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Meet our new RE director

September 2, 2013

Fontneau_PeteDavies Memorial Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church in Camp Springs, Md., welcomes Pete Fontneau as its new Director of Religious Education. Pete took the position in August 2013.

UU religious education is designed to give children an understanding and appreciation of the world’s religions and a thorough, age-appropriate, understanding of UU’s Seven Principles, which include respect for the worth and dignity of every person. (http://uua.org/beliefs/principles/index.shtml ) Pete is the church’s first lifespan religious education director, meaning he oversees programs for children, youth and adults.

Davies is now accepting registration for its RE programs; programs for children and youth begin Sept. 15. Classes for preschoolers will nurture young children’s spiritual growth, creativity, and connection. Grades 1 – 5 will learn about making life choices that affect everyday actions. Grades 6-12 will explore current issues, how they affect their lives, and how living by principles will help them navigate life’s journey.

Pete is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, raised in the Winchester, Mass., Unitarian Society. He has been part of UU congregations in New York, Maryland and California and, since 1986, Accotink UU in Burke, Va., where he served as a religious education teacher, a member of the RE Committee and chair of the adult RE program.

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard upon graduation from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, and attended graduate school at George Washington University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He ended his Coast Guard career in Washington DC as an acquisition project manager. His post-service career was in acquisition support for Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard projects.

Pete served as president of the Greater Washington Association of UU Congregations from 2000 to 2006. He also has served on the Joseph Priestley District Board, as the JPD representative on the UUA Annual Program Fund Committee, and on the UUA Commission on Appraisal (2007-13). He is a co-author of the COA’s 2013 report: Who’s In Charge Here?: The Complex Relationship Between Ministry and Authority.

In 2007, Pete enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He interned as social justice coordinator for campus ministry at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and completed his Clinical Pastoral Education as a chaplain intern in a continuing care facility in Falls Church, Va.

Pete lives with Karin in Springfield, Va. His daughter, a Montessori educator in Arlington County, and two grandsons, are active in the Arlington, Va. UU congregation. His son, an IT professional who works for the House of Representatives, lives in Alexandria.

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