2/8/23 –

  • This week: This week will be an all ages service with children and youth joining us in the service.
  • Youth Programming: We are looking forward to coordinating youth programming with our sister congregations at Prairie UU and First Unitarian Society. First Unitarian is having a spaghetti dinner to fundraise for Starlings women’s youth volleyball team February 18 at 6:15 pm. Any youth interested in volunteering with the dinner or set up should contact Genevieve.
  • Parents of Trans/NB Youth: First Unitarian Society is also starting a group for parents of trans and nonbinary youth and would like to extend an invitation. Please email Genevieve, or Leslie at leslier@fusmadison.org, for more information.
  • Stay tuned for news on Coming of Age, middle school and high school groups: All parents and youth interested in Coming of Age should contact Genevieve with their youth’s name and age so we can begin planning an age appropriate curriculum. Any adults in the congregation who are interested in assisting with our Coming of Age Program should also contact Genevieve.

Contact Genevieve here or by sending an email to re@jruuc-org


12/7/22 –

Welcome to our new DRE, Genevieve McPherson-Shambarger!

Genevieve is a third generation UU, growing up in the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Annapolis and has been involved with children’s and youth programming since she herself was a youth in YRUU. As a youth she served both her home congregation as well as co-chaired the Joseph Priestly District’s Youth Steering Committee and later served as the worship coordinator for the Young Adult Action Committee.

Since graduating from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2016 Genevieve had lived in Washington, DC using the opportunity of living in the Capital to engage in multiple social action and justice campaigns including with All Souls Unitarian Church as well as Climate Now, the Poor People’s Campaign and the Reeb Voting Project named after the same James Reeb this congregation honors, before moving to the East side of Madison, Wisconsin in the summer of 2022.

Genevieve looks forward to giving back to the faith community that helped shape her into the confident and competent woman she is today and working with our most important church members, our children. 


Schedule for Families, Children & Youth

1st Sunday – Fellowship for Families

During this week, young people will be encouraged to come to church, sit at the Busy Hands table if they choose, and then meet afterward for 30 minutes in two age groups- elementary and youth. Youth will be with Rev. Karen and the younger ones will go with Mandy. During this time, parents are encouraged to help themselves to coffee and some adult conversation. 

2nd Sunday – Regularly Scheduled Service – Activities Table Open

3rd Sunday – Youth in Session

During this week, young people will be in service until after the Time For All Ages. Then, our DRE Genevieve or other adults will escort them into a learning space to focus on the month’s theme with activities and discussion. There will be no busy hands table. 

4th (and 5th) Sunday – Regularly Scheduled Service – Activities Table Open

Staff will take this time to plan for the next month. 


RE Corner is Open for Kids (and Adults) During the Service

An activity table and floor area (open to adults and children alike) will be on the left-hand side of the sanctuary filled with fun, quiet activities to keep hands active while ears are listening. The table will be staffed every Sunday but the 3rd Sunday.


Volunteers are needed for the RE corner

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! There are idea sheets in the folder with the sign-up sheet, but you are more than welcome to bring your own activity if you have any ideas. Contact Genevieve to sign up. 


More about Religious Education for Children and Youth


[9/28/22 – A letter from former DRE Mandy]

Personally, I’d like to take a moment to speak directly to the congregation, whether I’ve gotten the privilege of working closely with you or not. I’ve spent three years at Reeb, and those years have been quite a doozy. After all, seven months after I was hired the world shut down with a once in a hundred year pandemic. We moved everything: worship; RE; even Caring Tree activities; online. We had to learn how to be together without being together, and that was hard. 

But we learned, and grew, and I’m proud to say that we accomplished much during that difficult time. We held an OWL class in person, in a tent outdoors, when nearly no other churches had reinstated this program yet. We held monthly in-person gatherings including an egg-hunt, a Halloween Trunk or Treat, and visited local cultural staples like the Chazen Museum where we could talk about social justice and Madison’s history of welcoming (or not) marginalized people. We did these things while masked and keeping our distance. 

Three years has been a long time for my family. The six month old I had when I was hired is now learning her letters and begging us to let her join her sisters in Tae Kwon Do. My second oldest has gone from Pre-K to 2nd grade and has grown into herself in what I think is an inspiring journey of awareness and confidence. My oldest, who is frequently with me at church, has begun to ask the big questions and has found many answers listening to worship from the Busy Hands table. 

However, a new opportunity has fallen into my lap, and I’m excited to see how it will feed my creativity and challenge me. Near the end of October, I will leave Reeb and begin working full time for Sun Prairie Neighbor Magazine. I’ll get to flex my writing skills and have my own bylines. 

I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity Reeb gave me when I was new to the area and searching for something that was mine. It has been my pleasure to get to know you these three years, and I genuinely wish the best for you and Reeb as a whole as I transition out of my role as D.R.E. and into my position as magazine editor.