I remember when I first saw the Director of Religious Education job listening over four years ago. I had known the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis as a church that valued Religious Education. When I saw UUI was looking for a new DRE, I knew I wanted to work there! So I applied. I remember getting interviewed by Peter, Stacy, and Nancy; then Peter taking my husband and me out to Y
ats afterwards. Then a few weeks later, I was offered to position. I knew instantl
y that this was the fit for me, becoming UUI's DRE!
I remember meeting some of the youth for the first tim
e at a youth conference that the church I was still serving hosted; meeting Izabella and Sarah for the first time. Then when it was time for my family to move, and my first day at UUI, how incredibly welcoming everyone was. I also remember how lovely it was when I realized, yes this congregation does put RE in high regards, as I could get all the volunteers needed for RE in such a short time! Everyone volunteered, not just parents. We had (and still do) a high ratio of adults who do not have children in the program stepping up to work with the children and youth. FANTASTIC!
My time with UUI, with you all, has been a tremendous honor. My time with UUI has been a huge part of my own faith formation and discernment to becoming a minister; deciding to go into seminary. This is really such a bitter-sweet moment for me. I enjoyed my time serving you all at UUI, but I understand that it is time for me to move through seminary.
Thank you to everyone who has worked with our children and youth. Our children and youth's faith formation is one of the most important things, I feel, for our denomination as a whole. Children and youth eventually grow into adults, and we need them to help with our UU movement. Thank you to everyone who has served with me on the Religious Education Council. This was no easy task as we moved through the different seasons at UUI, with new challenges. Those who served on the RE Council rose up and faced those challenges with such grace. Thank you to the board at UUI who supported my journey at UUI as well as keeping religious education in their minds as important decisions were being made. Thank you to all the children and youth who made my job so very enjoyable! Thank you to the nursery care staff for all your hours with our little ones. Thank you to Mara, UUI's office administrator, for her wonderfulness. Thank you to Jamie, for his encouragement. Thank you Stacy; for keeping the torch of religious education burning while the search for a new Director of Religious Education happens. Thank you to everyone who has done anything to help support RE in all of the ways that one can support it; volunteering at youth conferences, fundraisers, Habitat for Humanity, youth events, donating items...this list goes on and on! Thank you to you all for everything!
As for my last Sunday serving UUI, the Stone Soup service, THANK YOU to everyone who attended and supported our Stone Soup service event. Thank you for the cards, the warm wishes, the special words, the flowers, cake, photo-book, and everything else. Thank you.
I cannot wait to see where your new path takes you. There is a blessing that the youth say at the end of every youth conference, and this was the blessing you all sent me off with on my last Sunday. Now it is my time to share it with you:
May the road rise up to meet you.May the wind be always at your back. * May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields, until we meet again. *
Natalie Spriggs-Trobridge; UUI's former DRE who served UUI 2011-2015