The Adaptive Possibilities

nancy combs-morganYou may have seen various posts on our MidAmericaUU website, and on the Heartland, Prairie Star and Central Midwest websites on regionalization. Much of that important news has been focused on the impact on governance for our respective three districts. At our most recent MidAmerica staff retreat this last December, we had a shared “aha,” that we should start a series on the “adaptive possibilities” that we can realize together due to regionalization.

Let’s begin with some good news. A few years back Dori Davenport Thexton, Phil Lund, and myself began to have a conversation about how hard it was to sustain the viability of offering Renaissance Modules for our respective three districts. Despite the challenges, we shared, and continue to share, a conviction that offering meaningful and worthwhile continuing education opportunities for religious professionals, and seminarians, who want to learn more about the Philosophy of Religious Education, Teacher Development, Administration of RE programs, and UU Curriculum Planning, Ministry with Youth, Multicultural Religious Education, Worship for All Ages, is something that we want to maintain and sustain.

In particular, to aid those religious professionals in their own professional development, such as in the RE Credentialing Program, or the process of ministerial formation. The next move on our part was to create a multi-year MidAmerica regional plan for offering renaissance modules each fall and spring. The locations have rotated between our respective three geographic areas and between us we have co-led most of these offerings. The regional collaboration has also afforded a platform for those religious professionals, who had previously taken one of these trainings, to step up and become a trainer. The shared regional model for offering Renaissance Modules has proved to be sustainable and an enriching experience for attendees as well as the training co-leaders. This experience demonstrates that regionalization does not just provide adaptive challenges, but more so, adaptive possibilities!

We are pleased to report that our next offering will be the Adult Faith Development Renaissance Module, co-led by our own Barb Friedland, DRE at Thomas Jefferson UU congregation in Louisville, KY, and Gail Forsythe-Vail, the UUA’s Adult Programs Director. The module will begin on Thursday evening, Feb. 28th and conclude on Sat., Mar. 2nd by noon, at Eliot Chapel in St. Louis, MO. It will be part of a larger event, REALL, which will have multiple workshops on how to raise lifelong UU’s!

For more information on the Adult Faith Development module and REALL, go to:

In faith,
Nancy Combs-Morgan
Faith Development Director, Heartland District of the UUA
Coordinator of Emerging Models of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, MidAmerica Region