From Lily Rappaport, Developmental Director of Family Ministries
In November I attended the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Fall Conference in Baltimore. The conference theme was “Theologies of Suffering and Wholeness: Companions in Liberation” and was full of inspiring and wonderful learning. Keynote speakers were Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, President of Starr King School for the Ministry, Dr. Elias Ortega, President of Meadville Lombard Theological School, and Rev. Sofia Betancourt, Assistant Professor of UU Theologies and Ethics at Starr King School for the Ministry.
The speakers drew on uses of honey as metaphors for kitchen table faith development, the faith formation that happens outside of our congregational walls, for the faith formation that happens in everyday moments and in our homes. Honey as theology 1) sweetens and nourishes, 2) is ritual offering, 3) cosmetic medicinal. They approached theologies of suffering and wholeness with the goal of strengthening spiritual practice and deepening our UU engagement.
One workshop called “Jubilee Kids! & Jubilee Adults” co-led by Paula Cole Jones, field staff for Central East Region & Sheila Schuh, Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY, shared the transformative power of two distinct programs which offer a means to build a more multicultural, inclusive Unitarian Universalist community of communities. Jubilee Kids is a curriculum for UU children which supports healthy racial and ethnic identity development and builds skills for responding to racism and mono-cultural norms. Jubilee for adults is an immersive program that aims to engage adults in the work of dismantling the structural and institutional racism in our UU congregations and beyond.
“Holding Them Whole: Faith Formation and Gender Identity” was a workshop by CB Beal, M. Div, recipient of the Angus Maclean Award for Excellence in Religious Education, provided great tips for closing the gap between the experiences of trans and nonbinary people in our UU communities. “We are in an amazing time when many of our young people have a more fluid understanding of gender identity than those of us who were raised within a binary understanding of gender.” We learned about needs of trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender creative young people and what we can do to support them, touching upon issues of language, privacy and rights, and advocacy.
Religious Education Calendar
Tue. 12/3 RE Committee meeting 7:30-9:00 in Peierls
Thu. 12/5 8th Grade OWL Parent Orientation 7:30 – 9:00 pm in Peierls
Sat. 12/7 Pageant Rehearsal 10am-12pm Sanctuary
Sat. 12/7 RE Round-Table Talks 10:30am to 12:00pm in Peierls
Sun. 12/8 8th Grade OWL Parent Orientation 12:30pm – 2:00pm Mortenson, Peierls
Sat. 12/14 Pageant Rehearsal 10am-12pm
Sun. 12/15 Holiday Pageant 9:30am to 12:30pm.
Sun. 12/22 Children’s Chapel K-5 in Rotunda
Tue. 12/24 Family Christmas Eve 4pm – 5pm
Sun. 12/29 Fire Communion Service
Sun. 1/5 8th Grade OWL begin
Sun. 1/5 COA Meet Your Mentor Pizza Party 12:30pm – 2:00pm Peierls