Fall Conference

LREDA Fall Conference 2023: Milwaukee & Online 

LREDA Fall Conference 2023: Make a Joyful Noise! Celebrate / Play / Resist

 Wed October 11th (Evening) - Sun October 15th (Lunchtime)

Join UU religious education colleagues from across the continent for our 2023 Fall Conference: Make A Joyful Noise! Celebrate / Play / Resist in Milwaukee, WI, from October 11th - 15th at the lovely Hilton Milwaukee City Centre in downtown Milwaukee. 

Celebrate the power of rest, play, and resistance through multi-platform worship, workshops, and identity programming that helps us engage with some of the most pressing issues in UU religious education today: creating spaces for meaningful & joyful connection, leading for anti-racism in majority-white spaces, and supporting LGBTQIA+ families & resisting anti-trans legislation. 

Curated rest & play spaces for IBPOC attendees, and trans attendees, respectively, will be open while those with majority identities are learning. Social and spiritual time together rounds out our annual conference, along with the UU Identity Renaissance Module offered immediately following the conference. See you in Milwaukee or on Zoom!

Pre-conference programming takes place during the day on Wed 11th: 

LREDA Small and Large programming will run from 9-12 on Wed morning. LREDA Small is a sliding scale from $25-$100, LREDA Large is a sliding scale from $100-$200.  See below, for more information about these programs.

The IBPOC Meet up (Wed 1:30 - 5:00) and First Time Meet and Greet  (Wed 5:00-6:00) events are included in the registration fee.

A UU Identity Renaissance Module will be held on Sunday afternoon to Monday lunchtime after the conference.  This is an in-person training only. The fee is a sliding scale $275-$350. Scholarships of 50% are available, apply on the Registration form.

Register and Pay early for the best rates:

In-Person Registration: $550

Virtual Registration: $225

NEW! One Day only Virtual Registration: $100

A limited number of scholarships are available, apply on the registration form.

register for the in-person conferenceregister for the virtual conference

New! - We now offer a one-day only virtual registration for $100! Choose the day you'd like to attend.

Register for the one day only virtual registration

The Hilton in Milwaukee

Location: Hilton Hotel, 509 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Where possible please stay at the hotel, and use the LREDA Booking Portal. Staying at the conference hotel helps us fulfill our contract with the hotel and ensures we don’t have to pay additional fees for use of the conference space. Book as soon as possible.

Pay for the Conference here

To pay by check, make the check payable to LREDA, and mail it to 284 Hartford Ave #1002, Bellingham, MA, 02019.  

LREDA can now accept payments using Venmo. Use @LREDA-org. Look for the LREDA flame to ensure you have the correct link. If you use this option, email Juliet at admin@lreda.org to let her know and please consider adding an additional amount to help cover the Venmo fees ($6 for online registrations & $15 for in-person).

Email Juliet (admin@lreda.org) to request an invoice.

Make connections: Join our Facebook Group and / or Discord Channel

(both of these spaces are for conference attendees only)

Conference Highlights

Visit America's Black Holocaust Museum (Friday morning)

ABHM builds public awareness of the harmful legacies of slavery and Jim Crow in America and promotes racial repair, reconciliation, and healing. Our Friday afternoon presenter, Reggie Jackson, is the ABHM's Consulting Griot.

On Friday morning, in-person attendees will have the chance to visit America's Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM), a 30 minute walk (or 11 min transit ride) from the conference hotel. White identity small groups will be invited to visit the museum as a cohort; we encourage IBPOC attendees to care for themselves in deciding if they will visit the museum.

The museum has online exhibits for our online attendees.

find out more about the museum here

Racism 301: A Deeper Dive into Anti-Racism Work" with Reggie Jackson, Co-Founder, Nurturing Diversity Partners (Friday 1:30-6:00 CT)

 Join us as we explore how to bring racial justice work to our congregations beyond book clubs and discussion groups, and engage deeply in the next steps that take us beyond introspection and into action. Reggie brings a wealth of both academic and community knowledge, and will help us engage with our own community racial histories and live into our organizational commitment to the 8th Principle.

A curated rest and play space will be available for our IBPOC attendees during this workshop.

Reggie Jackson has been a much sought-after speaker and published writer for over a decade. Reggie specializes in sharing seldom-told stories and facts about the experiences of African-Americans and other peoples of color past and present. He is a Co-Founder and Lead Trainer/Consultant for Nurturing Diversity Partners, a consulting firm that fosters diversity, inclusion, and equity within institutions and communities.

Trans Justice and Resilience Workshop with Alex Kapitan, Co-Leader, Transforming Hearts Collective (Saturday 1-4 CT)

Trans communities are under attack—with breathtaking speed, nearly half of all U.S. states have now passed laws to outlaw best-practice medical care for trans and nonbinary youth and ban trans students from playing sports, in addition to a raft of other anti-trans laws. This is a terrifying and life-threatening time for trans people, and Unitarian Universalists are called to respond.

Come learn about the current threats to trans people and what UU leaders and congregations can do to advocate for trans justice and also create spaces of safety and resilience for trans people of all ages in our congregations. Both are deeply needed. This workshop will be led by Alex Kapitan and will feature a panel conversation with UU leaders doing this work in their congregations and wider communities.

A curated rest and play space will be available for our trans/nonbinary attendees during this workshop.

Alex Kapitan (ze/per) is a trans and queer lifelong Unitarian Universalist with a long history of supporting UU congregations in becoming places of radical welcome for all. Ze is the co-founder of the Transforming Hearts Collective and the co-leader of the program Trans Inclusion in Congregations, and previously served on the steering committee of TRUUsT, the organization of trans UU religious professionals.

The Unexpected Journey with Rev. Mr. Barb Greve (Saturday, 7-9 CT)

On Saturday evening we'll visit the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee (a 30 min walk or 20 minute transit ride from the conference hotel) for a dessert buffet and a talk from Rev. Mr. Barb Greve.

Life is a journey, no doubt about it. Often that journey takes us to unexpected places with twists and turns that bring surprises around every corner. For Barb, Unitarian Universalism has been at the center, for better or worse. Join him as he reflects on 50+ years of journeying with our faith and profession.

This talk will be live streamed for our online attendees!

Make sure to leave plenty of room for our dessert buffet from Pound for Pound Cakes by Nesha.

Church Antagonists: LREDA Large Workshop with CB Beal, M.Div.  (Wednesday 9-12 CT)

We're delighted that CB will be joining us for this year's Fall Conference as our Covid Safety Consultant, our Trans Support Specialist and our LREDA Large Presenter.

LREDA Large programming is from 9-12 CT followed by lunch on Wednesday. Pre-Registration is required for in-person attendees (via the in-person application form). Online attendees will be able to join  via Zoom at no extra charge (a sign up sheet for online attendees will be sent out nearer the time).

Church Antagonists: Not every congregational disagreement involves antagonist or obstructionist behavior — sometimes people simply have different perspectives and goals that impact how we are able to do our work. Understanding the impacts of a culture of white supremacy, the complexity of gender and sexuality justice, and core ideas about our purpose and identity as Unitarian Universalists are common themes.

This workshop will help prepare participants to identify and respond within the ethical framework of our faith and professional guidelines of LREDA to congregants who adhere to their particular perspectives to the point of antagonism or obstruction.

CB will offer insights and information, participants will have the opportunity to reflect, share, and practice. This workshop will not be recorded.

CB (they/them/theirs) specializes in facilitating learning experiences that involve issues of marginalization, oppression, and privilege, helping participants hold the complexities of our lives in perspective, to co-create a safer braver space within which people can be challenged to learn and grow.

Building our Speaking Up Skills - A workshop to practice saying what we mean to say: LREDA Small  Workshop with Connie Goodbread  (Wednesday 9-12 CT) In Person Only

In this workshop, We'll practice how to have and disrupt difficult to harmful conversations. We'll talk about the tools we have within ourselves and within Unitarian Universalism – how to recognize when we are activated – how, where, and when to ask for support. We'll practice in pairs and small groups with both provided scenarios and your own situations that you'll bring and be ready to share.

 Attendees will be asked to list their gifts, what activates them, and name their support network(s). They will get a copy of  brief scenarios and can choose which one they want to work out with another person. 

Connie Goodbread is serving Unitarian Universalism as HOPE for Us Conflict Engagement Team Co-Director. Connie studied Healthy Congregations development and conflict identification and transformation with Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke. She developed a conflict process called Pathfinder that was born out of that work with Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke. Connie served as Co-Lead of UUA Southern Region for three years. She has served in one capacity or another in every region of our Association. This is her 18th year serving Unitarian Universalism on UUA staff. Prior to that she served two congregations as a Credentialed DRE.

Thursday All Day: In Person & Online Workshops

In-Person Workshops from 9:30 - 11:00 (CT), In-Person & Online Workshops from 1:30 - 3:00 (CT) and 4:00 - 5:30 (CT) followed by a Games Night in the evening

  • Role Playing Games with Rev. Craig Schwalenberg and Kathy Smith (In-Person & Online)
  • Music as Play & Renewal with Emily Richards (In-Person Only) - Explore the various ways that we can use music as a source of joyful connection and renewal. Lift your voices as we share ideas to engage our youngest members and families, silly circle songs and games, song tales and music for worship, as well as music for relaxation and spiritual deepening. With a focus on our voices as our natural instrument, this workshop will explore the myriad avenues that we, as religious educators, have to bring music into our programming in a meaningful, and fun, way.
  • An introduction to Spirit Play with Rev. Jennifer Innis (In-Person & Online)
  • Play in Worship Spaces with Joy Berry (In-Person & Online)
  • Art as Play with Jekaren Olaoya (In-Person Only)
  • Play Stations with Rev. Tandi Rogers (Online only)

Advertise at the Conference

Promote your program, product, or institution during the Conference.

For a fee of $50.00, up to 2 exhibit slides will be featured throughout the conference, in our mailings to attendees and in the zoom waiting room for the online event.

We'll use google slides, so a landscape design works best but is not required. Send designs to Juliet at admin@lreda.org.

Due date for submissions is Wed Oct 4th.

To pay by check, make the check payable to LREDA, and mail it to 284 Hartford Ave #1002, Bellingham, MA, 02019.

LREDA now accepts payments using Venmo. Use @LREDA-org. Look for the LREDA flame to ensure you have the correct link. If you use this option, email Juliet at admin@lreda.org to let her know. 

LREDA Fall conFERENCE 2022:

Faith Made Real: Living the 8th Principle

October 12-16 2022

Content from last year's conference, including all presentations, worship services, and slides, are shared in the LREDA Member Resources Portal under 8th Principle Resources. To access this site you need to be a member of LREDA.

This conference was a deep dive into the work of the 8th Principle, grounded in Civil Rights History and included a visit to the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration

We had a great team of presenters and worship leaders. Our presenters were Dr. Paula Cole Jones and  Sheila Schuh. Rev. Denise Graves was our Spiritual Care Director, supporting our members through the conference. Beverly Horton and the Rev. Chris Long lead our worship services.

watch sheila & Paula talk about the conference

The conference content supported Religious Educators in their individual and congregational anti-racism and anti-oppression work. We engaged with strategies to dismantle white supremacy within our Unitarian Universalist spaces, and where our power lies to create a Unitarian Universalism where faith can be made real.

Religious Educators who are Black, Indigenous, and other members of the Global Majority were affirmed into a LREDA community of support, encouragement, and learning. 

White Religious Educators were challenged and stretched in their places of power and privilege.

Intentional space was made for people of all identities to process the feelings that arose during this conference. 

The LREDA Board committed to offering a conference that centered liberation, love and community care rooted in our Unitarian Universalist faith.

About the Legacy Museum

The conference included a visit to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL.

The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is situated on a site in Montgomery where Black people were forced to labor in bondage. Blocks from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America, the Legacy Museum is steps away from the rail station where tens of thousands of Black people were trafficked during the 19th century.

About the lreda fall conference

Our Fall Conference generally occurs in the fall with over three days of special programming, including a keynote speaker, worship, a variety of workshops, and special interest meetings, Good Officer training, and the latest resources- all with the goal of educating, networking, and connecting religious educators from across the continent.  Your ideas for future themes and names of speakers can be emailed to Courtney at  continentalevents@lreda.org ,  and they will be considered by the Board and the Fall Con Planning Team.  Click on any of the hashtags below to view resources & videos from past Fall Cons.

Widening the Circle


Theologies of Suffering & Wholeness


Changing the Narrative