them coaching with specific needs for their group of children. I’m always happy to address concerns via email, text or phone.
But I can’t do it alone!
Don’t worry. You’ll be a part of a teaching team of four volunteers per group. When it’s your turn to teach, another member of your team will be there to assist. You can expect to lead one session a month and assist once a month. You’ll receive an email each week to remind you of the schedule and check in with you. Elizabeth Baldes, RE Program Assistant and I provide you with the materials you need.
But I’m not good at arts and crafts (or music, drama or whatever).
You don’t have to be! Our curricula are designed to be easy to use. There is some arts and crafts activities, but nothing has to turn out “just so”. If you want to add more music or drama, the members of your teaching team might have strengths complementary to yours. Our congregation is a wealth of talent, so I will help you find that guitarist-dancer-scientist who can add the touch of expertise you want.
I enjoy the sermons too much to miss them.
Good News! You’ll have at least two Sunday’s “off” each month. And the audios of the two most recent services in their entirety are on line at our members.albanyuu.org
OK, now I’m interested. What do I do next?
You can reply to Leah Purcell here or via email her at email@example.com