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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!

  • A Religious Educator’s Religious Educator

    By Judith A. Frediani [Editors' note: Reverend Dr. Roberta (Bobbie) Nelson died on January 2, 2015.] In 1997, the UUA’s pioneering sexuality education program, About Your Sexuality (AYS), was under attack on national television. The CBS network had obtained a copy of AYS’s...
  • Transformative Stories: UUs and 12 Step Recovery Programs

    Addiction touches many Unitarian Universalist families, congregations, and communities. We know the pain addiction can cause, not only for an individual, but for those around them. We have seen the tenacity required to sustain recovery. Many of us have heard—or discovered for...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 1/6/2015
  • Peace, War, and Christmas Bells

    I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men. The 19th-century carol "Christmas Bells," Hymn 240 in Singing the Living Tradition , speaks to us across the ages about the longing for...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 12/21/2014
  • Social Media Privacy: It Begins at Home

    By Melanie Davis In the October 5, 2014 New York Times article, We Want Privacy but Can't Stop Sharing , Kate Murphy writes, "The problem is that if you reveal everything about yourself or it's discoverable with a Google search, you may be diminished in your capacity for...
  • The "OWL" Has Landed! 2nd Edition for Grades 7-9 Now Available

    By Melanie Davis The newly released second edition of Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Grades 7-9 is now available from the Unitarian Universalist Association Bookstore. Like the first edition, this sexuality curriculum is comprehensive, inclusive, and justice-oriented....
  • Happy 25th Birthday?

    I remember my 25th birthday—a quarter of a century! It felt like a major accomplishment. It has been just as significant celebrating each of my daughters’ 25th birthdays, with pride in them both and accompanying gratitude. Somehow a 25th birthday feels like a really special...
    By Pat Kahn | 11/24/2014
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

    Several years ago, I wandered in the Exhibit Hall at the UU General Assembly and found myself standing at a booth where you could make a button with your own personal slogan. I decided to make one that said, “What Would Mr. Rogers Do?” I suppose I had in the back of my mind the...
    By Jessica York | 11/14/2014
  • Thanksgiving—Not a Religious Buffet

    A couple of decades ago, many of our Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrated a Thanksgiving “seder,” a ritual patterned after the Jewish Passover seder. In my congregation, we retold the story of the “First Thanksgiving.” Tables were decorated with white cloth,...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 11/4/2014
  • Multicultural RE Training Offers a Transformative 15 Hours

    [Editors' note: Through the Renaissance program, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) offers continuing education for UU religious educators, including musicians, ministers, seminarians, and lay leaders. Each 15-hour module provides basic training in a topic area useful...
    By Pat Kahn | 10/27/2014
  • Movies, Movies, Movies: Enjoy, Discuss, Connect

    I love movies. Correction: I LOVE movies! I watch them on cable. I watch them on Netflix – streaming and DVD rental. Through my desktop, tablet and Wii (but not on the phone – you’ve got to draw a line somewhere!). I love to watch them best in a theatre, eating popcorn,...
    By Jessica York | 10/18/2014
  • Religion in Life: Engaging Today's UU Girl Scouts

    By Alicia LeBlanc “I will try my best to be…” -- Religion in Life for Girl Scouts (4th edition) Do you advise Girl Scouts in your congregation? Were you a Girl Scout in your youth? If you’re a young person reading this, are you a Girl Scout? If you’re not… maybe you’d like to be...
  • Teaching About Ferguson: Not "Optional" for White People

    [Editor's Update, Nov. 18, 2014—As the nation awaits a Grand Jury decision on whether Office Darren Wilson will be indicted for shooting Michael Brown, many UUs are preparing to respond to the decision by "showing up" in a faithful way. The Ferguson Response Team of the UU New...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 9/30/2014
  • Remembering Gene Navias

    By Liz Strong [Editors' note: The Rev. Eugene Barnett Navias , who died August 17, 2014, served the UUA as a religious education (RE) field consultant for nearly 20 years, then as Director of the UUA Religious Education Department (1982-1993). He gave us advocacy for...
  • A Rock, the Earth, the Universe, and a Child's Biggest Questions

    By Kari Kopnick For seven years I served as the religious educator for a wonderful Unitarian Universalist congregation in West Seattle, Washington. During my early years there we would trek down to the rocky beaches of Puget Sound for an annual “Solstice by the Shore”...
  • Deepening in Faith Together, with Theme-Based Ministry

    Theme-based ministry is happening in more and more congregations throughout our movement. What is theme-based ministry? According to Rev. Scott Tayler, the UUA’s Director of Congregational Life, theme-based ministry “is a powerfully engaging way of focusing the life of a...
    By Pat Kahn | 8/20/2014
  • Reading in Common and "Reclaiming Prophetic Witness"

    The selection committee met this summer. We thoughtfully considered the 14 books nominated for the 2014-15 Common Read. There were beautifully written books that addressed social justice issues—immigration, voting rights, racial justice, and climate change—and several that...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 8/5/2014
  • The Lie We Have Been Told

    No one knows better than religious educators that we are stronger together than we ever could be alone. Time and time again, you prove this to me, my colleagues -- most recently at RE Week at The Mountain. Six days in the company of religious educators, ministers, RE and worship...
    By Jessica York | 7/23/2014
  • Unitarian Universalism: Now Serving 31 Kinds of Families

    Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. —Rumi By Karen Bellavance-Grace Thirty-one. Not Baskin Robbins flavors. Not Heinz varieties. Not even the number of Sources of Unitarian Universalism. That number represents our...
  • Love Reaches Out... through Shared Story

    “Will you be part of the Gay-Straight Dialogue group?” It was the mid-1980s and I had just become the Director of Religious Education (DRE) at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, MA. The Reverend Janet Bowering, after deep reflection, had decided that her...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 6/24/2014
  • Is "Just Do Your Best" Always Good Advice?

    Must we strive for excellence in everything we do? Is there a downside to the message our kids receive that they should always do their best? At a congregational retreat last fall, I found myself immersed in a thoughtful conversation with some parents of teenagers about the...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 6/13/2014


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