The Faith Formation Program includes a full-time Director as well as several part-time child care providers. That staff includes a Lead Baby/Toddler Provider along with a team of teen child care providers. As the Lead Baby/Toddler Provider, Lisa Morel has been with UUCN since March, 2016. The administration of the child care program and supervision of that staff - previously overseen by the Membership and Volunteer Coordiner - formally became part of the DFF’s responsibility in August of 2016. The DFF and Membership Coordinator collaborate in working with the teens, who are also part of the Sunday morning “coffee crew.” Volunteer program staffing (lay leadership) includes Sunday morning Faith Formation leaders for children (teams of at least three), middle school leaders for Our Whole Lives and for ROPEs, and senior youth group advisors.
Children & Youth Faith Formation Team
Formerly the Religious Education Committee, this Team of eight focuses its attention on the Faith Formation of the children and youth with an intentional emphasis on building a Unitarian Universalist identity through multigenerational relationships. The Team’s current structure includes a Chairperson (Jamie Hinkle), along with liaisons to various other teams at UUCN. The liaison structure began in the 2016-2017 year to intentionally further their goal of integrating the children and youth into the larger life of the congregation. This meant shifting the direct support to Faith Formation teachers to the DFF. Currently there are liaisons to the Stewardship, Pastoral Care, and Property Teams. The Faith Formation Team plans to connect with the Membership and Social Justice Teams by the end of the year. In addition to sharing and collaborating with the DFF, the Team takes the lead in several social events for families and for the Faith Formation leaders.
The Children and Youth Team meets monthly directly after the Faith Formation programs end. Those meetings are facilitated by the Chairperson in collaboration with the DFF.
Adult Faith Formation Team
The Adult Faith Formation Team consists of five members who share in facilitating each monthly meeting. As this program and its administration are growing and solidifying, the AFF Team evening meetings include both administrative and visioning time. The Team members are also taking time each month to deepen their understanding of Adult Faith Formation/Spiritual Development. There is an effort to expand the Team to eight members with an immediate goal of creating the Team structure to include explicit roles and responsibilities.
Through the DFF and Minister, this Team is launching a cluster-approach to Adult Faith Formation with two area congregations (Milford and Manchester). Their goal is to expand the congregation’s relationship to Unitarian Universalism at the local and denominational level.
As part of the interim process, a Task Force was appointed to evaluate the current policies and procedures and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees for revisions and changes. This Task Force took a two-step approach to these revisions. The first phase addressed immediate needs for revisions that focused on recruitment/staffing, training, guidelines (including travel, overnights), responses to allegations and incidents as well as building safety. The Board of Trustees approved the new Policy in October, 2016. The second phase will include Pastoral Care, Electronic Communications, and Disruptive Behavior/Right Relations, and is expected to be approved by the Board in May, 2017. The current Policy can be accessed on UUCN’s website. As part of this new Policy, a Safe Congregation Response Team has been formed. This Team of four includes the Minister, DFF, Church Administrator, and Board President and is responsible for responding to any reports of abuse.
Support to Families: Child Care
The congregation provides support to families with young children by offering a safe and loving child care program. This program is offered on Sunday mornings as well for special events. On Sundays, child care begins before our worship and Faith Formation programs for those adults who rehearse with the choir. Members of the teen child care staff provide care to the choir families. Care during and after our worship/ Faith Formation programs is provided by UUCN’s Lead Baby/Toddler Care Provider along with members of the teen child care staff. Supporting families during special events and Faith Formation programs is coordinated through the DFF in collaboration with the child care staff.