Sometimes change leaves us with dread. Other times it rejuvenates our spirits. Both feelings associated with change stem from uncertainty of knowing what is coming next. Although big changes are coming to our church and Religious Education, I hope that we embrace these changes as a refreshing and exciting challenge.
First, I want to make a note that I am writing this month’s column before our RE Organizational Meeting. So, plans may or may not go out the window. Along with the uncertainty of change comes the need of flexibility to adapt to the future.
When our southern region staff held a start-up session with congregants earlier in late August, one of their questions struck me. What would it mean to our community if our church disappeared? For me, RE is one area that our community absolutely needs. What should RE provide? It should offer open exploration of faiths and spiritual development for all stages of life. It should be a place that offers support to, and celebrates, our LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC community members. It should be a genuine space where we can admit that we do not always have the answers and that is just fine. We excel in some of these areas and in others we need to “Walk the Walk.” RE provides a service and space to our community that is not offered by any other religious or spiritual organization in Bryan/College Station.
When I think of the potential that Religious Education has for our church and community, I get really excited and incredibly overwhelmed by possibility. During the course of the month, I have thought about offering RE in the afternoon/evening to make it easier for parents to login, starting up a youth-level program on world religions, and bringing the Our Whole Lives to our young people. For adults, it would be absolutely wonderful to have community-building opportunities among younger adults and to have offerings for spiritual development for our elders. As you can probably tell, my mind is a busy place! I recently spoke with Dena Imlay about possibilities for RE outreach including the development of a children’s theater program and a Montessori co-op preschool once our new building is built. This type of outreach could help both children and their grownups. All of these programs would enhance our community both inside and outside of our congregation. Let me leave you with all of these larger dreams and goals for now. I hope by the time of our organizational meeting, we have a list overflowing with possibilities for the future.
For RE in October, we will explore the love of giving and start the Love Will Guide Us program. This Tapestry of Faith curriculum explores the UU Six Sources. Plus, who doesn’t need a little love to guide us these days?