I have no shame about promoting Religious Education Week, July 10-16, at Ferry Beach in Maine: we have truly kick-ass programming line up. Not only do we have excellent programs for religious professionals and serious volunteers, we also have an excellent children and youth programming, and a tradition of superb intergenerational community — it’s worth attending just to watch the intergenerational programming in action. We often have people attend from as far away as Illinois and Ohio; I’ve coordinated conferences at Ferry Beach that drew people from as far away as New Mexico and Alaska. If you’re involved in religious education, you should think about attending.
Workshops for religious professionals:
Adult OWL Training — Get trained to lead the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education program for adults. Our trainers will be Chris and Rev. Bobbie Nelson, both long-term experienced sexuality educators. You simply cannot find better OWL trainers than Chris and Bobbie nelson!
Worship Renaissance Module — The well-known UUA training in how to do worship for all ages. Led by Rev. Liz Strong, recently retired district religious education consultant for Mass. Bay District, and Sadie Kahn-Green, DRE at Chelmsford, Mass., both of whom are experienced at leading worship with all ages.
New DRE workshop — Relentlessly useful introduction to everything you need to know as a new religious educator. For religious educators who have been serving for up to three years. Seminarians also welcome. Led by Rev. Dan Harper.
Social Media and Religious Education — Learn about Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media, and how to integrate them in religious education. Led by Shelby Meyerhoff, Public Witness Specialist at the UUA, and Will Kahn-Green, project manager at the Participatory Culture Foundation.
DRE Credentialing workshop — Join with other DREs pursuing UUA credentialing, for support and study. Led by Rev. Helen Zidowecki
Conference staff include:
Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann, Minister of the Week. She serves as Associate Minister of the Unitarian Church of Marlborough & Hudson in Massachusetts. She will lead the Sunday worship and daily chapel services that will set a positive and creative compass for our days of exploration.
Laurie Loosigian continues as our beloved Musician of the Week, bringing together voices of harmony and laughter of all ages in our worship experiences, nightly after dinner sing-along, and other musical moments.
Coordinators for RE Week are Rev. Dan Harper, Adult Programs; Jeanette Ruyle, Children and Youth Program; and Julie Porter, Multi-generational Program.
Workshops for spiritual renewal:
We are planning two full workshops, Yoga and Art, which will be open to everyone, religious educators and their families alike.
Young Adults (18+): Morning program consists of any combination of the Yoga and Art Workshops plus opportunities to create your own program elements, including the tradition of a Bridging ceremony for graduate senior high school youth. Ferry Beach Park Association has allotted discounted tent sites in the Grove for young adults who are registered for the RE Week program.
Programs for Children and Youth:
While adults are at their morning workshops or otherwise busy, children of preschool age up through 12th grade meet in grade-based groups. Each group has an experienced leader and assistant or co-leaders facilitating age-appropriate activities that relate to the theme of the week. Building community within each group and with the whole conference community is a major goal.
Other things to do Religious Education Week:
- Morning chapel in the Grove, led by our minister of the week, is integral to our community.
- Early morning before-breakfast personal spiritual practices are offered by various conferees, e.g., yoga on the beach, etc.
- Porch chats take place from 3-4 pm; topics this summer include ‘Career Paths for Religious Educators,’ and ‘Meet-up for Mentors in the DRE Credentialing Program’.
- All are welcome to social hour starting at 5 pm and going until the dinner bell rings at 6.
- Each evening, a different fun and multigenerational program happens, followed by a before-bed Spirit Circle, a time to slow down and unwind.
- The “Talent-No-Talent” (or TNT) show is on Thursday evening. Everyone is welcome to participate in one act that is under three minutes. Thunderous applause is guaranteed for the amateur to the pro!
- If you enjoy lobster, register early at the front desk for a lobster dinner on Wednesday. The barbeque is part of the registration fee, but lobster must be purchased separately (generally between $10 and $15 per lobster).
- Afternoons are generally unstructured and you are free to relax on the beach, play volleyball, participate in one or all of the nature outings offered by Ferry Beach staff, etc.