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Call and Response: Journeys in UU Lifespan Faith Development
Call and Response
Faith Development

Voices of our faith, for the journey we make together in spirit, justice, and love. Please read, respond, and share!

  • Hand in Glove: UU Faith Development and Teaching Tolerance

    I recently had a fantastic opportunity to attend a Teaching Tolerance workshop on their new Perspectives for a Diverse America (free) curriculum. Teaching Tolerance was founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center to help reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations, and...
    By Pat Kahn | 9/12/2015
  • "Hybrid" Renaissance Modules: Survey Says... YES!

    Last spring, 20 religious educators experienced continuing education that blended online and in-person learning in the first ever "hybrid" Renaissance module, co-led by Pat Infante and Gabrielle Farrell. ...
    By Pat Kahn | 9/1/2015
  • Bedtime Stories

    As parents and caregivers, we sometimes have to hold difficult conversations with children. I have had a few of those while raising my daughter. One that I will never forget happened in January, 1998. My daughter was seven and a serious book lover. Though she could read for...
    By Jessica York | 8/18/2015
  • From Long Ago and Many Lands….to Here and Now!

    A fine way to celebrate August 2, the birthday of Sophia Fahs, is to take a look at her classic story collection, From Long Ago and Many Lands: Stories for Children Told Anew. It is now available on the Unitarian Universalist Association website, at no charge (PDF, 288 pages...
    By Pat Kahn | 8/4/2015
  • You Don't Gotta Catch 'Em All

    For several years, my family and I participated in the Birmingham Hospitality Network , a non-profit that worked to provide shelter space for families who lost a home. The families are hosted by congregations. Congregation members volunteer to provide meals. My family would pick...
    By Jessica York | 7/24/2015
  • Let Us Worship Barefoot

    Let us worship with our eyes and ears and fingertips; let us love the world through heart and mind and body. — Reverend Kenneth Patton In May, my daughter was married in an outdoor ceremony in Vermont. She and her new husband walked barefoot over a grassy pathway marked with...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 7/11/2015
  • Makerspace: A New Way in Religious Education

    By Joy Berry Ask adults what they remember from Sunday School and you’ll hear memories of doing . That convinces me that religious education (RE) should be as hands-on, innovative, and creative as possible. Like Makerspaces. Around the country, “Maker Culture” is developing....
  • How to Help First-Year College Students Be Sexually Smarter

    By Melanie Davis Many parents will spend the next few months packing college dorm-bound boxes with bed linens , ramen noodles, and laundry soap. I hope they will also include condoms, dams, and personal lubricant; a book on sexuality; and encouragement to make smart sexual...
  • Channing Is Still Relevant on "the Noblest Work on Earth"

    In a previous Call and Response post (Parents and “Fellow Laborers,” July 2013), we shared advice for parents from the famous Sunday School Address by William Ellery Channing (1780-1842). The Unitarian minister also had lots to say for those who teach in our religious...
    By Pat Kahn | 5/25/2015
  • The Place I Am From

    When I was six years old, my family moved to a town along the Merrimack River in northeastern Massachusetts. In those days, we talked about living “within smelling distance” of the river. It was a mess, about as close as one could get to an open sewer, with manufacturing plants...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 5/15/2015
  • Paying RE Teachers Can Boost Attendance ...and Attract Volunteers

    By Karen Brown When I started my vocation as a Director of Religious Education twenty years ago, recruiting teachers was in my job description. No problem. Parents and other members of the congregation stepped up and volunteered. I continued to have a positive experience of...
  • Youth Advising Is a Big Job, but Somebody’s Got to Do It!

    [Editors’ note: The UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, in collaboration with a number of UUA regional teams, has published eight Youth Advising Competencies as an optional tool to help Congregational Life field staff, religious professionals, lay leaders, and...
  • Learning and Affirmation, When UUs of Color Convene

    By Shannon Harper Working in youth ministry, supporting young people in their search for identity, voice, and calling, is at best incredibly gratifying. It can also be heartbreakingly challenging. Raising two multi-racial young women of my own is equal parts of both, and...
  • Encouraging UU "Spiritual Osmosis"

    By Richard S. Gilbert Liberal religious educators have for centuries sought to help people grow, spiritually and morally. How do we do that? That is one of those questions that empty the room. No one really knows. However, I believe what happens is “spiritual osmosis.” Osmosis...
  • Is Children's Literature Too White?

    I was a child with curiosity about the whole world. I made my first explorations through books. Among my early discoveries were these: (1) the world is alive with different people and cultures, and (2) the world of books is created by, about, and for white people of Anglo-Saxon...
    By Susan Lawrence | 3/25/2015
  • Who Said UU History Can’t Be Fun?

    The first completely online Renaissance module, UU History, has now been offered four times, including the field test in 2013. Participants have given glowing reports on the online learning format as well as the breadth and depth of the module’s content. It seems that using...
    By Pat Kahn | 3/15/2015
  • Sharing a Deep Gladness and a Gift

    This winter, I met with a florist to talk about flowers for my daughter’s wedding. I entered the shop on a cold, windy morning with no idea that when I walked out I would be so uplifted and inspired. After our conversation about wedding flowers, the florist, Diane, told me about...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 3/3/2015
  • Talking About Race: Start the Conversation

    I have found that many Unitarian Universalist parents are very proud of how open and honest they are when they talk to their children. However, the eagerness for clear and explicit conversation comes to a screeching halt with regard to race. No, not for every parent, but for an...
    By Aisha Hauser | 2/19/2015
  • Beyond the Cliff and the Bridge: Keeping UU Youth Connected

    by Rev. Annie Gonzalez Milliken “Where have you been all my life?” and “You were here all my life, now where are you?” are two common questions I hear asked about Unitarian Universalism. The first is asked by adult seekers who wish they’d found us sooner. The second is asked by...
  • Teaching without Terrifying: A New UU Book about Anne Frank

    By Rev. Marti Keller Memoirist Deborah Feldman, who walked away from her Hasidic upbringing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as a young adult, went on a sojourn to discover herself as a Jewish person now that she had rejected her ultra-Orthodox roots. Her journey took her through...


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