Supporting Faith formation and Family Ministry: 2019-2020 Programs for Children and Youth at Church

by Amanda Alice Uluhan, RE Programs Coordinator

Looking for Children’s and Youth Religious Education Program Volunteers

The Children’s Religious Education (RE) Program is an important part of our ESUC community. Providing our children and youth with the opportunity to learn about our UU principles and heritage, explore world religions, and participate in social action projects is a way we can help create the future we want for our world. Our curriculums this year in Religious Education are based on monthly, thematic content and goals. How might you be a part of this vital work?

Take a moment and read the descriptions of some of our volunteer roles. Our programs run most Sundays of the month, from September 22 through May 17, culminating in a celebration in the Sanctuary on May 31. Volunteers support the program throughout Sunday mornings, from 8:30-12:30 approximately, with many of our volunteers supporting children and youth during the 11 a.m. RE time. Do any of them stir something in you?

Nursery/Pre-K Assistants: provide loving supervision to our youngest children on Sunday mornings, pre-K, ages 5 and under. Schedule is based on your availability.

Classroom Assistants: Assist volunteer teachers with activities and general supervision during Sunday morning RE program. No preparation required. Schedule is based on your availability.

RE Greeters: Greet new families as they arrive at church in our Education Building. Provide current information about the Children and Youth RE Program and how they can find their fit. Share forms for visitors. Monitor hallways to make sure everyone under 18 is participating in appropriate programming. Training will be provided. Schedule based on your availability.

Classroom Teachers: As part of a team, and using the curriculum provided, lead a class full of stories, activities, songs, etc. We need teachers for all age groups, Kindergarten through High School, ages 5-18. Staff support is given with preparation of materials and content. The team shares responsibility for the class, and is asked to sign up for 1-4 sessions per month.

Middle School Con Sponsor: Accompany Middle School youth to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island for their annual “Con” (conference). This event is attended by youth (and their adult sponsors) from around the Puget Sound Region. The event starts late afternoon on Friday, September 27 and ends early afternoon on Sunday, September 29. The weekend is a great way to meet other UUs from around the area and a lot of fun!

High School Youth Group Team: Support our high school youth as they deepen their connection to the UU faith, engage in social action, do fundraising, and participate in general social, spiritual, and service activities. Opportunities are available on Sundays, during Cons (held twice a year in Randle, WA), and as activities are scheduled by the group.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education Teachers: Important in our RE Program are our OWL classes. We want our children and youth to have comprehensive information about sex and sexuality, giving them a firm foundation as they grow towards adulthood. Teachers are needed for all age levels (starting at Kindergarten and going through High School). A three day weekend-long training is required for all OWL teachers, which East Shore is hosting Labor Day weekend, August 30, 31, and September 1.

Other opportunities: In addition to those listed above, there are a myriad of other ways you can help the RE Program. For instance, we always need people to plan activities, coordinate supplies, prepare special meals and birthday celebrations, keep classrooms organized, do minor repairs, etc. Some tasks involve working directly with children or youth, others are “behind-the-scenes.” Whatever your interests and skill set, we have a place for you!

To discuss ways you might become a part of the important mission of the RE Program and to get more information, contact Amanda Uluhan, Religious Education Programs Coordinator. She is often available after Sunday services or can be emailed at coordinator@esuc.org

Please note that, per ESUC safety and health policies, background checks will be run for all volunteers who work with children or youth.