Join the Ministry of Religious Exploration: FAQs

The following are the opportunities we currently have for teachers and advisors for the 2017–2018 program year.

Updated October 2, 2017

Please contact the Director of Religious Exploration, Sarah Ahrens, at dre@hunterdonuu.org for more information and/or to volunteer for one of these positions.

 

Grades K–2 Soul Matters—Monthly Theme Based RE—aligns with Sunday worship. ONE TEACHER NEEDED!

The K–2nd-grade group will meet the first 3 Sundays of the month during the 10:30 a.m. service. Teachers rotate with teaching and assisting, 2 classes on and 2 classes off, throughout the program year, September–May. All training, lesson plans, & materials provided.

 K-5th grade Teacher Training will be held based on participant availability. 

 

Grades 9–10 Coming of Age. Two male mentors needed.

This program runs from January to May, 2018. Each mentor will be assigned to a Coming of Age participant and will be oriented to the program at the beginning. Mentors and students will communicate weekly and meet monthly to help the students successfully complete the program, including their social justice projects and credo presentations.

 

FAQ:

I have a crazy schedule, so I can’t teach. Is there another way I can help?

Yes! Our RE program can use volunteers in countless ways.  Please ask the DRE about some of these other options –

  • Super Sunday Assistants – We need 3 assistants for the last Sunday of each month to work with our K-12th-grade social justice events during the last service. This can be a one-time commitment and requires no preparation in advance.
  • Nursery Assistants & Substitutes – We occasionally need someone to help out in the Nursery. Offering your name to a list of subs will help out greatly when needed.
  • Intergenerational Event Assistants – The RE Committee offers at least one Intergenerational Event per month, either on or off site, to provide opportunities for all to engage in our mission of Nurturing Spiritual Journeys & Expanding Social Justice. We are always looking for folks to help plan, coordinate or just assist with these events.

Why do teachers volunteer their time?

The best way to get an answer to that is to ask one of our teachers! Sharing the excitement of learning and exploring new ideas with children and youth can be a very special experience. We learn as much, or more, from them as they do from us, and their fresh outlook helps us to keep our youthful perspective.  The curriculum materials we provide allow you the opportunity to celebrate both Unitarian Universalism itself, as well as the religious traditions of other cultures. You will explore and clarify your own religious ideas, and delve into the varied religious heritages that have influenced Unitarian Universalism.

One of our current advisors shares, I wanted to get to know the teens in our congregation, so I lead Coming of age and Junior High OWL. Not surprisingly, I was able to better define my own beliefs. And I now have smarter ways to think about sexuality as an adult and as a parent to a young child.”

I’m still forming my own beliefs.  How can I teach religion to children?

As UU’s, most of us spend our entire lives formulating our religious beliefs. It’s a part of what we’re all about! Since we have no creed, we don’t try to “teach” our children religion. Instead, we help them to question, to wonder, to grow their own spirituality. We teach them how to think about religion, not what to think about it. Our teachers don’t need theological certainty, just open minds and open hearts.

What if I don’t know how to teach?

That’s okay – we’ll help you! We’ll have a comprehensive training workshop before classes begin so you’ll feel right at home with our RE program. The Director of Religious Exploration (DRE) will provide ongoing practical and emotional support.  It is very rewarding to share the joy of celebration and discovery. The children will benefit from your viewpoint as differing perspectives are invaluable to their growth.

Will I be teaching alone?

You’ll be a part of a teaching team of four teachers per class. When it’s your turn to teach, another member of your team will be there to assist. Our curricula are designed to be easy to use and are so complete that all you need to do is follow the directions.  The DRE will check in with you, offer suggestions when asked, and help you find the supplies and resources you need.

My kids are grown (or I don’t have kids). Why should I get involved in RE?

Social responsibility begins at home, within our own church family. What better way to assure our future, as well as that of our denomination, than to work with children/youth, who are its heartbeat? We have approximately 80 children and youth to our 135 adult members.  We NEED ALL people to get involved in order to keep our congregation thriving!

What if I enjoy the sermons too much to miss them?

Good News! RE classes meet at all different times, depending on the group you are working with.  Please reference the chart to see the approximate meeting time and expectations for each age group. The teaching teams work together to ensure that the schedule works for everyone. The teaching/assisting schedules are flexible, and adjustments can be easily made as needed. The DRE will work with you to find a good match for both your scheduling needs and personal talents and interests.