A Sandbox for the Self
Who am I? Who are you? Who are we when we come together? This workshop offers a playful way to gain a deeper understanding of our own beliefs, values and identities and how we might be enriched by our differences.
This workshop is grounded in her interfaith experience—see Renee’s Tapestry of Faith curriculum for Youth A Chorus of Faiths—and her regional work in intercultural training as well as her own theological understanding of how embracing diversity enriches the whole.
The Transitioning Church in a Transforming World
As religious education professionals navigate church transitions, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between what is the transition of the local congregation and what a part of a larger movement. This week, Michele Townsend Grove will lead a group in exploring global religious transformations and their impact on our local ministry. This program will begin with time to deeply reflect on our own personal transitions and then move to a broader look at local congregation and denomination transitions. Finally, we will look at how the transitions we experience fit into the larger transitions of church in our world. Each participate will have time to reflect deeply, listen and share stories and discover pathways to connect global and local church transitions to our sacred work.
Topics for the Week: I am a being in transition. Understanding change, transition and transformation. The specific role of interim professionals in the life of the church. The transformation of faith in a globally connected world.
RE Worship Renaissance Module
The Worship Renaissance Module is an engaging, interactive learning experience is suitable for worship team collaboration in congregations. This module is for ministers, religious educators, musicians and lay leaders and anyone who is involved and dedicated in the creation of worship in your congregation.
Worship is the central activity of congregational life. Through worship we gather together to respond not only to the needs of the individual but also to the community. It is a sacred time and when done well sends us forth to be and act on our best selves. Worship opportunities abound—adult worship, religious education classes, children’s chapel, youth circles, rites of passage, and multigenerational services, to name a few.
Religious educators, then, have both a place and a stake in the worship life of a congregation. Religious educators are often the staff members who carry the biggest responsibility for the introduction and maintenance of the worship life of children and youth in most congregations. Their talents may be called on to lead rites of passage and “solo” worship services. As more congregations express interest in their desire to be multigenerational communities, they seek input, knowledge and skills in their religious educators to offer worship for all ages. A foundation in worship is essential for a religious educator and the acquisition of skills, resources, knowledge and practice can provide the confidence and enthusiasm to plan and present worship well.
The overall goals of this module are:
- To explore worship formation
- To appreciate the range of worship experiences
- To gain resources and skills for the craft of worship
- To understand and practice the power of stories in worship
- To evaluate the aspects and impact of a worship service
The Reader for this module is Kristin Maier’s A Good Telling: Bringing Worship to Life with Story (available from the UUA Bookstore) and the collection of handouts.
Finding Ourselves in the Rhythm: Music, Culture, Race, and Power
by Matt Meyer
Unitarian Universalism is a faith of covenant and collective action. Our shared spiritual practice informs our work in the world, and our social justice work shapes our spiritual path. Through song and rhythm, story and discussion, we’ll explore what music has to teach us about creating multicultural community and building movements for justice. We’ll sing together, learn drum rhythms from around world, and share best practices for bringing music to the sanctuary and the streets. We’ll share music for resilience and building communities of fierce love when we need it most!
Bringing Your Light Into the World
Joanna Macy states, “The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present…the main thing is that you’re showing up, that you’re here and that you’re finding ever more capacity to love this world because it will not be healed without that. That [is] what is going to unleash our intelligence and our ingenuity and our solidarity for the healing of our world.”
As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to actively live into our values. How are you “showing up?” What is holding you back? In this workshop, we will use the tools of yoga (physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation), music, journaling and dialogue to explore how we can bring our talents and passions–or light–to a hurting world. The Five Smooth Stones of Liberalism by James Luther Adams will serve as a thematic structure, reflecting the morning Theme Talks.
Program Manager for Leadership Development
Religious Education Professional
Faith Development Office Director
Minister Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton and Upton
National Worship Leader
Director of Family Ministries