An Interview with Cassie Lengel, Our New Director of Lifespan Faith Development

As we welcome our new DLFD, Elliot (9-year old RE student) has some questions to help our kids get to know Miss Cassie.

Elliot: Why do you want to be our DLFD?

Miss Cassie: I know that you have asked me to come and be the DLFD to teach and facilitate conversations about religious learning, but ever since I learned about UCWC, I knew that working with you would teach me so much as well. I want to be your DLFD because I want to grow with you as we think about our own spiritualities, as we embrace our neighbors in the community, as we fight for social justice for all living things, and as we unite together as Unitarian Universalists around our common core of beliefs. I have seen in you the spirit of growth and learning, so how can I not want to join in?

Elliot: Do you like dragons?

Miss Cassie: It’s funny that you would ask, I LOVE DRAGONS! I actually met the love of my life because we were both obsessed about dragons. They are by far the coolest magical creature, and the ways they’ve been used in stories across the world have fascinating spiritual and societal implications. I love learning about them, everything from The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, to the amazing world of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, to Eastern depictions of dragons in religion. I hope this means you like dragons too.

Elliot: Do you plant trees to save the earth?

Miss Cassie: I have not yet had the opportunity to plant a new tree for the earth, but I enjoy caring for the trees that are around me. My nieces and I love to water them, do bark coloring, and go on nature scavenger hunts through the trees where we live. What is your favorite thing to do around trees?

Elliot: Do you have a tomato plant?

Miss Cassie: Not yet. But I do have two poinsettias from Christmas that are somehow still alive and thriving. They have managed not only the changes in seasons but moving twice as well. I also have a lively purple cactus, and I’m trying to keep my poor wildflowers alive too. I do hope to put in a garden at some point, though for now I’m just a pot planter. What do you grow, and is your thumb greener than mine?

Elliot: What is your favorite animal? Why?

Miss Cassie: My favorite animal is a frog. I used to catch toads with my brother and sister growing up and keep them as pets. Of course, that is hard work since you then have to catch all the bugs to feed them too. I don’t know why they are my favorite, but they are such a cool part of the ecosystem, and I love the varieties.

Elliot: What book do you like to read to children best? Why?

Miss Cassie: This is one of the hardest questions you’ve asked. I love reading. But right now my favorite book to read to children is The Magic Locket by Elizabeth Koda-Callan. This book was really important to me growing up, and if you ever see me walking around with a small golden locket on, it came from this book. I don’t want to spoil it, but the beauty of this story is that it empowers the reader with a very special magic power.

Elliot: What is your favorite part of being a DLFD?

Miss Cassie: My favorite part about being a DLFD is meeting and truly getting to know people. I love simply talking to people and using relationships as the basis for engaging religious discussions. I want to work towards building a community that is invested in one another’s lives — from the mundane to whatever fulfills you — and I want to journey with you in creating a more just, loving, and equitable world.