David Flynn started teaching in our children and youth religious education program (CYRE) out of sense of obligation for the program his kids attended. Then, he says, he got hooked. The kids had so much to say. He was impressed by even the youngest children’s answers to deep questions. He says he found the experience humbling and uplifting.

David has gone on to teach pre-kindergarten through middle school for our Sunday morning classes and kindergarten through high school for Our Whole Lives (OWL), our comprehensive sex education program. With OWL, he says he was blown away by the curriculum and by the children’s ability to bring real thought and depth to the discussions. He appreciates the focus on the whole person, on treating yourself and others with dignity and respect.

David has also served as a mentor and helped with retreats for the Coming of Age program for our high school youth. At first, he was not sure he would be good at one-on-one interactions with the teens. As he got to know them, he found the teenagers thoughtful, aware and mature in ways that made him feel alive and hopeful for the future they might create.

Co-facilitating important discussions with other adults became another rewarding volunteer experience for David. He has co-facilitated Parent Support Circles and is co-facilitating our transgender inclusion course. It has been awesome, David shared, how willing to share, to be vulnerable and to give each other grace participants have been as they struggle together to find their way.

David was drawn to serving on our Open Door School Managing Team by his love of children and child development. This past year has been challenging for our preschool. As chair of this team, David has worked to find the safest way possible to provide students the support, nurturing and connection that promotes their growth while also honoring the needs of their staff.

David says he is aware of the gifts and privileges he has and that he volunteers to show gratitude for what he’s been given. He says he has unexpectedly found spiritual fulfillment through his service at Unitarian Universalist Community of Charlotte. When working with kids, you don’t always know the impact, David acknowledges, but sometimes you do get a glimpse. To those who have not yet volunteered, David suggests just trying something; you’ll likely find something that resonates with you. Thank you to David for the many ways he has helped nurture and develop our children, our families and our community.