Volunteering in RE
Our church school is run as a cooperative program delivered primarily by volunteers and supported by a professional Director of Religious Exploration and a small program staff (nursery coordinator, program assistant, and youth program coordinator). It takes at least 1,600 volunteer hours to teach the Sunday morning classes, and many more hours to produce special programs each year such as the annual Festival of Lights and children’s worship Sundays.
Each family with a child(ren) in the RE program is expected to volunteer in some way, primarily as teachers in the Preschool-8th classrooms. We invite our new family get to know us for a year before asking them to take on this commitment.
This is easily the most important need we have in our program. Unlike many other churches, we believe in offering specific, developmentally-appropriate curriculum for each and every grade from preschool through eighth. To do this effectively requires four volunteer teachers per class each year. One need not have any teaching experience to be a good RE Guide. In fact, the most important traits of a good teacher are an open mind and a loving heart. Teachers are given training and support from the DRE and RE Committee. Adults not teaching may be asked to serve as a substitute or a floater from time to time. Commitment: One teaching term per school year.
Our Coming of Age program matches 8th graders with an adult from the congregation who mentors the young person through an examination of their own emerging beliefs and values. Mentors are generally people who’ve been in the congregation for a few years and who are open to helping a young person explore and grow. Commitment: Spring semester.
Throughout the church year, a number of planned and ad hoc programs emerge and each requires a small team of volunteers for planning and implementation. This includes annual programs such as the Festival of Lights and the Easter Egg Hunt. It also includes scheduled Children’s Worship services, service projects, family events, and our Milestones Program. These offer a great opportunity for someone whose schedules precludes a more sustained project. Commitment: Varies.
The RE program is supported by a number of volunteer committees who set goals and oversee various aspects of the programs. These include the Religious Exploration Committee, the Youth/Adult Committee, the DRE Relations Committee, and the Continuing Education Committee. From time to time there may also be work groups convened to address a particular need or situation. Commitment: Varies; generally multi-year commitment with monthly meetings.
There is an ongoing need to have project help in the RE Office. This includes filing, collating documents, record-keeping and other tasks as needed. Those with specialized abilities in areas such as design, editing, and photography are needed to help out in these areas as well. Commitment: Varies.