2018/19 Issue Number 2

August 2018

In This Issue...

  1. Notes from the President
  2. Renew now
  3. Monthly Spotlight
  4. Fall Conference
  5. Leadership Development
  6. News from our Friends
    1. College Grant
    2. Pot of Gold

LREDA eNews is a monthly newsletter. Please send submissions to [email protected] by the 20th of the month prior.

To be included in Milestones, send your work anniversaries, news, retirements, etc. to Gaia Brown at [email protected]


Creating a world guided by love, justice, and equity 

Advocating for and supporting professional religious educators
Advancing the field of Unitarian Universalist faith development
Engaging in the transformative power of shared ministry
Challenging systems of oppression              
Providing a prophetic voice


LREDA Members uphold our Code of Professional Practices. We are religious educators, youth ministry professionals, program assistants, ministers, CUC and UUA staff, and more.


Do you need help at work? Learn about how the Good Offices Program can provide support, or see a list of Good Officers here.


LREDA is a continental organization with members across Canada and the United States. To find the Chapter near you, click here.


LREDA funds available


Shared Ministry Resources


Connect & Serve


LREDA Board

Email: [email protected]

President Annie Scott

Vice President Linnea Nelson

Treasurer Juliet Donaldson

Secretary Andrea James

Continental Events Lily Rappaport

Good Offices Jules Jaramillo

Leadership Development Lisa Maria A. Steinberg


LREDA Staff

Administrator Kari Kopnick [email protected]

Conference Planner Bea Ann Phillips [email protected]

Director of Development Laurel Amabile [email protected]


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August Notes from the President

Annie Scott, LREDA President

Over the last year and a half your LREDA board has been in a process of discussion, reflection and revision of LREDA’s vision and mission statements and then out of that process, what our current priorities are. We have previously shared our vision, that LREDA is creating a world guided by love, justice and equity through our mission of:

  • Advocating for and supporting professional religious educators
  • Advancing the field of Unitarian Universalist faith development
  • Engaging in the transformative power of shared ministry
  • Challenging systems of oppression
  • Providing a prophetic voice

I’d like to share some reflection on the priorities we’ve named for the coming year:

  1. Fostering healthy Chapters and Clusters
  2. Strengthening Good Offices
  3. Centering financial stewardship
  4. Revising Fall Conference and Professional Days

I have said throughout my twenty-six years as a Unitarian Universalist religious educator that I’m not sure I could have stayed in this work, in this call, if it hadn’t been for my colleagues, and in particular for the monthly meetings I attended in the four different districts in which I have served. Relationships with colleagues have fed and nourished me. Monthly meetings have allowed me to grow professionally in the context of love and caring and accountability. Now, cluster meetings have changed a great deal over the years and, of course, varied from chapter to chapter, but throughout, colleagues have listened to me, guided me, mentored me, prayed for me, complained to me, held me accountable and sustained me. LREDA clusters and chapters are vital to the health of religious educators and to LREDA as a whole. We believe that in order for strong religious educators to move into leadership roles we need to foster leadership development and a sense of self-as-professional at the local level. And we're aware that a number of our chapters and clusters need our support in order to become healthy and thrive. So, one of our priorities for this year is fostering healthy Chapters and Clusters.

We are also aware that in the last year and a half, as religious educators have led the association in challenging white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy, they have had some very challenging experiences in their congregations and with other staff. LREDA Good Officers have worked over-time to support our members, for which we are so grateful! This is such an important ministry, and we recognize that we need to strengthen our selection process for Good Officers, upgrade our training for Good Officers, educate members about the purpose and role of Good Officers and expand the pool of Good Officers of Color. So, strengthening Good Offices, is another of our highest priorities.

Then, over the last year, when the LREDA nominating committee was unable to find a religious educator to fill the position of board treasurer and then our treasurer resigned in April, the board had to learn more about our finances than we had ever wanted to—at least in current memory. Andrea James, board secretary, the most apt member of the board regarding finances, stepped up, dug into our finances and was able to help the rest of us understand where LREDA is financially, to get us through the year. We now are thrilled to have Juliet Donaldson as our new treasurer, who was the equivalent of a CPA in England before coming to the US, and stands ready to help us understand our finances. The board is committed to improving our sense of financial responsibility, so we have as another priority, centering financial stewardship.

Of course, the last year has been guided and shaped by the White Supremacy Teach-Ins led by three of our religious educators of color and then the hurt and transformation that occurred at LREDA Fall Conference in Denver last November. So, our final priority, Revising Fall Conference and Professional Days, holds a special passion. We have worked hard this year to name our assumptions about the purpose of Fall Conference and what happens there. And then we’ve asked, what do our various members need from Fall Conference? Then, we began building a very different looking Fall Conference. We’re trying a new structure that, we hope, will meet more people’s needs and to bring deep conversations about power, white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy. We have barely begun to think about what it means for our professional day gathering prior to GA, now that we have delegate status. Will more religious educators come to LREDA professional day and GA? If so, what do you need from that time together?

It is an honor to be a part of the leadership of LREDA and to work with such extraordinary religious educators on the board, on committees and working groups.

Annie 

Annie Scott is the Director of Religious Education for Children, Youth and Families at Jefferson Unitarian Church, in Golden Colorado. She serves LREDA as President from 2017-2020.


It's time to renew!

Click here to renew your LREDA membership


 

 

Welcome to Spotlight

Introducing a new eNews section: Spotlight. Each month we'll shine a light on a LREDA role or activity, sharing some of what our volunteers do behind the scenes, and helping you get to know our people. Our hope is that in addition to helping you feel more connected, we may also support the annual work of LREDA's Nominating Committee by removing some of the unknown.

Spotlight on the Nominating Committee

LREDA's Nominating Comittee works independently to find suitable candidates to nominate for positions on the Board of Trustees, the Nominating Committee, and other committees or teams with openings to fill.

One member of the Nominating Committee is elected by the LREDA memberhship in June of each year. Each serves a three year term, holding the position of Chair in their final year.

When we say they work independently, this means in part that members of the Board of Trustees (and others) do not have undue influence over elections. The Nominating Committee serves the membership of LREDA.

Over the past year the Committee responded to a question raised during the election cycle of 2017 by examining their process, engaging in reflection and discernment, and considering how best to serve with an anti-oppression / anti-white supremacy lens.

Grateful for this inner work, we encourage you to read their full report, here.

Current members are Katy Carpman (Chair), Jamaine Cripe, and Katie (Tie) Resendiz de Perez. Past Chair is Michelle Grove. Their liaison to the Board is the Vice President (Linnea Nelson). You may reach the team at [email protected].

Katy Carpman is the director of religious education at Emerson UU Church in Houston, Texas. She's returning from sabbatical (toast, family ministry, fishing, change management, naps) and looks forward to seeing many of you at Fall Con, a few miles from her congregation!

Jamaine is the Youth Director at Beacon UU Congregation in Summit, NJ where she works with middle and high school youth families.  She's been enjoying breaking in her Big Green Egg BBQ grill, going to Niagara Falls, and spending time in lawn chairs enjoying the local music scene with her family.  She's looking forward to facilitating the newly-revised Youth Ministry Ren Mod (which she co-wrote with her co-facilitator, Sara Lewis) at Fall Con in November.

Katie lives in Phoenix where she serves as Director of Children's Ministries, master of multimodal exploration spaces, and overlord of the tie-dye supplies at UUC Phoenix.  Everyday, she works to enjoy being herself; queer, fat, activist, runner, mama, agitator, and picky eater.

LREDA Resource/Tool

Did you know that LREDA offers financial assistance for those who would like to attend Fall Conference? Your donations (identified as Fall Conference Scholarship), plus monies from the endowment fund, and approved in the annual budget, combine to determine how much is available each year. 

A rubric is used to assign points to every applicant (is this your first conference? Do you have little to no professional development budget? Are you a member of a traditionally marginalized group?); and scholarships are awarded by the Fall Con Scholarship team based on the amount we have to work with in a given year.

In 2017 we saw a significant increase in applications. If you are able to donate, you will be supporting your colleagues, and advancing our profession through education, connection, and growth.

Scholarship money may be used on anything that helps LREDA members get to and participate in Fall Conference.

Click here to donate to the Fall Conference Scholarship Fund.

Click here to apply for the 2018 Fall Conference Scholarship. (Please note: the application page will go live when applications open in August, and a notice will be sent by email.)



LREDA Fall Conference 2018

Moving Mountains: Together
November 1-5, 2018
Hilton Houston Post Oak
2001 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX

* Click here to register *

 


Leadership Development

This year one LREDA Board Member-at-Large position shifted from Professional Development to Leadership Development. This portfolio recognizes the key role our Chapters and Clusters play in supporting our members, deepening their connections to the profession, and developing their skills as leaders within their congregations and throughout our denomination. Here, we learn from the Heart of Texas cluster...

Reaching Out, Staying Connected in Our Clusters

The Heart of Texas cluster was sad to see our colleague at First UU Austin, Laine Young, leave us, but we were also excited for Jules Jaramillo to join us! When First UU announced publicly that Jules would be their new Director of Lifespan Faith Development, we immediately contacted her and welcomed her to our cluster. We let her know when we were going to next meet online, sending her an agenda and a copy of our cluster’s covenant. We also included her in our google group so she could start receiving our group emails, and shared our group google folders with her so she could access our regional planning documents and more. Through careful discernment, we ultimately decided that Jules would wait a month before joining us, so Laine would have one more meeting to help process her departure.

These are just some of the little things that a cluster can do to support its members through professional transitions. Change is the constant we all live with day to day, but knowing your colleagues are there for you can help smooth out the highs and lows. Since Laine was active in our cluster, we knew that she was leaving her congregation and that there was a search underway for her replacement. That isn’t always the case, however. As a cluster, try to keep in touch with the member congregations in your area and be intentional about welcoming religious educators into your cluster.  Contact the minister or lay leadership and let them know that should they hire a religious educator, that your cluster is eager to support that person as they begin their ministry. This is a growing edge for our cluster still!

The Heart of Texas cluster is small but mighty! We meet once a month via a zoom link provided to us by LREDA. This monthly meeting is so important for us to stay connected because our churches are spread out over a large area – from Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast, to San Antonio, then up the 1-35 corridor to New Braunfels, San Marcos, Austin, and Georgetown. For us all to get together in person, at least one of us would have to drive a minimum of four hours.

But we persist! Each month we share what’s going on in our churches; our challenges and our successes. We ask each other for advice and support. We explore new topics in religious education, and schedule regional events. And even though our churches vary in size, and our roles, hours, and responsibilities as religious educators reflect that variation, we have much in common as we empower our congregations through faith development.  Sharing experience, strength, and hope is one way we grow closer and uphold each other in our work and in our lives.

Welcoming new members and offering closure to departing colleagues is just one of the many important benefits of a robust cluster.  If your cluster hasn’t thought about how to best support your colleagues as they enter and exit our profession, we hope you’ve learned a few tips today. And all of us in the Heart of Texas cluster look forward to hearing how other clusters support their members!

In faith,
Corinna Whiteaker-Lewis
Chair, HoT Cluster


News from Our Friends

College Grant: Children of Religious Professionals

The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances is pleased to expand eligibility for the college student stipend to Credentialed Religious Educators and Certified Musicians in addition to UU Ministers.  The stipend is currently $1,000 annually to assist the children of credentialed/certified UU Professionals who are attending college. Assistance is available for undergraduate studies only. Recognizing that not all students are able to complete their studies in four years, students are eligible for the UUA stipend for six years. If attending less than 12 credits, the grant will be half of the full-time amount.  Grants are available for the autumn 2018 through spring 2019 school year. Application deadline is October 15, 2018.  The application is available at: https://www.uua.org/finance/compensation/aid/children-uu-religious%20professionals.  For more information, contact Charissa Benak, Administrator, Church Staff Finances at [email protected]

Pot of Gold Religious Education Conference in Sacramento

Reimagining Sunday School

With Kimberly Sweeney & Rev. Sarah Gibb-Millspaugh
Save the date:  Saturday, Sept. 29, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Pot of Gold Religious Education Conference in Sacramento

All RE professionals and volunteers, UU ministers and lay leaders from the Pacific Western Region are invited to the 7th Annual Pot of Gold RE Conference, hosted by the Pacific Central Chapter of LREDA at the UU Society of Sacramento.  Shared keynote presentation by Kim Sweeney, author of "The Death of Sunday School and the Future of Faith Formation" & Executive Director of Courageous Faith Consulting and the Rev. Sarah Gibb-Millspaugh, Congregational Life Staff member in the Pacific Western Region.  Wonderful meals, worship, keynote conversations, and workshops on skills and models for our educational ministries for children, youth, families and volunteer leaders.  Nearby lodging at Larkspur Landing.  Free and easy parking at UUSS.  Sacramento accessible by Amtrak, airport, and Megabus.  $50/person or $40/person for teams of 4 or more per congregation (incl. meals).Rates go up after Sept. 15.  Reg form & workshop schedule coming soon. Questions?  [email protected]