Written during the February 2014 Teacher Development Renaissance Module, Pacific Southwest Liberal Religious Educator Association (LREDA) chapter.
Minister: This morning we dedicate our Religious Education teachers who have been called to minister to our children, to our future. Without them to teach, nurture, challenge, mentor, our religious movement would be greatly diminished; indeed, it would die. Religious education is a life-long process which integrates the wisdom of the world's religions and philosophies with our present experience of reality and hope for the future.
Ask teachers to come forward; calling them by name
Children hand flowers to teachers. Have teachers remain standing
Director of Religious Education (DRE): Many people who discover our religious movement say they first came so that their children could have a religious, but not an indoctrinated, education. As children grow and discover our religious roots — you too will be on a journey, for some of you this is a new adventure, for others, a continuing experience. We are entrusting our future and faith into your hands.
There are no words to express our appreciation for the work that you do with our beloved children. We appreciate the time, gifts, and diversity that you are bringing to our Religious Education program. We want you to bring both your heart and your mind, your love and reason. And we know that you are fully capable and that you will bring your authentic self in all you do.
Minister and DRE: We dedicate these teachers to be a crucial part of the nourishment of our children's spiritual growth. You who have chosen to teach our children will have the special blessing of being not only part of their religious development, but a loving part of our children's memories.
Teachers: We recognize the trust you are placing in us. We covenant to respect our children as the individuals they are, encourage exploration and growth, and keep them safe.
Children: We appreciate the time, energy, and love that you will be sharing with us this year.
Minister: Will the congregation please rise.
DRE: Do we, as the congregants of this liberal religious congregation, covenant to nurture and support these teachers called to minister to our children, as well as acknowledging the great importance of Religious Education for all ages.
All: We covenant with the teachers, the children and the Religious Education Director (and Committee) to acknowledge and value the ministry of religious education. To support you to the best of our abilities, and to realize that we are partners in the growth of all members of this congregation.
Invite children to line the Bridge of Love (you will want to rehearse this ahead of time), and congregants to form the bridge over the heads of the children.
Sing: sing teachers out through this special bridge of children and congregants.