First UU Columbus

A Welcoming Congregation

Volunteer Opportunities PDF Print E-mail

In Religious Education we help kids with the tough stuff: Big Questions, sexuality, death, spirituality and oppression.

For many people there is no more exciting and renewing way of serving the congregation and the future than ministry with our infants, toddlers, children and teens. Our connections with others is a main vehicle for our spiritual development. Adults in relationship with children and teens are the core of our programming and faith development. You may be amazed at how much it contributes to your own spiritual growth. Below are some ways for you to be a part of our ministry with children and teens. There are many others, if  you don't see what you want, describe it in the Volunteer Form and we will find the ministry that is right for you.

 All positions that require contact with children or youth require a background check.

Volunteer Form 


Sunday Morning Opportunities

Religious Education Group Leader (usually one to two Sundays per month) - The basic “job” is to companion children and youth on their spiritual journey, showing them your version of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist by how you treat everyone, deal with questions and conflict. Leaders form a team and divide responsiblities for attending on Sunday mornings with two of the team responsible for each Sunday.  Together the team has the following responsibilities, as agreed among them.

  • Follow curriculum, adapting where necessary. In classes of teens and older children, consult them about adjustments to ritual and curriculum.

  • Follow a ritual each week. Gather children for a chalice lighting at the beginning and for sharing of the Joys and Cares of at the end of the session.

  • Arrive in time on Sunday morning to gather the materials you need and set up the room.

  • Greet youth, children and families warmly, making new families feel welcome.

  • Be quick to seek help from Faith Development Associates or by calling the cell numbers on the cover of the attendance folder.

  • Let parents know what’s going on in the group so that they can extend the lesson at home. Email is probably best.

  • Take attendance at the beginning of each session, welcome new children, make sure you have information on all children in the room. Let RE Assistant know when paperwork is missing.

  • Inform RE Assistant of special supply and set-up needs 2 weeks before needed.

  • Communicate concerns about children or issues to Lane Campbell, the Director of Religious Education.

OWL Trainee (Twice per month for 8th grade OWL, usually every week for groups that meet for 2 or 3 months) Work as a part of a team of trained sexuality educators offering values-based comprehensive sexuality education to 1st graders, 5th and 6th graders, 8th graders or 10th through 12th graders. 

  • Provide support for trained leaders, gradually taking on responsibility for some of the activities as you learn more about the philosophy and approach.

  • Take formal training, usually offered in another city over a Friday night to Sunday afternoon span. The congregation pays for training, transportation and lodging.


Snack Provider

Once per year, bring enough healthy snacks for 100 children.


Some Current Leadership/Coordinating Opportunities

Youth Advisor (Two Sundays per month, from 12:45 to 3 – With the Lead Youth Advisor work with youth in middle and high school to develop their own programming that includes fun, connection with peers and adults, social justice, leadership development, and worship. Help them organize and accompany them on field trips for fun and sometimes educational purposes. Take part in youth advisor training as it is available. Must be able to maintain appropriate boundaries, while supporting youth in developing interdependence. 


Religious Education Council member (meet once per month plus responsible for one aspect of RE) - approximately six people with good, broad RE experience, to guide First UU' Religious Education program for all ages. Should also include one person with a strong interest in religious education who is an informal leader in the congregation as a whole.


  • Think about the overall picture of Lifespan R.E. at First UU.

  • Advise the DRE on policy and procedures

  • Make formal proposals to the board where changes require its approval.

  • Look for “holes” and overlap in programming

  • With DRE recruit volunteers.

  • Support the interests of religious education both informally and in meetings.

  • Hear complaints and praise about RE

  • Appreciate volunteers

  • Amend procedures as needed.



Multicultural Holiday Coordinator (several hours work prior to one fall holiday and two spring holidays) – With DRE and co-coordinators:

  • Set up altars and other decorations for the Dia de Los Muertos worship, based on plan by worship leaders.

  • Organize, recruit volunteers and lead Easter Egg Hunt.

  • Plan, organize, recruit volunteers for Holi.


Greeter/Religious Education Table Coordinator (Approximately 4 hours per month)

  • Schedule and train people who staff the Sunday School Table and welcome visitors.

  • Provide DRE with names of table staff.

  • Keep up-to-date on publications about Sunday School to support table staff.


Chalice Lighter Coordinator (Approximately 2 hours per month) - Recruit, train and schedule children 7 years and older in participating in the worship service by lighting the chalice. Responsible for:


  • Visiting 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday School groups to advertise the Chalice Lighter opportunity.

  • Training new children, including a bit of history of the chalice in the process.

  • Scheduling children for each service and inform Marian Garcia via email by Wednesday of each week who the chalice lighters are for Sunday.

  • Contacting the family each week for each chalice lighter to remind them.