2019 Continental LREDA Fall Conference: 
November 8-10 Baltimore, Maryland USA


Conference location: Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor

If possible please stay in the official conference hotel.
Our sleeping rooms and food and beverage fees are how we pay for the meeting spaces.
Reserve your room here.
Roommates can be found using the LREDA listserv or Facebook group

Fall Conference Registration

Theologies of Suffering and Wholeness: Companions in Liberation

  • Odyssey Presenter, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, President of Starr King School for the Ministry
  • Dr. Elias Ortega-Aponte, incoming President of Meadville Lombard Theological School
  • Rev. 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

At our 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.

Keynote highlights: 

Friday 11/8, 9:30-11:30 am 
Honey for the Soul: This workshop, led by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Dr. Elias Ortega, and Rev. Sofia Betancourt draws on uses of honey as metaphors for kitchen table faith development, the faith formation that happens outside of our congregational walls. In these challenging times, how can we best partner with parents and families to faithfully engage the realities of suffering while leaning into a greater wholeness.
Saturday 11/9, 10:00-11:30 am
Taking Your Faith Seriously – This workshop, led by Dr. Elias Ortega and Rev. Sofia Betancourt, approaches theologies of suffering and wholeness with the goal of strengthening spiritual practice and deepening our UU engagement. We will engage resources within and outside our UU theological tradition to expand the sources of inspiration that ground us as a faith community.
Sunday 11/10,  11:45 am -12:45 pm
Coming Full Circle, an Odyssey by the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt

Nov. 7: Pre-conference day including gatherings for Religious Educators of ColorLREDA Large and LREDA Small; Good Officers; and LREDA Committees
Nov. 8-10: The Conference – sessions with our featured presenters; workshops led by LREDA colleagues; embodied worship & spiritual practices; and opportunities for fellowship with colleagues
Nov. 10: Tour of First U Baltimore and launch party for "Sparks of Wonder." 
Nov. 10-12: Optional Renaissance Modules

New: Pre-Con for Religious Professionals of Color
Religious professionals of color are invited to come a day early and attend a half-day gathering followed by a reception at no additional registration cost.  In addition to the annual programming for POC caucusing during fall con, this will be an opportunity for professional development, networking, fellowship, and worship that addresses the unique concerns of religious educators and other religious professionals of color within our faith tradition. To suggest topics of conversation, to offer worship leadership, or to help organize this event, please contact Marisol Caballero at mcaballero (at)uua.org. More information here.

LREDA Pre-Conference Program: LREDA Small
Accessible Theology: Creating spaces of affirmation and inclusion with Starr Austin and Linda Hill of Austin-Hill and Associates.
Thursday, November 7th, 12-4pm, ONLINE VIA ZOOM and in Baltimore, Maryland

$100 for in-person attendance
$25 online via ZOOM (hardship rate $12.50)
Designed for people serving small congregations or with small or building RE Programs, but open to all.
"We explore inclusion through the lens of differing abilities and invite participants to imagine spaces of religious education and worship which welcome people from various cultures, languages, abilities, and so on. This intersectional approach to what it means to be a faith where all are welcome and their dignity and worth are readily affirmed challenges our biases and what we think we know and invites us to create truly welcoming and inclusive spaces."
Registration for this event ONLY  (also available within the Fall Conference registration form)

LREDA Pre-Conference Program: LREDA Large
Supporting BIPOC Families in Religious Education, Christina Rivera, Called to Justice
Thursday, November 7th, 12-4, Baltimore, Maryland
Designed for people serving large congregations or with large RE programs but available to all.
Registration for this event ONLY (also available within the Fall Conference registration form)

Tour of First U Baltimore and Book Launch for "Sparks of Wonder"
Tour of the historic First Unitarian Baltimore. Fall Conference attendees are invited to attend the book launch party for "Sparks of Wonder": As theme-based ministry continues to increase in popularity in Unitarian Universalist congregations across the continent, the need for programmatic resources has grown as well. Now in Sparks of Wonder: Theme-Based Ministry for the Whole Congregation authors Becky Brooks and Erika Hewitt present an omnibus collection of services, readings, songs, and programs for all aspects of church life, related to five evocative themes: Humility, Journey, Chaos, Power, and God.

Within each theme are ready-to-use resources for key aspects of congregational life, including theological reflection, a worship service, spiritual practice, social ethics, readings, reflection questions, ideas for engaging with the theme at home, and more. Helpful guides at the back of the book offer suggestions for using these resources in small groups, worship services, social justice activities, youth groups, and religious education programs. Complete with handouts for photocopying, Sparks of Wonder provides everything you need to explore rich themes in all facets of your congregation, helping you dive deeply as a community into both spiritual reflection and social action. Becky Brooks is a former Director of Religious Education with more than fifteen years’ experience in faith development work. Erika Hewitt is the UUA’s Minister of Worship Arts and editor of Braver/Wiser, a weekly spirituality series. She also serves as a parish minister in Damariscotta, Maine. Sign up is not required, but will allow us to communicate and coordinate with all who plan to attend: here.

Registration for the Renaissance Modules is closed for now, please email [email protected] to be placed on a waiting list.

Other Conference highlights include – New and Newer Religious Educator training, local outings, and opportunities for hands-on justice-making.

DRAFT Schedule HERE (times will change) 

   Past LREDA Fall Conferences

Year Theme Speaker Odyssey  Site Chapter
2018 Changing the Narrative Julica Hermann DelaFuente, Rev. Kathleen McTigue,  Dr. Takiyah Nur Amin (The Odyssey of BLUU) Houston, TX SW
2017 Brave Spaces Various Jan Devor Denver, CO MD
2016 Bringing a Spiritual Dimension to Tough Topics: Money, Death, Race and Sex UUA FDO: Jessica York, Pat Kahn, Gail Forsyth-Vail, Melanie Davis Judith Frediani San Diego, CA PSW
2015 LREDA WithOut Walls: Technology, Theme-based Ministry, Full Week Faith   Ginger Luke Morristown, NJ MNY
2014 Professional Matters: Staff Relations, Finance, Continuing Education, Radical Hospitality, Pastoral Care, Self Care Various Susan Archer Decatur, GA SE
2013 Fahs Collaborative Mark Hicks and Fahs Fellows Carol Haag St. Paul, MN PS
2012 History, Shared Ministry Task Force  Paul Rasor Pat Ellenwood Williamsburg, VA JP
2011 Don't Just Do It, Think About It: Sustaining Our Mind, Body, and Spirit Kim Stafford and Linda Christianson Gaia Brown Portland, OR PNW
2010 Transforming the Jericho Road Various, service opportunities in the community Rev. Ruth Ellen Gibson New Orleans, LA SW
2009 A Time to Exhale Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke and Rev. Dr. Thandeka with Kevin Tarsa Rev. Dr. Liz Strong Providence, RI CB
2008 Building a Multigenerational Faith Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker Pat Hoertdoerfer Albuquerque, NM MD
2007 Weaving the Fabric of our Faith Judithi Frediani and LFD Team Makannah Morriss San Antonio, TX SW
2006 To Honor the Many Gifts We Bring Bill Jones and the Integrity Team  Jacqui James Orlando, FL   FL
2005  Mapping Uncharted Territory: New Directions for Growing Congregations Larry Peers  Carol Ann Taylor Philadelphia, PA   JP
 2004  New Models for Religious Education in the 21st Century (Workshop Rotation Model, Way Cool Sunday School, Small Group Ministry, Spirit Play) Vivian Gussin Paley, Keynote. Workshop Leaders: Kathy Keith and September Gerety, Todd Strickland and Katherine Farmer, Gail Forsyth Vail and Helen Zidowecki, and Nita Penfold.  Midge Skwire Chicago, IL  CMW
 2003 Creating Rituals......Children and Community Sobonfu Some Helen Bishop Sacramento, CA PC
 2002  A Theology of Religious Education Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker Betty Jo Middleton Asheville, NC  TJ
 2001 Professional Matters Helen Bishop Jan Evans-Tiller  Toronto, ON  STL
2000 Nurturing Ourselves and Others Sharon Thornton Carol Edwards Santa Barbara, CA PSW
1999 LREDA's 50th Anniversary Jeanne Nieuwejaar, Frank Robertson, Holly Hollerroth, Elizabeth Anastos LREDA Plymouth, MA MB
1998 Our Whole Lives Pam Wilson, Roberta and Christopher Nelson, Judith Frediani, Jennifer Harrison, Sarah Gibb Roberta Nelson Salt Lake City, UT MD
1997 Congregations as Learning Organizations Larry Peers, Anthony Di Bella, Jeanellen Ryan  Norma Veridan San Antonio, TX SW