2019/20 Issue Number 3

September 2019

In This Issue...

  1. September Notes
  2. LREDA Fall Conference
  3. UU-UNO
  4. News from Skinner House

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.

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Email: [email protected]

President Linnea Nelson

Vice President Samaya Oakley

Treasurer Juliet Donaldson

Secretary Christina Rivera

Continental Events Eleanor VanDeusen

Good Offices Jules Jaramillo

Leadership Development Lisa Maria A. Steinberg

President Elect Aisha Hauser


Administrator Kari Kopnick [email protected]

Conference Planner Bea Ann Phillips

Bookkeeper Elizabeth Weber

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September Notes from the President

Linnea Nelson

Are you in need of a superpower right about now? ​With all of our hopes and dreams for the year, ​as well as the challenges we’ll face and the traumas that are embedded deeply in us, ​I wanted to share Laurie J. Cameron​'s​ ​thoughts about ​a superpower that ​is actually within all of our reach :

“Mindfulness is life-changing. It is a superpower that allows you to deliberately direct the beam of your attention instead of being tossed around by racing thoughts and turbulent emotions. It empowers you to choose your mindset and to shift how you relate to your experience so that you have less stress and more joy."

Mindfulness, or other spiritual deepening practices, can create a sacred space within us, especially when we cannot change the world around us. ​I discovered mindfulness about ten years ago. I had a simple mindful meditation practice, five to twenty minutes every few days, breathing deeply and slowly, sitting quietly. I loved it...and I kept it up for, oh, a week or two....but like everyone, my life was busy and I couldn’t imagine that I could dedicate five or ten minutes every day to attend to mindfulness.​ 

So, I am not suggesting you add something to your day. Rather find something you already do every day: brushing your teeth, turning on a computer, chopping vegetables. Then bring a moment of gratitude or silence to the​ act. Once I began chopp​ing vegetables​ as my mindful practice and began consciously feeling the love for the family and friends​ I would be feeding​, ​and added gratitude for the farmer, farm laborer, and the seller, I began to be more mindful and grateful for many more things in life. This brought me a deep calmness that allowed me to handle the daily challenges that came my way. I can't really explain how this simple act let to such a transformation in me, but perhaps it is the "superpower" that Cameron describes. 

Mindfulness doesn’t change what’s happening outside of our bodies, but it can help us to see the beauty, find the love, and be ready to give gratitude, which somehow led me to finding the hope that is so needed ​today. These moments of peace can accompany us through both the challenges​ and the joys ahead. ​

So I offer you the idea of finding or rekindling ​moments of “peace,” “mindfulness,” or “finding your spirit” as a superpower as you begin this church year. ​These moments can be a connection between you and whatever you call the transcendence in life...the great mystery, spirit of life, God, grace, divinity. 


One of my favorite poets is John O'Donohue, who  writes:

"There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. 

It draws no attention to itself, 

though it is always secretly there. 

It is what illuminates ​our minds to see beauty, 

our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life."​


So LREDA, we've got this. Your superpower is ​resting just below the surface. Let's give ourselves the strength we need to create sacred spaces, loving relationships and, as my mentor Rev. Susan Archer has often said, "Be the face of Lovingkindness" as we begin our year of religious exploration.

In Faith,

Linnea Nelson

LREDA Fall Conference Nov 8-10, 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.

  • 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

Come be inspired by colleagues and have some fun in Baltimore! REGISTRATION IS 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.

The LREDA Fall Con Planning Team
Lily Rappaport, Eleanor VanDeusen, Katherine Childs, Erica Shadowsong, Sheila Shuh, Kathy Smith, Jenn Blosser

UU-UNO is looking for YaYA Leaders

UU-UNO The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office is accepting applications for youth and adult leaders for their 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar which will address the theme of climate justice and take place in New York City April 15-18, 2020.

The Seminar equips participants with the information and skills to take action locally for global justice issues through worship, workshops, small group work, and a visit to the UN Headquarters!

Youth and Adult Chaplains (serve as a listening ear and supportive presence during the event): apply by September 8.

Youth & Adult members of the Planning Committee (create programs and arrange logistics and outreach): apply by September 8.

Learn more and apply at www.uua.org/unspringseminar.


News from Our Friends

Skinner House Books

Spilling the Light Book CoverSkinner House Books is thrilled to present the latest addition to the popular inSpirit Series, Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience by Rev. Theresa I. Soto.

At once deeply compassionate and spiritually empowering, this collection of inspirational poetry provides pastoral care and an encouragement for authentic living. In this 2019 volume of the inSpirit Series, one of the most creative voices in Unitarian Universalism today tends to our souls and emboldens us to become our truest selves. Rev. Soto’s poems of hope and resilience validate our identities and our humanity—especially for those of us marginalized by mainstream culture. Spilling the Light is available at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop.