What a year of growth and learning this has been! As we prepare to wrap up our first year of Second Hour adult faith development programming and Sunday School classes after morning worship rather than before or during, it’s a time of taking stock. What went well? What were the challenges? What did we learn that will help us plan for the 2019-2020 church year?
This is discernment work that requires input from the community, and I’m delighted to be able to report that we have a new Lifespan Faith Development Leadership Team beginning to look at these questions. They will help me and Michael assess our programs, plan for the future, and identify leaders in the congregation who are interested in working on faith development programs in the future. The inaugural members are Karen C, Jeff F, Anne M, Jennifer R, Jim S., and Jenn S. Please thank them for taking on this role, and tell them what you love and what you long for, for yourself and/or your children. Or tell me! I’m always eager for feedback, and I appreciate hearing about the snags and concerns as much as I enjoy a positive review of your experience; it is through experimentation and evaluation that we are able to improve how we learn together as a community.
I want to send out a big thank-you to all of you who have stepped into leadership of one kind or another this year – whether you have taught Sunday School or led a Second Hour workshop, served as a Youth Group leader, facilitated a covenant group or a support group, your time and energy are a great gift to those who receive it directly as well as those who benefit from the ripples that happen when we learn something new. A special shout-out to Alison S, Jim S., and Erin S for running the Our Whole Lives (OWL) human sexuality education program for our 7th-9th graders this year. OWL requires leaders to spend a weekend at a training and to put in considerable time to planning for each session.
Jason M, also OWL-trained, ran a concurrent parent information session so parents would have detailed information about what their children were learning in the program. This program makes a lasting difference in the lives of teens who experience it, and I am so grateful for their dedication. They have some dreams about extending our OWL offerings to other age groups (there are programs from Kindergarten through adulthood) so if you think YOU might want to get more involved with this program, please ask them about their experience and let me know!
Continuing what seems to be my theme – let me know! – we will be needing one or more new leaders for Sunday School next year. If you enjoy our children and youth, if you have a passion for learning and a commitment to Unitarian Universalism, we can help you with lesson plans, materials, and support as you discover how this work can contribute to your own growth as well as the children’s.
I hope to hear from you about how you might want to be involved in the future of Lifespan Faith Development!