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The Planning Month

Wendy Weiss Southern,

Director of Religious Education

January is a planning month; we look ahead to the entire year and dream. For the rest of the year we take steps to bring those dreams into reality. As we face a year of considering growth in our community, we seek to bring about changes which we hope will transform each of us and our congregation so that we may see our collective dreams realized.

Bringing more people and families into our congregation is one of those dreams. I know this is a priority for those of us who lead and teach in our Religious Education Program. We wish to enrich our experience here as a community, to fill our RE classrooms with children and youth who are finding their ways through to their spiritual identities, and to share in our discoveries together based on our religious tradition of considering many perspectives.

The Religious Education Committee and I have been looking at this, and we are eager for our meeting with Rev. Carol at the end of the month to discuss growth and what that means for RE. We are eager to learn how the RE Program can work with our congregation to facilitate and encourage this growth.

Aside from the many yearly RE events that bring in energy and interest in our church, we are in the process of re-visioning and expanding our annual Summer Camp. We are well poised, logistically, to make this one of the best attended years yet. AND we need the support of the entire congregation to make this possible.

Cindy Arnold, our Middle School RE Teacher, has planned and organized this popular camp year after year with great success. We realize that greater success is within our reach—IF we expand the camp to a full day program. In the past, we’ve been able to offer a half-day camp, which has been very well attended. However, a full day camp appeals to working families who cobble together a schedule of various day camp offerings for their children throughout the summer months. We are in a wonderful position to appeal to more families in our area and offer something fantastic.

This means we need YOU to help. Cindy has posted an announcement in our newsletter asking for volunteers to help in the aftercare portion of the day camp, from 2-5:30. We need 2 adults each day during that time to work with the youth to provide a fun and safe place for camp participants to be for the afternoon. Contributing one afternoon of your time that week might be all it takes for us to be able to open our arms to the community and quite possibly even welcome more of them in to our congregational life.

Please contact Cindy Arnold at to discuss the particulars and to volunteer your time.

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