RE Volunteers change lives!

As a South Church RE volunteer, you’ll change the lives of the children/youth that you work with, and they’ll change yours too. South Church runs on the energy and heart of our congregants, and this is particularly true about our religious education program for children and youth. We depend on several dozen volunteers to make RE happen each year. The rewards for sharing this time and energy with our young people are significant, particularly when you choose a role that suits your current curiosities.

As we return to in-person worship, we will have a time of fun, connective, community building following the Time For All Ages segment of worship. This will be open to kids ages 4 and up. We will meet in this way from 9/19 through 10/10. After that date we hope to resume regular age-based classes. If you are able to help for one or more Sundays during either service, then click the button below to sign up. This will be fun!

Because we’ll have two worship times on Sundays this year, you have the opportunity to be with children/youth during one time, and still be at worship during the other! Volunteering for any of our programs comes with support in these forms: Training; clearly written curriculum; supplies and materials ready for you in advance; communication and additional support from Religious Education Coordinator.

Below is a description of the programs, the commitment volunteers can expect for each, and some of the ways that volunteers find spiritual rooting by serving on the team…

We want our volunteers to get the most out their roles! If you have questions about any of the programs below, or if you’d like to volunteer but aren’t sure which spot is right for you, please contact the Religious Education Coordinator, who would be happy to help find a good fit for your interests and availability: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org

Spirit Play (Pre K & Kindergarten): A Montessori based program encouraging children to delve into hands-on spiritual exploration in a safe and sacred space just for them.  Spirt Play gives children the tools to make meaning of their lives within the container of Unitarian Universalism. The program uses storytelling to inspire awe and creativity, which in turn nurture children’s spiritual development. Classroom has two adults for each session.

  • Volunteer Commitment: One afternoon of Spirit Play training, SC volunteer training, then average 2 Sunday morning classes per month in the Spirit Play classroom.
  • Spiritual Rooting: Intergenerational connection; your own spiritual exploration through awe and imagination; play; creativity; deepen connection with other adults on teaching team

Theme Based Workshops (Grades 1 through 5): Sessions that align with our monthly worship theme and Unitarian Universalism, using a hands-on approach to faith formation. Each Sunday of the month will have a special focus. Volunteers can sign up to do one type of focus or help on multiple Sundays~

  • 1st Sunday Children’s Chapel: The first Sunday of each month is child-led chapel time, including some rituals similar to those found in regular worship. There is also a check in time and the monthly theme is introduced, with related activities.
  • 2nd Sunday Music Play: On the second Sunday of each month, we will explore the monthly theme through either creating a song together, playing music, or listening to songs by other people related to the theme. Volunteers for this group will have the option of either using a curriculum that is provided to them, or creating their own plan for the day.
  • 3rd Sunday UU Principles: On the third Sunday of each month, we will learn about one of the UU principles, exploring all 7 current, plus the 8th in process of being adopted, over the course of the church year.
  • 4th/5th Sundays: Activities and discussions related to the monthly church themes, service work, or other aspects of UUism

Volunteering in Theme Workshop Classroom:

  • Volunteer Commitment: Volunteer training, then various Sundays options. You may sign up for every month or only certain months, and for one type of focus Sunday or a variety.
  • Spiritual Rooting: Intergenerational connection; active exploration for yourself of the monthly church themes and other UU elements; grounding through play and creativity; deepen connection with other adults on teaching team

Meditation Room (Open to all kids and adults!): A 35 minute program that meets during both worship times, this is an opportunity for people of all ages to deepen their meditation practice, but there is a special focus on building that muscle for children. This is an option for children who would like a quiet, grounding experience on any Sunday morning. Volunteers on this team lead weekly guided meditation and reflection in our beautiful new meditation space. 

  • Volunteer Commitment: Volunteer training, then average two Sundays per month. You may volunteer during one worship time and attend worship during the other!
  • Spiritual Rooting: Intergenerational connection; spiritual grounding through building your own meditative practice; inspiration that comes from spending time with children in this type of environment; option for creativity by bringing your own guided meditation to share (or we can provide one); deepen connection with other adults on teaching team

Service Learning Year (6th and 7th Grade): Participants learn about the amazing community service groups that are active on the seacoast, through a combination of discussion, guest speakers from local organizations, and community action! This program empowers young people by learning the what and how of some great organizations that are making change in our community. They will also have the opportunity to participate in tangible actions that support these organizations or their missions.

  • Volunteer Commitment: Volunteer training, then average two Sundays per month. This class meets only during the 11:00 worship. Volunteers may still attend the 9am worship on the Sundays they are with this group.
  • Spiritual Rooting: Intergenerational connection; building UU identity through social justice and other types of service; inspiration from adolescents who are passionate about changing the world; active learning along with the children about social/environmental issues and some organizations who are addressing these issues; deepen connection with other adults on teaching team

Coming of Age (8th grade): A UU rite of passage program.  Its purpose is to support participants as they make the transition from childhood to youth. There is a somewhat larger time commitment to teaching in this program, but volunteering as a facilitator or Mentor in COA is a deeply rewarding experience.

  • Volunteer Commitment: Volunteer training, then average two Sundays per month. This class meets only during the 11:00 worship. Volunteers may still attend the 9am worship on the Sundays they are with this group.
  • Spiritual Rooting: Intergenerational connection; explore UU identity; great opportunity to continuously check in with your own values and personal beliefs as you guide youth to do the same; you will develop rich and meaningful connections with the youth and other adults in this program.

Senior Youth (9th-12th grades): Youth group gives our teens an opportunity to continue fostering their spiritual selves and make meaningful connections with others through shared experience. This is a place of community, service, and empowerment. Group meets weekly, plus there are occasional field trips, overnights, and service learning projects.

  • Volunteer Commitment: Volunteer training, then average two Sundays per month. This class meets on Sunday afternoon/evening. Optional field trips or service trips.
  • Spiritual Rooting: Being a volunteer with our youth is a fun and dynamic experience that builds valuable intergenerational relationships; you will actively explore social justice issues and your own values while guiding youth in the process

Other Volunteer opportunities: In addition to the program teams listed above, we also look for folks who can help with social groups, who are interested in becoming training as OWL (sexuality education) instructors, and occasional roles as a workshop leader, help with special activities, etc. If you do not see something in the above options, send me an email and let me know how you’d like to get involved! jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org