I completed my Spire article early for June. It was a composite of the Time for All Ages I've told, written, or read that will stay with me for many years to some and will transport me right back to Sunday mornings with the children and youth of First Parish. But I’m instead going to keep it brief.
Sunday afternoon, I realized what is the true time for all ages that I will carry forward with me. You. The congregation. I was overwhelmed, moved and deeply emotional on Sunday after your feedback, hugs, conversation, and emails following the RE service. First Parish is a very special place. You are "the story." Have you seen the movie or read the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio? A quote from it came to me today: "Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life." Thank you for giving me mine.
Feeling nostalgic for beginnings, I just re-read my first Spire article from August of 2018 and a sentence jumped out, "As I glance back and "wave" at the DRE's who've come before me at FPNUU and then turn to wave ahead at those who will come after me, I am grateful to be here now." And yes, I have been so grateful and I look forward to welcoming the new DRE into the congregation with you.
Gabe Millins, DRE
Director of Religious Education
RE is looking for volunteers to teach fall or spring session, or year-long. All classes are taught in teams of two and you will get plenty of support!
"Holidays and Holy Days" (grades 3-6) is a year-long exploration of holidays and holy days of multiple faiths and traditions. We typically teach the lessons based on the calendar of how the holidays fall. Teach and learn alongside the youth about Sukkot, Diwali, Yule, Holi, Powamu, Three Kings Day, John Murray Day, Dussehra, Mawlid al-nabi, Fete du Vudun… and more. We anticipate a healthy dose of wondering and awareness along the way about cultural appropriation.
"Neighboring Faiths" (grades 7-8) is a year-long exploration of learning about, and VISITING, various places of faith. Past connections have included Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton, Shambala Center in Boston, Sha’aray Shalom in Hingham, and the Islamic Center of New England. Additional learning though in-house sessions about pagan rituals, Buddhist meditation and Quaker experiences from FPN members familiar and formerly or currently practicing. New ideas from feedback from last time the class was offered visiting another South Shore UU church (and meeting youth), and a Catholic church. This is a wonderful exploration and process for teachers and students alike!
Are you interested in becoming a trained OWL facilitator? Or a youth group leader for middle or high school? Subs? We always need subs! Please let us know!
I know some volunteers are concerned about missing out on Sunday services if they teach. This year, each semester was only about 9 classes and I've found personally, and heard from others, that teaching RE is in many ways a spiritual practice. (I agree!)
Speak with us if you are ready to sign up or have questions. We would like to have teachers place for the fall, with CORI's and SORI's completed, so the DRE has a head start! Thank you for considering teaching. As a parent in the program, I am very grateful to those who will consider it.
Gabe and the RE committee: Amanda Adams, Staci Carey, Emily Grant and Debb Welsh.