What's New: Religious Education and Faith Development
What's New: Religious Education and Faith Development
Faith Development, Professional Development for Religious Educators

The 2019-20 UUA Common Read invites UU communities to engage with the trauma and resilience of Indigenous peoples embedded in 400+ years of encounter with European colonizers. The books are An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press, 2015) and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (Beacon Press, 2019). Learn more about the Common Read and look for a discussion guide in fall 2019.

Introducing the UUA Lifespan Faith Engagement Office.  The UUA's Faith Development Office and the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries have merged to become the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office, led by Interim Director Gail Forsyth-Vail. The group, informally known as the LiFE team, has a new mission statement. We put a justice seeking, radically inclusive faith in action by: Creating experiences for meaning-making and faithful living; Accompanying people to make a home in our faith; Advocating for youth engagement and lifespan faith development.

The Rev. Sarah Gettie McNeill has joined the LFE team as Professional Development Programs Manager. She will provide support, guidance, and advocacy for the professional development of religious educators and music leaders. Her major responsibilities will include the Religious Education Credentialing Program, the Music Leaders Certification Program, and the Renaissance program.

2019 MacLean Award given to CB Beal.  CB is a Unitarian Universalist religious educator, a sexuality educator, and director of Justice and Peace Consulting based in Easthampton, MA. They accepted the award at General Assembly in Spokane, WA.

Read the bestseller, White Fragility. Robin DiAngelo's book, published by the UUA's Beacon Press in 2018, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Written with white Unitarian Universalists in mind, this discussion guide sharesskills to disrupt racism. Spread the word with a short video with DiAngelo, "Why 'I’m not racist' is only half the story" (6:11).

Check out the 2018-19 Common Read discussion guide for Justice on Earth. The free discussion guide developed by the UUA includes convenient PowerPoint slides for a group to share reflection questions. Purchase the book, Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House, 2018), at bulk discount from InSpirit, the UU Book and Gift Shop.

For Chalice Circles/Small Groups: A Call to Faith in Turbulent Times! Many Unitarian Universalists feel challenged by this moment in our nation’s history. Four new, two-hour sessions by the Rev. Marta Valentín for adult small ministry groups guide participants to discern the requirements of our faith commitments and values in today's political atmosphere. The sessions use a standard small group ministry format and include readings, audio-visual materials, and questions for reflection.

Keep teaching. Keep listening and learning.  Hundreds of congregations have participated in UU White Supremacy Teach-InsLet's keep using the abundant resources created and curated by UU religious professionals of color for worship, discussion, religious education, and more. Find more "on ramps" here for UUs of diverse life experience and perspectives to examine racism, white identity, and the call to dismantle white supremacy.

Renaissance Modules and other professional development opportunities in UU religious education and faith development are available year-round in various geographical locations as well as online and in "hybrid" mode. Check the online Calendar for Religious Educators for current offerings, including registration information and course details.

Awaken a child's activism. Growing Young Justice-Makers includes six web pages of resources and ideas to help parents and religious professionals engage children in living UU values through social justice. A 30 Days of Love activity calendar from Side with Love (formerly Standing on the Side of Love) offers practical suggestions to engage children in social justice campaign. 

UU Religious Education and Your Child

Gaia Brown
From inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop
Pack of 25.

Love and Help Activity Book:
Second Edition

Gail Forsyth-Vail
From inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop
A Program in Unitarian Universalist Identity for 7-11 year olds. Suitable for use in the UUA Cub Scout and Webelos Religious Emblem Program.

About the Author

  • Susan Lawrence, Managing Editor, Lifespan Faith Engagement for the UUA and editor of the UU World Families section, has worked as a community media producer, a high school teacher, and a freelance writer and editor. Susan identifies as European Jewish and belongs to the Unitarian Universalist...

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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