2019/20 Issue Number 1

July 2019

In This Issue...

  1. Statement from LREDA
  2. Spotlight
    1. LREDA Board news
  3. Notes from the Incoming President
    1. General Assembly
    2. LREDA AGM
    3. Nominating
    4. Justice & Equity
  4. DRUUMM Offering
  5. LREDA Fall Conference
  6. News from our Friends
    1. Skinner House Books

LREDA eNews is a monthly newsletter. Please send submissions to [email protected] by the 20th of the month prior. (After this issue, the eNews will be created by Christina Rivera)

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 Linnea Nelson

Vice President to be appointed

Treasurer Juliet Donaldson

Secretary Christina Rivera

Continental Events Eleanor VanDeusen

Good Offices Jules Jaramillo

Leadership Development Lisa Maria A. Steinberg

President Elect Aisha Hauser


LREDA Staff

Administrator Kari Kopnick [email protected]

Conference Planner Bea Ann Phillips

Bookkeeper Elizabeth Weber


Donate to LREDA


 

Our Facebook Page

Our Facebook Group

 


 

 

Statement from LREDA

Dear Ones,

You may have heard that a UU minister wrote and then distributed a book at GA that blatantly reveals how white fragility does harm. Your LREDA Board has chosen not to publicize the title of the book, which would only heighten the spread of harm.

Today, we reach out to all impacted by white fragility and white supremacist culture with love, solidarity and determination. If you are confused because you have not had access to the book (true for most of us), please trust that those who have read it recognize the ghastly logic that pins racism to the victims and the many factual errors. We are dismayed by a complete lack of accountability for the insidious harm that micro and macro-aggressions cause. The epitome of white fragility, the book is a reaction to our denominational movement toward lifting up wholeness and acknowledging the harm that white supremacy culture, ableism, sexism, and transphobia have had on religious educators, our denomination, and the “We” of the world.

Our message during the LREDA Annual Meeting was a goal of transparency and inclusion within LREDA, with the understanding that being part of LREDA requires the participation of all members and friends. We ask you to reach out to one another in your clusters and identity groups to listen for pain; to challenge white supremacy, ableist, transphobic, and sexist words and actions; and to support one another in the process.  We recommend reading editor Mitra Rahnema’s Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry; Unitarian Universalists of Color: Stories of Struggle, Courage, Love and Faith edited by Yuri Yamamoto, and White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.

An account of LREDA's 2017 Fall Conference was presented in the book. The author did not reach out to members of the LREDA Board and there are many factual errors in the book. While we wish that no harm had been done in the first place, we remain fiercely proud of our decision to interrupt programming, and of the movement towards reconciliation and wholeness within our association since then.

We also encourage you to read the statements of our sibling organizations, from Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), Allies in Racial Equity (ARE), the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Chapter of the UU Ministers Association (UUMA), and many white ministers in our denomination, all of which your LREDA Board fully endorse.

For our dear members and friends, may we hold all of us in love, gain an even greater recognition of how white fragility harms, and be even more resolved to understand and eradicate it.

With love from your LREDA Board Presidents,
Annie Scott, President until June 30, 2019
Linnea Nelson, Incoming President July 1, 2019
Aisha Hauser, President Elect; Incoming President July 1, 2020

 


 

Our New LREDA Board

 Farewell from Annie

Dear LREDA Colleagues,

It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as LREDA President Elect for one year and then as your President for two years. As you know, I have resigned as of June 30. I have accepted a position with the UUA as Congregational Life field staff in the Pacific Western Region beginning July 15.

I am filled with gratitude and humility, sadness and joy for all we have been through together in the last three years. Deep appreciation to all the board members I have served with and for the support of Linnea Nelson, who, as Vice President, will step into the Presidency for one year, and to Aisha Hauser, who is your new President Elect and will become President next July 1 (2020).

I love LREDA: it has taught me so much in my 27 years as a religious educator. When the call comes to serve LREDA, whether it’s on a cluster, chapter, regional, or continental level, please do what you have to do to say, “YES!” It’s the power of WE that is going to continue moving us into our beloved Unitarian Universalist community.

Thanks and blessings,
Annie Scott

Transitions

We wish Annie Scott the very best on her new role as Field Staff for the Pacific Northwest Region of the UUA, and thank her for three years of humility, vulnerability, love, and dedicated service to LREDA. 

The transition to Linnea Nelson as our President is in accordance with our LREDA Bylaws and has the board’s affirmation. This one-year term will be followed by Aisha Hauser’s presidency, which begins July 2020 after her year as President Elect. Annie was aware that a transition might occur and has been graciously preparing Linnea throughout the spring.

Your 2019-20 Board

President: Linnea Nelson
President Elect: Aisha Hauser
Vice-President: to be appointed
Secretary: Christina Rivera
Treasurer: Juliet Donaldson
At-Large members: Jules Jaramillo, Lisa Maria Andreoli Steinberg, and Eleanor VanDeusen


The President-elect position is an elected position whose role includes one year in the role of President-Elect before becoming the Board President for the subsequent three years.


Notes from the Incoming President

A portrait photo of a light-skinned woman in front of greenery. She has silvery hair, a pink scarf, and a broad smile

Dear LREDA,

I look forward to getting to know many more of you this year through online Town Halls and Task Groups. Let's partner on upcoming initiatives and discuss issues affecting and informing LREDA.

My work on the LREDA Board this past year built on my previous work as a Director of Religious Education at the UU Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton, VA where I was active on our Racial Justice Steering Committee. In my past professional life I worked in schools to advocate for and support children with differing abilities.  I am honored to serve you as the President of LREDA this year as together we continue the work of creating spaces devoid of white supremacy culture, ableism, sexism and transphobia.

Some of you know that my role on the LREDA board last year was to act as liaison to LREDA's Justice and Equity Team and the Nominating Committee. I also partnered with Board member Lily Rappaport and the Fall Con planning team led by Eleanor VanDeusen. Together we reimagined Fall Con 2018 in Houston. My goal was to listen to your hopes and dreams and when you asked to have more time learning from colleagues and having choices throughout the conference we worked to make that happen.

As we plan Fall Con 2019, we are again using your feedback to bring you a conference that will both challenge and connect us as we deepen our skills and understand better how our theologies of wholeness and suffering can support all of us in this troubling world.

My focus this year will include continuing our work towards inclusivity and transparency.

I look forward to learning more about you as we do this work together.

The following are notes on recent events in the life of LREDA. 

General Assembly

Many of us are winding down from our week at General Assembly in Spokane, Washington where we were immersed in the "Power of We." I hope you will have time to view the worship services, lectures, and workshops that were recorded.

LREDA will harness the "Power of We" as we invite you to task groups to work through specific issues and advise the board this coming year. We will also be holding more Town Halls, where you are invited to be thought partners with the board.

I wholeheartedly invite you to participate in these task groups and online forums.

LREDA Annual Meeting

Over eighty religious educators joined us in Spokane for Professional Days. Meditative worship and music, a workshop of transformational learning, and our annual meeting rounded out the day.

For those who were in attendance, our musicians, Laura Weiss and Sarah Jebian, were challenged by the acoustics and tech in the room. We hope you will enjoy their beautiful CD, created with religious educators and RE families in mind. They have created beautiful and moving renditions of many of the favorite songs we use in our children's chapels and interdenominational worship services. They offer their music as Not Your Mama's Hymns and their recording is entitled "Unfolding." It is available on iTunes and CD Baby.

Worship was beautifully led by Aria Curtis, Michelle Grove, Emily McKown, and Lily Rappaport, with Joy Berry and Mark Hicks also participating.

Thanks to Fahs Collaborative leaders Mark Hicks and Joy Berry for their presentation on Faith Development in our communities. They framed the workshop in how best to identify where learning had already occurred in our congregations and thus where the work might begin. Joy engaged us in understanding that transformational change often needs to dissolve into "goo," much like the insides of a pupa before the butterfly emerges, before the new way emerges. For all of us in the "goo," there is hope!

Nominating Committee

At our LREDA Annual Meeting, we affirmed Katy Carpman as the nominating chair for an extended year due to the vote to expand the nominating committee from three to five people. We elected Iris De La Paz and Sam Wilson to join Katy Carpman, Jamaine Cripe, and Katie (Tie) Resendiz de Perez. Thank you for your work to fill leadership positions in LREDA.

Justice and Equity Team

Also note that the new chair of the Justice and Equity Team (JET) is Linda Hill. We want to thank Shannon Boston for her leadership as Chair on JET, and to also thank Shannon and new member Arran Liddel for their leadership at Professional Days. They made sure our spaces were accessible. Dolores Miller and Jamaine Cripe round out the team. The Nominating Committee is working to fulfill one more person for their team.


Professional Day Collection

graphic of a donut-like circle, equally divided into navy blue, yellow, and red. DRUUMM is spelled in white letters, with "since 1997" below.The offering collected during worship in Spokane will go to Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) as part of a commitment of $5,000 in support that LREDA made this year.

Thanks to your generosity, we raised over $1,000 on June 19! In addition, DRUUMM will be the recipient of our collection during Fall Conference, and you'll have an opportunity to donate online, as well.


LREDA Fall Conference 2019

Theologies of Suffering and Wholeness: Companions in Liberation
a poster with a grey background, the title of LREDA's fall conference, and portrait photos of the four presenters named below.
 
Featuring:

  • Odyssey Presenter, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, President of Starr King School for the Ministry
  • Dr. Elias Ortega-Aponte, President of Meadville Lombard Theological School
  • Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt, Assistant Professor of UU Theologies and Ethics at Starr King School for the Ministry
  • Jennifer Hayman, Music Leader, Director of Music and Arts, All Souls Unitarian, Washington, DC

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
At our 2019 fall conference, we will explore a Unitarian Universalist Theology of Suffering and learn to better understand and embrace our Universalist Theology of Wholeness. The conference will balance going deep into these theologies while also providing concrete tools and skills for religious professionals to use when we encounter suffering and work for collective liberation.

Nov. 7: Pre-conference day including gatherings -

  • Religious Educators of Color Gathering - to suggest topics of conversation, to offer worship leadership, or to help organize this event, please contact Marisol Caballero.
  • LREDA Large and LREDA Small Gatherings

Nov. 8-10: LREDA Fall Conference –

  • sessions with our featured presenters; workshops led by LREDA colleagues;
  • embodied worship & spiritual practices; and
  • opportunities for fellowship with colleagues

Nov. 10-12: Renaissance Modules:

  •  Multicultural and Worship Ren Modules

Other Conference highlights include –

  • New & Newer Religious Educator Training,
  • Local outings, and
  • Hands-on Justice Making.

Call for Workshop Facilitators at the 2019 LREDA Fall Conference

The Fall Conference will balance going deep into theology while also providing concrete tools and skills for religious educators to meet people in suffering and the work of collective liberation.
 
That's where you come in!
We are seeking workshops led in a variety of creative formats and topical areas which may include:

  • How our UU theology can inform our response to grief, loss, and injustice.
  • Understanding wholeness as a central concept inextricably linked to our Universalist theology.
  • Tools to create containers for being with others in suffering such as: family resources to deal with death, basic do's and don'ts of pastoral care, rituals for times of change.
  • Experiential exercises that strengthen our own resilience muscles and our ability to hold pain, grief, and discomfort.
  • Deepening understanding of how white supremacy culture contributes to suffering and our place as companions in liberation.
  • Spiritual practices that serve to hold us in connection to a wider wholeness, especially throughout the conference.
  • In addition, we welcome proposals that address other areas of need that are particularly alive for Religious Educators right now that may not be specifically related to our conference theme.

 
If you would like to propose a workshop, please complete this application.
 
Your proposals will help us get LREDA members excited about coming to Fall Con and will further our goal of inclusiveness. A team will determine the full slate of proposals and let you know the status of your proposal by August 15, 2019. Deadline to complete this form is August 1, 2019. We have fewer open program slots than last year so we anticipate that we regretfully will not be able to offer every proposal.
 
Thank you for offering your creativity and expertise to LREDA Fall Con!
 
The LREDA Fall Con Planning Team
Lily Rappaport, Eleanor VanDeusen, Katherine Childs, Erica Shadowsong, Sheila Shuh, Kathy Smith, Jenn Blosser


News from Our Friends

Skinner House Books

A book cover that is split horizontally: two-thirds red, and the lower third orange. Title and editor are in white.Change is a fact of congregational life. Religious professionals are called not only to inspire congregants in times of change but also to be successful change agents themselves. Congregations need to be able to respond to and be intentional about times of momentous change in order to thrive. In The Spirit That Moves: Readings and Rituals for Times of Change and Transition, editor Barbara Child has collected a wealth of worship materials, ranging from prayers, responsive readings, and chalice lightings to personal reflections, rituals, and more, to help you and your congregation turn transition into transformation. The collected resources—all from contributors with extensive experience navigating and leading significant change in their own congregations—address change in general, change as a result of circumstances out of a congregation's control, ministerial and other leadership transitions, intentional change such as congregational growth and moving to a new church building, and culture change. The Spirit That Moves is available at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop.

Barbara Child is an accredited interim minister, retired from full-time ministry in 2010. She continues to serve congregations as short-term consultant and continues to serve ministers as mentor. She serves on the Board of the UU Retired Ministers and Partners Association. With Keith Kron, she edited In the Interim: Strategies for Interim Ministers and Congregations.