2018/19 Issue Number 9

April 2019

In This Issue...

  1. Notes from the President
  2. LREDA Nominating
  3. Spotlight
    1. LREDA Professional Days Workshop
    2. LREDA's Sophia Lyon Fahs Lecture
  4. UUA Delegate Status Info
  5. News from our Friends
    1. The Well
    2. Art Show

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.

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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


Administrator Kari Kopnick [email protected]

Conference Planner Bea Ann Phillips

Bookkeeper Elizabeth Weber

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April Notes from the President

Annie Scott, LREDA President

Your LREDA board met for its annual face-to-face in Ayer, Massachusetts, near Lisa Maria Steinberg's home, so she could spend nights with her young children and then return to us each morning. It's one of the ways we're working to be more inclusive of diverse needs.

As I wrote last month, the board has hired Julica Hermann de la Fuente as our consultant to help us decenter whiteness and dismantle white supremacy culture in our LREDA systems and processes.

Julica attended our week together and facilitated sessions on those topics; facilitated some regular topics to model other ways of facilitating and guiding discussions; and did some one-on-one coaching with various members of the board. What an amazing learning experience this was! It was sometimes painful and awkward and always rich with learning and leaning into new ways of thinking and practicing community. I came away most struck by how often she pointed out my own and the groups inclination to hold either/or thinking.

With Julica's leadership we practiced leaning into our awkwardness and discomfort and experimenting with more fluid ways of holding an agenda and of decision-making. She helped us prioritize relationships and move away from the feelings of white people and make much, much more room for the experiences and feelings of people of color. You will hear more about our learnings and our appreciation of the leadership of Julica, but for now, know that your board is investing in the future of our faith and LREDA to be better leaders in our long-term work to dismantle white supremacy culture and other forms of oppression that live within our faith and our beloved LREDA.

Blessings on you all,

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.

LREDA Nominating

The Nominating Committee is moving toward becoming a five-member committee - and we're looking for one more soul to join our merry band.  It would especially enrich LREDA to have a representative from Canada or the Northwest, and/or someone not female-identifying. Email us today <[email protected]> to throw your hat in the ring! This group has the most fun any elected body can have!

And with no further ado, we present the slate of incoming LREDA Board Members:

For President-Elect: Aisha Hauser

I’m humbled and honored to be nominated as LREDA President Elect. When asked to provide a picture for the announcement, I realized that I wanted to share one of my very favorite pictures, taken just this past June. I'm in the middle with the huge smile on my face in the pink dress and black shawl. I'm surrounded by the group of people who have inspired, guided and loved me for so many years.

I love Joy's fist in the air indicative of the power we bring in our collective. Pat Ellenwood is one of my very first mentors, as is Jessica York and Annie Scott. Christina Rivera and Alison McLeod, a privilege to work with the two of them always. I won’t go over my bio, you can find it on the website of the congregation where I am currently the Director of Lifelong Learning (esuc.org). Instead I want to talk about why I sent this picture, as it represents what I hope to bring to LREDA. 

I will bring my whole self to this position and with me I’ll bring Joy’s raised fist to remind me of the strength we have together, I’ll bring Christina, Alison, Lily and Jessica’s community of religious educators of color. I will bring the wisdom of my elders, Pat and Annie, who nurtured and loved me when I was a (very) green religious educator. I also bring the enthusiasm of Lauren, Linnea and Jules and all those who love LREDA as much as I do and always have. We’ve had our challenges and we’ve worked through them with difficult conversations rooted in love. I am looking forward to co-creating LREDA’s future.

For Secretary: Christina Rivera

Christina Rivera is a religious educator serving as Director of Administration and Finance at the Charlottesville Virginia UU congregation. Prior, she was Director of Religious Education, UU Waynesboro VA.  Twice elected to the UUA Board of Trustees, she also served as Secretary of the Association. Most recently Chris co-founded the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn and launched Called to Justice, a faith based group focused on impactful Leadership Development for organizations committed to justice ministries. Chris has the support of her husband Chris and twin sons Andreas and Miguel who, along with the ancestors, form the foundation of her ministry calling.

For Member-at-Large, Continental Events: Eleanor VanDeusen

Eleanor VanDeusen is a Credentialed Religious Educator who serves as the Director of Family Ministry at the Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins CO. She previously served LREDA as chair of the LREDA 21st Century Fund Committee. Her background in the fine arts has influenced her passion for creative collaboration.







Congregational Faith Formation – Growing in Faith, from "I" to "We”

Wednesday, June 19th, Spokane, Washington
The Fahs Collaborative Staff
Joy Berry, M.A., Assistant Director,
Mark A. Hicks, Ed.D. Director 

We usually think of faith development as an individual experience. But it’s not, especially during these challenging times when the standards for how to live and be in relation with each other are in desperate need of revisioning.  This workshop invites learners to consider faith formation as a congregation-wide approach to shared learning so that part of every congregation’s ministry has a better chance of transforming lives, deepening covenantal community, and supporting inclusive and just action beyond the church walls.
The workshop will feature current models and resources for congregational faith formation, and explore how religious professionals can work together to center faith development across generations, cultural identities and theological commitments.  This program welcomes both religious educators and ministers; church staff teams may find it especially helpful to attend together.

There are three levels of registration prices:

  • The Cost PLUS which pays for the expenses of the event plus a little more. $145
  • The Cost which is about what the event costs. $120
  • The Cost MINUS which tries to be a little more accessible. $75

Click here to register

The Sophia Lyon Fahs Lecture 2019

Thursday 6/20/2019, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM          
Convention Center -- 100B

Whether we consider faith formation, growth, social justice and/or dismantling white supremacy, Unitarian Universalists could use an identity update. This presentation embraces who we are and challenges who we think we are. Seeing ourselves as a Community of Communities changes our future and it is key to the Beloved Community.

Paula Cole Jones serves as Interim Congregational Life Staff for the Central East Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is a lifelong member of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC.  Her experience in this multicultural congregation led to involvement as a leader in anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multicultural training and consulting with the Unitarian Universalist Association.  

Paula has years of experience as a Management Consultant specializing in group facilitation and institutional change.  In a previous career, she worked as a Natural Resource Manager with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as an Environmental Specialist, with the District of Columbia Government. She is a past president of Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) and the founder of A Dialogue On Race & Ethnicity (ADORE).  Paula is the author of “Reconciliation as a Spiritual Discipline,” which appeared in the UU World magazine in 2004; a contributing author to three books, A People So Bold: Theology and Ministry for Unitarian Universalists, Darkening the Doorways, and Justice on Earth, which is this year’s UUA Common Read.  Paula is the editor of Encounters: Poems about race, ethnicity and identity, published by Skinner House Books.  Paula is co-author, along with Bruce Pollack-Johnson, of the 8th Principle which is being discussed by many UU congregations and has been adopted by some.  And last, Paula is honored to be invited to be the Sophia Fahs Lecturer at General Assembly this year.

UUA Delegate Status Information

Update from Larry Stirtof, Applications Development Manager at the UUA.

The UUA Website has been updated to reflect the changes to the delegate determination. https://www.uua.org/ga/congregations/how-delegates-are-determined

In terms of the process for distributing credentials there are three parts:  

1) In early April we'll invite congregations to access the credential manager application. This is primarily used to assign and distribute member delegate credentials. But congregations can use this system to check the status of and redistribute religious professional delegate credentials for their ministers and religious educators.

2) In early April right after we open the credential manager we'll email all ministers and religious educators with either their credentials (if eligibility has been determined already) or the instructions for determining their eligibility.

3) By Mid April we'll launch a self serve process that lets anyone determine if they are eligible for delegate credentials. This process will involve a series of questions and prompts, starting with are you a Minister, Religious Educator, or Active Member. This site can also be used to retrieve lost credentials.

News from our Friends

The Well: A Family-Friendly Retreat Tending the Wounds of Racism

What is the Well?
The Well is an intentional gathering space of spiritual healing for individuals and families who are directly impacted by racism. It is a culturally proud, welcoming and unapologetic space that centers the experiences and expressions of communities of color.

The Well is a life-giving retreat. Just like a communal well in ancient times, we gather at the Well, share wisdom and learn from each other, talk about things that matter, and fill our vessels with resources that sustain us.

As a rare multi-generational opportunity for children, youth, and adults, programming of the Well explores our spiritual paths, including rites of passage that bear witness to our experiences. There will be food, music, sports, history, arts, and bodywork that nurtures our souls, and worship, rituals and networking that uplift our spirits.

Where and when is the Well?
The inaugural Well will be held at the Ferry Beach Retreat & Conference Center on the Atlantic coast town of Saco, Maine, on July 24-27, 2019. Ferry Beach is a 32-acre beach-front camp with 19 buildings.  Steeped in the values of Universalism since 1901, it affirms readily that all are loved and welcome.

To download a flyer, click here.

For more information, and to register, click here.

This event is funded in part by a grant from the LREDA 21st Century Fund

Art Show*

When Alison Aguilar Lopez Gutierrez McLeod was asked to write the story of her experiences as a professional of color by the Commission on Institutional Change at the UUA, she discovered it wasn't a simple matter of putting pen to paper and writing about a particular incident. She found herself writing and drawing out numerous storyboards, each one more detailed than the last. Alison decided to use the story boards and some art pieces to create a show sharing her experience of racism within her job as a religious educator and within UUism.

The name of her show is "A Few Little Nips" or "Unos Cuantos Piquetitos", based on a story by Frida Kahlo. The "few little nips" are a metaphor for the small and large hurts lived over and over again by people of color within our congregations.

Alison's art show runs until the end of May, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego.

* excerpted from "A Few Little Nips - An Art Show", by Nancy Fisk. To read the entire article, click here, and go to page 6.