2019/20 Issue Number 7

January 2020

In This Issue...

  1. January Notes
  2. Town Hall
  3. LREDA Welcomes
  4. LREDA Nominating
  5. UU the Vote
  6. Resources
  7. Border Witness for Religious Educators

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January Notes from the President

picture of woman with silver hair and glasses
Dear LREDA Members, 


In our countdown to the new decade, many of us reviewed the past year, the past decade, or even our learnings since the beginning of the new century. If you were one who counted up the successes of the last decade and balanced it with the “I wish I had done something differently” you are in good company. 


I encourage us to spend some time in January taking the learnings of the past decade and applying them to the future. We have had so many opportunities to learn. Along with a review of any local cluster meeting notes, Renaissance Modules, OWL trainings,Teach Ins, Fahs Collaborative Programs, Promise and the Practice, Conversations for Liberation and the many other rich opportunities you have participated in. You might also want to find your notes from Fall Conferences you have attended, with the more recent conferences providing online resources to check out:


What did you learn from a decade of Fall Conferences?

2019:Theologies of Suffering and Wholeness

2018: Changing the Narrative

2017: Brave Spaces

2016: Bringing a Spiritual Dimension to Tough Topics: Money, Death, Race and Sex

2015: LREDA WithOut Walls: Technology, Theme-based Ministry, Full Week Faith

2014: Professional Matters: Staff Relations, Finance, Continuing Education, Radical Hospitality, Pastoral Care, Self Care

2013: Fahs Collaborative

2012: History, Shared Ministry Task Force

2011: Don't Just Do It, Think About It: Sustaining Our Mind, Body, and Spirit

2010: Transforming the Jericho Road


2020 Fall Con

I know we are all eagerly awaiting the announcement of the next LREDA Fall Con. We are working closely with our new Fall Conference Planner to get this information to you as quickly as we can. We are also welcoming applications for the Fall Con Planning Team and the Fall Con Worship Team. Please contact Eleanor Van Duesen at [email protected] if you are interested.

Get Your Copy of Sparks of Wonder: Theme-based Ministry for the Whole CongregationSparks of Wonder book cover

We are looking for more members to join the Fall Con Planning Team and the Fall Con Worship Team. To entice you, Mary Benard, Editorial Director of Skinner House Books and UUA Publications has offered copies of Sparks of Wonder: Theme-based Ministry for the Whole Congregation. This amazing resource isartfully and directly written by Rev. Erika Hewitt and Religious Educator Becky Brooks. Contact Eleanor Van Duesen at [email protected] to inquire about these Teams and receive your free book if you join us! 

We would also like to entice a few of you to join the Robert’s Rules of Order Task Group! Contact LREDA Treasurer, Juliet Donaldson, at [email protected] to express your interest in this short-term group focused on determining how we can decenter whiteness in our annual meeting. Get your free copy of Sparks of Wonder when you join the team!


Linnea Nelson

President, LREDA

Credentialed Religious Educator


LREDA Town Hall: Benefits and Payroll: Are You Getting What You Deserve?

Graphic that says LREDA Town Hall Jan 14
From Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager

In addition to being transformative religious communities, Unitarian Universalist congregations are employers. When it comes to taking care of their staff, we expect our congregations to be faithful to the law and to our values.

We recognize that there are significant challenges when it comes to sound payroll and benefits administration practices in congregations: turnover of leaders in key positions, ever-evolving federal and state laws, dense documents to read, and more. Congregations are more likely to stay on their toes if their staff are well-informed about employment matters. A number of LREDA members are on the distribution list for Compensation and Staffing News, our monthly newsletter with tips and resources on compensation and personnel matters. Check out back issues and sign up on the Office of Church Staff Finances Publications page.

Lately we’re learning of a lot of payroll and benefits mistakes, including staff not receiving retirement plan contributions or other benefits they are owed. We want to do better than helping you fix problems after the fact! In strong partnership with you, we believe that most errors (and the headaches and costs of fixing them) can be avoided. More importantly, being proactive means you’ll be getting what you deserve all along. Join Rev. Richard Nugent, LREDA Treasurer Juliet Donaldson, and me for a Town Hall conversation on Tuesday, January 14 at 3:00 ET. We’ll tell you about the 2020 Compensation Standards and get into some nuts and bolts, but we’re building in plenty of time for your questions and concerns.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2463067103820896/

Zoom info: https://zoom.us/j/434061626

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 434 061 626

LPhoto of Alex SherwoodREDA Welcomes new UUA Lifespan Faith Engagement Staff

LREDA is thrilled to welcome Alex Sherwood as the UUA's new Lifespan Faith Engagement Youth and Young Adult Program Associate.

We are delighted that Alex has accepted our invitation to introduce himself in next month's newsletter with a short article. Be on the lookout next month for Alex's article and welcome him to our community!

Help Shape LREDA!

Graphic of raised handsThe LREDA Nominating Committee now has a General Application we're asking members to fill out to show interest and qualifications for specific leadership roles (both elected positions and committees of the board) - 


If you are applying for an elected position (LREDA Board or Nominating Committee), after filling out this application, please submit to [email protected] a recent resume and a cover letter explaining your interest and  including three references. 
Deadline February 10th!
Elected positions beginning June 2020:
LREDA Board: Treasurer
LREDA Board: Professional Support
Nominating Committee (two positions)

UU the Vote Graphic

From #UUtheVote:

Organize with us to #VoteLove, #DefeatHate, and #UUtheVote in 2020!

UU The Vote launches on January 12th, 2020. Our UU values of interdependence, democracy, and the inherent worth and dignity of all people are direct antidotes to the fear, bigotry, and inequity that define our world today. In this political moment, UUs are called to join forces with all people who want to organize our communities and our nation to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate.

There will be a webinar at 4pm ET/1pm PT to launch the campaign. We’ll talk about our UU the Vote strategy, hear from congregations already modeling faithful electoral work, and build our network of relationships. The national UU the Vote team is especially looking for congregational leaders to gather fellow congregants and host a viewing party for the UU the Vote Launch in your congregation, home or community. (And, of course, you can also watch the event live from your own home--just sign up here).

Let’s UU the Vote in 2020! To sign up and learn more visit us at uuthevote.org.

Sacred Skills: Free Resource

Sacred Skills learning and serving together logoYou can access Sacred Skills: learning and serving together for free resources to share with RE Teachers. A work in progress, so far it includes videos and presentations on special needs, classroom management, snippets of UU History in America, bringing spiritual practices into the classroom, preparing spiritually for class...and more.

If you don’t have enough face to face time with RE Teachers or a specific question needs a longer response, check out the growing list of resources online Sacred Skills: Learning and serving together.

Share widely, it’s free because of a generous grant from a 2019 21st Century LREDA Grant!

Graphic that says Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice

Join UUSC President Mary Katherine Morn and other religious leaders in this UU College of Social Justice Border Witness journey to Tucson, AZ, April 13-17, 2020. These five days offer an immersive experience into the realities of the US/Mexico border, and will inspire your own activism and equip you to help deepen that of your congregation, through a deeper understanding of what migration justice might look like.  We are particularly encouraging religious educators to apply; generous scholarship help is available.