As you may have heard, my position at The Unitarian Church in Summit is changing. I have had the honor of serving as Director of Religious Education (DRE) for 11 years, and for the last year, as Executive Director. The Board of Trustees asked me to take on this new role in order to bring some of the same qualities that went into the systematic building of the Religious Education (RE) program to the administration of the larger congregation. It has been my privilege to accept the challenge, and I am excited.
It has been amazing to watch many of our children grow into fine youth and young adults. Their parents trusted their souls, bodies, hearts and minds, to me, to Emilie and Kimberly, to their teachers, to this community, to us. Many of you have taught and guided them. You have prepared lessons, served as mentors, chaperoned trips to other houses of worship and junior high retreats, and taught lessons on sexuality. You have done what a caring community is meant to do: take turns at raising these fine young people.
Like a flock of Canadian geese flying in a V formation, you have rotated cyclically ~ in and out ~ of the lead bird position, holding in the arms of the V our community of children. It’s an image that truly describes how we take turns in leading. When our children mature and grow, they will be ready to take their turn in leading the flying V formation. This is our gift and legacy as adults who care.
My job transition means that our community needs a new Director of Religious Education who can help keep our flock flying. A professional who can bring fresh energy and enthusiasm to our children, and their teachers. A professional who can continue to lead us to be a place that welcomes people of all generations, an increasing rarity in this time and age.
It is a leap financially to add a staff person. We don’t yet have the money to hire a new DRE.
We’ve had a long proud history of prioritizing children, ensuring that children matter. When our congregation faced the Great Depression and we didn’t have enough money to heat the sanctuary, we chose at that time to use our funds to invest in our future and paid for the grand dame of Religious Education, Sophia Lyons Fahs, to come and cast a vision for us; at a time when were financially challenged, we called one of the first Ministers of Religious Education to grow our Religious Education program rather than focusing on heating the building. We have one of the longest-running and healthiest youth programs in our movement and we have renovated our building so that both worship and Religious Education can be under one roof.
Now, it is our time to confirm with our support that children matter. We must carry on the legacy of making our children a priority. And so I ask that you invest so that our young ones can fly in formation, fly strong, fly long, fly without faltering.
Your generous support of our special appeal for the Children Matter Fund will go to securing the future of Religious Education. Several visionary members want to match our gifts dollar-for-dollar so that our contributions will grow.
We are seeking $25,000 from the wider community. We are asking all of us, of all ages, to contribute toward the Children Matter Fund to put us over the top. Terry, Emilie, and I have all given to the fund. If you can contribute $250, it will become $500. Our youth are raising $25 each which will become $50. And our children can bring in 250 pennies! All of us are contributing! For those of you who have already contributed, let me just say thank you. Your generosity has been profoundly moving.
Thank you for years of support.
Click here to donate. Please pick special appeal as you make your donation. Thank you for your generosity!