March 12, 2020


It has been a while since we updated you about this important transition. Our RE Transition Team has been meeting regularly since January to get this process moving in a thoughtful and organized way. Yes, we took some time with Emmie before she left to learn what she knew about how to run our program and all of the wonderful things we do. Many of us have taken on additional roles to ensure that our program runs smoothly until we make a permanent hire.

Our Team anticipates this process taking approximately a year and a half. We hope to be making a permanent hire by July of 2021. This process can, and probably will, result in a position that will be very different from the position Emmie held. We are looking to make this position reflective of the needs of the congregation and stay within our budget. That is why we are taking our time with this process.

Our Team is working with the board and Rev. Sara to hire an interim RE consultant, who will assist our congregation through a process of determining what we need. Like in our ministerial search, the consultant will come to Boise two to three times to conduct listening sessions, workshops, and data gathering. Then they will work with this Team to make sense of the data gathered and determine what this congregation needs from a person in this position. 

As well as hiring a consultant, we will hire a temporary part time position to assist with the youth program as well as the RE Transition Team. Gem is a valued member of our staff and her hours have been increased with Emmie’s departure. However, during our next program year we have bigger events happening with our youth that will take more time.  While our volunteers are doing an amazing job (and we definitely appreciate them!), they can’t do it all. This person will not be an “interim director;” they will be dedicated RE staff focused on our youth programs. The interim work itself will be done by a consultant and this RE Transition Team.

Let me assure you, most of the programs will continue as planned. For instance, I have gotten questions about Boston Bounders and Coming of Age. Yes, both of those will happen next year, led by the new part time youth coordinator, with assistance from other staff and volunteers. We will also be offering OWL for 4th and 5th graders as well. Sundays will carry on as they do. If you have any interest or expertise in any of these areas and are willing to lend a hand, please let any of our Team members know. This will truly take a village.

Please be patient with our staff and volunteers as we all work to keep this program thriving. Thank you for your patience as we continue on this journey. 

Jen Grush-Dale, RE Transition Team Leader

February 3, 2020

Good morning,

As many of you know, our beloved Director of Religious Exploration, Emmie Schlobohm, retired January 5th. This brings about few changes and a time of transition for the congregation at BUUF. Our goal with this blog will be to help keep the congregation, as a whole, informed of the process as we begin this exciting journey of finding a new Director.

Let us introduce ourselves. Our team includes Rachel Murphy, Matthew Sabin, Kristin McKie, Shareen Watsen, Mary Beth Bolin, Rev. Sara LaWall and myself.

During this time of transition, be assured that our Religious Exploration program will continue as it always has. Gem Emerson Paige, Religious Exploration Coordinator ( will continue to coordinate and plan the children’s RE (nursery thru 5th grade). I am coordinating the older youth (middle & high school). If you have questions or concerns about either of these programs or anything relating to Religious Exploration, please feel free to contact one of us.

Much like our Ministerial Transition from a few years ago, our transition from one Director of Religious Exploration to the next is a process that we plan to go through methodically and with purpose. We have begun meeting and will be moving forward in the next few months.

Some of our more immediate goals:

  • Supporting Religious Exploration during this transition
  • Creating a process to focus our vision for Religious Exploration at BUUF including our needs, wants and leadership (which has included consulting with Emmie & Gem). which may include listening sessions, gathering the history of RE at BUUF and listening/sharing sessions with families & stakeholders). We have already begun to field suggestions and requests.
  • Develop an updated job description for the position and serve as an interview panel
  • Serve as the support team when the new Director is hired

Some of those goals may change, get left behind or new goals may present themselves. We are keeping an open mind during this process to all kinds of possibilities. In the meantime, be assured that our children and youth are being well cared for.

Please join us as we begin this journey together.

Jen Grush-Dale, Team Leader