RE Week at the Sea, August 12-16, 2019, Ocean Grove, NJ
RE Week at the Sea 2019
2019-08-12 00:00:00
2019-08-16 23:59:59
Monday, August 12, 2019 to Friday, August 16, 2019

Type of event: Training

Sponsor: Central East Region of the UUA

Five Days of Learning, Collegial Connection and Relaxation for all Religious Educators including Professional Faith Development Staff, Ministers, and Lay Leaders

RE Week at the Sea offers two learning sessions, Mon-Wed and Wed-Fri. Participants may opt to attend a single 2.5 session or the full two session week (Mon-Fri) Each session offers participants a choice of a traditional Renaissance Module or an alternative learning opportunity as described below.

Cost & Deadline Information:

  • Cost to attend one session of RE Week is $400. Register by July 1, get a $50 discount
  • Register to attend both sessions of RE week, receive a $50 discount.
  • Request a single room, $100 per session.
  • Commuter rate, $100 discount per session.
  • Add on a day at the beach before RE week for $100 each (Sunday or Tuesday night)
  • Registration Deadline is July 31, 2018. There is a cap of 20 participants for each class. If the class reaches its threshold, a waiting list will be created.
  • CER participants may request a $75-100-125 scholarship per session. You must provide a reference.
  • Refund policy: Note that we will refund for cancelations reached by the deadline of July 31 in full less a $50 processing fee. Cancellations after July 31 will only be refunded if there is someone on the wait list or you have someone to take your spot. Our financial obligations to the venue require us to have these policies.
  • Those who register after July 31 will be charged an additional $50 late fee. This fee is necessary due to the extra work late registrations require.

Register Now.

RE Week Part I—Monday, August 12 - Wednesday, August 14


Class A: **This module requires three webinars prior to the in-person training**. Required Webinar Dates: July 10, July 24, August 7; all webinars will take place from 1-3 pm EDT and will be recorded. We know that folks may have family commitments that might preclude attendance at all three webinars but participants are expected to attend and/or watch the video from the webinars prior to RE Week.

UU Theology Hybrid Renaissance Module led by Rev. Emily de Tar Birt & Patricia Infante, CRE

The UU Theology Renaissance Module goals are:

  • Develop a sense of the broad scope of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist theology and some of the theologians and thought leaders, historical and modern, who have contributed to Unitarian Universalist thought
  • Understand some of both Unitarian and Universalist theological foundations of Unitarian Universalism
  • Understand significant theological movements such as Transcendentalism, Humanism, Process Theology and Liberation Theology that have shaped our contemporary religious movement
  • Develop and articulate their own point of view on key theological questions
  • Apply theological understandings to real-life liturgical and educational forms to help people of all ages explore theological questions
  • Nurture a theology of justice and service in individuals and congregations.

Class B: Initial Offering of a Workshop Commissioned for RE Week: "Building a Culture of Inclusion” led by Paula Cole Jones and Sheila Schuh, ML-CRE

We want to take religious educators on a journey of discovering the joys and challenges of building a culture of inclusion.  This journey will help participants to take a deeper look at their location in the church community and to see RE families and programs as central to this moment of our collective shaping of UU values and ways of being, now and in the future.  We cannot change an institution without changing individuals’ hearts and minds and the way that we relate to each other. 

Some of the topics that will be covered are:

  1. RE as a community within a community- your role in the system
  2. UU Principles and Multicultural transformation- historical / education and society
  3. What do we owe our children?  How do we deconstruct limiting social norms?
  4. Accountability and feedback mechanisms for aligning mission with UU values
  5. Jubilee, Jubilee Kids- Racial identity development
  6. Microaggression and bias
  7. Restoration and reconciliation- restorative practices
  8. The heart of the matter: Witnessing transformation
RE Week Part II - Wednesday, August 14 - Friday, August 16


Class C: Great Foundational Module all Religious Educator's, Both New and Experienced: “Leadership for Unitarian Universalist Religious Educators" led by Andrea Lerner and Patricia Infante, CRE.

Leadership School provides opportunities to explore your own leadership style, gain interpersonal and organizational skills, deepen your spiritual life, and network with colleagues.  We’ll create a learning community, give and receive feedback, practice leadership, and have fun while we’re doing it!

Areas of focus:

Congregations as Systems/Leading from the middle – acquire a systems perspective of congregational life and learn how to lead well from where you are located in the system.

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Temperament and style – learn your own preferences, and how to work from strengths to enhance group work
  • Small group dynamics/Working with volunteers – life cycles, group processes, and ways to empower groups through collaborative leadership
  • Conflict transformation – learn how to manage conflicts effectively and use conflict as a resource

Organizational development for Unitarian Universalist congregations – learn more about governance, structure, polity, size dynamics and the role of religious education as an engine of growth

Class D: Targeted Training for Shared Ministry Teams: “Worship Renaissance Module” led by Rev. Dr. Tracy Sprowls and Meagan Henry

Worship Renaissance Module Goals:

  • To explore worship formation
  • To appreciate the range of worship experiences
  • To gain resources and skills for the craft of worship
  • To understand and practice the power of stories in worship
  • To evaluate the aspects and impact of a worship service

Details, Details, Details

What’s Included for all participants:

  • 2.5 days of training per session, including classroom materials and supplies. A total of FIVE fabulous days if you choose to attend BOTH sessions!
  • 2 nights lodging per session, 4 nights lodging for those registering for the FULL WEEK.
  • Lodging is double occupancy, 2 per room. Most rooms enjoy the use of the shared hall bath.
  • Daily Beach Passes in this NJ Seaside Resort Town are INCLUDED!
  • 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunches and 1 Dinner per session. One evening is set aside in each session for dinner “on your own" in the friendly resort town of Ocean Grove or neighboring Asbury Park. Lunch on departure day (Wednesday and/or Friday) is also on your own. Local restaurants offer a range of prices and there is something for every budget, from pizza places and sandwich shops to four star dining.
  • A very limited number of single occupancy rooms with shared hall bath are available for an additional charge.
  • Traveling in from a distance? Lodging is available on a first come, first serve basis for the night before training begins (Sunday or Tuesday). See the registration form for the "add-on day".
  • Ocean Grove is a wonderful family oriented destination but unfortunately we are not able to offer childcare options at this time. The retreat center has a very limited number of rooms that can accommodate a small family. Additional charges may apply. Children must be supervised by an adult over 18 at all times. We can also provide you with the names of nearby accommodations that may be more suitable for your needs. If you wish to explore bringing your family, please contact pinfante [at] uua [dot] org prior to registering to find out what rooming options are available.

What’s NOT included:

  • RE Week Part I - Dinner on Monday night is at your own expense.
  • RE Week Part II - Dinner on Thursday night is on your own.
  • Participants staying for both RE Week Part I and Part II will also be able to have Wednesday lunch on their own.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Arrival and Departure Times:

RE Week Part I: Registration and Check In between 9-10 AM, Monday, August 12.  Class will begin promptly at 10 AM. Class will end at 12 PM on Wednesday, August 14.  Beach passes will be available for those wishing to enjoy the afternoon in Ocean Grove.  

RE Week Part II: Registration and Check In between 2 – 4 PM, Wednesday, August 14.  Class will begin promptly at 4 PM. Class will end at 1 PM on Friday, August 16. Beach passes will be available for those wishing to enjoy the afternoon in Ocean Grove.

All parking is on-street. Parking is challenging during the summer in this beach resort town. Carpooling or public transportation are encouraged. The nearest NJ Transit train station is Asbury Park. It is approximately 0.6 mile from the retreat center. Pick up/drop off can be arranged where needed.

Ocean Grove is dry town. Alcohol is not permitted in the Grove Hall Retreat Center. The nearby (walking distance) Asbury Park boardwalk and downtown offer ample options for enjoying an evening out.

Read more information about Ocean Grove.

Required Readers and Study Material

Each class has a required packet of reading and handouts. Some of the classes also have a small assignment to be completed prior to arrival.

Participants for all classes are expected to purchase and/or download and review all assigned materials prior to the start of the training.

Register Now

Flying in from out of state? The closest airport is Newark Liberty in NJ. Public transportation is available from the airport to Asbury Park NJ, the town just north of Ocean Grove. We'll work with you to get you to the Retreat Center quickly and safely! Contact Pat Infante at pinfante [at] uua [dot] org for details.


54 Pitman Avenue
Ocean Grove
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Ocean Grove Conference Center
54 Pitman Avenue
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
United States
Ocean Grove Conference Center, Ocean Grove, NJ

Meet the Staff

Rev. Emily de Tar Birt

Emily DeTar Birt. I am the consulting minister for the Unitarian Church of Staten Island and the Administrative Assistant for the Vandersall Collective, a consulting firm of ministers who help nourish congregation across the country.  I have previously worked for the Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association as their intern helping with Beyond the Call: Entrepreneurial Ministry. Following the Beyond The Call Program, taught me non-profit business skills that are crucial for ministries thriving in the 21st century.  Since then I have continued to help speak of and teach skills related to Entrepreneurial Ministry.

Patricia Hall Infante

Patricia Hall Infante is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who grew up in a large congregation in NYC. After a 13 year career with the Federal Government she followed her heart and lived her values by serving the UU Church in Cherry Hill as the Director of Religious Education for nine years. She served the Joseph Priestley District of the UUA from 2006-2010 as Director for Growth and Program Consultant for Faith Development and has been an integral part of the Central East Regional staff since its inception in 2010. Pat is a Credentialed Religious Educator and was named DRE Emerita at the UU Church in Cherry Hill in 2016. She is the proud parent of two adult sons and lives in Marlton, NJ with her spouse of 35 years.

photo of Andrea Perry Lerner

Andrea Lerner, recently retired as a Congregational Life Consultant for the Central East Region, served as the District Executive for the Metro New York District for 9 years, and spent 4 years as the Program Consultant.  Andrea served three congregations, ranging in size from 250 to 700 members, as Director of Religious Education. She served on the board of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and on LREDA's Professional Standards Task Force and its Integrity Team, which worked to dismantle institutional racism and oppression.  Andrea is also well-known for her use of social networking to relentlessly promote Unitarian Universalism. Friend her on facebook, or look for her on twitter @RelentlesslyUU.

Rev. Tracy Sprowls

Rev. Tracy Sprowls has served our Unitarian Universalist congregations for 26 years as an ordained minister and as a volunteer. She was the minister of the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ from 2009 until 2016. She was the Religious Education Minister at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, NJ, from 2005 until 2009. She served as Associate Minister for the Community Church of New York from 2003 until 2005, and as Parish Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Montgomery, Alabama from 1999 to 2003. She holds a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the New York Theological Seminary (NYTS).

Paula Cole Jones

Paula Cole Jones is the founder of ADORE (A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity), a former president of DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) and an independent consultant specializing in multicultural competencies and institutional change. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Shelia Schuh

Sheila Schuh, CREML, is the Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY, and has served over 15 years. She has recently authored Jubilee Kids, served on the UUA’s creation team for the Lifespan Faith Development Accountability Assessment Tool, and develops ongoing offerings on Race, Racism, and Relationships at her congregation. She was the 2018 Gould Lecturer, “UU Sniffing Salts”, and has won awards for intergenerational worship and writing. Sheila has served LREDA in a number of roles, which currently include being a mentor and member of the LREDA Fall Conference Planning Team. Sheila’s priorities are inclusion, building restorative systems, non-violence, and supporting parents in their roles as spiritual guides. To relax, she loves to run, play volleyball, dance, climb trees, x-country ski, and spend time with her three children and her partner, Ed!

For more information contact

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