Water Communion: September 10

waterWelcome Back!

After a summer of church renovations and personal vacations, we will gather back together to start a new church year with our traditional water communion—only this year, it will not be so traditional!

On September 10 please bring two items with you:

  • A small container of water from wherever you spent your summer, whether at home or some faraway location

  • And a canned food item, which will be collected at our service by our children. Our own Ed Barrett will distribute these food donations at Trinity House, a low income housing project here in our community.


And remember, we will have a single, unified service this church year at 10:00 a.m.

Introducing Our New DRE

Screenshot 2017 09 06 at 12.46.42 PMDuring the worship services on April 9, Rev. Dr. Neal Jones introduced to the congregation our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Dawn Star Sarahs-Borchelt. She will oversee the Religious Education (RE) of our children, youth, and adults, plan and conduct our multigenerational services, and act as our liaison with St. David’s Nursery School.

Dawn draws from a deep reservoir of experience, having served as the DRE of the BuxMont UU Fellowship, the Youth Ministry Coordinator of All Souls Church in DC and the UU Church of Silver Spring, adjunct staff for the Joseph Priestly District, a religious education consultant for Goodloe Memorial Congregation in Maryland, and the DRE of Davies Memorial UU Church, also in Maryland.

She has just completed the Masters Level Program for religious educators, the UUA’s highest level of RE credentials. She has led RE workshops and conferences for UU congregations, clusters, and districts, and she has written RE curricula on environmental stewardship, multicultural values, bridging between age groups, and multigenerational worship. Not only is she obviously qualified, but according to her references and others who know her well, she is compassionate, personable, and has a wry sense of humor.

Perhaps Dawn’s most practical preparation to be a religious educator, however, is the fact that she is the home-schooling mother of four: Wolfy, Robin, Day, and Juniper. They, along with her husband, Matt, served as our Chalice Lighters on April 9. In addition to all of this, Dawn is also a birth doula.

Background Check Instructions

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there are some very specific requirements for people who will be working as volunteers with children:

One: Complete a Pennsylvania Criminal Record background check through PATCH here. It is free and is a fairly painless procedure. After navigating several screens you will get a result which looks like this:

bgc1

 

Click on the blue link starting with an R (shown in this picture covered with a gray box with x’s for privacy’s sake.  That will get you to this screen:

bgc2

 

You’re still not quite done: click on the link that says Certification Form at the bottom of this screen. THAT will get you your actual certificate:

bgc3

Once this is on your screen you can print it directly, or you can start the printing process and then in the print dialogue tell your computer to save it as a PDF, which you will be able to print or email directly to us.


TWO: Complete a Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance. You can do that here: ChildLine. It is free and a hugely time-consuming process (Sorry. Not our idea.) There are a number of steps.

1         Create an account

2         Check your email for your Username (which you just created) and a temporary password

3         Log back in using the temporary password

4         Create a permanent password, with very specific guidelines about what is permitted/required

5         Log back in AGAIN using the permanent password

6         Create an application for your clearance, which involves listing every PERSON and PLACE that you have lived in/with since 1975. No, we’re not kidding.

7         Wait about 2 weeks for the agency to complete your check. At that point, they should email you that your clearance is ready and you should be able to access it online, especially if you wrote down your extremely complicated password. They will also mail you a copy if you selected that option.


THREE: either submit a Volunteer Application OR have your fingerprints taken for an FBI background check.

If you have lived in Pennsylvania for ALL of the past 10 years, you can download the Volunteer Application, print it out, sign it, have someone witness that you signed it (does not need to be notarized or anything – just someone else who saw you sign it) and send it to us either by scanning, mailing, or handing it to us in person.

If you have NOT lived in Pennsylvania for ALL of the past 10 years, you will need to register online to have your fingerprints taken for an FBI background check. Registering is pretty easy: go to Cogent Public Welfare FBI Checks. If you have any difficulty with the system (sometimes it does have problems), you can also register by calling 1-888-439-2486.

Things to note #1: it is NOT free (cost ~$25).
 If this is a cost you are able to absorb, well and good. If it is a hardship for you, please do not hesitate to ask for us to cover the cost (email ]. 

Things to note #2: it is VERY IMPORTANT to use the link above and NOT go looking on your own and find the Department of Education link, which looks the same but will not get you what we need. For reasons best known to bureaucracy, there are two ways to get an FBI fingerprint background check in PA. One is through the Department of Public Welfare; once you’ve had your fingerprints taken YOU are mailed a paper certificate which you can take anywhere you’re volunteering to prove that you are authorized to do so. The other is through the Department of Education and once you’ve had your fingerprints taken the results go into a database only schools can access. This also means that if you work or volunteer in a school and had your fingerprints done there, we cannot accept the unofficial printout showing that for this portion of the background check process. (Again, sorry. Not our idea.)

Once you are registered, you make an appointment directly with a fingerprinting location to go in person and have your fingerprints taken digitally. The list of locations is can be found here (under “Print Site Locations: Print Locations and Hours.”)

Several weeks after you go have your fingerprints taken you will receive a blue shaded paper certificate. Bring this document to us for us to physically see in person and make a copy of (you keep the original.)

 

All of these certifications are good for FIVE years.