2018 Speakers

All Together Now!

Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley

Minister of the Week

The Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. The church of his childhood was the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Monmouth County in Lincroft, New Jersey. From this church and from its minister, Reverend Harold Dean, Leon learned about the sweetness of life. He learned about compassion, peace and possibility. He received his undergraduate degree at Tufts University and his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was interested in traditional drumming of Ghana and the Republic of Zaire, the Kora tradition of Senegal, the Gamelan traditions of Java and Bali in Indonesia, the African American and jazz tradition(s) in the Americas and, most recently, in Bluegrass and Country Blues.   He sings and plays several instruments— including guitar, piano, conga, gangogwe (West African double bell), didjeridu. He is just getting started on the dobro and octave mandolin. [Continue Reading]

Kim Sweeney

"The Future of Faith Formation: Moving from Me to We"

Today’s reformation within Unitarian Universalism calls for the centering of faith formation in the mission of our communities of faith. We are being invited to engage the entire congregation in faith formation, bringing certitude to the word of UU leader Connie Goodbread, “Faith development is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is the faith we teach. The congregation is the curriculum.” Moving from me to we takes us away from a consumer oriented model of congregational life, to a mission focused vision for a multicultural, multiracial and multigenerational embodiment of Unitarian Universalism. [Continue Reading]

Laura Beth Brown

"Embracing Family Ministry"

American families are lacking critical societal support structures. Unfortunately, many houses of worship are not offering viable solutions. Families with children have become the canaries in the coal mine of our faith, signaling that what we are doing is no longer sustainable. In this workshop, a framework of stories, lessons, tools, and effective strategies will be offered to assist you as leaders to make choices about how to begin to structure a family ministry model for your congregation. The work of Juana Bordas, Reggie Joiner’s Orange, and most recently, Kim Sweeney’s The Death of Sunday School will offer context for our work together. [Continue Reading]

Jennie Mulqueen

"Spiritual Parenting"

How are we called to spiritual parenting? In order to raise thoughtful, grounded children, we must first ground ourselves in spiritual practices of reflection and mindfulness of our authentic gladness. This workshop is designed to be a time out for parents to reconnect with their deepest sense of playful delight, for when we are consciously connected to our divine spark, we can share it with our children and our communities. We might even begin to transform the world. [Continue Reading]

Suzanne O’Neil

"SoulCollage®"

SoulCollage® is back! Suzanne O' Neil will be leading one of the Island's most beloved spiritual practices. Suzanne is a writer, poet, crafter and mixed media artist with several pieces of art and writing in progress at all times. She is drawn to the simplicity and freedom in SoulCollage® and is excited to offer this fun and profound way to access inner wisdom, gently inviting participants to come home to themselves, and encourage experimentation and play!  [Continue Reading]

Julie Rigano

"Storytelling"

No matter how old we are, when we listen to stories, we transport ourselves for a few minutes. We allow ourselves to be taken on a journey that can lead to moments of self-discovery, bonding, revelation, and grace. This workshop will give its participants skills to map out the arc of a story, create different characters through vocal variation and physicality, and adapt stories to reflect the realities of our world, including representation for multiple identities. These skills would be applicable for any storytelling, from a parent reading a bedtime story to a Time for All Ages in worship. [Continue Reading]

Tracy Breneman

Multicultural Renaissance Module

Multicultural religious education is a way of seeing and thinking as well as doing. It requires us to truly open our minds and hearts to the perspectives and experiences of others. It requires the humility to see those diverse perspectives to be as valid as our own. It calls us to welcome and include the unfamiliar, those who may be outside our comfort zone. It asks us to acknowledge the realities of oppression and privilege. It means we are open to change and growth, and ultimately care more about justice than comfort. [Continue Reading]

Natalie Fenimore

Multicultural Renaissance Module

Multicultural religious education is a way of seeing and thinking as well as doing. It requires us to truly open our minds and hearts to the perspectives and experiences of others. It requires the humility to see those diverse perspectives to be as valid as our own. It calls us to welcome and include the unfamiliar, those who may be outside our comfort zone. It asks us to acknowledge the realities of oppression and privilege. It means we are open to change and growth, and ultimately care more about justice than comfort. [Continue Reading]

2017 Speakers

Growing Unitarian Universalists in a Changing World

Laura Beth Brown

Director of Family Ministries

Matt Meyer

National Worship Leader

Rev. Daniel Gregoire

Minister Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton and Upton

Jessica York

Faith Development Office Director

Michele Townsend Grove

Religious Education Professional

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

Program Manager for Leadership Development