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August 2018 Family Ministry

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 “… a courageous revolution, really changing the ways in which we approach and resource faith formation …”Kim Sweeney, Courageous Faith Consulting, Vision Statement

Casting a Vision – Together
Kathy E. Smith, Director of Family Ministries

At the time of the publication of this newsletter, it will have been almost exactly a year since I began my position here with you as Director of Family Ministry.  It has been a good year, full of discoveries about who you wonderful people are and how you do things. (the Halloween party, the Christmas pageant, the somberness of Tennebrae, the joy of the Easter Egg Hunt, and so much more).  As we go into our second year together, it’s time for us to look at how we’re going to do this family ministry thing, together. 

To that end, we have invited Kim Sweeney to work with our church for the weekend of August 17 & 18 on a Visioning Workshop.  Kim is experienced (former UUA staff specializing in faith formation and congregational safety).  She is visionary (her book Death of Sunday School and the Future of Faith Formation has been widely read and discussed throughout our denomination.) She is a skilled facilitator, a motivating speaker, and a powerful force for positive change.  We are fortunate to have her work with us!

What exactly will we do during this weekend?  We will reflect and talk to each other and laugh and listen and learn and dream together. We’ll have time to eat together – some of that good Louisiana cooking y’all are so wonderful at. Melanie Mayeux ( will be coordinating dinner on Friday evening, breakfast before we start on Saturday and a midday meal to sustain us through to mid-afternoon on Saturday. We’ll take some time on Friday night to look back at where we’ve been, looking at what has happened in our community over the past six decades, what the needs of our people have been, and how we’ve built this community over time.  Assessing the strengths of the congregation, and whatever mistakes we’ve made and recovered from, will help us have a strong foundation for Saturday’s work: where do we want to go as we move towards family ministry? Saturday will help us articulate our hopes and dreams, help us fill a deep well with ideas, and give us an honest assessment of some of the work we need to do to get there.  And Kim’s sermon on Sunday will wrap up our time together in community worship. 

We need voices from across the congregation to get the best and the most out of this weekend’s work.  Board members.  Worship Guild members.  Voices from the choir, pastoral care, Beloved Conversations, communications, Branches, religious education volunteers, and more … how we do family ministry will be shaped by representative voices from all parts of our church community.  You’ll want to be there.  For the fellowship.  For the learning.  For the sharing, and for the dreaming together.  Hope to see you there. 

The UCBR Family Ministry Visioning Workshop will be Friday evening, August 17, dinner at 5:30pm, workshop 6-8:30pm, and Saturday, August 18, breakfast at 8:30am, workshop 9am-3pm.  Childcare, including activities, will be provided. If you’d like to help with food, please contact Melanie Mayeux. For further introduction to Kim Sweeney, visit