1. UU History Renaissance Module
Date & time: Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
The UU History Renaissance module will be offered in an online format on Wednesdays, July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, and August 11, 1 – 3pm EST / 12 – 2pm CST / 11am – 1pm MST / 10am – 12pm PST. The module will be led by Arran Liddel and Kirsten Hunter. Registration is limited to 15 participants and the fee for this 6-session module is $300, payable on a sliding scale according to availability to pay. More payment details are available in the registration form. The registration deadline is June 23, 2021.
Goal and Learning Objectives
The goal of this module is to give participants a sense of the broad scope of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist history and some of the key stories that are part of that history, so that participants are able to:
- Understand context for historical stories they tell in worship, small group, classroom, social media, and other settings
- Explain the history of our movement to lay people, to youth, and to children in age-appropriate ways
- Understand and explain how the history of their own congregation or geographical area fits in with the history of the broader movement
- Understand and articulate the history behind some of the theology and traditions that are important to contemporary Unitarian Universalism
- Understand how we came to be who we are as a movement- and what strengths and challenges our history offers.
Religious professionals are often called upon to share our history, and this approach provides a method of sharing history that allows engagement with that history. Because religious education is the vehicle by which we guide children, youth, and adults to live their faith in the world, this module offers a glimpse of how our faith has called people to action in their times and places.
This module also includes a guided tour of some of the worship and faith development resources that religious professionals might use in the course of their work. Tapestry of Faith stories from a number of programs for children, youth, and adults are included in the readings. Hymns and readings from Singing the Living Tradition are placed in their historical context, both to increase participants’ familiarity with worship resources and to give them a sense of how the theology of each era is reflected in the hymns and readings we still use today.
The online “classroom” includes session-by-session background information and reading assignments. You will also find timelines to help you locate events and understand some of the relationships between people and events (please note that the scale of the timelines varies to accommodate the information pertinent to each session). Additionally, links to interactive timelines will be reviewed during each webinar.
The Unitarian Universalist History Renaissance module is an online learning experience comprised of six two-hour webinars with reading and other assignments for each session. Credit will be offered for full participation in the module. Full participation includes:
- Online attendance and active participation in six two-hour sessions
- Reading and reflection to prepare for each session, which will require about two or three hours
- Submission of a 250-word post on the Discussion Forum after each session with an idea for application of your learning in your professional work. You will find a sample post in the Session 1, Discussion Forum. Note: The Discussion Forum will remain active until one week after the module closes.
- Preparation of a final project and presentation, working by oneself, with a partner, or with a small group.
- Submission of the Participant Evaluation within one week after module ends.
For more information and registration: UU History Renaissance Module
2. UU Identity Renaissance Module – GA 2019 Youth Programming
Date & time: Thursday, July 8, 2021, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
The UU Identity Renaissance module will be offered in an online format on Thursdays, July 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5, 1:00 – 3:00pm EST / 12 – 2pm CST / 11am – 1 pm MST / 10am – 12pm PST. The module will be led by Paula Gribble and Steven Williams. Registration is limited to 15 participants and the learning valued at $250 with sliding scale, grant, and payment plan options available. More details are included on the registration form linked below. The registration deadline is June 24, 2021.
Goals of the Module
The overall goals of this module are:
• To gain an understanding of identity as a process of development across
the lifespan which unfolds through an interplay of heritage, culture, and
• To learn how this process unfolds in youth raised as Unitarian
Universalists and persons who came to the faith later in life
• To identify ways to foster the process, specifically among Religious
Education participants and generally among congregants
• To explore the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources as part of
The UU Identity Renaissance module is an online learning experience comprised of five two-hour webinars with reading and other assignments for each session. Credit will be offered for full participation in the module. Full participation includes:
- Online attendance at five two-hour sessions
- Reading and reflection to prepare for each session
- Responses to Reflection Questions on the Discussion Forum after each session.
- Submission of final evaluation within a week of the ending of the module.
For more information and registration: Identity Renaissance Module
3. Chalice Sparx Online Camp
Date & time: Friday, July 9, 2021, 4:00 pm - Sunday, July 11, 2021, 7:00 pm EDT
Chalice Sparx Camp is an intentionally welcoming community for LGBTQ+ families, and families who have a member who is trans* or non-binary make up a sizeable portion of the families who have attended over the years. We have nurtured several trans kids in their journey toward adulthood and offer a time out of time and a place out of place experience for Unitarian Universalist families to connect and support one another.
- Worship for All Ages
- Explore Stations: Storytelling
- Explore Stations: Sand Mandala
- Explore Stations: Glitter Jar
- Explore Stations: Music Enrichment
- Covenant Groups for sharing and connecting
- Fun and Games
- Dance Party and Joke-a-thon
- Plus our annual activities of rock painting, Minecraft adventures, scavenger hunt
When we’re in person, we hold camp at one of various locations in Southern Michigan or Northern Indiana.
For more information and registration: Chalice-sparx-camp-2021
4. Extended Leadership Experiences 2021
With there still being uncertainty about the safety of in-person gatherings, we have decided to postpone our in-person MidWest Leadership School, scheduled for July 2021, until 2022. The safety of our students and presenters is paramount, and we cannot guess well enough whether it will be safe come July. As you probably know, the UUA has shifted the General Assembly in June 2021 to an all-virtual event, so we are following suit—it doesn’t seem that two weeks later the situation will be any more guaranteed.
But the leadership needs of our congregations continue. To accommodate the loss of the in-person school this summer, we’re doing two things:
- Holding a second session of this fall’s successful Extended Leadership Experience during this spring (dates below)
- Planning for a follow-up ELE 2.0 for fall of 2021 to explore other leadership topics.
This fall’s Extended Leadership Experience was a big success—sold out in two and a half weeks, with a 90+% attendance rate. The evaluations say that those who attended said that the content was relevant to their congregation and leadership in their congregations.
We will hold a second session of the Extended Leadership Experience this spring. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings: March 6, March 27, April 17, and May 8, from 9:00 – 12:30 Central time, 10:00 – 1:30 Eastern time. We will cover identity, mission/vision, systems, and conflict, along with four incredible history presentations by the Rev. Connie Simon.
Registration will open in late January, early February, and the cost will be $150, with a reduction to $75 for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Trans, Non-Binary, and Young Adults. You will need to provide a reference from your congregation.
Then this coming fall, 2021, we will hold Extended Leadership Experience 2.0 to build upon this year’s topics and discuss more complex leadership skills. We are still working on the details of that course, yet we know that attendance at either the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 Extended Leadership Experience will be a prerequisite for ELE 2.0.
For more information and registration: Extended Leadership Experience
4. Small Congregation Check-In: July 8, 2021
Date & time: Thursday, July 8, 2021, 7:45 pm - 9:00 pm EDT
A time for leaders of small congregations in the MidAmerica Region and elsewhere to check-in about the challenges UU religious communities are encountering as we respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.
This is part of a twice monthly connection opportunity. Please register for each date you wish to attend.
For more information and registration: Small Congregation Check-In
Submitted by: Committee on Ministry