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REflections from Wendy

Wendy Weiss Southern,

Director of Religious Education

These past few days, the changing of the seasons has started in full. The mornings are alive with a tingling chill in the air, while the days have lost their summer heat even as the sun shines on in gloriously blue skies. A change in the quality of the air is almost inaudible, yet it’s undeniable that sound is carried in distinct new ways. The turning of cycles awakens our senses once again as we feel our way into the shifting energy.

We’re a few weeks into our Fall RE Session, and similar noticings arise as we settle into our new routine. We see the returning faces of our children maturing in the slightest of ways as they identify more with their newly achieved grades. New children and families have been welcomed into our program. Each class dynamic grows as new personalities expand the circle of relating to each other and viewing the world. We continue to see visitors who we hope will find a home here at Westside.

Our children are not alone in growing and increasing in number. This fall the RE Program has grown by a baker’s dozen of new assistant teachers. More than half of them are from the congregation in general and don’t have children in the program. Our children and youth benefit from an expansive range of interactions with adult guides. As we explore our UU heritage and identity, these assistant teachers will bring a new sense of the UU principles into our classrooms as a complement to our returning lead teachers.

We have a truly unique offering in our RE Program, especially for a small congregation: each of our classrooms has at least one professional educator. To have such a high level of professional skill and talent so consistently throughout a program is remarkable to say the least. This dedication and creativity fills our program, and is met with deep gratitude from our entire congregation.

As I mentioned during the Teacher Dedication, Religious Education is a form of worship. So as you arrive here each Sunday to participate in the service in the sanctuary, tune your senses to the variety of ways we worship together. Let’s look upon this new season, renewed together, as we revisit another year of learning about ourselves as the church of the open minds, the caring hands, and the loving hearts.

In spirit,


Watch for announcements detailing ways you can be involved in the RE Program. Please contact me if you would like to volunteer. We have many different opportunities to support the RE Program!

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