Our Sunday morning Religious Exploration classes are led by devoted, background checked professional and lay teachers who are themselves guided and supported by our Director of Religious Exploration and our Committee on Family Ministry.
Early Childhood: Our Nursery is currently being staffed by parents and other volunteer church members on a week-by-week basis.
We are seeking a part-time childcare/nursery provider to join our staff. Please contact the DRE at email@example.com to volunteer in the Nursery, or if you are interested in this job opportunity.
Lower Elementary: Erin Forstein is originally from Topeka, Kansas. She is a life long UU who brings 10 years of full and part time teaching experience with young children to our program. After earning a BA in Early Childhood Education, she taught a Head Start program English and Spanish speaking preschool-aged children, and then taught preschool at a private school for most of her career. After moving to California, she and her family began attending UUCMP, and she joined the RE staff in early 2017. Erin and her husband Micah have a teenage son and daughter in the High School Youth Group, and a daughter in lower grades. Erin takes a creative approach to working with her children, and has a talent for weaving age-appropriate crafts in to the chosen curriculum. She is also a trained violinist and a member of the church choir.
Upper Elementary: Tara Martz-Tillman is an experienced child educator, who has held the older elementary class, which serves children in third through sixth grades, for five years. She is a self-motivated and determined edcuator and has been especially proactive in organizing special RE activities that engage children across the ages, while drawing attention to what RE has to offer. Tara believes in, and incorporates the 5th UU Principal of the democraric process into many of her lessons, allowing the children agency in the creative process to increase engagement and ownership of their spiritual growth.
Our Religious Exploration model relies on and encourages participation by dedicated members of the church who volunteer to work directly with the children and youth of our program. Volunteers first observe, then assist, and eventually transition into a lead teaching role, using special UU curricula designed for anyone to use, regardless of experience. The professional RE staff plan and prepare the lessons, maintain the classroom, and provide hands-on support to the volunteer teachers and the children. This model is more engaging for the adult volunteers, who have meaningful connections with young ones than they would in a more passive "helper" role. The act of teaching itself becomes a key aspect of UU faith development for those congregants who are able to make the committment to volunteer RE teaching. Please contact the DRE at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on volunteering.
Early Childhood: Volunteers needed
Lower Elementary: Ruth Smith
Upper Elementary: Seeking a volunteer for Early 2018
Middle School: Susie Hampton, Christina Zaro, Janet Shing, Dennis Taylor, Rosemary Milburn
Our Whole Lives (OWL) Grades 7-8 Sexuality Program: Corey Brunson, Don Reynolds, Warren Finch, Suzanne Schmidt, Helene Kirschbaum, Bonnie Rose Fernandez (OWL parent group facilitator)
High School Youth Group: Sophia Schwirzke, JT Mason
Our Director of Relifgious Exploration (DRE) Aaron Joseph oversees and supports all the above classes, staff and volunteers. You can find more information about the specific RE classes and curricula on our curriculum page.