The Unitarian Universalist Society: East (UUS:E) in Manchester, CT is a welcoming, liberal religious congregation, founded in 1968. We have over 300 adult members and friends and an active religious education program with 95 children aged 3 to 18 currently enrolled. Approximately 70 adults volunteer regularly in the program. Our spiritual community is vibrant; members engage in a wide variety of activities, classes, small groups, committees, family events, fundraisers, meals and compassionate, social and environmental justice-making actions in the wider world.
In June 2014, our longtime Director of Religious Education will retire. The congregation has chosen to seek an Interim Director of Religious Education for one to two years to manage the program and facilitate a process of reflection, re-imagining, and planning for the future of this highly valued program. There is great anticipation for what is possible.
UUS:E envisions a Religious Education program that provides a solid foundation for our children and youth to feel spiritually at home in the world and to mature into responsible, accepting, courageous, justice-seeking Unitarian Universalists. It fosters the connection and commitment of all UUS:E members and friends to our beloved multigenerational community.
Position: Interim Director of Religious Education (DRE)
Reports to: Minister
Affiliated Committee: Religious Education (RE)
NATURE OF WORK
Supervises, develops, implements and evaluates the religious education program and related activities for children, youth and families. Consults regularly with the Minister and other staff (e.g. Music Director), RE and other committees and adult volunteers. Serves as an advocate and resource person for our children and their families. Acts as an “ambassador” for the program, proactively reaching out to members with children and members without children, encouraging participation and engagement.
Guides congregation in the developmental tasks of the interim period. Encourages “thinking outside the box” and finding innovative ways of doing religious education. Promotes a re-visioning of the program. Develops and implements a transition strategy for transferring program to permanent DRE. For a description of the developmental tasks of the interim period, see: http://www.uua.org/careers/re/107495.shtml.
The Interim DRE:
- brings enthusiasm for the possibilities of religious education and programming;
- maintains excellent communications with Minister, RE Committee Co-Chairs, Administrative Assistant to the DRE, volunteers, families and youth;
- prepares annual RE prospectus;
- writes monthly RE column for the UUS:E newsletter;
- provides relevant and engaging content for website and weekly eblast;
- attends monthly meetings for RE and Sunday Services Committees and the Policy Board (upon request);
- organizes and leads teacher orientation and parent meetings as needed;
- schedules office hours by appointment;
- and initiates other forms of communication as needed.
The Interim DRE works in collaboration with the RE Committee to:
- develop and monitor the RE program budget and authorize the purchase of curricula, supplies and equipment needed for the RE program;
- recruit, train, support and evaluate the RE Assistant, volunteer teachers and other adult volunteers;
- obtain and maintain RE curricula and library of resource materials; provide or create supplemental curricula or lesson plans;
- plan and provide Sunday morning chapel worship for children;
- help to coordinate the Affirmation Program;
- plan and participate in special holiday and multi-generational worship services in collaboration with staff and volunteers;
- recommend policies and procedures to ensure the smooth operation of the program;
- provide special events involving our families, youth, and children; family nights, field trips, celebrations, and other programs, and offer periodic parent education programs;
- participate in district, regional and national Unitarian Universalist RE organizations, conferences, meetings and workshops
- perform outreach tasks regularly to communicate with existing members and potential new members; welcome new families and help them become familiar and comfortable with the RE program.
MINIMUM TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
At least two years of experience directing, coordinating and/or teaching in a Unitarian Universalist or other liberal religious educational program.
Completion of (or a willingness to complete) the Unitarian Universalist Association training for interim religious educators.
Experience working with children of all ages in multigenerational communities.
PREFERRED TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
Completion of the Unitarian Universalist Association Renaissance Modules.
Experience working as a DRE or an Interim DRE.
Experience facilitating programmatic review and organizational change.
Relevant bachelors or masters degree.
DESIRABLE KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS
- Knowledge of theories of child and youth development;
- Ability to work with children and youth of all abilities and integrate them into the religious education program at the appropriate level;
- Knowledge of educational principles, practices and curricula development;
- Knowledge of Unitarian Universalist principles, sources and culture;
- Written and oral communication skills;
- Supervisory skills;
- Group facilitation skills;
- Ability to organize and plan multiple activities;
- Ability to recruit and organize volunteers;
- Ability to manage programs, space and materials;
- Ability to use computers, mobile devices, electronic and social media platforms.
Hours and Compensation: 27 hours per week. Salary and benefits are within Unitarian Universalist Association Guidelines and commensurate with experience and credentials.
For further information on UUS:E: please visit our website at http://uuse.org. Questions about the position may be directed to the Rev. Josh Pawelek at (860) 646-5151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply please submit a cover letter, resume and contact information for 2-3 references to :
Interim DRE Search Committee
Unitarian Universalist Society: East
153 West Vernon St.
Manchester, CT 06042
All materials may be submitted electronically to email@example.com.