RE Volunteer Opportunities 2021-22!

To sign up, email Elizabeth at dre@albanyuu.org

New RE guides, please fill out, sign and return this Application Form from our Safe Congregation Policy

All RE guides must sign and return this Code of Ethics form each year.

NOTE: this year (2021-22) all volunteers working with children and youth must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and willing to provide evidence of vaccination. Masks must be worn by both children and adults meeting in-person.

  • Groups you could work with:

Prek-6th Grade will be engaging with our monthly themed Soul Matters curriculum. This year’s themes include:

October:  Cultivating Relationship
November:  Holding History
December:  Opening to Joy
January:  Living with Intention
February:  Widening the Circle
March:  Renewing Faith 
April: Awakening
May:  Nurturing Beauty
June:  Celebrating Blessings

7th & 8th Grade will be reading and discussing some amazing graphic novels, featuring the experiences of often-marginalized and oppressed groups in our Graphic Novel Book Club. We’ll be starting with the “March” trilogy by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin.

9th Grade will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Coming of Age Program, which is intended as a fun way for youth to explore and express their own individual sense of religious identity in a supportive atmosphere, and find ways to live out their identity and values in their everyday life and the world at large.

10th-12th Grade will again be guided by Lead Youth Advisor Tracey Hickey. Youth Group is also available for any interested 9th grader, however some meetings for Coming of Age and Youth Group will take place at the same time.

Toward a Safe Congregation Policy

This policy describes our approach to both preventing and responding to behaviors, especially as they are directed toward children, youth and vulnerable adults. RE adult volunteers sign the Code of Ethics every year they serve in the program, and submit it to the Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry. 

NOTE: this year (2021-22) all volunteers working with children and youth must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and willing to provide evidence of vaccination. Masks must be worn by both children and adults meeting in-person.

 

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.

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 guide them to question, to wonder, to grow their own spirituality and world view. We help them how to think about religion, not what to think about it. Our small group guides don’t need theological certainty, just open minds and open hearts.

But I don’t know how to guide a small group!
That’s okay – we’ll help you. Our RE staff, Paula Brewer, RE Program Assistant and Elizabeth Baldes, the Acting Director of RE, support the team of volunteers throughout the church year. There is also an opportunity for teacher training every fall.

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 and monitor the interactions.  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 and Paula will 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 is designed to be easy to use. We’ve always said that nothing has to turn out “just so” in our activities. Children and youth will appreciate the opportunity to explore what they like and to share with the group what they are excited about.

I enjoy the sermons too much to miss them. 
Good news! We have teams so that no one has to volunteer every Sunday. Plus, now that we are multi-platform, most services are recorded and shared.

OK, now I’m interested. What do I do next?
You email Elizabeth Baldes at dre@albanyuu.org. She’ll be happy to talk with you about what might be a good fit for you.