2017/18 Issue Number 3

October 2017

Friends, there will be no eNews in November, as so many of us are preparing for Fall Con. The next deadline for submission is November 15, for a December 1st eNews.

In This Issue...

  1. President's Notes
  2. Call to Vote
  3. Professional Development
  4. LREDA Events
  5. Professional Support
  6. From our Administrator
  7. Stewardship
  8. News from the UUA

LREDA eNews is a monthly newsletter. Please send submissions to [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

Connect & Serve


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]eda.org

Conference Planner Bea Ann Phillips [email protected]

Director of Development Laurel Amabile [email protected]

 Donate to LREDA


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October Notes from the President

Annie Scott, LREDA President

These are difficult, challenging and exciting times we are living in, both in the larger cultures and in our UUA and within LREDA.

We are all challenged to listen, speak our truths, reflect, grow, and through it all remain curious.

Your LREDA board is regularly getting feedback from our membership on how we do the business of our organization and we’re assessing how well we are responding to these complicated times.

We are working on several areas: evaluating how the Nominating Committee does its work within the emerging awareness of the culture of White Supremacy; how we can better prepare and support our Good Officers for the deep and complicated challenges our members find themselves in; and how to better support and engage our LREDA Chapters to meet the needs of our members.

In addition, we received three times as many requests for scholarship assistance this year for Fall Conference and have heard from many of you that your professional expense budgets have been cut. We are keeping this all in mind as we work with Bea Ann Phillips, our conference planner, for future Fall Conferences.

We will keep you informed as we move through these exciting and challenging efforts and hope that you will continue to communicate your concerns and reflections with us.

May we continue to live our covenantal faith as we grow it into the faith we dream of.

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.

Call to Vote

Last June, due to life changes for our candidates, we found ourselves without a nominee for Treasurer. In a process approved by the membership at the annual meeting, the President now submits the name of the nominee for Treasurer for online voting.

The LREDA Nominating Committee nominates Pete Fontneau for Treasurer.  With thanks to the Committee for their diligent effort to find a candidate, and to Pete for his willingness to serve our beloved organization, I now call the vote. All Active (including Lifetime) members may cast their vote by midnight Pacific Time on October 10, 2017. Click here to vote.

~Annie Scott, LREDA President 

Meet Pete Fontneau, the Nominating Committee’s nominee for LREDA Treasurer.

Pete is a life-long Unitarian Universalist who was raised in the Winchester (Massachusetts) Unitarian Society where he participated in Liberal Religious Youth and was youth group president. His first career was in the United States Coast Guard and his second career was in acquisition support for Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard projects.

Pete has been part of six UU congregations all across the U.S. and since 1986, Accotink in Burke, VA. There Pete served as an RE teacher and on the RE Committee, chaired adult RE, led a building construction project, served as Board Chair and on Accotink’s Commission on Our Ministries, an elected evaluation and strategic planning body. Pete has also served the as President of the Greater Washington Association of UU Congregations, on the Joseph Priestley District Board and Finance/Audit Committee, as JPD representative on the UUA Annual Program Fund Committee, and on the UUA Commission on Appraisal.

In 2007 Pete enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington to pursue social justice/community or religious education ministry. He earned his Master of Divinity in 2011. He served Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church in Camp Springs, MD as Director of Religious Education 2013-2015, and as Interim Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore 2015-2017. He is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry.

Pete lives with Karen in Springfield, VA; their daughter, a Montessori educator, and two grandsons are in Oregon; a son, who provides information technology support for the House of Representatives, lives in Alexandria.

Professional Development

We are thankful for donors who support the goals of religious educators in the Credentialing Program.

Apply between October 1st and November 30th 2017 for Credentialing Scholarships to be awarded in 2018.


LREDA Events

LREDA Fall Conference: Building Brave Spaces

Recently, on Facebook, we posted a marketing piece for Fall Conference. The ad contained photos of two key conference presenters, both of whom are white and male. We heard concerns from some of you, questioning how this came to be; wondering, in light of the events of this past year -- the teach-ins, the focus on dismantling white supremacy in our UU culture, and the institutional commitments to make changes to systems in our denomination – how did we end up here?

These concerns were raised and discussed by the LREDA Board and also by the Fall Conference Planning Committee. Some of us on the planning team were surprised by our own visceral reaction to the optics of the ad once it was out in the world. We want to hold ourselves accountable to the decisions that led us to invite these presenters to this year’s conference. And we realize that our ad fails to capture the essence of the conference program and that it doesn't reflect the diversity of people and voices that we worked so hard to lift up and to include.

The conference is largely about doing justice work in unique ways that celebrate one's talents, interests and passions. We are featuring two discussion panels, made up of a diverse group of young activists from the Denver area. These musicians, singers, organizers, and behind-the-scenes helpers will describe their engagement in social activism: being who they are and doing what they love, while fighting for justice in their own unique ways. Both the Get-In-Where-You-Fit-In Panel and the Living-Our-Values-In-Public Panel are intended to help folks see that activism can take many forms. The panelists will also lead small group discussions. More information about the panels will be provided in the next few weeks.

One goal for this year’s conference was to be able to continue the difficult conversations that we started last year. We agreed that now, more than ever, we need to have tools to delve deeper into conversations, especially on the topic of race, and to lean into feelings of discomfort so that we can grow and learn. In order to have more honest and meaningful dialogue, it seemed essential that we develop the skills that would allow us to do so. We decided to explore the practice of Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communications or Collaborative Communications). NVC is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg and is based on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr’s principles of nonviolence. NVC can be seen both as a spiritual practice that helps us use power in a way that honors everyone’s needs, and as a concrete set of skills which can help us create transformative experiences in our relationships and our communities.

We sought a certified trainer for NVC and reached out to Gregory Rouillard, who lives in nearby Boulder. I met Gregory about three years ago at an NVC family camp that he was leading in Columbus, Ohio. He is a cofounder of the Seven Principles Project, a Unitarian Universalist ministry devoted to cultivating covenanted relationship with and among communities of faith. He has worked with the congregational life staff of the Pacific Western Region, and has led workshops for the Mountain Desert and Pacific Central Districts, as well as at a number of Unitarian Universalist congregations across the country. He and his NVC partner, Jared Finkelstein, were eager to help us develop an embodied experience in which we can explore the topics of power (over, between, among) and privilege (the historical systemic foundations that support racism).

The LREDA Fall Con planning team consists of a mix of men and women, and includes two people of color and two members of LREDA’s Diversity and Inclusion Team. We are pleased to have Kenny Wiley, Program Director at the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and a leader of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU), on the committee. He has been instrumental in organizing the panel of social activists. Members of the planning team include Kirsten Hunter, Linda Middleton-Hill, Shannon Boston, Eleanor VanDuesen, and Randy Becker.

LIly Rappaport, Continental Events Portfolio

Professional Support

Serving on the LREDA Board for the last three months has been a delight and has allowed me to see deep into the heart of the association that serves us all. The work is not always easy, but it is essential in finding ways to support religious educators and build the future of our faith.

I have had the pleasure to connect with many of you whom I may not have had the opportunity to do so, outside of LREDA Board work. You are a beautiful people and I fall deeper in love with you every time I am in contact with you. Thank you for adding so much texture and beauty to my work and life.

Fall Con 2017
Good Officer Training: Friday November 3, 1pm-5pm
I am very excited to share that Melissa Carvill-Ziemer, Acting Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA), will be joining us for the first portion of Good Officer Training. Both LREDA and the UUMA are committed to building relationships between associations and Melissa will be a great addition to our training. The second portion of the training will focus on additional resources for Good Officers to serve religious educators in shifts that are occurring in congregational life.

LREDA Board affirmed the following two religious educators - both nominated by their Chapters - to attend Good Officer Training:

  • Mary Kroener-Ekstrand from UU Church of Willamette Falls
  • Linnea Nelson from UU Congregation of Fairfax

If all goes well, they will be provided with mentors and welcomed to Good Offices upon completion of training. Look for their bios on the Good Offices page in coming months, and remember to call early and often.

What if you are a Good Officer and you are unable to attend Fall Con or General Assembly? I get it and we hear you. The reality is that not everyone can attend Good Officer training in person. I am working with the Board to design an online training/webinar for Good Officers that will run twice a year outside the face to face trainings. I will keep you updated on the start date.

Chapter/Cluster Lead Support Meeting
We will be having a Chapter/Cluster Lead meeting during Fall Con. Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in attending. I will also be offering a Zoom link for anyone that would like to attend virtually. I am looking forward to meeting with everyone and learning more about the good work occurring within LREDA Continental.

In Faith & Love,

Jules Jaramillo, Professional Support Portfolio

From our Administrator

Tour of the LREDA Website

The LREDA website is full of treasures that can help professional religious educators do this vital work. Take a moment to check out the 21st Century Fund project and listen to the podcasts from the Collaborative Leadership Audio Program recorded at Star Island Lifespan Religious Education week in 2015.

LREDA Member Profile FAQ

To keep our records updated, please be sure to keep your LREDA profile current. Having trouble signing in? Don’t make a new profile using a different email address! This will split your records and cause confusion. Contact me for help resetting your password or reconfiguring your profile.

Did you know that your LREDA profile has all of your paid or pending invoices tucked away safely should you need them for reimbursements or tax records? To see your invoices log in using your LREDA username and password, navigate to “My Profile”, select the “My Profile” tab and invoices will be the sixth tab in the drop down menu.

Need to search the LREDA directory? Log in, navigate to the “My LREDA” tab and choose the membership directory in the green dropdown menu. Here you can search by name or by an attribute like chapter or good officer status.

Consider using a personal email for your username. You can use your work email as your preferred email to receive communication from LREDA. This way if you change positions, there is no need to change your username. Remember, your LREDA membership belongs to you, not your position in a congregation or organization.

Kari Kopnick, LREDA Administrator


From our Treasurer

You are making a difference – by your contributions to LREDA of your expertise, your time, and your money! It all counts! Every time you exercise that generosity muscle by checking the box to add a little extra to offset our $6000 annual credit card processing bill, you are freeing up vital funds to support the training of Good Officers and allow chapters to meet via Zoom. At this year’s Fall Conference in Denver about 25 individuals will be able to network and deepen as professionals because scholarship aid was available, funded in part by individual LREDA members, their congregations, and this year a donation from the UU Ministers Association. In New Orleans your donations to the Fahs Lecture Fund made possible anti-racism programming that literally reached a thousand people. Credentialing Scholarships help pay for the training necessary for that professional recognition, and the Endowment Fund supports everything from grants to scholarships and lectures. Every $5, $10, $25 donation makes a difference and is appreciated. Thanks for making a difference in all you do!

Karen LoBracco, Acting Treasurer

From our Director of Development

A big THANK YOU to those of you who continue to strengthen and grow our LREDA Endowment Fund through monthly donations and special gifts made in honor or memory of a colleague. If you know of a colleague who could use a boost or has inspired you, consider making a tribute gift to the LREDA Endowment! The honoree will be notified that a gift has been made in their honor, along with any message you choose to convey. You can even do this anonymously, if you’d prefer.

In addition, we receive gifts from several congregations a year, which really help to grow our endowment and support for the important work we do as religious educators. If your congregation has a shared offering program, please suggest LREDA as a recipient worthy of their support.

Laurel Amabile, Director of Development

[email protected]    207-239-7162 (cell - Eastern Time)

News from the UUA

Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager 

Teaming Up and Tuning Up in October

Benefits administration. It’s really important, but it feels kind of intimidating, right? We get it… and we need your help.

The Office of Church Staff Finances has created a Benefits Tune-up Workbook to assist congregational leaders in administering our benefits properly. Designed to be completed by a team, the Workbook uses fill-in-the-blanks and multiple choice questions to move folks through the basics. We incorporated reflection questions and left plenty of white space. (Sorry, no coloring pages – but feel free to decorate.)

Can you leverage your role as The Educator on your leadership team to ensure that your leaders are taking the opportunity to tune up their benefits this month? (We’ve been using all of our institutional partners and communication vehicles to get the word out about this resource, so hopefully they’ve already heard about it.) In checking on your congregation’s tune-up progress, you aren’t just self-advocating. You are encouraging leaders to take good care of your staff team as a way of practicing the values of justice and equity within the walls of your congregation. (This is also about establishing robust systems and meeting legal requirements.) We want your congregation to be a reliable and confident employer – and we believe the voice of the educator can help make that happen.

My easiest email: [email protected]. To receive monthly updates with tips and resources on compensation, staffing, and personnel, sign up here for Compensation and Staffing News.

Pat Kahn, UUA Professional Development Programs Manager

Ask (questions) and ye shall receive (answers)!

The most frequently asked questions about Renaissance modules are:
1. Are there more modules in the works than what appear on the Renaissance calendar?
2. What’s the deal with online and hybrid modules?
3. Is the new Family Ministry training a Renaissance module?

Here are the answers!

1. Renaissance modules in any format (in-person, online or hybrid) are added to the UUA calendar for religious educators when the module requests are received. These modules are accepting registrations now (or will be very soon):

  • Administration as Leadership ONLINE (sponsored by MidAmerica region) led by Nancy Combs-Morgan and Tracy Beck on Thurs afternoons beginning 10/5 registration info and dates to come
  • Administration as Leadership ONLINE (sponsored by Southeast LREDA chapter) led by Michelle Bishop and Meredith Olson on Mondays 10/23, 10/30, 11/13, 11/27, 12/11 from 7-9pm Eastern. Register now: http://www.uua.org/careers/re/renaissance/schedule
  • UU History ONLINE – starting after LREDA Fall Con in Nov registration info and dates to come
  • 11/6-11/8 Multicultural RE at LREDA Fall Con – 3 groups: Aisha Hauser/Rev. Samaya Oakley, Janice Marie Johnson/Gail Forsyth-Vail, Rev. Natalie Fenimore/Alison McLeod (Crotty). Register now: http://www.uua.org/careers/re/renaissance/schedule
  • 11/16-18 Worship module IN PERSON led by Nancy Combs Morgan and Rev. Rudra Dundzilla in Deerfield IL. Register now: http://www.uua.org/careers/re/renaissance/schedule

There are groups currently planning to offer these modules:

  • Jan/Feb - Teacher Development HYBRID; in-person session in the Richmond VA area
  • Jan/Feb - Ministry with Youth IN PERSON in Tampa FL
  • Jan/Feb - UU Theology ONLINE
  • Late April - Multicultural RE IN PERSON in Spartanburg SC

2. Any group (region, cluster, LREDA chapter) can sponsor an online or hybrid module.
Currently available online:
These two modules are only offered online because they require substantially more reading and assignments than a typical 15 hour module (probably closer to 35 hours). They consist of at least 6 two hour sessions:
UU History
UU Theology

These online modules are adapted from the 15 hour in-person version and consist of 5 two hour sessions:
UU Identity

We anticipate adding online versions of these modules next spring:
Philosophy of RE
Teacher Development

These modules are currently available as hybrids, which consist of 3 two hour online sessions and 1 in-person day:
Adult Faith Development
UU Identity
Teacher Development

3. The Family Ministry training was first field tested at the 2016 LREDA Fall Con, after which we incorporated your valuable feedback and field tested the revised version at RE Week in Ocean Grove NJ in August 2017. We’re making a few more tweaks based on feedback and will make the training available January 2018. This training is specifically designed for shared ministry teams, and is adaptable in terms of the number of workshops and possible formats, so it’s not called a Renaissance module but for the purposes of RE Credentialing, it “counts” as a Renaissance module.

Do you have more questions about the Renaissance or RE Credentialing programs? Ask me! (I can also tell you about the Music Leader Certification program).

Skinner House Books

Cover for the book Testimony, which is yellow with a white flameSkinner House Books is thrilled to announce Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism, edited by Meg Riley. Testimony is a dynamic collection of personal stories from people whose lives have been dramatically changed by Unitarian Universalism. Some have returned from the brink of despair, others have found renewed purpose and discovered the saving power of community. Together these vignettes paint a portrait of the real, felt impact of Unitarian Universalism. Readers can find a new appreciation for the ways Unitarian Universalism makes a tangible difference in the lives of real people who are struggling.

And new from the UUA’s Faith Development Office is Sexuality and Our Faith, Grades 4-6, Second Edition by Jessica York, Rev. Kelly J. Burd, and T. Anil Oommen. The second edition of Sexuality and Our Faith for grades 4-6 affirms church as a place to ask questions in the search for truth, meaning and understanding. This companion to the second edition of Our Whole Lives for grades 4-6 stresses love, justice, equity and responsibility as well as our need for support and nurturing. It contains Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ supplements, each grounding sexuality education in the participants’ own faith communities.