Faith formation cultivates inquisitive learning and spiritual curiosity with congregants across the age spectrum. I serve to integrate our principles and sources into all facets of church life, from worship to religious education. Successful faith formation occurs when all congregants grapple with their own faith and values and work to integrate this into their daily lives. This calls for deep collaboration between ministers and religious education professionals. In order to fully engage the whole congregation and encourage dialogue that will continue outside the walls of the congregation, there needs to be overlap between worship, adult programming, youth programming, and children’s religious education.
Through leading Religious Education classes, I was able to teach about inherent worth by engaging in story books or crafting pronoun buttons. I formed relationships by teaching children how to dance at Solstice, making crafts at Parent’s Night Out, and offering engaging Time for All Ages stories. I am a trained OWL facilitator.
Engaging young, inquisitive minds in the teachings and values of our faith is incredibly meaningful work. A memorable interaction with youth was providing a weekend workshop on the intersectionality of sexism and racism through Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade.” Together with the Youth Director and DRE, we engaged youth in discussion about the effects of intersectionality in their own lives.
Working with young adults has been a real passion of mine. In both my home congregation and teaching congregation, I worked to create Young Adult groups. Both groups brought an influx of young adults into the congregation. I engaged young adults in small group ministry, covering topics such as hope and forgiveness. I crafted monthly brunches where a different member led a different topic each month. I also planned outings and hosted game nights.
Working to cultivate the minds and souls of adult congregants has been a true honor for me. I worked to cultivate the soul through co-facilitating a series on Mindfulness, feed the mind through teaching classes about Unitarian Universalism or Intersectionality, or nourish the spirit through chalice circles.
“I think that collaborative ministry is one of the things that Jane does best. As a religious education professional, it is a gift to work with a minister who is excited about working together to build cohesive congregational community for everyone. Jane truly sees each person, regardless of age and she makes an effort to minister to the congregation, not just the adults.” – Laura Carpenter, Former Director of Religious Education, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
“Jane understands that teens and young adults are groups that can often feel cut off from others in the congregation and she worked hard to help young people feel connected to one another and First Unitarian Society overall.” – Final Evaluation, FUS Intern Committee