Religious Education Director’s Column

Dear Friends,

As I write this, the sun is warm on my face. The salty, sea air is cool, and sand crunches beneath my rocking chair. I am at Ferry Beach in Saco, ME, sitting on a porch overlooking the ocean. I am enjoying a rare moment of quiet, a reprieve from the busy, hectic, joyful chaos of Youth Camp Week. To borrow a phrase from Reverend Josh, this is a week of “Holy Hubbub”.

Apparently, I am a fan of Holy Hubbub, as this is my fifth summer as a volunteer camp counselor here at Ferry Beach. Interestingly, my very first job as a teenager was that of camp counselor, something I continued to do for many years, moving up the ranks until I ultimately became Director of a YMCA camp in Tolland, CT. Although I’ve held many different titles and positions over the years, I’ve always said that Camp Counselor was my all-time favorite. There’s just something special about the boisterous energy of children growing, stretching, exploring, and learning in community.

And this is why I feel so blessed and excited to be taking on the role of Acting Director of Religious Education at UUS:E. What an exciting time this is for our community! Our Religious Education program has a strong, solid foundation, and with the support and enthusiasm of our congregation, I know it will grow even stronger and more vibrant. We are already off to a great start. I bring to the position a wealth of experience, energy, and new ideas. Most importantly, I care deeply about our Religious Education program and am strongly motivated to help it flourish and thrive. I look forward to working with Barb Greve, our Interim Religious Education Consultant, who will share his expertise, challenge us to grow, and ultimately act as an agent of change, not just for RE, but our entire UUS:E community.

We are also fortunate to have in place a Transition Team, consisting of six members of the congregation, representing many different demographics. They will work closely with Barb Greve to help communicate his ideas to the congregation. In addition, we have a strong, dedicated RE Committee, co-chaired by Jessica Bonafine and Beth Corsa, and an active, robust Youth Group coordinated by Donna Torrey. I am grateful for their incredible energy and support.

Of course, our Religious Education program would not be possible without the help of our entire congregation. You’ve all heard the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”, and this is certainly true of Religious Education. We need all of you to make our program a success! Everyone has something to offer. You’ll soon hear more about the many different volunteer opportunities in Religious Education. Please consider sharing your time, talents, and energy.

Looking forward to a year filled with Holy Hubbub as together we navigate this exciting year of transition and change.

Be well & be loved,

Gina Campellone