Serving as a Guide in Religious Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE Volunteer Opportunities 2020-21!

Signup page is here or email Leah 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.

  • Preschool-1st Grade: Online small group based on theme of the month, preschool parents can also opt to do RE at home using provided materials

  • 2nd-5th Grade: Online small group based on theme of the month

  • 6th/7th Grade: Online small group, Crossing Paths curriculum (learning about other religions). Site visits to be held later.

  • 8th Grade: Online Book Club style small group, text chosen to amplify Black voices/relate to #BLM. Also open to 9th graders not doing Coming of Age. 

  • 9th Grade: Online small group plus mentor meetings, Coming of Age program

  • 10th Grade and up: Online Yo”uu”th group led by paid advisor Tracey Hickey

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. 

 

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, especially now that our session will be online! Our RE staff, Elizabeth Baldes, RE Program Coordinater and Leah Purcell, the Director of RE and Family Ministry, will lead the first sessions this fall as a way to gently start in and offer opportunities for connection and reconnection among the children and the guides.  And we’ll have an orientation to online RE before small group guides start leading sessions. Leah and Elizabeth are available to answer any questions via email as we go along this year. 

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 intereactions.  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 Leah 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 online curricula are designed to be easy to use. We’ve always said that nothing has to turn out “just so” in our activities. And with being online, children and youth will have more opportunites to explore what they like and to share with the group what they are most 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, while we are online, RE will be at 11:30 so you can always attend the 10:00 service first. 

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