Sample Teacher Dedication Ceremonies
From Liz Jones, Religious Educator, First UU Church, San Diego, CA: This morning we wish to thank you for your commitment to this church, to our values, and especially to our children. You have accepted the responsibility of helping our children grow and develop within our community. The enthusiasm you show toward them, this church, and our Unitarian Universalist movement will help them as they develop their own spiritual identities. We wish you to know that we acknowledge the responsibility you have accepted and respect the commitment you have made.
The time you spend teaching, caring for, and being with the children of this community is a special ministry. We ask you to keep in mind that what you are doing is ministry. Our children are delicate growing souls. Tend them with care and love.
We thank you for your willingness to be with our children, to teach them, to guide them, and to be with them. We remind you that you are role models for our children. How you treat them and how you interact with each other teaches them more about who we are and what we believe than any lesson.
Thank you for being our leaders. We look forward to spending time with you, having fun with you, and learning from you. We ask that you remember that we are people, too, and that you respect us.
We accept the responsibilities of being in the classrooms with our children. We promise to bring our enthusiasm, talents, and energies to helping them grow into the individuals that they will become. We ask that you support us in this endeavor. Be there when we need help. Listen to us when we need your ear.
We acknowledge and honor the role that you have within our community. We know that this is not something you can do alone. We are all teachers and we will strive to remember that. We are all here to support and help you, each in our own way.
This is the beginning of a new year. We are all part of this one community, children and adults alike. May we all grow and be enriched by our time together.
From Rev. Barbara Wells, 1990, East Shore UU Church, Bellevue, WA: On this first day of Sunday School, I want to take a moment to dedicate and commission those among us who have chosen to take on the important responsibility for church school teaching. At this time, I would invite all those here who are going to teach Sunday School this year at East Shore to stand. As they do, let me remind you that a group of teachers for our littlest ones are already in the classroom, doing the work to which we dedicate them.
To you as teachers let me say this: In taking on this responsibility, you have committed yourselves to nurturing the spirits of the youngest members of this congregation. Do you promise now, before them and this congregation, to do your best to honor them, teach them, and nurture their religious growth as Unitarian Universalists?
Answer: We do.
Do you, the children and young people of the church school, promise to honor, respect, and nurture these teachers with your hearts and with your minds?
Answer: We do.
Do you, the congregation of East Shore, promise these teachers and young people your support, knowing that religion cannot be taught only in a classroom, but must also be encouraged in the home and beyond?
Answer: We do.
Take up the challenge of this good work. May you have fun, grow and learn together, and be a continuing example of the importance of religious education both to us gathered here, and to the world beyond.
From Cindy Leitner, West Hills UU Fellowship, Portland, Oregon 1991:
DRE: Teachers, we give you this candle to take with you to your class. May you nurture and bring light to your students just as this candle flame nurtures and brightens.
Teachers: Enable me to teach with wisdom
Congregation: For you help to shape the mind.
Teachers: Equip me to teach with truth
Congregation: For you help to shape the conscience.
Teachers: Encourage me to teach with vision
Congregation: For you help to shape the future.
Teachers: Empower me to teach with love
Congregation: For you help to shape the world.
DRE and congregation: We thank you for committing your time, energy, spirit, and talent to our children.