Our director of Religious Education, Skylar Hopkins, who aspires to be a professional educator, will be pursuing her own education in support of that vocational goal. She has been accepted at Western Washington University, where she will work toward a degree in Education.
However, Skylar’s move to Bellingham to attend school means that her time as our Director of Religious Education is coming to an end. Her last day with us here at Woodinville UU Church will be July 31, 2023.
I am saddened to say that my time serving WUUC will be shorter than I anticipated. It has been a pleasure and an honor working with you and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference in your children’s lives. This has felt like the perfect start to my future career as a teacher and solidified for me just how much I love working with children. WUUC has been a home to me for the past twenty years and I hope that I have fostered that same sense of community in your kids. I hope they continue to enjoy church and that it continues to be a safe space for them for many years. I thank you again for this opportunity, and I’ll leave you with the words of one of my favorite camp songs sung at our UU youth cons, “this is goodnight and not goodbye.”
As someone who grew up at WUUC, and now having served as our DRE, Skylar will always have a special place here in our community. We are grateful for her efforts this year to begin rebuilding a new RE program in our first year back in person after going virtual during the pandemic. That’s not an easy thing to do, and we were lucky to have someone who brought so much ingenuity, dedication, and enthusiasm to her role during her time here as DRE. We are sorry to see Skylar go, and we will miss her!
We will formally honor and thank Skylar at a future Sunday service (date TBD). In the meantime, Skylar will be working with me (Rev. Dan) and church leadership and volunteers to help us set up our RE program so that it can continue into the future. So in the next three months, please feel free to express your gratitude and wish Skylar well when you see her at church!
Hello parents and anyone with an interest in the future of RE!
As we at WUUC continue to rebuild our Religious Education program, we want to hear your thoughts and input. Rev. Dan and I would like to host a meeting in the near future to discuss the past, present, and future of RE! This invitation is extended to parents, current RE volunteers, and anyone who may have an interest in volunteering for RE in the future (this could be a hands-on or behind the scenes role).
Please fill out this form to indicate that you are interested in attending and to tell us your availability.
In October, we welcomed two new members to the WUUC staff team. Amy Genova is our new Membership Coordinator, and Skylar Hopkins is our new Director of Religious Education. They will both be around on most Sundays, so please take a moment to say hello and welcome them when you see them!
Here is a little about Amy Genova:
Amy Genova grew up at the foot of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. She has also lived in Arizona, Texas, Indiana, and Missouri. She and her husband, Thomas Perchlik, relocated to Washington state 6 years ago, just in time for their granddaughter, Willow’s, first birthday. Her husband, Thomas, introduced her to Unitarian Universalism when she was 23, and they later were married in the backyard of the Greeley UU fellowship. They have two children, Emily Perchlik, second lead architect of the Northgate Bridge and mother to a small grove of grandchildren: Willow, Olive and Hazel, and Molly Perchlik, a research scientist at the University of Washington. Amy enjoys poetry, reading, cooking, walking, swimming, movies, games, voting rights, a good protest and social justice.
And here is a message from Skylar Hopkins to the WUUC community:
Hi everyone, I’m Skylar. Most of you have probably known me for a large portion of my life as I have been a member at WUUC since 2003. However, if you don’t, here’s a few things about me. I grew up in Woodinville and I currently live in Snohomish with my family, my partner Zach, and my dog Holly – a pomeranian husky mix. One thing you should know about me is that I love music. I play piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, and I sing. It’s likely that you’ve seen me perform a song or two during a service with my family and other members of the church. In the past few years I have found a passion for working with children and returned to school to begin my journey towards a degree in education. Two years ago I combined my love of music and working with children into a job teaching music lessons. I am excited to bring my creativity and experience with kids to this new job. I look forward to getting to know all of your children and helping them on their spiritual journeys.
The Director of Religious Education (DRE) oversees the vision, planning, management, development and evaluation of religious education programs for children and youth in order to nurture religious and spiritual growth.
For more details about the duties and qualifications for this position, please see the position description here or below.
To apply for the Director of Religious Education position, please send your resume and a cover letter telling us why you’re interested in the position (and why you’d be good at it) to email@example.com.
Open until filled; position begins in Fall 2022.
Director of Religious Education Position Description – Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church
Reports to: Minister
Status: Part-time, 20 hours per week (0.5 FTE)
Effective: July 2022
Compensation: $25 per hour, based on UUA fair compensation guidelines. Benefits include prorated health, retirement, and paid time off, study leave and professional development expenses.
20 hours per week to include at least 3 Sunday mornings per month. The remainder of the time will be split between working from home, regular office hours (to be coordinated with the minister), attendance at meetings, events and training. Some limited travel may be required.
The Director of Religious Education (DRE) oversees the vision, planning, management, development and evaluation of religious education programs for children and youth in order to nurture religious and spiritual growth and encourage Unitarian Universalist identity formation.
The DRE will affirm the principles and values of Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church (WUUC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and abide by the WUUC Staff Covenant.
Recruit, vet (including background check), train and lead a team of volunteer teachers, youth advisors and others who support the religious education program.
Supervise the Childcare Supervisor staff member.
Coordinate with the minister and the worship team to provide support for mini-worship services, weekly Time For All Ages messages during Sunday worship services, and occasionally lead other worship for children and youth.
Work with the Minister to develop and lead rites of passage for children and youth; assist with other ceremonies as requested.
Encourage and support the involvement of children and youth in all aspects of church life, including worship services.
Publicize the children and youth religious education program to the congregation and the community at large (when appropriate).
Integrate social justice learning opportunities for children and youth.
Coordinate and schedule special religious education programming and activities such as Our Whole Lives sexuality education, Coming of Age, and youth conferences and trips.
Manage RE program records and files. Maintain records for religious education activities, including attendance, field trips, background checks and program expenses. Manage budget for RE program.
Attend staff meetings, Religious Education Committee meetings, and other meetings as requested by the Board or Minister.
Provide monthly reports to the Board, Ministry Council, and RE Committee.
Set goals and develop a plan for personal professional development.
Maintain the church’s resource library on religious education topics for the use of the congregation.
Coordinate planning for youth service trips every other year with youth input.
Ability to model appropriate, effective and welcoming behavior and attitudes toward the children, youth and volunteers under their supervision.
Working knowledge of the functions and philosophy of Unitarian Universalist religious education programs.
Skill in coordinating, leading, and delegating to volunteers and religious education staff.
Ability to work collaboratively with the minister and volunteers in planning creative programs, including worship, for children and youth.
Proficiency in English language communications, both written and verbal.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google applications, email, calendaring, social media and Zoom. Ability to learn membership database and other new programs as needed.
Ability to move and lift children’s furniture in order to set up classroom space. Reasonable accommodations will be made according to physical ability.
As you have probably heard by now, I will be moving away this summer to pursue a new career opportunity in Texas. I want to thank you all for your support and love during the past few years. It has been such an honor to serve as your DRE. As I head off on a new adventure in the Lone Star State, I hold you all in my heart. You are a truly special congregation and have so much to share with the world.
My prayer for you is that you support one another, especially the children and youth in your midst. Don’t assume that someone else is doing the work of teaching the young people. It takes a village to support healthy growth. You are an important part of that village.
Thank you for a wonderful experience, and taking a risk on a brand new DRE three years ago. You have meant the world to me, and I will miss you. I’ll leave you with these words from Laila Ibrahim:
If you have been wondering what options children have at WUUC right now, here are the answers you’ve been looking for!
Mini-worship on Zoom: We have a 15 minute mini-worship service each Sunday over Zoom which begins at 9:30 (before the main worship service). It is geared toward children, but all are welcome to attend.
In Person Worship: If you have attended a service in the sanctuary recently, you may have noticed a new feature: The VIP (Very Inquisitive People) Area! This carpet at the front of the sanctuary is designed for vaccinated children to have a comfortable spot just for them during the worship service. The space contains cushions and lap desks and foam blocks. Additionally, there is a “fidget library” with other quiet activities that people (kids and adults) can choose from to occupy their hands during the service. We ask that if your child sits in the VIP area during the service that you sit near them in order to answer any questions or handle any situations that may come up, and that you help clean up any fidget materials at the end of the service.
Outdoor Play During Worship: Unvaccinated children and all children who would rather not stay in the service with their parents are invited to play outside with our childcare staff. There are multiple activities and games planned for all ages of children.
Monthly Craft Events: Children ages 2-10 are invited to attend our monthly outdoor crafting events. We have done activities such as making terrariums, snow globes, Holiday decorations, and personalized play-doh. These are great events to meet up with other parents and children in person!
We ask that if your child sits in the VIP area during the service that you sit near them in order to answer any questions or handle any situations that may come up, and that you help clean up any fidget materials at the end of the service. Stay tuned to the calendar and email list for the next events!
Summer RE: This summer we will begin offering in person RE classes for our elementary aged children during Sunday Services. We will be offering a “Getting to Know WUUC: RE Edition”. Leaders from many of WUUC’s teams and committees have volunteered to share what they do at WUUC, and why it is important for our community and the world. More details and registration information will be sent out soon.
I am so glad to be meeting in person with so many of you. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.