Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LREDA and General Assembly

When I began working as a Religious Educator I was very excited to dig in and take this on. I just knew I could create a dynamic, outreaching program for children and youth and families. And then I looked at the files and the unplanned summer and the lack of curriculum for fall and the big hole of volunteers to teach that curriculum in the fall. I swear I would have sat myself right down and cried big crocodile tears of surrender if not for my first General Assembly.

Just days after I started the job, I hopped on a flight to Dallas Fort Worth and attended my first LREDA Professional days straight away. Oh thank the God and goddess and all the sprites and the spirit of life and spirit of love. I had help, I had people, I had a posse. I had found some answers to the questions I didn't even quite have formed. That year I missed the LREDA Annual meeting and luncheon. In fact it took me a couple of years to figure out that you had to register for that separately. I'll admit sheepisly that last year I didn't do my research well and eventually gave up on even finding the luncheon. Fort Lauderdale was so freakishly hot. This year I know all about the LREDA Annual meeting because I've accepted a positon on the LREDA board. Oh my, I'd better figure out where it is right now! And next year those lunch choices will be managed by me since GA is my portfolio. Oh, even more embarrassing about missing it last year. Oh my. And I'm already having anxiety about what to pick for next year. Mexican? Deli? Lutefisk and Lefse?

But that first year it was amazing to be with UUs. With Religous Professionals of all kinds. To hear the Fahs Lecture. To sit down next to Religious Educator after Religous Educator and open my plan for the year and ask for help. I got such great advice from so many people. What a gift. What a charge for the future. What a launch. And yes, 150% growth that first year, it did work.

If you know a Religious Educator who is thinking about adding LREDA events to their GA plan or if that someone is you, tell them to do it. No it doesn't matter if you can't afford glue sticks for the year--flour and water work just fine. The deadlines have not passed. This is the one thing that connects us to our larger faith. This makes us professionals in a way that other things just can't quite match. Invaluable. It is absolutely imperative that LREDA GA experience happen for all Religous Educators at least every few years. If not this year, then next year. Oh yeah, because that one will be the one I get to help plan. No don't let that stop you, I promise to make it good, really! Come on. It'll be great! No lutefisk, I promise.

So if I don't see you in Salt Lake City, well then I hope to see you next year in Minneapolis, my home town and "my" GA.

GA 2008 is the place where I launched this little blog. It's almost our Blog-i-versary. I'll have to find a cake and make people sing with me. It'll be fun. Really, it will. Oh whatever. I'll live blog it as much as I can so if you want to unsubscribe for a while so you can miss that, I arrive in Salt Lake City on June 21st, you can't say I didn't warn you.

GA just DAYS away. Hooray.


boston unitarian said...

As an old Norwegian, I double dog dare you to pick Lutefisk and Lefse! Hang in and many blessings, BU

Kari said...

I'm Norwegian, too--of course. I'm from Minnesota, it's some requirement from back in the days when they had a professional wrestler for a governor, right? We could do lefse, but lutefisk? Oh my! I don't even really think it's food!