Southern and MidAmerica Regions: Deeper Partnering for Faith Development
October 2018 - For two years we have had a relationship growing between MidAmerica and Southern regions through the efforts of Kathy Charles, Event Coordinator, of the Southern and MidAmerica Region, and Nancy Combs-Morgan, Faith Development Director of the MidAmerica Region. Due to the success of this relationship we are going to expand this work in 5 areas of virtual faith development support, including continuing education opportunities; OWL and Renaissance Module shepherding and coaching; support for New DRE’s; partnering with continental LREDA and listening circles regional LREDA chapters and clusters.
Co-Regional Dimensions of UU Faith Development Plan – 5 Step Scaffolding
Our intention is to provide support for the enhancement of faith development in both the MidAmerica and Southern regions through coaching and companioning religious educators in 5 key areas, which build on the Southern Region’s guiding paradigm of a regional curriculum map:
- Continuing education opportunities - including online training and support for collegial group spiritual direction; collegial conversations on dismantling white supremacy; safer congregation’s trainings; explorations of new models and the future of UU faith development, and all within a broader model of a co-regional Learning Collaborative. This plan will begin with an intentional “listening” series where we will begin connecting particularly with religious educators in the southern region. There could also be co-regional support for the Lifespan Faith Development portion of the extended leadership experiences currently being offered in the Southern Region.
- OWL – for the last two years, Kathy Charles has been providing virtual coaching of MIdAmerica leaders who are interested in hosting OWL trainings. She tracks the requests; posts on social media information about OWL trainings, and, most importantly, personally connects with the leaders to help them as they navigate how to organize OWL trainings. It has also been very helpful that she connects with Melanie Davis in our national office about OWL. This support will now include the Southern Region
- LREDA – partnering with national LREDA leaders to connect religious educators, from both regions, to LREDA clusters in their area, virtual LREDA offerings, and to their respective LREDA Good Officers. In response to the growing number of religious educators joining the RE Credentialing Program, this plan also includes opportunities to connect those religious educators with one another, and to enable the types of learning opportunities needed for their professional development.
- Renaissance Modules - partnering with our UUA’s Faith Development Office leaders, in particular, Pat Kahn, to promote/publicize the online Renaissance Modules being offered, and for those clusters of religious educators who seek to host a hybrid or face-to-face Renaissance Module, Nancy Combs-Morgan will shepherd and coach those groups to foster Renaissance Modules in both regions.
- Support for New DRE’s - including fall/winter webinar series. The “RE Essentials” three part series for new and newer religious educators happened last month in MidAmerica. In addition, religious educators in the Southern Region, will be encouraged to take part in a face-to-face opportunity at the national Fall LREDA conference in Houston, TX, Nov. 2-5, where there will be an all day workshop for “New and Newer” religious educators. There will also be a 3 part online series for “New and Newer” religious educators on Jan. 8th, 15th and 22nd (registration will be posted by the end of October).
The co-regional faith development project plan includes:
Nancy Combs-Morgan, Faith Development Director of the MidAmerica Region – who will provide the oversight for the structure and create collaborative content of the continuing ed opportunities; the shepherding of support for new Directors of Religious Education, and the oversight of enabling Renaissance Modules.
Kathy Charles, Event Coordinator Southern and MidAmerica Regions - who will provide the creation of event registrations; promotion on respective websites and social media; who will act as registrar for the events, and provide OWL coaching as needed.