Shannon Harper

Lifespan Faith Engagement Co-Director

Lifespan Faith Engagement in Ministries and Faith Development


Telephone: (937) 476-1623

Shannon Harper joined the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office as Co-Director in the summer of 2022. Previously, Shannon worked with the Central East Region since the Fall of 2016. In her role as Youth and Young Adult Ministries Specialist, she supported regional and national youth and emerging adult programming as well as advised and resourced congregations in their implementation of programs for young people. During her time with CER she reimagined how we talk about leadership with young people through River Rising Leadership Experience. She has also collaborated on and lead youth projects around creating spaces for BIPoC, pastoral care trainings, restorative processes, advisor trainings and anti-racism/anti-oppression work. Since 2019 Shannon has served as a Co-Convenor of the Youth Ministry Roundtable, a collaborative group made up of staff from Congregational Life and Lifespan Faith Engagement Offices as well as UU College of Social Justice, that collaborates on resource development, safety and helps set the direction of youth ministry in the UUA.

Before coming to the UUA, Shannon served the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Dayton, OH for five years as their Director of Religious Education. In addition, she served as the OWL and Youth Event Coordinator for MidAmerica Region for a year and as a contracted staff member before that. Over the years she’s had the pleasure to serve as volunteer staff for Youth Midwest Leadership School, GA Youth Caucus, UU United Nations Spring Seminar and Southeastern Summer Institute (SUUSI); advisor and liaison to the Heartland Area Youth Council (HAYC); and at large member of the MidAmerica Youth Advisors Network (MAYAN) Board. One of her favorite past jobs was teaching after school and summer camp arts and crafts at a local community center. One of her least favorite: Scheduling Manager for a large homecare agency. Shannon prefers work that is creative, fluid, continually emerging and soul nourishing - which is why she loves youth and young adult ministry!

When she’s not hanging out with other people’s teenagers she enjoys being with her own children and grandchildren, talking to her plant friends and being near large bodies of water. Shannon is an artist at heart and, although she doesn’t find much time to get into the pottery studio right now, she’s always looking for ways to express her creative spirit.

From Shannon Harper

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Have you heard the exciting news about Youth and Emergent Adult Ministry (YEA) alignment across the UUA? If not, check out this video from the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office (LFE) where we explain what changes are being made and what lead to this reconfiguration.

By Shannon Harper | July 10, 2022 | From Better Together
Tagged as: Youth Ministry, Faith Development

Remember the classic Dr Seuss book, Oh the Places You’ll Go? Arguably the most quoted text at High School graduations and a favorite baby shower gift? Ultimately inspirational, it paints a seussical story of both the ups and down, trials and tribulations involved with becoming who we are meant to...

By Shannon Harper | March 14, 2022 | From Better Together
Tagged as: Youth Ministry, Faith Development, Leadership Development

This song, written by Ghanaian drummer Sol Amarifo, is on my mind right now as we in congregational life navigate this liminal pandemic time.

By Shannon Harper | February 14, 2022 | From Better Together
Tagged as: Youth Ministry, Faith Development

Last fall I wrote a blog post about bringing my plants inside and setting them up to survive the dark, cold, dry months of winter. I debated whether it was worth the effort to buy lamps and humidifiers or if I should “let the leaves fall” as it were. Here's what I learned.

By Shannon Harper | April 12, 2021 | From Better Together
Tagged as: Personal Inspiration

This past spring I joined a trend. I’d like to say I don’t get sucked into fads but I must admit, I’m susceptible.

By Shannon Harper | November 2, 2020 | From Better Together
Tagged as: Spiritual Practice

Here’s some details and examples of how to practice supportive YaEA Ministry in 2020/2021.

Book | By Shannon Harper | October 21, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: High School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Young Adult Faith Development (ages 18-35), Faith Development

This year is hard on everyone, in universal ways, but also in ways specific to age, identity, and life stage. This article focuses on supporting youth and emerging young adults.

Book | By Shannon Harper | October 21, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: High School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Young Adult Faith Development (ages 18-35), Faith Development

If you attended virtual General Assembly last month, you probably read or at least heard about the Responsive Resolution that was adopted: Supporting and Investing in Youth and Young Adults in Unitarian Universalism....

By Shannon Harper | July 6, 2020 | From Central East Region

This past summer Central East Region piloted a new leadership experience for Youth called River Rising.

By Shannon Harper | October 7, 2019 | From Better Together

Summer is a glorious season. Traditionally it’s sold as a leisure time, a time to relax, enjoy yourself, get outdoors and have some fun.

By Shannon Harper | June 11, 2018 | From Better Together
Tagged as: Covenant, Youth Ministry, Leadership Development

For more information contact .

Shannon in her office
Bowl of a chalice with a rainbow lotus design

A chalice created by Shannon Harper.

Selfie photo with colleagues during a conference