09 Oct By the Numbers
It has been a busy month, settling in as your new Interim DRE, meeting everyone, and staring the program year. I have especially enjoyed my work so far with the high school youth group.
HIP is a wonderful group of 17 teenagers. They have all kinds of plans for the upcoming year. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the Coming of Age group of 7th and 8th graders. These 11 young people are in for a fun year, full of spiritual and personal growth. Coming of Age is a touchstone program in most UU congregations and we plan to work hard this year to make it special for our kids.
I lead my first childrens’ chapel, one for the youngest children and another for the children in grades 2-6. The chapels were warm and meaningful. It was lovely to see the connections these children already have with each other and the church, even at such a young age. However, the total number of children in both chapels combined is 8. Yes, you read that right, 8. Right now, we have 6 children registered in grades Pre-K – 1 and 8 children registered in grades 2 – 6.
You should know that this isn’t unusual. The Lutheran Church reports declines of 40% or more in Sunday school attendance and other denominations report even steeper declines. Perhaps the most important task of the interim period in religious education here is to decide, as a church, how to address this issue. But, in the meantime, there is something we can all do. We are blessed with a tradition that includes lots of fun activities outside of Sunday morning RE classes. In October alone, we have the Hunger Walk as well as the Halloween events. All these activities are the perfect opportunity for all of you to invite your friends and neighbors to join us. It can bre a hard sell to get a child to Sunday School but who doesn’t like carving pumpkins or making a difference in the world?
Ruth Owen, Interim DRE