Title: Director of Lifespan Faith Exploration
Reports to: Minister
Status: Salary; 3/4 time (30 hr/wk flexible schedule, including most Sundays from September to June.)
Fair Labor Standards Status: Exempt
Benefits: 12% of salary contributed to UUA Retirement account, option to participate in Health and Insurance plans, professional expenses, 4 weeks of vacation, 8 Sundays off from October to May
Salary: Salary range is mid $40K (based on experience within UUA Fair Compensation Guidelines for GeoIndex 6 (PDF))
Start Date: August 1, 2023
How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are committed to creating an inclusive and talented team to achieve our mission. First Parish of Watertown (FPW) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to the full inclusion of all. We value a diverse workforce; people with disabilities, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQ+ are encouraged to apply. If you are excited about this role, but are unsure whether you meet 100% of the requirements, we encourage you to inquire and/or apply.
First Parish of Watertown is seeking an enthusiastic educator to fill the position of Director of Lifespan Faith Exploration (DLFE) for our vibrant congregation of 130 members including 35 children and youth, in Watertown, Massachusetts. Our ideal candidate is someone with a love of learning, who enjoys connecting with people of all ages, is skilled at engaging and training volunteers, is highly organized, and is inspired to work with a congregation committed to shared ministry.
To us, shared ministry means that as members of a faith community, we are invited to work cooperatively to discover, develop, utilize and support the gifts of each person. Each member of the community is empowered to use their unique gifts for the enrichment and stewardship of the congregation’s programs and activities.
This past year FPW has had the wonderful opportunity to work with a Unitarian Universalist Interim Religious Educator who helped us discern and clarify our goals. Our intent is to approach this selection process mindfully. We have used this interim period to reflect on our religious education heritage and identity, as well as identify our hopes and dreams for our Faith Exploration Programs. One of our goals is to expand our program beyond children and youth to include adults. This is an exciting time for our congregation! Our ideal candidate will partner with us to explore how we can best develop our faith exploration programming to include all stages of life.
FPW is a congregation with many long standing members who have built strong bonds of community over many years. It is also a community that is growing, with new visitors and friends joining services every week. Our congregants possess varying perspectives and a wealth of collective spiritual wisdom that deeply enriches church life. Together, we companion in our joys and sorrows, learning and growth. We hold sacred the importance of staff having time for renewal, rest, retreat and self care. We are a liberal faith community, seeking and striving towards a more just world and we uphold tolerance and inclusiveness. And last but not least, we are a joyous community who love to laugh, have fun and be ridiculous!
FPW was founded in 1630 and is one of the oldest congregations in the United States. We have worshiped in 8 different buildings, and have had 30 settled ministers. As with any institution stretching back to the beginnings of the European settlement of North America, we acknowledge that over our long history we have endeavored to be a source of progress and hope, but have also been a part of the systemic racism we face today. Together, we have voted to adopt the Unitarian Universalist 8th Principle and are working towards collective liberation and building Beloved Community. We hope to find a candidate who shares this vision with us as part of our work to nurture and explore our faith and our UU identity.
In this role, all responsibilities center on the spiritual and educational nurturing and growth of our community including children, youth and adult cohorts. Guided by FPW’s Shared Values commitment and in collaboration with the Minister and the Religious Education Committee, the DLFE develops, implements and administers lifespan religious exploration programs with the intention of helping members cultivate a Unitarian Universalist identity, and helping integrate children and youth into the overall life of the church.
Qualifications and Skills
- Demonstrated love of learning.
- Experience working with children, youth and adults in church, educational or community based settings.
- Ability to communicate clearly with congregants, parents, volunteers and other staff members.
- Highly organized and works well both independently and as a member of a staff team.
- Familiarity with Unitarian Universalism, our liberal religious theology values and programs, is preferable.
- In direct partnership with the minister and religious education committee, leads the lifespan faith exploration and education program, including curriculum selection, planning and adaptation.
- Plans and organizes any specific age-based programs (e.g. Coming of Age, First Mentor, First Chalice, Our Whole Lives).
- Partners with the greater church through other committees as appropriate (e.g. new member breakfasts, volunteer activities, etc.).
- Coordinates the use of RE space with the Russell Preschool (church renters), including preparation and clean up of classroom and playground spaces.
- Maintains records of enrollment, class lists, and calendar of events.
- Participates in weekly staff meetings, RE Committee meetings, and one-on-one meetings as required.
- Contributes to congregational reports, website, and church newsletter as expected.
- Attends district, denominational, and professional meetings when possible.
- Recruits, hires, trains, supports and oversees a dynamic team of volunteers, teachers and classroom assistants to teach faith exploration programming.
- Coordinates and schedules program volunteers, teachers and classroom assistants to ensure coverage for each Sunday.
- Provides supervision for events and activities.
- Coordinates and/or leads the weekly Time for All Ages in collaboration with the Minister.
- Coordinates multigenerational services in collaboration with the Minister.
- Presents a welcoming presence to all children and families who come to First Parish.
- Maintains and nurtures ongoing relationships with all members of the community, not just the families, and in doing so, builds the volunteer pool to run programming.
- Establishes office hours and a reliable method of communication with the congregation.
- Communicates with teachers, volunteers, and parents in a timely manner regarding programming.
- Follows up with visiting families in coordination with the Membership Committee.
- Explores opportunities to collaborate with other congregations on youth programs.
Core Competencies Include:
Teaching: Designs effective lesson plans and facilitates learning experiences for children, youth and adults. Selects teaching topics that are relevant, provocative and contribute to a deeper understanding of spiritual practice and social justice. Uses a variety of teaching topics to maintain interest and build connections.
Faith Exploration: Demonstrates an understanding of faith formation as a journey or process. Invites others into reflection about personal journeys. Teaches a variety of spiritual practices to lead others in deepening and developing spirituality.
Team Building: Provides direction, gains commitment, facilitates change and achieves results through the efficient, creative and responsible deployment of volunteers. Engages people in their areas of giftedness and passion. Creates an environment that others want to participate in.
Program Management: Develops and implements realistic and thorough work-plans for implementing faith exploration programs. Concentrates efforts on the highest priorities; can appropriately balance priorities.
Communication: Provides the information people need to know to do their jobs well through timely and transparent sharing of verbal and written communication.