Youth and Children

August 2017 DRE News


Julia Tyler, Religious Education Director

I hope this summer finds you and your loved ones all very well. I am glad to be back after 3 weeks away, time spent at a religious educators’ conference, an anti-racism training, and vacation time with friends and family. I have very happy news to share-- I am pregnant!  My due date is January 3. My partner and I are very excited to become parents and to raise a child in this open-hearted community. It is with much gratitude that I serve this congregation, a community that celebrates all children and families.

In other exciting news, we have the great fortune to welcome Braxton Simmons to the Religious Education (R.E.) staff at ERUUF. Braxton will be serving as R.E. Assistant. He has served the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington. He has directed the U.U. Shelter Neck Youth Summer Camp, and he is a board member of Universalist Convention of North Carolina, Inc. (UCONCI). He has taught Religious Education, Our Whole Lives, and has co-facilitated a youth group for LGBTQIA youth. We officially welcome Braxton on board this August, so please introduce yourself to him when you see him on campus.

On September 10, we return to two services and twelve R.E. classrooms. Each class has 4 volunteer teachers, and we have 5 volunteer facilitators for Coming of Age, 5th grade Our Whole Lives (OWL), 8th grade OWL, and Middle and High School Youth Groups. This means it takes a village (or about 60-70 adults) to offer our current R.E. program. It takes a collective effort to raise children with U.U. ideals and values, to grow the next generation towards a world where every person has respect, is free, has a voice, takes care of our earth, and lives out all our principles. It is a big vision, maybe it is the ultimate vision, and it can seem unreachable. However, together we can do what we cannot do alone.

To join the effort of making our seven Principles a reality, consider becoming an R.E. teacher this coming year. Children and youth need adult ethical and spiritual guides to grow UU values. We need you. Teachers co-teach on a team twice a month, September to May. The annual Teacher Training this year is Saturday, August 26, 9am-noon. Please let me know if you are interested in joining us in R.E.