DRE Sabbatical

It is with enormous gratitude that I am taking a sabbatical from my work as religious education director at People’s Church from January through June.

I intend for this time away from the hustle and bustle of managing our RE program to be a time for renewal for my mind, body and spirit.  After committing my heart and soul to this congregation for the past 15 years, I look forward to time for deep rest and spiritual renewal.

In addition to taking a break from church, I will be also taking a break from my church friends—even on Facebook, though of course I am happy to greet you if I run into you around town.

While I will be doing a little bit of traveling, I mostly plan to spend my time deepening my daily spiritual practices, going to the gym, reading, meditating, writing, cooking healthy foods and spending time in nature. These are the activities that feed my spirit and nurture my body. I am so happy to have the luxury of time to devote to these life affirming activities as a priority. I will also be working on some curriculum projects for RE.

One of the big changes occurring during the sabbatical is that my son, Joshua, and his girlfriend, Noel, are due to have a baby on June 1st, so I will be a grandma.

While I am away from church, the religious education program will be in very good hands.  The Sabbatical Team and the RE Committee are set to manage the details of our RE program.

Questions? Key contact people include:

  • Pastoral Care: Rev. Rachel Lonberg
  • Administration & Communication: Connie Ferguson
  • Sunday Morning Needs: Mary Kate Webster
  • Childcare for Events: Jenny Henley
  • Specialty Classes: Marti Peters-Sparling
  • OWL: Kelly Henderson
  • RE Staff Oversight: Emily Cutler
  • Youth Group: Kelly Henderson
  • Youth Conferences: Jeff Kirkwood
  • RE Committee Co-Chairs: Heather Barsy & Gwen Abney-Cunningham

If you have any RE questions or concerns, please send them to DREsabbatical@peopleschurch.net.

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director


Harry Potter & Fighting the Child Labor Horcrux

In January our 2nd-12th graders will be learning about Fair Trade products and child labor laws.  While our children and youth will be conducting a letter-writing campaign to encourage popular candy bar manufacturers to use fair trade chocolate, we also encourage everyone in the congregation to research the origins and manufacturers of the products they buy to see if they are in line with their values.

We are fortunate that fair trade coffee and chocolate are sold in our foyer after church on Sundays to make it easier for folks to buy these products responsibly.  While it can be a little more effort, we encourage everyone to buy local, sustainable products wherever possible!

Thank you to everyone who donated toiletries and warm coats to be given to those in need this winter.  We are glad to be able to make a positive difference in those lives.

Thank you to the youth who make 36 fleece scarves to be donated to members at Ministry with Community in December to help make their winter a little warmer!


2017-18 RE Sneak Peak

Before leaving for Sabbatical I have been busy recruiting teaching teams for next fall’s OWL and Coming of Age programs.

Just so you can plan accordingly, at this time we are looking at having K-12th grades use a World’s Religions curriculum next church year, with the exception of 7 & 8th Grade Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education class and 9 & 10th Grade Coming of Age classes. Just a few things to look forward to next year!

Also, if you have any interest in helping in religious education as a teacher or in any capacity next please let Nicky Gates know at re_assist@peopleschurch.net.

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