The Death of Sunday School and the Birth of What?

Our congregations are part of a huge cultural shift, where 20th century models of children’s religious education just aren’t working like they used to. What are UU congregations learning from their experiments in organizing and engaging children and families differently? What exciting alternatives are rising in Sunday School’s place? Join our region’s Lifespan Faith Formation specialist to discuss and explore.

Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, UUA regional staff

Music and Meditation From the Ground Up

Unitarian Universalists need spiritual grounding for the long haul of social justice, and for the ups and downs of life itself. The Valley UU Congregation has developed a time in the middle of the worship service designed to use the power of group voice to build spiritual grounding and endurance. The circular music style is accessible at all levels of musical ability and to varied theologies and philosophies. Join us to try it for yourself. You’ll leave with resources to give it a shot in your own congregations!

Rev. Andy Burnette and Rev. Kellie Walker Hart, Valley UU Congregation

Aren’t We Welcoming Already?

Do people in your congregation wonder if being a Welcoming Congregation is still necessary in the post-marriage equality age? This workshop is for those who suspect or know that expanding and deepening our welcome can be an area of ongoing community building and spiritual development, and who are ready to offer their leadership toward a stronger and wider Welcoming Congregation practice.
In this workshop we will…

  • revisit the need for Welcoming Congregation
  • learn about the Five Practices of Welcome Renewal
  • examine how to move beyond Welcoming Congregation to Beloved Community

Rev. Michael Crumpler, LGBTQ+ and Intercultural Programs Manager for the UUA

Understanding the Role of Ritual in Worship

Our Unitarian Universalist congregations tend to think of the sermon as the most important part of the Sunday morning experience. But there’s so much more to the worship hour than one person speaking at the pulpit. Ritual is a powerful and often misunderstood aspect of our UU gatherings. This workshop will help the lay worship leader develop some skillfulness with ritual. We will consider when repetition becomes ritual, and when it becomes rote.

Rev. Sharon Wylie and Rev. Lucy Bunch, Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation

A Congregational Justice Toolbox: Justice Accompaniment and Expanded Sanctuary

Sanctuary has evolved beyond physical sanctuary to encompass strategies including rapid response, short-term sanctuary, housing hospitality and more. It calls us to bring our best selves to justice accompaniment. Join Katia Hansen from UURISE, and PSWD congregation representatives to discuss leveraging our privilege, amplifying impacted voices and organizing to accompany immigrants through the justice system. Whether you are new to immigrant justice work or looking for ways to deepen and broaden the work you are doing, this is a great opportunity to get and give inspiration and tools.

Katia Hansen, UURISE-Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education

Discussing Death: How To Facilitate a Death Cafe at Church

Death Café has become a favorite spot for many who seek to peek into spaces where death can be explored. Creating this brave circle in our churches opens ways to welcome those in our communities who are hungry for tea, cookies and conversation about death. Come learn to be a Death Café facilitator.

Rev. Maggie Burbank Yenoki and Kathleen Jacobson

Dismantling White Supremacy in Our Congregations:  A Model for Transformation

After an incident of cultural misappropriation revealed the pervasiveness of white dominant cultural norms at Palomar UU Fellowship, the board and minister reached out to Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) for support. With chaplaincy, coaching, an intensive counter-oppression training and collaborative planning, this congregation deepened its commitment and continues to take action to dismantling white supremacy culture. Using a combination of storytelling and experiential activities, we’ll provide tools, strategies, and next steps to transform your congregation and our faith.

Rachel Rott, Rev. Beth Johnson, and members of Palomar UU Fellowship, Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), and UU Allies for Racial Equity (ARE)

Pastoral Counseling for Today’s UUs

Sitting with someone who is in pain can be challenging. The temptation is to want to cheer them up, or put their struggles “in perspective.” This invalidates the one in pain and is less than helpful. Whether you want to visit the sick, volunteer on a pastoral care team, work in the field, or just want to be a better partner/parent/friend, this workshop will allow you to learn and practice ways to be with those who are suffering in a helpful way.

Rev. Christiane Heyde

Laying the Foundation for Lifespan Learning

Learn the nuts and bolts of starting or reviving a Lifespan Education Program with an emphasis on adult programming. We will give you the who, what and how of the process. With the right tools, everyone can develop their own ideas for a meaningful faith.      

Amy Randall, Catherine Rowlee, Jeanine Little and Laura Mulroy, Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation

DRUUMM 2.0: Envisioning the Power of our Communities of Color

Members of the DRUUMM Steering Committee will give a brief overview of DRUUMM’s history and our current vision for our future. Through interactive community building activities, small group discussions and artistic projects, DRUMM’s steering committee hopes to foster relationships with and between PSWD attendees, support the renewal and new growth of DRUUMM chapters, and encourage participation from PSWD DRUUMM membership to help DRUUMM 2.0 become a community based reality.

Kia Bordner and Rhiannon Smith, DRUMM Steering Committee

Sprouting Seeds for a Sustainable Church 

Throop UU Church in Pasadena has tripled its membership in three years by grounding its energized, intentional engagement with a few simple dreams and visions. Come to this workshop, benefit from Throop’s experience, and learn some of the steps you can take in your congregation to build an equally strong community.
Rev. Tera Klein, Da’Jon James, Athaliah Talbot, Throop UU Church

From the Mountaintop: The Power of Camp Communities

Our UU values are lived and shared year-round at Camp de Benneville Pines as campers of all ages, interests and identities find healing, community, acceptance and growth at our shared spiritual home in the mountains. Learn what’s new and coming next at camp to help strengthen your congregation, bring families together and expand our UUniverse.