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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 Painting and a Memory: World AIDS Day

    [Editor's note: World AIDS Day is December 1.] This painting was a gift from a man I barely knew, but the beauty of the real gift he gave me cannot be captured with a photograph. In 2000, during a worship service I was leading, a man I had never seen before approached the pulpit...
    By Jessica York | 11/26/2013
  • A Day for the Veteran's Story

    I grew up in a family which honored my father’s overseas military service. He had taken part in the occupation of Germany after World War II. Memorial Day parades and Veterans’ Day observances were a regular part of my childhood. I was proud to have memorized the lyrics to songs...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 11/9/2013
  • UUs, Religious Education, and the Bible

    By Pat Kahn | 11/5/2013
  • Between the Logs, Spaces for Collaboration: Report from 2013 LREDA Fall Conference

    What makes a fire burn? Mark Hicks, Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School, reminds us that it is the spaces between the logs. If you pile the wood too densely, it will not burn. For most religious educators, autumn is a dense time...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 10/23/2013
  • Education for the Religious Educator: What's New with the UUA Renaissance Program?

    Looking for opportunities for professional development or continuing education? Check out the UUA’s Renaissance program! ...
    By Pat Kahn | 10/14/2013
  • Protested. Arrested. Not a hero.

    I am not anxious to be the loudest voice or the most popular. But I would like to think that at a crucial moment, I was an effective voice of the voiceless, an effective hope of the hopeless. — Whitney Young by Kathleen Carpenter During the summer, I was one of the almost one...
  • Teaching All of Our Children

    by Sally Patton See me beautiful each and every day. Could you take a chance? Could you find a way to see me shining through In every thing I do, And see me beautiful. — lyrics by Red Grammer, from the “Teaching Peace” CD When I started the Involve Project over 14 years ago, I...
  • “You Know This Is Ministry, Right?”

    That is what my big brother said to me more than a decade ago. The occasion? I was hired as the Director of Religious Education at my local UU church. My brother knows something about ministry. He is a minister and bishop in the Missionary Baptist Church, married to a preacher’s...
    By Jessica York | 9/18/2013
  • A Story of Muhammad: A Window into Islam

    September 11 cannot pass without notice. Perhaps it never will. Even though our personal memories may lose sharpness, each year the story of U.S. vulnerability to terrorist attack returns like a haunt in our media and sometimes inside of us. If we care about justice and love, we...
    By Susan Lawrence | 9/3/2013
  • Subversive Ideas in Children's Books

    In her 2013 Minns lecture, Sticking with Stories: Unitarianism and the Creation of Children’s Literature, Rev. Andrea Greenwood described the emergence of books for children as a genre separate from mainstream literature. One unintended consequence of this separation, which I...
    By Pat Kahn | 8/29/2013
  • 'More Yet,' in the Northern Lights

    It was an August night at Ferry Beach, a UU camp in Maine, and many had already gone to bed. Those of us on the youth crew lingered on the beach enjoying the rhythmic sound of the ocean, the feel of the sand, and the gentle night breeze. Something was happening in the night sky...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 8/21/2013
  • On a Dishwasher’s Wage

    His name was John. He was a Nigerian immigrant about my parents’ age. I was a suburban 18-year-old, living in Boston with college friends the summer after my freshman year. John and I rode the MBTA together after our shifts as dishwashers in a fancy Harvard Square restaurant. I...
    By Susan Lawrence | 8/12/2013
  • Parents and “Fellow-Laborers”

    Many UUs, if not most, are familiar with William Ellery Channing and what he said about “the great end in religious instruction” because they are familiar with the responsive reading of that name, Reading 652 in the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition....
    By Pat Kahn | 7/29/2013
  • Break Out the S’mores!

    I was a Girl Scout leader for many years, at one point leading a troop that ranged in age from nine to fourteen. They loved to go camping. Together they planned the trip, including food, equipment, and the shared labor of set-up, cooking, clean-up, and breaking camp. Wonderful,...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 7/20/2013
  • RDO at GA 2013!

    At the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) 2013 General Assembly (GA) in Louisville, KY last month, the Resource Development Office (RDO) kicked off our programming with a workshop, Journey to Commitment, on how congregations put the UUA’s Tapestry of Faith programs into...
    By Pat Kahn | 7/10/2013
  • A Deeper Discovery

    Edward Wemytewa is a storyteller, and so am I. We worked together with several others this spring to plan the religion/spirituality track for the International Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Conference , hosted in Phoenix, AZ by Tonatierra, one of the UUA’s 2012 Justice...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 6/11/2013
  • The Wind in Both Ears

    One of my favorite quotes, one that guides my religious and spiritual life , comes from Universalist religious educator and minister Angus H. MacLean (1892-1969). A Presbyterian Canadian farm boy of Scottish heritage from Nova Scotia, MacLean grew up to be a beloved professor...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 6/1/2013
  • Summer! Open the Door to Wild and Wonderful RE Programming

    In the desultory days of summer, it’s common for faith communities to abandon the structure of the congregational year. Worship attendance may slide. Religious professionals may take vacation from their usual duties. Yet many of us have the energy and need to stay connected....
    By Susan Lawrence | 6/1/2013
  • Many Cultures, One Humanity: Do One Thing!

    May 21 is the World Day for Cultural Diversity Dialogue & Development , established by the United Nations to support the 2001 Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity . The day gives an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to...
    By Jessica York | 5/21/2013
  • Making Peace with Faith Traditions

    I was the religious educator at a historically Universalist church. Fifteen years earlier, I had left the Christian faith of my childhood to embrace a Unitarian Universalism that had no room for the traditions and beliefs of my growing up years. One day, not long before Easter,...
    By Gail Forsyth-Vail | 5/17/2013


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