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Southern and MidAmerica Regions: Deeper Partnering for Faith Development
Change is Coming: Serving Faith Development Leaders

Southern and MidAmerica Regions: Deeper Partnering for Faith Development

For two years, Nancy Combs-Morgan, CRE-ML, (Faith Development Director of the MidAmerica Region) and Kathy Charles (Event Coordinator of the Southern and MidAmerica Regions) have been developing a relationship focused on 5 areas of virtual faith development support: continuing education opportunities; Our Whole Lives (OWL) and Renaissance Module shepherding and coaching; support for New DRE’s; partnering with continental Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and listening circles regional LREDA chapters and clusters.

Co-Regional Dimensions of UU Faith Development Plan – 5 Step Scaffolding

Building on the Southern Region’s guiding paradigm of a regional curriculum map, this new project partnership with the MidAmerica Region will provide support for the enhancement of faith development by providing coaching/companioning support for religious educators in 5 key areas:

1) Continuing Education Opportunities -  Nancy Combs Morgan, CRE-ML, will begin an intentional “listening” series where she will connect with religious educators in the Southern Region in an effort to determine needs around online training and support for collegial group spiritual direction; collegial conversations on dismantling white supremacy; safer congregation trainings; explorations of new models and the future of UU faith development, and all within a broader model of a co-regional Learning Collaborative.

If you are in a LREDA cluster/chapter, contact ncombsmorgan [at] uua [dot] org (Nancy Combs-Morgan), CRE-ML, to explore a time for a listening session.

There may also be co-regional support for the Lifespan Faith Development portion of the extended leadership experiences currently being offered in the Southern Region.        

2) OWL - For the last 2 years, Kathy Charles has been providing virtual coaching of leaders in the MidAmerica Region who are interested in hosting OWL trainings.  She tracks the requests, posts on social media information about OWL trainings, and, most importantly, personally connects with the leaders to help them as they navigate how to organize OWL trainings.  It has also been very helpful that she connects with Melanie Davis in our national office about OWL. This support will now include the Southern Region.          

3) LREDA - In response to the growing number of religious educators joining the RE Credentialing Program, this area includes opportunities to connect religious educators and to enable the types of learning opportunities needed for their professional development by partnering with national LREDA leaders to connect religious educators to LREDA clusters in their area, virtual LREDA offerings, and to their respective LREDA Good Officers.  

4) Renaissance Modules - We will be partnering with our national Faith Development Office leaders, in particular, Pat Kahn, to promote/publicize the online Renaissance Modules being offered. Nancy Combs Morgan, CRE-ML, will shepherd and coach religious educators who seek to host a hybrid or face-to-face module. The current Renaissance Module schedule is found here.

5)  Support for New DRE’s - We are beginning a new fall/winter webinar series:  The “RE Essentials” three part series for new and newer religious educators is happening this September 2018 in the MidAmerica Region. Religious educators in the Southern Region will be encouraged to take part in a face to face opportunity at the national Fall LREDA conference in Houston, TX, Nov. 2-5, where there will be an all day workshop for “New and Newer” religious educators. There will also be a three part online series for “New and Newer” religious educators on Jan. 8th, 15th, and 22nd (registration will be posted by the end of October on the Southern Region website).

The co-regional faith development project plan includes:

Nancy Combs-Morgan, CRE-ML, Faith Development Director of the MA Region - will provide oversight for the structure and create collaborative content of the continuing education opportunities; the shepherding of support for new Directors of Religious Education, and the oversight of enabling Renaissance Modules.

Kathy Charles, Event Coordinator Southern and MA Regions - will provide event registrations; promotion on respective websites and social media; will act as registrar for the events, provide OWL coaching as needed, and host a gathering for Mid-America and Southern Religious Educators at the Fall LREDA Conference.

About the Author

  • Nancy Combs-Morgan has been immersed in Unitarian Universalist faith development for 15+ years, including 6 as a Director of Religious Education, and 9 years on UUA district and regional staff...

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For more information contact sr@uua.org.