Everything we do in church is religious education, from the ways in which we worship together to the ways we run our meetings. Everything we do in church is about deepening our covenant with each other, with all life, and with the source of life.
I like thinking of religious education as Lifespan Faith Development because I like what this implies about our need to grow and learn from cradle to grave. And I like its implication about the need to do this in multigenerational community. For too long in UUism, worship and religious education have been compartmentalized into offerings for children and youth, and offerings for adults. The result is a shrinking movement whose grown children leave and do not come back. We can change this and grow our movement by building multigenerational community. I long to serve a congregation that is deeply committed to making this happen.
In the meantime, I have been teaching RE classes at many age levels for many years. While a member at the UU Church of Davis, for example, I taught a water justice class for adults, co-led the middle school group (MUUGS), taught the Rainbows (ages 4-6), and organized and taught the summer kids’ programming one year. In other congregations, I facilitated Cakes for the Queen of Heaven and Rise Up and Call Her Name. I have also taught Building Your Own Theology and Our Theological House, a course I developed based on a seminary course taught by Rebecca Parker, in addition to membership classes, a workshop on death and dying, and many others. During my time as an interim minister, most of my adult programming time was spent in educating a congregation in transition about the five developmental tasks of interim ministry, and helping them accomplish the tasks. I have not included the materials I developed for that purpose in this section. What I have included are sample syllabi and lesson plans that I have developed, as well as evaluations of a class, a workshop, and a retreat.
Here are some examples of what staff and participants in some of my LFD offerings have had to say about my work:
“In terms of programs for children and youth, Leisa showed great enthusiasm, poring over descriptions and visiting classes. The history at First Church has been to overlook the contribution that multi-generational worship can bring to a community. During our recent search process for a Senior Minister, the congregation was very clear that they wanted worship to include aspects to appeal to all ages, and this was largely due to Leisa’s influence. One of our other shortfalls is direct
ministry to families with an eye to their well-being. Here, too, Leisa filled a much needed gap. Our families loved her!”
–Cathy Cartwright, Director of Children’s Programming, FUCP
“Leisa brought insight, knowledge, organization to a BIG topic;”
“Leisa’s rich readings, integrating hymns (our theology);”
“Leisa’s enthusiasm and depth for our UU religion made everything work”
—participants in Our Theological House, FUCP
“Such a joyful and loving retreat; I was touched to the heart again and again.”
“This was a most helpful, fulfilling, and life-changing experience.”
“The best retreat I’ve attended, where I learned the most.”
–participants in Women’s Retreat on Prayer, FUCP
Here are some resources I have developed for Youth and Adult Faith Development:
Here are some educational newsletter articles:
Here are some complete evaluations of a class, a workshop, and a retreat: