Thank you to everyone who has supported our Lifespan Religious Education program this past year! We had more than 70 congregants teach our children, mentor and advise our youth, and lead adult programs. Collectively, we’ve read hundreds of stories, painted, planted, volunteered with the Newton Food Pantry, gone on retreats, and re-visioned how faith development works in our congregation. People stepped into new roles for the first time and thrived! We’ve explored our seven principles, racial biases, restorative justice practices, and worship. Our seniors have bridged into adulthood; our Coming of Age graduates are now youth, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to supporting the new babies in our congregation. The Lifespan RE Sunday, the Youth Bridging Service, and the Coming of Age Celebration were all truly spectacular and would not have happened without the community coming together to pull off such beautiful–and worshipful–events.
This month, a small group of us attended a webinar on supporting children and youth with autism spectrum disorders, followed by a discussion about accommodating the diversity of needs in our programs at FUUSN. This was one of several conversations in this past year exploring this topic. As a community, many of our lives are touched by physical, emotional, mental, sensory, and developmental disabilities, whether for a short time (e.g. a broken bone or a period of depression) or for our entire lives. We plan to continue these conversations and how we can better support our children and youth, as well as the adults and youth working with them. Please let me know if you’re interested in being involved in this important work (email@example.com).
Lastly, it’s time to register for RE for 2017-2018! All children and youth (ages 0-18) who plan to be involved in any of our programming next year should be registered. You can fill out our updated registration form, which is also on the FUUSN website under learning. Please register early–it really helps us to prepare for the coming year over the summer. As always, please be in touch with any questions or concerns. In faith, –Rowan Van Ness