Religious Education News

Be An Instrument of Change...Teach!

--a message from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Director of Family Ministries
I’m in the throws of putting together the Teaching Teams for the 2012-13 school year. If you have already been placed with a team, thank you very much! If you have not applied, please consider the following:
Teaching is certainly not for everyone, but for those who choose to spend their Sundays with our children or youth, it is wonderful. Co-teachers work together to build community in their class; teams who teach the same grade level work together to support each other; all the teachers come together several times a year to celebrate.
People who are interested go through an application and interview process that includes a background check, reference check, and a signed Code of Ethics statement. Once they are placed, it is expected that they will attend a team meetings and Teacher Training in August, September and November and January.
There are 31 Sundays in our school year; 12 of these Sundays are Together Time with shortened lessons; most teachers are responsible for preparing only six lessons; curricula with well spelled out lesson plans are supplied to every teacher; resources can be gathered by weekday staff and volunteers.
Those who want to teach want to be here for as many Sundays as possible however there is a list of trained substitutes that are very willing to step in when needed. There are also 5 Teacher Holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and Memorial weekend.
If you would like to be considered, please reply to  Cathy Cartwright .

Or refer someone:
Consider recommending someone you think would be a good teacher. It will take me years to even begin to know all the wonderful people here at First Unitarian Church and their individual talents. By referring someone you can help me help you. There are 24 positions to fill, so there is certainly plenty to go around.


Teacher Testimonial from Jason Webber

Growing up, I always wanted to be a broadcaster. My parents tell stories of me lying on the living room floor with my feet on the entertainment center broadcasting Trail Blazer games. I went to Oregon State University and received my degree in New Media Communications. I worked at 1190 KEX in Portland, and KOMO radio in Seattle.

I ended up working a basic desk job until the spring of 2009. I, like many, was laid off.  But, honestly, that was the best thing that could have happened to me. Because then I was here at church at a 5th/6th grade social with my wife, Beth Webber, who was a 5th/6th grade teacher in the Learning Community.

Cathy Cartwright approached me and said, “YOU should teach.” “Teach?” I asked. “Yes,” she said. “In YRUU.” YRUU is our youth group for high school sophomores, junior, and seniors. Cathy told me to think about it. Well… I said “yes.” That little word changed my life. Since then, I have volunteered in schools, went back to school and got my Masters in teaching, and as of two weeks ago, got a job teaching!

I am the newest teacher at the Oregon Connections Academy, and am the happiest I have ever been in my life!  I owe it all to my first teaching opportunity at First Church. I come back every year to teach in the Learning Community because every year I get to team teach and work with the most amazing people. I have found a way to really connect with the church and find my connection within the larger congregation. I look forward to coming to church every Sunday, not only for its sermons, but to see the children and youth who make me smile each and every week.


An Evening with Dr. Yong Zhao

Zhao_photoPlease join us for an evening with Dr. Yong Zhao, distinguished author and lecturer, as we listen, discuss, and work on creating a positive vision for public education in Oregon.

Dr. Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, is the author of Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization. His book raises interesting and provocative questions about the current direction of educational policies in the U.S. What does it take to be competitive in the 21st century? How do we define a high quality education?   What defines success? What role do teachers, parents, students, and community members play in the process of shaping this future?  How do we create a just and equitable educational system?

We encourage all those passionate about the direction of public education in Oregon to attend this event and share your voice.

Date:  Thursday, April 5, 2012
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: First Unitarian Church

See Flyer for this event.

Questions?  contact Catherine Carroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Register Here (Free Event):

“Education should move beyond the paradigm of imparting in our children what government or other authorities deem useful. Instead it should work to support every individual student to become successful, help each individual to reach his/her full potential, and encourage all students to pursue their passion and interests.” (Dr. Yong Zhao)

For More information about Dr. Yong Zhao, visit his website at:

Sponsored by the RE and Social Justice Committees, Oregon Save Our Schools, Parents Across America, and Rethinking Schools.


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