Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Come Be With Us At SWUUSI Conference, Bread, Not Stones, July 22-27

SWUUSI 2012, July 22-27, 2012

Southwest Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute, Western Hills Lodge in Sequoyah State Park, near Tulsa, between Wagoner and Hulbert on Highway 51.

Morning Theme Talk: "Bread, Not Stones"

By The Rev. Thomas R. Schade, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, MA

Tom writes: "To use a football analogy, liberal religion is turning from defense to offense. After nearly 40 years of being on the cultural defensive, we now turn to the work of calling people to another way of life, to challenging the status quo, to shaping character in new ways, to changing lives. The world wants to know what we are carrying. We need to open our hands and show them. Is it bread, not stones? Bread is faith development, vocation, and mission. Stones are inward looking communities, institutional maintenance, and ministry as "mass mood management."

The Rev. Thomas Schade was called as the Associate Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, MA, in the fall of 1999, to serve with Rev. Barbara Merritt, then the Senior Minister of the church. In the fall of 2006, he was designated as the 11th Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, founded in 1785. His ministry was affirmed in the Spring of 2010, when he was designated the sole minister of the church when Rev. Merritt retired. A life-long Unitarian, he received a BA from George Washington University in 1970, majoring in Political Science. After a career in Information Technology, he began preparing for the Ministry in 1995, studying at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was the intern minister at Horizon UU Church. In 1999, he received his Masters of Divinity and was ordained by the First Unitarian Church. His essays have appeared in the book "Soul Work" and elsewhere. He is a past president of the UU Christian Fellowship. He is married to Sue Schade, a hospital executive. They have two grown daughters.

SWUUSI Sunset Talks

"Out of this Stillness": Spiritual Direction and Mission

By The Rev. Tony Lorenzen

Monday: Wrong Way Wainwrights (Or how UU's do church backwards)

Spiritual direction helps us find our way and find what saves us, both as individuals and as a group. We will look at our Soteriology leading to Missiology leading to Ecclesiology. Too often UU's start with/argue over what it means to be church, Ecclesiology, then maybe find a mission, and occasionally talk about what saves us or makes us whole.

Tuesday: Misnomers

Why Spiritual Direction, Mission, and Salvation need reclamation and reframing.

Wednesday: Resistance - It's not just for therapy.

How we avoid the sacred as individuals and congregations and how overcoming this resistance frees us for mission.

Thursday: Cities on a Hill - What might this Look Like

Models from Ginghamsburg Church, Wellspring and Rochester, Soma, A Third Place, Lucy Stone Cooperative, UU Social Justice Academies

Rev. Tony Lorenzen is a Universalist Christian living a missional life in north Texas. He serves on the Board of Directors of the UU Christian Fellowship as well as the Board of the Keller Farmers Market. Follow him on his blog at on TWITTER @revtonyuu.    

SWUUSI Workshops


1. The Calling of Ministry: What the Heck do Ministers Do Anyway and/or So You Want To Be A Minister, The Rev. Mark Christian, lead minister, First Unitarian Church, Oklahoma City

2. Spiritual Practice and Spiritual Direction, Revs. Jonalu Johnstone and Debra Garfinkel, graduates of HeartPath; The Rev. Johnstone is program minister at First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City; The Rev. Garfinkel has served as pastoral care minister at All Souls Church in Tulsa, and is a spiritual director in Tulsa.

3. "The Great Online Third Place" by Joanna Fontaine Crawford

Missional church leaders encourage us to go to where the people are – to their “third place,” which is the place you spend your spare time when not at home or at work. Along with bars and coffeehouses, probably the most popular hangout in a virtual one – the Internet. How do we reach these folks, and keep their attention? Learn about making church videos, livestreaming, copyright issues, and how to make the most of your online presence through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare, and more.

Joanna Fontaine Crawford is the Intern Minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship, which provides weekly online worship services to members around the globe. She’s also that person who posts a bazillion times on Facebook.

4. Learning The Night Sky, Paul Derrick, tentatively set.

5. SWUUSI Choir, director to be named later.

6. missional liberation environmental gardens

Bonnie Ashing, project leader for the new kitchengardenpark and orchard with A Third Place Community Foundation and The Welcome Table Church in Turley, OK.

A chance to consider how your garden can be a spiritual discipline, your “first wilderness” and a contribution to the health of our environment. A chance to write your personal “green manifesto”. Who are you? What do you love? How will you fight for it? And how do others experience their environment? Suggested readings list available on request but not necessary. Bring seeds to swap if you like!


1. Examining Your Mission Field by the Rev. Susan M. Smith, District Executive of the Southwestern UU Conference

Every congregation needs a clear vision for its future and a plan for how it will be accomplished, but most make the mistake of grounding this vision in the wants of the current congregants rather than the needs of the community that they serve. This workshop will provide a variety of ways to consider who your congregation can serve now and into the future.

2. The Sermon on The Mount, by The Rev. Chuck Freeman

3. Marking Memories, Making Meaning - Spiritual Practices for Unitarian Universalist Families by Scottie Johnson, seminarian at Perkins School of Theology

4. Climate Change -- Updated

Tim Mock
Tim writes: Over years of facilitating conversations about climate change, I accumulated 32 pounds of paper resources and 4.4 gigabytes of multimedia files on my computer, always searching for what is new, important, interesting, and understandable by the lay person. As of this writing (August 2011), a recent book by the director of NASA's Institute for Space Studies, probably the world's best climate scientist, tops the list. The title -- "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity." The science is fascinating, and the issue is "likely to be the predominant ... moral issue of the 21st century." UUs have a vital role to play.
5. Strings and Things, Nancy Cain

Strings and Things is a workshop for people who like to sing folk songs, play traditional music, or just enjoy listening to others play and sing. Acoustic instruments of any kind are welcome: strings, brass, woodwinds, harps, flutes, bodhrans, etc. We use Rise Up Singing as a reference for our songs. All are welcome.

6. A workshop still to be named.

Evening Worship Services

Monday: The Rev. Barbara Jarrell, All Souls UU Church, Shreveport, LA

Tuesday: The Rev. Patrick Price, Community UU Church, Plano, TX

Wednesday: Cathey Edwards, intern minister, First Unitarian Church, Oklahoma City

Thursday: To be named

No comments: