Strong religious education programming is important to me: I am a Unitarian Universalist because of a UU religious education program. And in every UU congregation I’ve served at least one person has told me how that congregation saved their life -- often because of an RE program.
Through 28 years in ministry I have been lucky to co-minister with some fantastic religious educators. I've learned from them that the quality of our working relationships are going to model, for congregations, how the people of a congregation can minister together.
When a congregation ministers together, everything changes. A UU youth expressed it best in her senior year youth service sermon: "At church I'm real. I'm seen as a person." She was real in church classrooms and in her Youth Group. But she also had real relationships in Sunday services, all-church potlucks, and weeding the church's food pantry gardens with the rest of the congregation.
During interim transitions, a congregation and its ministry staff often learn new ways to share the ministries that weave a congregation’s life together. These ministries include worship, music, teaching religious education, advocating and working for justice. An interim minister models this partnership with a congregation, finding new perspectives on its history and future, transforming old obstacles into new strengths, and renewing its ministry and saving more lives.
Rev. Joel Miller