2017/18 Issue Number 1

August 2017

LREDA eNews is a monthly newsletter edited by LREDA Secretary Andrea James. 

Please send submissions to secretar[email protected] by the 15th of the month prior:

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

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


Email: [email protected]

President Annie Scott

Vice President Robin Pugh

Acting Treasurer Karen LoBracco

Secretary Andrea James

Continental Events Lily Rappaport

Professional Development Leah Purcell

Professional Support Jules Jaramillo


Administrator Kari Kopnick [email protected]

Conference Planner Bea Ann Phillips [email protected]

Director of Development Laurel Amabile [email protected]

Donate to LREDA 

What's New?


The Nominating Committee has extended the search for LREDA Treasurer until September 15, 2017. Click here to read the position description. For more information and to apply, please email committee Chair Michelle Grove at nominat[email protected].

A note from our outgoing Treasurer, Karen LoBracco:

What a rush it is to get everything done – but vacation time awaits. Disappointment we were not able to vote in a new treasurer at our annual meeting in New Orleans – but that means end of fiscal year reconciliation work will be completed so the new treasurer will have it easier coming into the job.

When life throws you a lemon grab it for lemonade!

Join the discussion in our new Facebook group!

Following requests from members and feedback from those in the Unitarian Universalist Religious Educator Group, we've created a private LREDA group on Facebook. Click here to join.

The UURE group is a wonderful gathering place for people working and volunteering in RE. The LREDA group will be for members only, with a covenant to uphold our Code of Professional Practices. We look forward to seeing you there!

Breakthrough Congregations (UUA)

Breakthrough Congregations is returning with a focus that celebrates and shares innovative ways congregations are adapting to the challenges faced in an evolving religious landscape. We are looking for bold one time initiatives as well as on-going sustainable efforts. This is not based on numerical growth or whole congregation health, though we will consider other benchmarks of health in your congregation.

Is your congregation doing adaptive, innovative ministry in a way that could be replicated elsewhere? Maybe you’ve found a new revenue stream, or have done something different in worship? Or maybe you have a ministry in your community that has become the hallmark of your congregation. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it!

For more information and application materials, go to the UUA website. Congregations and covenanting communities can apply - the application deadline September 1, 2017.

Notes from the President

Annie Scott, Board President

I was first hired as a Unitarian Universalist Religious Educator by Rev. Fritz Hudson at the First UU Church of Phoenix, Arizona in 1992. Fritz insisted that one of the very first things I was to do was to join LREDA and start going to Renaissance Modules and LREDA Fall Conference. He named Religious Educators he admired and told me to look them up and learn from them. I learned early the profound importance of LREDA colleagues and trainings offered by the UUA and LREDA.

My first Renaissance Module was UU History in Mendocino, California. What an extraordinary experience that was. That relatively small church welcomed us with open arms, gave us all home hospitality, and fed us for three very intense days. It was my introduction to the community that is LREDA, to the wealth of theological and spiritual wisdom Religious Educators hold, and to the logistical and managerial knowledge and skills we develop and teach. I went on to serve on three different district RE committees and LREDA Chapters: the Pacific Southwest; Joseph Priestley; and Pacific Northwest Chapters.

One year in the last nineties, I went to a LREDA Professional Day prior to a GA. There was a general invitation for anyone interested in working on a LREDA Anti-Racism committee. I nervously found the meeting room, which had previously been a bank vault so it had a somewhat eerie, enclosed feel to it. As I waited for others to arrive, I reflected on my own introduction to racism. I was in a Civics class my senior year in high school in1969. I spoke passionately against the Viet Nam war and in support of the Civil Rights movement and Women’s Lib. In the corner was Angel, a quiet young man who identified as Chicano. We developed a tender, yet short-lived romance. Angel gave me my first real view into the pain and price of racism from a Mexican American who spent his early years picking cotton in Texas. We parted ways the summer after our senior year. In the intervening twenty some years, the painful awareness he had given me into racism had maintained a heavy place in my heart.

I loved the idea that my professional organization wanted to tackle racism and I was eager for the conversation. I did join the LREDA Anti-Racism committee, which became the Integrity Team (and recently grew into our Diversity and Inclusion Team). I served on it for nine years and was privileged to learn from and with many brave LREDA colleagues. I experienced being ‘called in’ to a community of accountability with love and patience and curiosity.

This spring was such a painful, yet bright time for LREDA. Three LREDA members of color spoke truth to the power that is the larger UU denomination, and then provided resources and training for a White Supremacy Teach-In. This filled my heart with great joy, curiosity, and of course the discomfort that comes with my white-identified self. Almost fifty years after Angel opened my eyes and heart I feel a tremendous opportunity in our faith. I accepted the position of LREDA Board President with deep humility and a new excitement and commitment to our continued efforts to justice and equity within our organization and beyond. May we be brave together to build a stronger more courageous LREDA that better serves our members, which in turn better serves our fellow Unitarian Universalists.

LREDA Events

Coming Up: Fall Conference

Building Brave Spaces: How do we do the hard, brave work that we are called to do? 

Denver Colorado, November 3-6, 2017

Multicultural Renaissance Module, November 6-8, 2017

For more information and to register, click here.

Embassy Suites Denver Downtown
1420 Stout St, Denver CO 80202
Includes free hot breakfast and evening manager's reception!

Please stay in the conference hotel, as that helps keep the cost of our conferences down. If you have trouble registering, contact our conference planner Bea Ann Phillips before booking elsewhere!

Book your room here.

Recap: LREDA at General Assembly

  • Prior to General Assembly LREDA members were invited to join the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) at a Collegial Conversation on a new Shared Ministry Tool (see below); UUMA Vespers; and the Berry Street Lecture.
  • LREDA hosted our Professional Day which included worship (featuring Emma's Revolution); a workshop led by the New Orleans-based Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR); and our Annual Meeting. We were warmly greeted by UUA Interim Co-President Leon Spencer and Interim Chief Operating Officer Rev. Sarah Lammert. Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) President Shawn McCann attended, and UUMA President Rev. Cheryl M. Walker sent greetings. 
  • During General Assembly LREDA was proud to host Dr. Robin DiAngelo, who provided the Sophia Lyon Fahs Lecture as well as two workshops, all on white supremacy. 
  • LREDA also hosted "How We Are is Who We Are" about an executive-team model of shared ministry.
  • LREDA member and RE icon Rev. Pat Hoertdoerfer was awarded the 2017 Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education. Read about it here.

Professional Support

Good Offices Applications

Nominations and completed application forms for Good Officers should be sent to Jules Jaramillo ([email protected]) by September 1st, 2017. Good Officer training for those approved will be held in Denver, Colorado on Friday Nov. 3, 2017. Click here for more infomation and the application process.

Professional Development

Shared Ministry Tool

In June, Leah Purcell (LREDA) and Rev. Lynn Gardner (UUMA) presented a new tool developed by the Shared Ministry Resource Team during a Collegial Conversation at the UUMA's Ministry Days.

"The most vital and thriving congregations practice shared ministry. Strong staff teams add to the health and vitality of our congregations. This self-assessment tool for staff teams was inspired by Susan Beaumont’s 30 Markers of Staff Team Health and Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, as well as our shared commitments to multicultural anti-oppressive congregations. Resources for continued learning and development are included when available. This tool is designed to foster open and respectful conversations among staff team members, enabling effective, engaged, and compassionate staff team relationships. All religious professionals are invited to bring this assessment tool to their staff teams, as a means of personal and shared reflection and learning."


Pat Kahn, UUA Professional Development Programs Manager

Greetings from your UUA Professional Development Programs Manager. Here’s an update on what’s been going on in the RE Credentialing and Renaissance programs!

RE Credentialing

We currently have 32 people in RECP: 3 Associate level, 27 Credentialed level and 2 Master level. As of this April, 132 credentials have been awarded: 24 Associate level, 72 credentialed level, and 36 Master level. At this time, there are approximately 18 people in the process of applying, and we’ll soon welcome our first Canadian candidate!

In other news:

  • The new 2017 program plan combines the 2009 and 2014 plans and covers all three levels. We’ll schedule a webinar for RECP participants and mentors in August. The program plan is available here.
  • The Reading List is being updated to include Associate level as well as re-formatted to be more easily sorted. Longer term, we want to develop a process to have it revised/updated on a regular basis. In the meantime, I encourage candidates to make good use of the Resource List Substitution form
  • The RE Credentialing Committee has a team working on updating the Continuum of Competencies. This will provide clarity of what is expected within the different competency areas at each level. When done, we’ll offer a “curriculum map” that identifies what trainings are available for the different competency areas.
  • The Rev. Dr. Randy Becker is now the Chair of the RECC and will be joined by 2 new RECC members. Replacing Rev. Tandy Scheffler and Dr. Jenice View are Sara Lewis as the Master level Credentialed Religious Educator and Art Nava, a lay leader from Arlington St Church in Boston. Continuing members of the RECC include Kathleen Carpenter (LREDA rep), Peter Kandis (lay leader), Rev. Christina Leone Tracy (parish minister) and Dr. Elias Ortega-Aponte (lay leader).
  • I’d like to lift up the work of the LREDA Committee on Mentoring, who have been very busy in the last few months matching 11 new candidates with mentors!

Renaissance Program

In the 2016-2017 program year, 20 Renaissance modules were offered, 10 of which were online or hybrid, with a total of 240 participants (the year  prior was 17 modules, 2 online or hybrid, 185 participants). And there are 20 religious educators who received their 5th module recognition (Renaissance pin and certificate) this year: Sarah Ahrens, Aiofe Barrington-Haber, Bonnie Blosser, Jessica Bors, Jennifer Conway, Jamaine Cripe, Rebecca Fricke, Jesse Greist, Jennifer Innis, Andrea James, Deborah-Eve Lombard, Kathleen Moscato, Mia Noren, Meredith Olson, Margaret Rogers, Emmie Schlobohm, Johanna Seale, Donna Schecrallah, Katy Siepert, and Margie Watters.

Other news:

  • Since July 2016, we have created online adaptations of the Administration and UU Identity modules and will soon add Teacher Development and Curriculum.
  • The brand new online UU Theology was field tested with 3 groups this spring and was just offered as a hybrid module in July. Other modules now available in the hybrid format include: Adult Faith Development, Curriculum, Teacher Development and UU Identity.
  • The new Family Ministry training was field tested at LREDA Fall Con last October and a revised version (based on the field test feedback) is happening at RE Week by the Sea (Ocean Grove NJ) in August.
  • The Multicultural RE module is being offered after LREDA Fall Con, November 6-8. This module is now required for Associate level, and an “in-person AR/AO/MC training” is required for Credentialed level.

Remember that modules can be offered by regional staff, LREDA chapters, local clusters or individual congregations. The Planning Guide for in-person modules was revised last year and is available here. Online and hybrid modules are even easier to sponsor – all you need are 10 participants and I can help you find the leaders. The calendar for modules can be found here.


Degrees, Awards and Anniversaries

Karen Lee Scrivo was ordained by the Goodloe Memorial Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Bowie, MD) on June 4 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis. She is looking to work as a community minister focusing on justice issues in the Maryland-DC area. While she doesn't yet know what that will look like, she does know that children, youth and families will be an important part of her work. "I am so grateful for all the love, support and encouragement from LREDA colleagues on my journey to ordained ministry," Karen says. "You have indeed been the wind beneath my wings. And I look forward to working with you wherever this new path leads.” Karen served as interim religious educator in several UU congregations in Maryland, the most recent being First Unitarian in Baltimore.

Karen LoBracco, CRE, is celebrating her 20th anniversary as a religious educator. Currently she is serving as the Interim Director of Faith Development at the UU Church of Amherst in Williamsville, NY. She just completed her term on the LREDA Board (for which we thank her!).

Leia Durland-Jones, CRE, will celebrate 25 years this September 15 as the professional religious educator at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville, VA!

Starr Austin, CRE, who has served the UU Fellowship of Huntington, NY for the past three years as DLRE, received her B.A. in Family Ministry from SUNY Empire State College in June.

Shannon Boston has served All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK for 10 years: first as Children’s RE Administrator, then as Director of Children's and Youth Programs, then Director of Lifespan RE, and finally, this January, as Executive Director of LRE.

Rev. Betty Jo Middleton (retired) was one of six persons to have a poem selected to display on Alexandria, Virginia's DASH busses and King Street Trolley for National Poetry Month. She was also a featured poet at a community meeting on Creativity and Aging.

Comings and Goings

Sara D. Cloe, CRE, has become the interim DRE at West Hills UU Fellowship in Portland, OR. Prior to that she served the UU Church of Vancouver WA as DRE for four years.

Christopher Buja completed 11 years of service as Director of Lifespan Faith Development at the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville New Jersey. Watch this space to see what he will be doing in the future!

Kathy Smith, CRE, has finished her service (2010-2017) as DRE for children and youth at Community UU Church in Plano, TX, and will begin August 1st as Director of Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge.

Last Fall Carney McRae Doucette began a part-time position serving the Midcoast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Damariscotta, ME. She is also the Director of Religious Exploration for First Universalist Church in Rockland, ME.

Martha Dallas, CRE, will be leaving her position as DRE at the First UU Society of Burlington, VT at the end of November. She has been a religious educator for 15 years, the past 11 of which she served in Burlington. She is listening to her heart as she explores her professional future with curiosity!

Retirements and Retirees

Rebecca Gammons has retired after 21 years of service as DRE at the West Hills UU Fellowship in Portland, OR. Rebecca also served on the LREDA Board. She looks forward to spending time with her new granddaughter.

Terry Ward will retire in August after serving as DRE at the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City for 24 years. She wrote, “My life and work life have been enriched, informed and supported by LREDA. . . .With deep respect for the leadership and dedication that LREDA members and officers demonstrate in such concrete, uplifting work each day.”

Rev. Carol Taylor has moved to a small villa in a continuing living facility in Newtown Square, PA where she and her husband can bike anywhere. They are a short drive from the UU Church of Delaware County in Media, PA and continue to socialize with retired colleagues who live nearby.

Rev. Ginger Luke is one of the "Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism" a recent Skinner Book edited by Kendal L. R. Gibbons and the late William R. Murray. Her essay is "Love as an Ethical Basis."


Master level

  • Anna Bethea, UUA Outreach Associate
  • Dawn Star Sarahs-Borchelt, DRE Buxmont UU Fellowship, Warrington, PA

Credentialed level

  • Starr Austin, DLRE, UU Fellowship of Huntington, NY
  • Michelle Bishop, Children’s Programs Coordinator, UU Church of Atlanta, GA
  • Jamaine Cripe, RE Coordinator, Beacon UU Congregation in Summit, NJ
  • Juliet Donaldson, DRE, First UU of Middleboro, MA
  • Indigo Lewis, DRE, Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship & Tahoma UU Congregation
  • Ann Richards, Dir of Lifespan Spiritual Growth, Mt. Vernon UC, Alexandria, VA
  • Rich Roberts, DRE, UU Church of Akron, OH
  • Robin Slaw, DRE, UU Congregation of Columbia, MD


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