Committees and Groups
► Religious Education (RE) Committee
To provide oversight of and support to the RE program at First Parish.
Leadership and Membership
A chairperson serves on an annual basis by approval of the committee. The committee has up to nine members who serve a maximum of two three-year terms.
Our core function is to ensure that RE class or programming is offered each Sunday of the church year. The committee’s primary responsibilities are as follows:
- Support the DRE in overseeing an RE program at First Parish that reflects our UU values.
- Meet with the Director of RE (DRE) on a monthly basis (or more often, as needed) to communicate, plan, and offer support regarding the RE program.
- Create a long-term planning calendar and check in regularly regarding progress toward long-term goals.
- Support the RE Committee Treasurer and DRE in preparing and submitting an annual budget to the Parish Committee.
- Work with the DRE to prepare the annual RE calendar.
- Maintain contact with the broader church community, particularly families in the RE program.
- Write reports, including DRE evaluation and RE program report for Annual Meeting.
- Help recruit RE teachers throughout the year.
- Help support and train teachers as needed.
- Support the DRE as needed.
- Design and run One-Room Schoolhouse sessions on traditionally low attendance Sundays.
- Assist with purchasing and organizing classroom supplies.
- Periodically evaluate the RE curriculum to ensure high-quality lessons and activities, and update, revise, or replace curriculum as needed.
Optionally, the committee might also do the following14:
- Organize parenting workshops.
- Work with other church committees, such as Social Justice, to reach out to children and youth and further involve them in the life of the church.
- Coordinate with the minister and Worship Associates to include children and youth in worship services.
- Coordinate activities for children, such as the annual Easter Egg hunt.
- Maintain a bulletin board with information on the RE program.
- Provide content for the RE program’s webpage.
Goals and Mission Linkage
Our RE program strives to provide children with the following:
- Religious literacy (fact-based religious and spiritual content)
- An introduction to prayer and ritual
- An understanding of what it means to be a UU
- Encouragement to be open-minded, to be questioners and seekers
- Retention of children and families in the program
- Retention of teachers
- Ability to recruit a full complement of teachers, Coming of Age mentors, and Youth Group advisors
- Regularly solicited feedback from parents and other stakeholders, including a parent survey that includes questions about how well the committee is meeting the goals stated above
Annual Budget and Spending Authority
The RE Committee is annually authorized to spend a specific amount (included in the church budget and approved by congregational meeting) without further review. Funds appropriated by the Parish for the use of the RE Committee are turned over in lump sums to the committee. The committee may appoint a Treasurer, who will work with the church Treasurer and the DRE to track and budget these funds, and will disburse them as the committee directs.
- Annual reports from the DRE, RE Committee Chair, and RE Treasurer
- Annual evaluation of the DRE
- Periodic evaluation of the RE program
Relationship to Professional Staff
The DRE is a member of the committee.
The RE Committee may work with the minister to incorporate the RE program into the church life as a whole.
The RE Committee may work with the Youth Group advisors as a bridge between the children and the youth.
14. These tasks are important but not directly related to RE classes and therefore not our core function.