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A Message from our Director of Religious Education

Pizza party postponed

January 28, 2022

Unfortunately, due to a last-minute illness with one of our families, and a few other challenges, we need to postpone our family Pizza Party until the beginning of March. 

We have an awesome afternoon planned (I’m really looking forward to this!), and hopefully, our new date – TBD until I can coordinate with Rev Alice and Misty-Dawn – will find more of you available to join us!

More info will be coming soon – stay tuned!
Bright Blessings,

RE Updates

January 21, 2022

This Sunday, RE will be participating in a multi-gen drumming service with Dave Curry! For the month of January, we have been working with the ministerial theme of ‘finding our center’ in RE. We’ve explored this in a number of ways, including through play, discussion, and reflection. This Sunday we’ll find a new way to explore centering with Dave, as he helps us learn how drumming can be used as a form of meditation and centering. The repetitive sound and movement – combined with mindfulness and intention – help to quiet the mind and bring a sense of calmness and focus. 

If you would like to read the full write-up of the service, you can find it here:

I know a number of our RE participants are musically inclined, and I’m excited that we can take part in this powerful service that will bring new ways to help us all find our center. I hope our musical friends will join us! Please note that service will be downstairs in the Hall instead of the Sanctuary this week – I look forward to seeing you there!

Note – if your family doesn’t have any hand drums or percussion, that’s ok – I’ll bring a few extra, and RE has a box of hand-held percussion instruments that can be shared.

Family Pizza Party on Sunday, Jan 29th from 1 – 3 PM!!

All families and RE volunteers are invited to join us! Come spend time in UU family community, connecting, playing games, and exploring our options for youth spiritual development & education!

Have family friends who might be UU-curious? Please let them know that this is a great time to check us out, and learn about how we come together in CommUUnity!!  Please RSVP by Jan 26th at

OWL Update

As with many things post-pandemic, it has been a struggle to try and find enough OWL instructors to run our Middle School OWL program. There has been no in-person training for new instructors in the New England region since before lockdown, and the online training is very hard to get into. It took 3 attempts to get our first volunteer in, and 4 attempts for our second. That second training won’t wrap up until the end of February, which doesn’t really leave us enough time to run the full program before school gets out for the year.

We will begin planning for OWL this February with a Zoom meeting – any parents or volunteers who are interested in attending are welcome. I will be reaching out with specific meeting info to families and volunteers in the next week or so. We’ll discuss the possibility of a spring/summer program, but as that could be challenging for many families, we may be looking at an early September start. More info coming soon.

RE Calendar

1/29 – RE in the morning at Northboro; Family Pizza Party at 1 PM in Hudson

2/5 – RE in Hudson (80 Main St.)

2/12 – RE in Northboro (40 Church St.)

2/19 – RE in Hudson

2/26 – RE in Northboro

Bright Blessings,


RE Updates

October 13, 2022

Greetings all,

I need to push our Zoom volunteer meeting back 2 weeks, given some of the changes that are being implemented starting this week (see below) and I’ll need some time to revamp our agenda. Our tentative reschedule date is Friday, Oct 21 at 7 PM. I’ll have more info next week.

My biggest goal for this year is to simplify RE for families and volunteers. As many of you know, my work this year was halted by 2 weeks of Covid and a week of study leave in the first 5 weeks of the year, so I’m further behind than hoped, but we’re ready to give a new, simpler format a try.

Here’s what RE will look like going forward through the end of 2022:

Circle RE will run every Sunday on a fixed rotating schedule:

the first Sunday of each month is at UCMH (Hudson),

the second at UUCSW (Westborough),

the third at First Parish (Northboro),

and the fourth is TBD each month.

(The month of October will be different given our starting date)

No programming for children will run at the other 2 churches, other than nursery care for children too young for RE.

The schedule for RE will be available in as many places as possible to keep everyone informed: weekly newsletters, flyers in or near the Sanctuary, and on all websites.

Parents are always welcome to email, call or text me if they want to check in on programming and/or location for a given week.

We would like to get feedback from families at the beginning of 2023, to see how the new format is working, and what, if any changes need to be made. We will send a survey out to families to help with this process. Please feel free to contact me any time before then if you have questions or concerns.

RE Schedule for Oct., Nov., and Dec.:

10/16 – at UCMH (80 Main St., Hudson)

10/23 – at UUCSW (64 W. Main St., Westborough)

10/30 – at First Parish (40 Church St., Northboro)

11/6 – at UCMH (Hudson)

11/13 – at UUCSW (Westborough)

11/20 – at First Parish (Northboro)

11/27 – Thanksgiving weekend, no RE

12/4 – at UCMH (Hudson)

12/11 – at UUCSW (Westborough)

12/18 – Circle Holiday Pageant, joint worship at UUCSW

Cynthia Menard (she/her)

Director of Education,

Unitarian Church of Marlboro & Hudson

First Parish UU Northboro

Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Westborough

Office Hours: Tues. – Fri.

Explore our Circle RE Cooperative:

Circle RE News

May 6, 2022

Greetings all,

Please note that RE and Youth Group will be at UUCSW this week (64 W. Main St., Westboro), instead of UCMH, as previously noted. 

This Sunday we will be planning for the Youth and RE Sunday happening on May 15th, and I’m hoping many of our kids will be able to join us! We’ll be putting together music, readings, and learning what goes into a UU service.

Youth Group will also be planning their part of the service this Sunday! We’ll be working on offering a creative component, and wrapping up our challenge/adventure program. 

Hope to see everyone this Sunday at UUCSW!!

RE Calendar:
5/8 – RE & YG at UUCSW (Westboro) 
5/15 – Youth and RE Sunday at UCMH (Hudson) – AM only, no afternoon YG
TBD – YG trip to Boundless Adventures
5/30 (Monday) – Circle RE Table at the Northboro fair*
6/18 (Saturday) – Circle RE Table at HudsonFest*
**kids are welcome to come to staff our table and share about our programs with the communities of Northboro and/or Hudson! Check in with Cynthia for more info. 

Bright Blessings, Cynthia (

Circle RE News

March 11, 2022

Greetings all!

This Sunday I will be running an all-ages tracking and signs of spring outdoor program at First Parish Northboro (40 Church St, Northboro) from 1 – 2:30 PM. Everyone in the Circle community is welcome, please be sure to dress for the weather!

The next Circle RE Gathering will be in the morning during worship time on March 27th from 10:15 – 11:45 AM at the Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson (80 Main St., Hudson). I’m looking forward to seeing our Circle families there!

Youth Group

The Youth Group had an awesome time climbing at Central Rock in Worcester! I was super impressed with all the teens, they challenged themselves and tried some tough – and fun – climbs! I’ll have more pics on the Circle website once I touch base with families about photo permissions.

Our next YG meeting will be Sunday, March 27th from 1 – 2:30 PM at the Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson (80 Main St., Hudson), where more challenge/adventure programming awaits!

Bright Blessings, Cynthia

New DRE Introduction: Cynthia Menard

Nov 11, 2021

I am Cynthia Menard, the new Director of Religious Education forFirst ParishNorthboro, and I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful congregation! Thank you so much for bringing me on board and trusting me with your youth’s spiritual growth and education – it is an honor!

I am looking forward to meeting you all in person in the upcoming weeks. I will be joining service for the first time this Sunday and will share a family story with you for our Story for All Ages.  

The following Sunday, Nov. 21 will be the start-up of our Circle RE Cooperative – the joint efforts of Marlboro/Hudson, Northboro and Westboro congregations to come together and offer a richer UU education for our youth (and adults)! Information about Circle RE will be going out separately.

So, how did I get here? I have been a DRE for just over 3 years, serving at the Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson, teaching youth Religious Educationprograms, and until this past spring, managing the Spiritual Growth and Community Center – UCMH’s public programming. I was tipped off to your need for a DRE after co-worshipping with you folks this spring, and am so glad to be back with you all!

Prior to coming to UU Religious Education, I worked as an informal (non-classroom) educator for over 20 years, teaching environmental education, natural history, challenge/adventure programming, and outdoor skills to a wide variety of audiences and abilities. I spent many of those years running summer camps, so you can expect some campiness from me. 😉 I particularly love to be outdoors (a big part of my spiritual practice) and will be bringing some fun outdoor education into our RE curriculum this year. 

I live in Lunenburg with my husband and two sons: Rowan, who just turned 17 (!!!) and will be at Youth Group when his schedule allows, and Alder who will be 12 in a few weeks. Alder (to my surprise) still loves coming to RE, and will be joining the Junior High age group. Rowan is a musician – percussion and vocals – and Alder has his Black Belt in Taekwondo. I hold Alder responsible for the fact that I now have my high Brown Belt in Taekwondo and will be testing for my Deputy Black Belt at the end of the year. 

As I am planning on offering adult RE this year, I hope to get to know you all quite well before too long! Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions, requests, or just to say hi. I’m so delighted to be here!

Brightest Blessings,


Cynthia Menard has been a UU professional for three + years, working as the Director of Lifelong Learning for the Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson before coming on board with UUCSW.

Prior to finding her way to UU Religious Education, Cynthia worked in non-formal education for more than 20 years, teaching environmental and challenge/adventure education to groups of all ages, experiences, and abilities. During that time, she worked as a Camp Director, Naturalist, Challenge Course Manager, and Experiential Educator, among other roles.

Cynthia is a practicing Wiccan of over 30 years and finds her deepest spirituality in the outdoors. She lives in Lunenburg with her husband, also an educator, two sons, and a bouncy German Shepherd. When not immersed in UU work, Cynthia reads tarot, studies Taekwondo with her youngest son, and teaches violin and fiddle.

Religious Education Updates

October 19, 2019

Sunday Morning R.E. Classes:
U. U. Magic, Mystery and Meaning…

Religious Education This Week:

Children in grades Pre-K through grade one meet in the Nursery this week.
Children and Youth in grades 2 and above meet with Debra.  This Sunday is a social justice action Sunday. We will begin making cat and dog treats and toys.  We plan to sell these items to benefit an animal organization TBD.
Religious Education Classes October through December
We need volunteer adults to sign up to assist in either the PreK/K class or Grade one and above class from October through December
In the PreK/K class there will be one youth childcare helper.
It will be a simple spirit play style class with a story and free play time.
In the Grade one and above class Debra will be lead teacher.
We will be exploring spiritual practices two Sundays a month and engaging in a social justice activity one time a month.
Please go to the sign up genius links below to sign up to assist on a particular date and class.
Pre-K/K sign up Oct-Dec
Grade 1 and Up
If you have any questions please contact Debra at
Wanted:  gently used yoga mats!  
If you have a gently used yoga mat that is just sitting around in some dusty corner please bring them to the Church.  The children will use them when we learn some yoga postures in the months ahead.  thank you!

I look forward to getting to know all of the members and friends in the First Parish Church community.  I invite individuals to share your interests and passions one morning at a time in the Sunday Morning RE Programming.  Let me know if there is something that you may enjoy sharing with our children and youth.
Please contact me if you have questions or would like to volunteer.  The best way to reach me is my email:
In Spirit and Truth and Joy,
Debra Zagaeski, Religious Education Coordinator

Religious Education Updates

September 6, 2019

Please Join us for Ingathering Welcome Breakfast Hosted by the Religious Education Team

A “light” breakfast for all!

Sunday, September 8th 9:45 a.m.

Our New Religious Education Coordinator, Debra Zagaeski and members of the Religious Education team look forward to welcoming you to the new Church year!

Sunday Morning Religious EducationProgramming
I am looking forward to meeting the children, youth and their families in the weeks and months to come.  We will begin this Church year in Religious Education with children and youth together in one group (with the exception of our Nursery children). 
I will lead a Family Chapel and workshop sessions with the children and youth.  We will begin the year learning about our own Unitarian Universalist faith.  The traditions, the principles, the sources.
One important Tradition -Teacher Recruitment:
We will need adult volunteers to assist, that is where your opportunity to serve!   I ask that some folks will step up to assist in the classrooms.  Look for the RE sign-up sheet in the coffee hour beginning on September 8th. 
I look forward to getting to know all of the members and friends in the First ParishChurch community.  I invite individuals to share your interests and passions one morning at a time in the Sunday Morning RE Programming.  Let me know if there is something that you may enjoy sharing with our children and youth.
Please contact me if you have questions or would like to volunteer.  The best way to reach me is my email:
In Spirit and Truth and Joy,
Debra Zagaeski, Religious Education Coordinator