RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN
Over many years of leadership in Unitarian Universalist congregations, I've been privileged to teach and learn alongside adults and children. I am a certified Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Educator at the middle and high school levels, as well as young adult, and adult levels. I have taught or co-taught classes in our congregations on everything from the history and promise of religious humanism, prayer and praying, "Those Words" (which explored the place of traditional religious language in our congregational life), and more.
Outside of our congregations I've been a recognized faculty member through Meadville Lombard as a supervising minister, and designed and taught the Iliff seminary course on Unitarian Universalist Polity. Click here to see the syllabus from that class.
In addition, I was the lead organizer for our semi-annual congregational retreat in 2019, which brought together nearly 300 members of our congregation to grow, learn, and play together at Snow Mountain Ranch in 2019.
"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
CHILDREN'S RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
If I weren't a minister up front on Sunday, I'd be a volunteer in our RE programs. As noted, I am certified for OWL at the middle, high school, young adult, and adult levels. I've been a Coming of Age mentor, taught RE in my home congregation, and always welcome an invitation from our religious educators to join the classes at JUC.
Because most of the time religious educators work directly for the senior minister, I think it is essential that they have a good relationship and a shared understanding of the goals of the program. Our job, in the 40ish hours a year we have children in RE, is to help inculcate our values of inclusion, generosity, lovingkindness, service, and a sense of that which is greater than all of us, yet present in each of us. It's hard work, and in a shifting, changing world, it's even more challenging, but it forms the foundation that allows our children, mine included, to go out into the world as the kind of adults we ourselves hope to be.
ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
With the advent of so many alternative sources of learning for adults, The Great Courses, Master Class, TED, and more, our churches are no longer the place where most adults turn to for lifelong learning. And yet, we can, and should, offer robust opportunities for people to engage while learning, both leveraging our lay leaders where possible, and helping our ministers make regular offerings that create opportunities to deepen, connect, and engage. I've taught many classes over the years, including classes about money and our lives, adult OWL, shared reads (including the last five years of UUA Common Reads), our history, race and racial justice, prayer, credo writing for adults, and so much more. I also work closely with our justice teams. When we are doing something that is especially challenging, like work in an international context, I think it's essential that trusted leaders make room to learn about what we're going to see and do, so that people are equipped to show up well, and be held in the learning.