Rest, Replenish, Rejuvenate
As we entered another season with this pandemic, many found themselves relying on resilience that was wearing thin. Having the vaccine has certainly given us some relief, yet we are still feeling the weight of the responsibility of living with COVID. For our Faith Development Week Conference on Star Island 2022, we offered a remedy for your spiritual side. We offered opportunities to rest your body, replenish your soul, and rejuvenate your spirit.
From Wonder to Action
There is a continuum of growth and experience that leads to an embodied sense of belonging, reciprocity, and kinship with all beings on Earth. At a young age our first connections with nature are full of wonder. Guided by curiosity, we explore and gradually build knowledge and understanding of the natural world. We build relationships with plants and animals and develop an ever-widening sense of place…and of belonging and kinship with that place. We develop empathy, and responsibility for the natural world. We become civically engaged adults whose actions are those of an ecologically conscious, global citizen. Ultimately, we understand that the ecosystem is a living entity of which humanity is only a part and we embody our belonging with deep honor and integrity. Invite your congregation to cultivate this vision across the lifespan by stepping into immersive, place-based, programming as a form of faith development.This workshop is for anyone interested in implementing nature-based faith formation programming in their churches. It will guide participants in practices that expand their own nature connection while providing tools for doing the same with those in their faith communities.
Permission to Play
The energy and permission of play are some of our best secret weapons for replenishment, rejuvenation, and even rest. In this workshop we will revisit the notion of what it means to cultivate and regenerate play as a restorative practice in our adult lives. More specifically, we will explore simple, accessible forms of the internationally renowned program Interplay as we hold the mystery of what it means to uncover the spirit of play in a pandemical context. Participants will be invited to mine old and new songs, tools, shapes, and stories that exist within us but that perhaps we've forgotten amid the seismic shift of Covid 19. If you are craving some time and space to integrate mind and body, to nurture playful creativity, and to feel a sense of blessed wholeness and trust in body wisdom, this workshop is just right for you!
Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore
As we aimed to rejuvenate our spirit, Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore led theme talks on The Commission on Institutional Change Report: Widening the Circle and Religious Education Leadership. We are lucky and grateful to have had a contributing author of the report lead these talks with us. With a meaningful look at how we can widen the circle within our faith formation programs, we will rejuvenate our spirit towards racial justice.
Minister of the Week
Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson
Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork, on Long Island in Bridgehampton, NY. Her ministry and her preaching encourage us to connect to our most deeply held values so that we can live our faith in the world. The core of Kimberly's ministry is faith formation—creating spaces and experiences for people to connect to the sacred, and to express that connection in the world. In her teaching, Kimberly employs the theory and practice of popular education, facilitating the exchange and exploration of our knowledge and experiences to encourage deeper understanding and grounding for action. Before ministry, Kimberly worked as a union organizer with the UAW. She also taught Women's and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University. Kimberly serves on the Organizing Collective Board for BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism). Kimberly also serves as co-chair of the UUA Appointments Committee and is a member of the Steering Committee for UU Class Conversations, and the Board of Trustees of the UU Women's Federation. She also serves as vice-president of the St. Lawrence Foundation for Theological Education. She gets to work at the nexus of faith formation, youth ministry, and racial justice as a Program Leader with the UU College of Social Justice. And she's likely to be spending her summer working with youth through UU Summer Seminary or Thrive, leadership experiences for youth of color.