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LREDA Accepting Nominations for Treasurer

As you have been informed by the LREDA board, we are reopening the search for the LREDA Treasurer. Two excellent candidates could not take the position due to vocational changes. We are grateful for the prompt and concise leadership of the board in dealing with this vacancy.

We are confident that there are good candidates among our membership. Maybe you have always wanted to serve in a LREDA leadership position and hesitated in applying. If you feel that you have been served by this organization in the past and would like to contribute to its future, please consider applying! Also, if there is a colleague you believe has something to offer in this position, please encourage him or her to apply! Serving on the LREDA board provides an excellent opportunity to contribute to the growth of our faith and the support of fellow religious professionals.

It is important to know two things about the job as treasurer. 

1. The LREDA treasurer should have an interest in and a level of comfort with financial management, but need not be an expert or have held another Treasurer position. Training and support are provided. 

2. In addition, the treasurer works collaboratively with the LREDA board listening to the membership, planning for the future, and guiding the LREDA organization in its mission.

Both of these qualities are held in healthy tension to contribute to the overall work of the LREDA board. Read the treasurer job description here. The deadline for applications is July 15, 2017.

Applications should include a letter of interest, three references, and an extended resume/CV that includes your professional work, professional development, and leadership experience. Please include "Nominating Committee" in the Subject line of your application and send to Michele Grove at [email protected] 


Regards and best wishes as you enter the summer season,

LREDA Nominating Committee 

Kim Mason, Chair
Michele Grove
Katy Carpman

LREDA Questions to the UUA Presidential Candidates

Dear Colleagues,

We hope this message finds you well as you navigate the busy days of mid-June and the approach of UUA General Assembly, when a new UUA President will be elected. At October’s LREDA Fall Conference in California, we held a candidate forum that raised key issues for our membership with the three candidates. 

This spring, the Board decided it was important to follow up with the candidates, particularly addressing issues of power and authority related to faith development professionals, reflecting ongoing concerns expressed by our members. A set of questions was carefully written and held until after the important work of the UU White Supremacy Teach In, led by LREDA members Aisha Hauser, Christina Rivera and Kenny Wiley.

The candidates received our letter and responded that they had, together, decided to address no further questions until the Presidential Candidate Forum on Friday June 23rd at 8PM at the UUA General Assembly. (Watch the Livestream here.) Our questions have been submitted to the Election Campaign Practices Committee. We are sharing the complete set of questions with you now.

LREDA has not endorsed a candidate.

It has been a tumultuous time; please take good care of yourselves.

In Service,

The LREDA Board
Cathy Seggel, President
Annie Scott, President-Elect
Robin Pugh, Vice President
Karen LoBracco, Treasurer
Andrea James, Secretary
Meagan Henry, At Large, Professional Support
Leah Purcell, At Large, Professional Development
Lily Rappaport, At Large, Continental Events

Questions to the UUA Presidential Candidates

The Liberal Religious Educators Association represents about 600 religious professionals, including religious educators, ministers, youth ministry professionals, religious education assistants, UUA and CUC staff. We are called by the transformative power of shared ministry in faith development for all ages. Our work is vital to Unitarian Universalism. This letter focuses on concerns related to professional religious educators, while acknowledging the essential race and ethnicity issues that must be addressed in our Association and everywhere.

We were dismayed, wounded, and outraged by the words of past UUA President Peter Morales devaluing religious educators http://www.uuworld.org/articles/developments-2017-04-01. They were emblematic of an attitude that has been all too prevalent within the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rev. Morales’ words shone a light on a truth that too many of our members have lived. Many have been told not to bother applying for regional staff positions. Many are voiceless when in conflict with their supervisors. All but a few are unable to vote at General Assembly. Staff covenants are, at times, used to silence colleagues.

Shared Ministry: The Excellence in Shared Ministry Task Force report of 2012, writes, "Against an historical backdrop of power over, oppression, and ignorance, we encourage a rigorous re-examination and re-formulation of relationships that are respected, tended, and framed in a spirit of justice as well as in the shared goal of mutual support." What will you do to lead a "rigorous re-examination and reformulation" of professional relationships within our association? How will you promote and support shared ministry teams in faith communities? How will you support the valuable work done in partnership between LREDA, the UUMA, the UUMN, the AUUA, and UUAMP?

Power and Authority: How will you ensure that UUA hiring practices value the education and experience of religious professionals who are not ordained? How will you support the leadership of professionals of color? How will you educate congregations to provide avenues for religious educators to address conflict with their supervisors? What do you envision as the appropriate channel for religious educators to communicate unhealthy behavior they have witnessed on a professional staff team?

Faith Development: What are your plans for staffing in support of faith development within the UUA? How will you foster and value learning environments in our congregations?

Fair Compensation: How will you motivate congregations to commit to fair compensation, including benefits and appropriate professional development expenses, for all religious professionals on staff? How will you lift up the work and needs of professional religious educators, particularly those who are marginalized?

Religious Educator Delegates to GA: Would you work directly to provide delegate status to religious educators? If so, how do you propose that happen and how soon? What criteria would you propose for automatic delegate status? 

 

LREDA Board Affirms Support of UU White Supremacy Teach In

The Board of The Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) encourages our members to support and participate in the UU White Supremacy Teach In. This call to action and worship comes from a growing network of UUs--religious professionals and and lay leaders from both within and outside congregations--led by UUs of color and white UUs working together.  

Congregations are committing to discuss the realities of racism and white supremacy in our congregations, in our Association, and in our faith on April 30th or May 7th. We support this movement and encourage your participation.  Learn more and sign up at http://www.blacklivesuu.com/uuwhitesupremacyteachin/.

As a continental organization, we are aware that not all LREDA members are connected with the UUA. Nevertheless, our Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to dismantle white supremacy in our congregations and wider communities, whether in the U.S. or Canada.
Sincerely, 
The LREDA Board

Cathy Seggel, President
Robin Pugh, Vice President
Andrea James, Secretary
Karen LoBracco, Treasurer
Annie Scott, President-Elect
Meagan Henry, At Large: Professional Support
Leah Purcell, At Large: Professional Development
Lily Rappaport, At Large: Continental Events

LREDA Letter to Membership

On behalf of LREDA, we want to recognize and support our colleagues who are courageously speaking truth to power and leading another round of critical conversations about intersectional issues of oppression within our Association.

We are writing this message so that LREDA members, colleagues in shared ministry, UUA Administration & Staff, UUA Board and the Unitarian Universalist community knows we are paying close attention to the communications that have been shared in multiple ways this week. LREDA leadership is aware of the urgent need for diligence in affirming the importance, expertise and comprehensive scope of the service of religious educators and in particular, religious educators of color.

We hold up this excerpt from the UUA funded report of the Joint Task Force on Excellence in Shared Ministry of the LREDA/UUMN/UUMA in 2013, “There are relationships of authority and accountability among us and with the people we serve. Against an historical backdrop or power-over oppression, and ignorance, we encourage a rigorous re-examination and re-formation of relationships that are respected, tended and framed in a spirit of justice as well as in the shared goal of mutual support. This requires being mindful of the use of formal and informal power and an acute awareness of power dynamics.”

A LREDA observer will be present to witness the UUA Board deliberations in April and see if and how they take advantage of this potent opportunity in our Association’s history. We are also in direct communication with other stakeholders.

We are painfully aware of the realities of unfair practices in our own organization, our Association and beyond. LREDA Board will be meeting in April to review our own policies and practices in order to further hold our role in dismantling institutional oppression.

We will continue to communicate as we stay rooted in this hard, essential and deeply spiritual work.

Cathy Seggel, President LREDA & Annie Scott, President-Elect

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Serving on the LREDA Board

As their terms serving the LREDA Board turn toward the final stretch, Karen LoBracco and Meagan Henry share the things they have learned and enjoyed about serving LREDA members. 

 

From the Treasurer's Bench, 

For the past 2.5 years I have served our profession as LREDA’s Treasurer. Like most interesting jobs it has been dynamic, requiring me to learn and stretch. Every new opportunity that LREDA took advantage of – accepting donations of stock, grant applications, managing the transition from Administrator as contractor to employee, accepting a large Endowment donation for the Chapter Challenge program – all required some restructuring on my part to adapt to this new world. I have learned so much!

The other benefit of serving on the LREDA Board has been the opportunity to meet and get to know so many of you! On the Board, through the committees and working groups as well as at our professional gathering, I have had the joy of moving from “I recognize that NAME” to “I know that PERSON and a bit of their story”. What a gift!

At our most recent Fall Conference we tackled four “Tough Topics”, and money was one of them. As treasurer I applaud the power money has to help us achieve our dreams, and so I work to reduce our costs and maximize our income so we can fund more dreams. Those dreams are about connection and support in good times and in bad, about new ways of approaching the challenges of Unitarian Universalist faith development, and being the best professional we can be. Unfortunately, even when specifically summoned by the LREDA Board, my magic wand has proven to be quite ineffective in conjuring up extra money. Disappointing, so as treasurer I am forced to fall back on the old standbys of realistic planning and careful management.
LREDA is a vital force in our UU world and the communities we serve because of your generous support and sharing of your funds, your time and your wisdom. Thank you!

In Faith,

Karen LoBracco

 

Dear Colleagues,

It's hard to believe my term as your LREDA Board Member with the Professional Support portfolio is almost over! It is truly an honor to serve in this position, and I'm grateful to have this opportunity to grow and to learn. Most of all, I’m grateful to serve you, the inspiring and dedicated members of LREDA.

Professional Support is key to our members and the services offered by our Good Officers is vital for the health of our profession. As the coordinator for this program, I’ve learned of the many challenges faced by our Religious Educators, and I’ve witnessed the struggles and joys around the work we do. I’m proud of the fact that we updated our Code of Professional Practice and I’m looking forward to finishing updates to our Guidelines. These resources are available online for anyone to read and I view this as a service to all religious professionals, not only our members. I’ve established a link to my counterpart in the UUMA and I hope my successor with continue to build upon this relationship so that we will have better knowledge and a clearer understanding of our respective roles and responsibilities to our members.

One of the most challenging aspects of my term has been trying to figure out how to best support and in some cases, revive local LREDA Chapters. We have some Chapters with religious educators who find great value in meeting regularly, either in person or online for worship, reflection, program sharing, and problem solving. These folks provide an incredibly supportive and vital link to one another and enable many of us who tend to be fairly isolated in our work to have a professional growth community. In other Chapter areas, I see that many religious educators have not had the opportunity to benefit from this collegiality and support. Therefore, they don’t know how beneficial it is and they do not feel the need to engage in Chapter or cluster gatherings. However, there are some exciting new initiatives happening that I hope will bring more religious educators into supportive communities of growth and learning, such as the MidAmerica LREDA Learning Collaborative initiated by Nancy Combs-Morgan and explained in more detail here.

I must share with you all the thing I've enjoyed the most about my position is getting to know so many of you over the past 2 and 1/2 years. You inspire me to strive to continue to improve and seek new ways to enhance my work and spiritual growth every day. Serving on the LREDA Board is truly an honor! I look forward to seeing our professional organization’s next steps.

With Gratitude,
Meagan Henry

 

 

Welcome new LREDA Board members

Congratulations to the newest members of the LREDA Board!

LREDA Members voted today at our 2016 Annual Meeting to elect the Board slate offered by the Nominating Committee, including new members: Andrea James (Secretary), Annie Scott (President-Elect), and Lily Rappaport (Continental Events).

Also at our meeting, membership elected Katy Carpman to the Nominating Committee and approved a budget for 2016-17. Your Board is excited and proud to note that the new, now approved budget includes an increase in hours for our new Administrator, moving it from a half-time to three-quarter time position. It was also announced that an updated Code of Professional Practices has been approved by the Board. Members are encouraged to read and discuss it. The Code will be reviewed every two years. Our 2015-16 Annual Report andMinutes from the Annual Meeting can be viewed on the Meeting Minutes and Highlights page.