Using UUA Publications for Online Religious Education and Small Group Ministry
Using UUA Publications for Online Religious Education and Small Group Ministry
photo of skinner house books

Do you have publications or other materials from the UUA or Skinner House books that you want to use for online faith development such as religious education or small group ministry? Here are some guidelines:

Our Whole Lives and Sexuality and Our Faith:

Melanie Davis, Our Whole Lives Program Manager for the Unitarian Universalist Association, strongly recommends that OWL programming be postponed until it can be done in person. She advises,

You can keep your participants engaged through online check-ins, social gatherings, games, or even group home study time, but please do not offer OWL online.  It wasn't created for or tested for efficacy online. Its in-person interactions and experiential learning cannot be replicated on an online platform.  More importantly, potential for harm exists online.

If a participant is triggered, facilitators may not notice and may not be able to offer effective support. Lack of privacy is a grave concern, as friends, parents, and siblings may be in the room, off or on camera. For youth and teen programs, parental permission is required, and that agreement can be broken if friends and siblings listen/view OWL workshops online.

In addition, the UUA and our United Church of Christ publishing partner must be responsible stewards of material we've been granted permission to use in print but not online. If you have questions about this, please contact owl [at] uua [dot] org .

OWL facilitators and congregational leadership may ask, “We only have a few Our Whole Lives workshops to go. Should we continue?” Melanie responds,

Nothing in Our Whole Lives is so timely that it is worth putting lives at risk. Once health officials give the all-clear, you can double up on your sessions or offer workshops for Grades 7-9 or 10-12 in 3-4 workshop weekend retreats until your program calendar is caught up.

Other UUA print publications, including Skinner House Books:

All resources identified in UUA publications as meant for each participant in the group to have their own copy (e.g. handouts, leader resources, facilitator resources, homework instructions, exercises, etc.) can be scanned and emailed, screen shared, posted in a private social media group, or otherwise distributed electronically for the purpose of virtual gathering without express permission from the UUA. Please include the copyright notice found on the copyright page at the beginning of the book. If you have questions, please email publications [at] uua [dot] org .

Tapestry of Faith

The UUA’s Tapestry of Faith online curricula and resources have always been free to download and adapt for use outside the traditional, in-person religious education setting. Congregations and families have blanket permission to share stories, activities, and readings from Tapestry of Faith to facilitate online gathering for religious education. When you share, please acknowledge the UUA's Tapestry of Faith as your source; acknowledge the copyright owner of specific material; and acknowledge any adaptations (edits) to published material that you have made.

About the Author

  • Mary Benard is the editorial director of the Unitarian Universalist Association Publications Office and Skinner House Books.

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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