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Presenters for A Family Under One Sky: the Multigenerational UU University Track
Rev. Shana Lynngood currently serves as Associate Minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC. Her passion and conviction about the importance of multigenerational community come from multiple sources:
- Attempts to express to her three year old daughter what Unitarian Universalism (UUism) is and how it shapes us,
- The sense that in working on Stories for All Ages we distill the message of our faith to its most direct application,
- An abiding belief that every member of our community irregardless of age needs a place to connect.
Greg Buckland currently serves the Mass Bay District working on strengthening Youth and Young Adult Ministries in our congregations, district, and denomination.
In his own words:
I live in Boston, MA, in a co-operative house, where we work to build community, live sustainably, and support each other. We have so much to offer each other, and so much to learn across generations. As a society, however, we separate ourselves into age groups, and sadly miss many of these opportunities. Children and youth go to day care or school, young adults go to school, or live with others our age. Older adults develop their own networks at work or where they live, and we compartmentalize and outsource our elders to retirement "communities" or nursing homes. As we forge these great divides, we are at risk of losing the wisdom of older folks, as well as the fresh perspective of younger folks—both of which are critical to a vital, sustainable community. I believe our UU congregations have great potential bridge those divides, and that we must step up to that challenge.
I hope the Multigenerational track can help us develop the tools and practice to grow in that ministry, in our congregations, and as a faith movement.
Rev. Michelle Favreault serves as a consulting minister at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, CA, and as a Visiting Professor at Star King School for the Ministry. She holds a Master of Divinity from Starr King, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration.
Rev Favreault writes:
If it can happen for tens of thousands of people with diverse beliefs over a 90 minute futbol match , why can't congregations be places where people of all ages, backgrounds and experience come together to support something larger than themselves, sharing rituals and songs, miracles and wonder, together as loyal, joyful, expressive participants?
Since 1993, she has served in a variety of denominational, district and congregational roles, coaching leaders and congregations with a passion and commitment to ministries of teaching and learning and multi-generational community building. Her academic work and writing has focused on "Leadership in Value-Oriented Organizations" and "Mystagogy and Pedagogy." With a truly multigenerational worship experience at the heart of our shared religious life, profound transformational powers for our people and this faith may emerge anew!
Gail Forsyth-Vail is the Director of Adult Programs in the Lifespan Faith Development Staff Group at the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is a Credentialed Religious Educator, Master’s Level, who served congregations for twenty-two years, most recently at the North Parish of North Andover, MA. She is the author of Adapting Small Group Ministry for Children’s Religious Education, Volumes I and II, published by the North Parish, and of Stories in Faith: Exploring Our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources Through Wisdom Tales, published by the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has served on the Family Matters Task Force, the Mosaic Task Force, the Liberal Religious Educators Association Integrity Team, the Religious Education Credentialing Committee, and in a variety of leadership roles for Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center. She was the 2007 recipient of the Angus MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education and is the mother of three young adult Unitarian Universalists.
In Gail's own words:
I am passionate about Multigenerational Ministry because our faith communities are uniquely positioned to offer the sense of wholeness that emerges when generations are in authentic relationship with one another, offering support, wisdom, and challenge that deepens the faith journey of each person and of the community as a whole. We live in a society that works hard to separate us one from another and to offer us “age appropriate” and segregated experiences. While these “huddling” experiences are valuable, they must be balanced with experiences that span generations and provide nurturing spaces for people of all ages to learn and grow from and with one another.
Victoria Mitchell is eighteen years old and positively consumed with the future of our denomination in relation to multigenerational ministry. Although she now attends university and a congregation in Kingston, ON, Canada, her home congregation is Eliot Unitarian Chapel in St. Louis, Missouri. She spent her youth involved at the congregational level in her youth group, the district level in the Central Midwest District's youth con community and District Youth Steering Committee (DYSC), and the Associational/continental level as a Youth Council Representative, co-author of last year's Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution, and youth member of the Youth Ministry Working Group. She is passionate about breaking down literal, ideological, and attitudinal barriers between children, youth, young adults, and adults in congregational community. She believes that no matter what our age, we are and can identify as Unitarian Universalist.