January 23rd, 2009

Avatar Me KAC

Sadness

I have heard rumblings that the Religious Exploration (Sunday School) program at my church may be cut. This makes me sad, since I am the RE Director.
It's entirely budget driven, and pledges are down this year. General membership has also dwindled, making RE a very attractive budget item to ax. On top of everything, this is a very old congregation. I mean, the people are old, on the average. There are only about 8 families with kids, and few of them show up on a weekly basis.
I can understand the need to keep the church solvent, but I lament the situation. I and my family will likely need to drive an hour every Sunday to the next closest UU church, which has a much different demographic and a far larger population of kids.

It's sad, because I know if our program were better known, there would be more community interest. There just isn't another religious education program in the are, where the kids can learn not only about biblical matters, but the philosophies and histories of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Humanism and countless others. Advertising a religious program is difficult in this country, however. You can't send flyers out with the kids, nor will many businesses wish to risk offending customers by putting up posters. We ran a full-page newspaper ad last year that generated some interest, but there's just no money now.

As I said, this makes me sad. I have greatly enjoyed my tenure as DRE, and I have learned so much. There are some tactics I might use to keep the program going for a while, but the future is overcast with dark clouds.