Reflecting with Bert…

Bert Roebben continues to offer thoughtful reflection on our meeting at his personal/scholarly blog, Seeking Sense in the City. Read his 8th post!

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Business meeting materials

Here are materials for the 2016 REA Business meeting. Please note that it will be held DURING the Saturday luncheon, so it’s important to read these materials in advance and be ready to vote.

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Please read papers in advance!

Given how collaborative and collegial our RIG and workshop sessions are, it is important to read the papers or outlines in advance of each session. Some find it easiest to do so by clicking on the link in Sched in the session you’re going to (you can download papers directly from that link, specific to the session). Other find it easier to download the entire Proceedings, and read them there. However you do it — please make sure to read in advance!

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Welcome letter from Program Chair/VP

Please take a moment to read this letter of welcome from our program chair and vice-president, Bert Roebben. In it he shares the rationale behind the various program changes we’re trying out this year.

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2016 Slate of nominees

Here is the slate of nominees being offered by the nominating committee for positions which need to be voted on during the 2016 REA business meeting:

Vice-President and Program Chair-Elect: Kathy Winings, Unification Theological Seminary

Kathy Winings is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Unification Theological Seminary and Professor of Religious Education and Ministry. She is also the Director of the Doctor of Ministry degree program. Kathy has been instrumental in developing a new campus in Clinton, Maryland, working with the administration of the Logos Christian College-Washington to launch the new campus.

Kathy is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the International Relief Friendship Foundation, Inc., an international disaster and sustainable development agency, after serving as its executive director for 11 years. She is also President and Founder of Educare, an educational consulting firm with expertise in curriculum design, teacher training, and educational leadership. In this role, she has developed diverse curricula and ministry manuals for Sunday Schools and youth ministries. Kathy has authored numerous articles in academic as well as popular journals and publications and published her first book in 2002 entitled: Building Character through Service Learning.

Kathy received her Undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with a professional degree in Media Studies from Fordham University, her Masters of RE and Divinity from UTS, and her EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Recording Secretary:  Russell Dalton, Brite Divinity School

Russell Dalton is Professor of Religious Education at Brite Divinity School on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He holds advanced degrees from Union Presbyterian Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. Russ is an ordained minister of the American Baptist Churches USA and before pursuing doctoral studies he served congregations in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Connecticut. His books include Children’s Bibles in America: A Reception History of the Story of Noah in US Children’s Bibles, Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Everyday Faith, and Faith Journey through Fantasy Lands: A Christian Dialogue with Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, and Video, Kids, and Christian Education. He has also written several articles for the journal Religious Education as well as numerous other essays and articles.

Member-at-large: Sybrina Atwaters, Gifted Education Foundation

Sybrina Atwaters serves as the Life Development Director at Gifted Education Foundation in Atlanta. She is also an independent researcher and interdisciplinary sociologist with research interests in the sociology of technology (exploring religious practices and knowledge production through virtual world technologies); and social inequality (examining patterns of inequality within science, engineering and higher education). She has presented her work at several professional conferences, including the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR), and the Religious Education Association (REA). Dr. Atwaters broad experience includes collaborative research with scholars at the National Academies, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Iowa State University, The Forum for Theological Exploration, and the Association of Theological Schools. Her most recent research has been published by Spring International and John Hopkins University Press. Sybrina also served as networking coordinator for REA for over 6 years.

Chair, Religious Education in Faith Communities Standing Committee: HyeRan Kim-Cragg, St. Andrews College

HyeRan Kim-Cragg is Lydia Gruchy Professor of Pastoral Studies, at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, Canada. Hailing from South Korea, and having parents who were refugees from North Korea, she is consciously aware of the joys and the struggles of crossing boundaries and various borders. Her academic interests include postcolonial studies, feminist theology, intercultural ministries, and antiracism religious education. She has authored and co-authored 6 books, one of which, Wisdom Commentary Hebrews (Liturgical Press) received the third place book of the year award by the Catholic Press Associations of the USA and Canada, 2015. Her peer reviewed publications appear in the International Association of Practical Theology, Liturgy, and Religious Education.

Graduate Student Representative: Rachelle Green, Emory University

Rachelle Green is a third year PhD student of Religious Education and Practical Theology in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Her interdisciplinary interests bring together theological ethics, moral philosophy and critical pedagogy to research theologies and philosophies of liberative education for marginalized populations. Her dissertation research will focus on theological education in women’s prisons. She currently co-directs the Certificate in Theological Studies Program at Arrendale Women’s Prison and recently completed a two-year term as the Assistant Director of the Youth Theological Initiative at Candler School of Theology. She comes to theological scholarship after a career in business management and strategic marketing where she focused intently on the needs of women and families of color.

Member, Harper Committee: Sarah Tauber

Professor Sarah Tauber is an assistant professor of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a rabbinic candidate in the Jewish Renewal network’s rabbinic program (Aleph). Sarah’s trajectory as a teacher, writer, scholar and activist in the world of education and Jewish community traces its roots to her earliest learning experiences at a Jewish day school in Stamford, CT and to her family’s experiences as Holocaust refugees and survivors from Poland. Sarah’s commitments to religious education grew out of her passion for teaching and community building as a spiritual practice that generates renewal and restoration, healing and hope. Her career as a teacher began in the public schools of Berkeley, CA and then migrated as she moved across the ocean to Paris, France, and then Geneva, Switzerland. In those European settings she studied Jewish history and immersed herself in rebuilding Jewish life in Europe through leadership in communal education. Upon return to the USA after eight years abroad, Sarah completed her studies in Jewish Education at JTS, taught in a day school for many years before joining the faculty at JTS where she focuses on the intersection of education and students’ religious and spiritual lives and learning. She believes in the necessity of interreligious learning and partnership, and along with her participation in the REA teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City as an adjunct professor. Her book  Open Minds, Devoted Hearts: Portraits of Adult Religious Educators was the second book published in the REA Horizons series.

Other selections

In addition, the Nominating Committee offers the following additions to standing committees, although they do not require election: Donna Eschenauer (Member, Religious Education and Faith Communities Standing Committee), Randy Litchfield and Mary Young (Members, Proposal Selection Committee), Dennis Gunn (REA Historian) and Mary Elizabeth Moore and Ina Ter Averst (Co-chairs, 2018 115th Anniversary Committee). Additionally, Boyung Lee will become the Chair of the Harper Committee and represent this committee on the REA Board.

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What does RE contribute to education?

This year’s program chair, Bert Roebben, offers a brief glimpse of why he thinks religious education is an important part of education more generally:

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Hotel block about to close

Please note: the block of rooms we’ve reserved at the conference hotel will expire on October 4th. You must make your reservation prior to that date to assure yourself of a room at the rate we have negotiated. After this date you will need to contact Lucinda Huffaker, our executive secretary, to determine if any other arrangements might be made.

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Digital Badging workshop

Spread the news! The REA tech committee is sponsoring a free, public workshop on the morning of November 6th entitled “Making Learning Visible: Digital Badging in Faith Contexts.” A panel of three experienced religious educators — Liron Lipinsky, Director of the Joint Jewish Education Program in Pittsburgh, Lisa Brown, Director of Digital Ministry at Membership Vision, and Kyle Oliver, formerly the Digital Missioner at VTS’s Center for the Ministry of Teaching, and now a doctoral student in the prestigious Communications, Media and Learning Technologies Design program at Teachers College will share their experience and wisdom in an engaging, practical, workshop. Please share these flyers widely (in b&w, in color) and help us spread the word! The workshop is free and open to the public, but we need people to sign up so that we are prepared.

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Early bird pricing about to end

Early Bird pricing for REA2016 provides a significant discount on regular conference prices. This early price ENDS THURSDAY (9/15). Anyone registering on Friday through the end of October will have to pay the regular conference price. Don’t miss the savings — register today.

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Orthodox icons in Pittsburgh

Starting to look forward to our meeting? Here’s an article that describes one of the local painters from the Ukrainian community, and her work painting icons. Pittsburgh has a rich variety of religious communities, and Orthodox Christians form one of them.

We will start posting items here that point towards Pittsburgh — let us know of others!

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