What's New: Religious Education and Faith Development
NEW! UU Discussion Guide (PDF, 24 pages) for White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Robin DiAngelo's book, published by Beacon Press in 2018, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Written with white Unitarian Universalists in mind, this discussion guide invites participants into the work of learning skills to disrupt racism as an expression of our faith. To promote the book and a discussion group in your congregation share a short video where DiAngelo introduces her ideas: "Why 'I’m not racist' is only half the story" (6:11).
Staff changes! As of November 1, Gail Forsyth-Vail is the Interim Director of the UUA Faith Development Office, taking the directorship from Jessica York, who now serves the UUA as Director of Congregational Life. A credentialed religious educator, master level, and the 2007 recipient of the Angus MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education, Gail served UU congregations for 22 years (including The North Parish of North Andover, MA, where she is now a member) before joining UUA staff in 2008. As Adult Programs Director for the UUA, Gail has authored and edited many books, curricula, and other faith development resources. Gail believes strongly that dismantling white supremacy is at its core a faith development project and is essential to future of our faith. Gail’s charge includes leading a process to imagine how the Faith Development Office can best fulfill the UUA’s mission of faith development for all ages.
For adults and youth: Check out the 2018-19 Common Read discussion guide for Justice on Earth. The free discussion guide developed by the UUA Faith Development Office 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 rates 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.
Aisha Hauser, Director of Lifelong Learning at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, WA, received the Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education at General Assembly 2018 in Kansas City, MO. Jessica York, UUA Co-director of Ministries and Faith Development and Director of the Faith Development Office, presented the award. See video here.
Hundreds of UU faith communities participated in UU White Supremacy Teach-In 2 last fall. Keep teaching! Use these 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 at all levels of engagement and knowledge to examine racism, white identity, and the call to dismantle white supremacy.
Looking for Children/Youth anti-racism experiences? The Promise and the Practice is a program for Unitarian Universalist worship, study, and stewardship around centering voices and stories of black UUs. The resource packet includes "Mending the Broken Chalice," a curriculum for grades K-5 and "Beginning Anew," a middle- through high-school curriculum, both by UU religious educator Jaelynn Pema Scott.
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.
Miss the 411 on University Chaplaincy? You can head over to our Faith Development Webinars page to view the one-hour informational session hosted by the Rev. Scotty McLennan and the Rev. Dara Kaufman-LeDonne Olandt.