2017/18 Issue Number 6

March 2018

In This Issue...

  1. A letter from the Board
  2. Nominating Committee
  3. LREDA in Kansas City (GA)
  4. News from our Friends
    1. Skinner House Books
    2. Religious Education Association
    3. EqUUal Access
    4. In Liminal Time

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LREDA Board

Email: [email protected]

President Annie Scott

Vice President Robin Pugh

Treasurer Pete Fontneau

Secretary Andrea James

Continental Events Lily Rappaport

Professional Development Leah Purcell

Professional Support Jules Jaramillo


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Dear Friends,

One week ago the continental Unitarian Universalist landscape was shaken once again by a racist event within our collective walls. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church - Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville, VA shared an overview of the event, and their response, here. Lead Minister Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom provided the text of the worship they held two days later, here, and Director of Administration and Finance (and LREDA member) Christina Rivera wrote about how the event affected her and her family, here.

LREDA has held at its center a commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression since the late nineties when we first formed our Integrity Team (now Diversity and Inclusion Team) to support this commitment and hold us accountable to act for a just and equitable organization, faith, and world. As you know, we had a painful call to accountability at Fall Conference 2017. The LREDA Board renews our commitment and relationships of accountability to our colleagues of color and all those who suffer from overt and unconscious racial aggressions.

We hold Christina and her family, her professional colleagues, and the congregation in Charlottesville in our hearts and prayers. We commend the lay and professional leaders at TJMC-UU for their swift and collective action. May all institutions follow their lead in shared ministry, in interrupting plans, and in naming and directly addressing racism.

Christina names a culture of complicity in the racism in our daily lives and our Unitarian Universalist institutions. She asks us, “how will you change your BEHAVIOUR in order to work for our mutual liberation? Because anything less is keeping us in chains.”

As Rev. Erik Wikstrom said to their congregation,

“Each Sunday our Benediction begins, “Go out into the world in peace.” But I can’t say that tonight. Dr. King said that there are some things to which we all should be maladjusted. So…Go out into the world maladjusted. Have courage. Hold on to what is good. Return to no person evil for evil, strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help the suffering, and be who you know you should be, and help us be who we know we should be. There is so much ugliness and distortion in the world. Blessed Be.” 

The LREDA Board is aware of several religious professionals of color who have come under attack at and/or left their place of employment in recent weeks. We are concerned for their spirits and their safety. We recommit ourselves to justice and equity within Unitarian Universalism, and beyond.

In faith,
The LREDA Board
Annie Scott, President
Robin Pugh, Vice President
Andrea James, Secretary
Pete Fontneau, Treasurer
Leah Purcell, Professional Development
Lily Rappaport, Special Events
Jules Jaramillo, Professional Support


Nominating Committee

Carla Miller, the Nominating Committee member who was elected in 2017, has resigned from the committee for personal reasons. Jamaine Cripe, ex officio member of the committee, has graciously accepted appointment by the Board to finish Carla’s term.


LREDA in Kansas City

 
LREDA Professional Day & Annual Meeting

Wednesday June 20,  9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Embracing a Life of Purpose and Sacred Service

These turbulent times urge us to embrace the mantle of service and to see service as a path to growing people’s potential. We are also called to work together to envision and build the compassionate and just society. Today this means supporting diversity by respecting each person’s individuality, culture, and background. Together we will explore Servant Leadership, an ageless form found in most spiritual traditions and honored in communities of color. We learn collaborative and multicultural practices that will strengthen our ability to serve, build community, and infuse our lives with deeper meaning and purpose.

At General Assembly

The Sophia Lyon Fahs Lecture

Thursday, June 21, 1:30-2:30 pm
Kansas City Convention Center 2501 C

Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age by Juana Bordas
Multicultural leadership rests on spiritual responsibility and social accountability. It reflects the interconnectedness found in American Indian culture: “We are all related.” Leaders today are called to a new social covenant based on common good, collective purpose and generosity. Multicultural leadership can guide us in creating the good, compassionate society. 


News from our Friends

Skinner House Books

Skinner House Books is thrilled to announce In Later Years: Finding Meaning and Spirit in Aging by Bruce T. Marshall. Drawing on scores of personal interviews, In Later Years provides a felt sense, grounded in real-life accounts, of the challenges and blessings of aging. Unlike many books on the topic, this straightforward yet introspective volume focuses particularly on older seniors—those in their late seventies, eighties, and nineties. Interviewees thoughtfully share about their joys, regrets, accomplishments, and things left unfinished, while also considering the ways they cope with diminishing physical and mental abilities. The book also serves as an invaluable resource for family members and caregivers, suggesting ways to help, ways to connect and ways to understand the issues that attend growing old. Detailed appendices provide tips and a simple curriculum for gathering and facilitating group discussions. In Later Years is now available to pre-order at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop.

 

 

Religious Education Association

The Religious Education Association (REA) president, Dr. Mualla Selçuk will be giving the Taha Al-Alwani Lectures in Muslim-Christian Dialogue along with Dr. Ian Markham of Virginia Theological Seminary, on the evening of March 14, 2018 at the El Hibri Foundation in Washington, DC. More information, including directions for using public transit to the lecture, are available on the REA website.

 

EqUUal Access

Sermon Contest Announcement
2017 - 2018

We are excited to announce the 2018 EqUUal Access Sermon Contest. Any sermon focused on a disability-related topic will be considered.  

To be eligible, the sermon must be preached on or before April 29, 2018. The winner will be announced at General Assembly in Kansas City, and will receive a $500 award. Both clergy and lay-preachers are encouraged to participate.

To enter, email your sermon and a separate cover page to [email protected] with the subject line “EqUUal Access Sermon Contest.”  Your cover page should contain: your name, address, phone number, email address, sermon title, congregation to whom the sermon was delivered, and date the sermon was delivered.  Your sermon should contain a title, and all identifying references (your name, name of the congregation, etc.) should be absent.  Submissions must be in MS Word or Plain Text (PDF not acceptable.)  

Entries must be submitted by May 6, 2018.

 

New Website for Transitional Ministries for Religious Education

"In Liminal Time." is a new website offering information and tools for the interim journey. This resource focuses on interim work as it relates to religious education and will benefit religious professionals and lay leaders in congregations engaged in transitional ministry. Please visit, and provide feedback, let us know if you have resources that you think might enhance the site. Co-editors are LREDA members Michele Grove, Lily Rappaport and Deb Weiner. This project was funded by a grant from the LREDA 21 Century Fund and will be followed by a print publication in 2019.

Website: https://reliminaltime.weebly.com/