Children and Youth Religious Education Program Updates
October was a month full of blessings for the Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) program and November will be even more of the same! Our second annual Friendly Ghost program matched children and youth from the Salisbury and University Gatherings anonymously with adult Piedmont UU Church members, friends, and staff from their gatherings. The adult “hosts” were given clues about their “friendly ghost” and put together a small treat bag that they shared with their ghost during our Friendly Ghost Reveal Socials. Connections were made between the children, youth, and adults as they shared treats and silly fun with a photo booth. We’re all really looking forward to continuing the tradition next year. We also revamped our CYRE/SE communications with the addition of a weekly CYRE newsletter, a new look for our Facebook group, a Google Docs location, and updates to our part of the webpage. Three of our upper youth and their adult mentors are participating in the Coming of Age program with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte. In November, additional volunteers will be serving as advisors taking our children and youth to MountainCons, mentoring youth in the Coming of Age program, planning for a Winter Solstice service with the upper youth, and leading special boys’ and girls’ short sessions to introduce the children and middle youth to new ideas and skills while building community.
Thanks to all of our volunteers who worked on these special projects while keeping the regular CYRE Sunday morning programs going! Without the efforts of all of us—children, youth, families, and Piedmont UU Church members and friends—there is no way these and other exciting and enriching programs could happen for our children and youth. This month, we are actively recruiting volunteers for the remainder of the fall and into winter. At the Salisbury Gathering, we need a volunteer to help co-chair the CYRE program. At the University Gathering, we need a coordinator for our monthly Café Breezeway, donations of food and help setting up and cleaning up for the Café, and volunteers who can help inventory and organize our arts and crafts supplies and our children and youth library. Both gatherings need volunteers to serve as CYRE greeters to help guide visitors with children and youth for that day’s sessions or to serve as assistants to our dedicated corps of session leads.
We currently have almost 40 children and youth in our program! We are growing. Not you, not I, not she, not he, not they, but we – WE, are growing our youth. Let’s keep blossoming.
Karen Dutton, CYRE volunteer