Amanda joined the East Shore staff as Youth Programs Coordinator in November 2016. She first started attending East Shore in 1999, and was raised in the Unitarian Universalist tradition. The Personnel Committee likes to keep you informed about new staff, so I took the opportunity to interview Amanda and learn more about her role here.
Erin: Tell us about your family and any special interests you have outside the church.
Amanda: My parents raised my brother and me at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft, New Jersey, before moving to Washington when I was a youth. These were my first impressions of spirituality and organized religion. I have always loved song and dance, as well as worship, tradition, and ritual. Throughout my life, I have studied spirituality, cosmology, metaphysics, and religion. I strive to have a personal and historical understanding of my place in the world, and feel most complete when I am connected to both human cultures and the environment.
I study health and healing, including Western herbalism and Ayurveda. I am passionate about nutrition, breathing, and movement.
Erin: What’s your role in the church?
Amanda: I am the Youth Programs Coordinator. I facilitate events and education for high school youth age 14-18, grades 9-12. I am responsible for providing Sunday morning programming from 11:30-1:00 pm. I also facilitate special events and local and regional youth conferences. I am committed to pursuing training opportunities that can support my work at ESUC. My DRE, Aisha Hauser, has offered continuous guidance and resources for my work here.
Erin: What do you like about your job?
Amanda: I enjoy my time at the office on Wednesdays, where I attend staff meetings and work on my Sunday programming. Meeting with colleagues is very important to me in facilitating a more complete understanding of our church community. I have very much appreciated Rev. Elaine Peresluha’s guidance in these meetings through chalice lighting and a spiritual reading. I love being able to “come out” spiritually, and to prioritize the cultivation of inner values over worldly possessions. These meetings give me guidance that supports my own spiritual identity. I find this recognition to be very important when working to encourage and support that in our youth. My co-facilitator, John Fahey, as well as the youth, remind me how important it is to have fun, laugh, and relax! These are spiritual values, for they open the doorway to connection, caring, and a Beloved Community!
Erin: Can you tell me what interested you about this position?
Amanda: I’m excited about interacting and building loving relationships with youth in the context of a faith community. I think it is a very special opportunity to focus on and discuss non-material values, and to try to foment a sense of identity beyond one’s social status. I really want to encourage young people to listen to their inner voice, and help provide tools and knowledge that can help them to be successful in maturing into healthy adults. I am looking forward to strengthening the connections between the youth group and the larger church community.