Have you ever been in the basement at JUC? If you can’t navigate stairs, probably not. The basement holds the YRUU room (which isn’t big enough – a story for another day) and the Priestley Room, where meetings and rehearsals are often held. The Priestley Room and the nearby hall also hold the majority of JUC’s music materials – file cabinets stuffed with sheet music, and the handbells and chimes used by the JUC Ringers.
Hooray for offering popular and important programs at JUC! Right?
Except….it isn’t always easy to find enough room for those popular and important programs.
Case in point: 7th grade OWL -- the Our Whole Lives sexuality curriculum.
Kids, kids, SO MANY kids!
It’s so absolutely, completely, terrifically wonderful to have lots of young families at JUC, right? RIGHT! But…where to put them all? A change in is the works to find enough room for all the precious little two-year-olds and three-year-olds.
Director of Religious Education Annie Scott grins when she says there were 43 pre-schoolers who attended RE classes last year. And then she rolls her eyes.
Fact one: day or night, someone on the ministerial staff is always on call for pastoral care calls and conversations. Each minister takes a two-week pastoral care shift, speaking with congregants facing struggles: a job loss, a tough medical diagnosis, a troubled child, the death of a parent – any challenge, really, crying out for compassionate listening in a safe, private space. This is what our ministers do.
Fact two: Intern minister Kim Mason’s workspace is in the “gopher hole”. That’s what the staff calls the space directly behind the front desk in the JUC office. It’s populated by tall file cabinets, an L-shaped desk space, two computers, one telephone and three staff members. Phone calls? Awkward. Private conversations? Impossible.