Congratulations on your victory in our UUA presidential election. I congratulate you and your family in this exciting moment. I also thank Rev. Laurel Hallman and her supporters for giving their all this past year and beyond. We are a lucky faith to have two highly qualified people strive to lead us.
Religious Educators are a key part in making your vision of our faith a reality. You have spken of your commitment to Laurel's supporters to hear their message about spititual depth, and to retain our youth and young adults. We are your allies in this work, as not only educators of course, but as leaders in congregations and as the people who envision and design the programs that begin with our smallest children to create an identity as strong Unitarian Universalists who have experienced good worship, good fellowship and a sense of belonging that will in and of itself help our young people stay connected. You cannot begin in the youth room, you must begin with the whole church while our children are babies in the nursery.
You have spoken to us so well about your desire to warmly welcome the visitors to our congregations, and keep some of them as members. Many, many people come to us seeking not only a place to worship but faith home for their children. Excellent ministry to families is vital in our growth. Not just children or teens, or parents but the family as a whole. That's what we do in our role as Religious Educators, we do ministry to families.
You have spoken of a depth of spirituality in our movement and that we can do this piece better. I as a Religious Educator believe that we stand right there beside you with a resounding yes, many of our congregations now have Religious Educators that hold a Lifespan charge in their communities. We know where to find the classes for adults that, as Gail Forsythe-Vail said yesterday, are UU 201 and 301 and beyond, building a spiritual depth. We can help bring the spirituality from the pulpit to the streets.
I look forward to the next four years as our faith continues to mature and reach out to a world that is ready for our message of faith and hope. We will see you at our LREDA Fall Conference in Providence, until then.....
Welcome and let's get to work!