By Joanne Dingus
"The religious way is the deep way, the way that sees what physical eyes alone fail to see, the intangibles of the heart of every phenomenon. The religious way is the way that touches universal relationships; that goes high, wide and deep, that expands the feelings of kinship." ~Sophia Lyon Fahs
Sophia Lyon Fahs is revered among UU religious educators. She was an editor, author, teacher and religious activist who led a revolution in Unitarian Universalist religious education. Fahs’ teaching and writing focused on a method of experiential learning that she hoped would enable children to develop their own ideas about religion and spirituality.
You may remember her name from her entries in the hymnal. We often share her words at Christmas time, “Every night a child is born is a holy night.” Sometimes at teacher dedications we may read #657, “It matters what we believe. Some beliefs are like shadows, clouding children’s days fears of unknown calamities. Other beliefs are like sunshine blessing children with the warmth of happiness.”
We are just finishing up our program year of Religious Education for children and youth at UUFP. This doesn’t mean we take a vacation but we will have different classes for the summer. We will return to more traditional classes in September.
So I would like to take a moment to thank all the teachers who have served our children and youth this year.
We couldn’t run our programs without our dedicated members who are so committed to this work.
Our nursery continues to be staffed by Mary-Elizabeth and Bill Cotton. This is where our very youngest children find loving care each week.
Out 3-7s were taught by Megan Jensen, Harriet Xinos, Allison Black and Connie Keller. Our 8-11s were taught by Nan Procyson, Tara Joseph, Brittany Welch and Alicia Hoffler. Our OWL students were taught by Jeff Hinkley, Lee Dralling, Allison Black and Pat Sloan. Our Coming of Age youth were taught by Lehni Lebert, Allison Black and Rosalee Pfister. Our high school students were taught by Scott Kasmire, Jeannine Christensen and Mike Meyer.
As you may know, Coming of Age requires mentors for each student. Our mentors this year have been Meg Glenn-Albiez, Lucy van Tine, Robin van Tine, Larry Gaston, Greg Gecowets, Allison Black, Jeff Hinkley and Jim Sanderson.
I would like to give a special thank you to Allison Black for helping in so many areas of the RE program over several years. Along with teaching, she was the chair of the RE Committee, and often helped with youth group. I know the children, youth, other teachers and parents would all join me in saying Thank You, Allison! You are terrific and we wish you well with your new life in Boston. You will be missed.
I would also like to give a special thank you to Walter Clark, our intern this year. I personally really enjoyed working with him and I appreciated the enthusiasm, humor, knowledge and ministry he brought to our children during Children’s Focus and our youth during Youth Group.
These people have blessed our children and youth with their open minds, loving hearts and helping hands. And like sunshine they have blessed this program with happiness.
See You In The RE!