Work Groups

Work Groups are members who agree to collaborate together. They meet as part of the Annual Meeting, but they also conduct their work in a variety of ways during the year.  Presenters for the Work Group sessions at the Annual Meeting are chosen by each group or by conveners of the sessions.  New Work Groups may be initiated by request of members. (see Bylaws IX.1.c)  New Work Groups might start as a scheduled or informal conversation among several members at the Annual Meeting who then decide to continue and expand their work to include others who might be interested.

Here is what was planned for discussion (we do not yet have notes from what occurred) during the 2018 annual meeting:

•  AANARE (coordinator: Courtney Goto)

The Asians and Asian North America Religious Educator (AANARE) Work Group welcomes everybody who is interested in the exploration, development, and enhancement of Asian/Asian North American perspectives in religious education.  As a Working Group of the REA/APRRE, we gather to provide one another collegial support and to stimulate thinking and discussion for the generation of new scholarship and resources. One of our first projects is this bibliography of religious education scholarship published by Asian and Asian North American religious educators.

•  Black Experience (coordinator: Annie Lockhart)

After time for introductions and checking-in, work group members will discuss the following questions: What do we as Pan African Scholars in religious education have to say regarding the 2019 annual meeting theme? and How might we respond both personally and through our churches/educational institutions to globalization in education?

•  Religious Persecution, Vicarious Trauma (coordinators: Sarah Tauber and Jennifer Haddad Mosher)

The Religious Persecution, Vicarious Trauma work group continues to examine a number of artistic responses to suffering in the wake of persecution. Using examples from Middle Eastern Christian and Eastern European Jewish communities, we explore how visual imagery and material space can be used pedagogically, rather than as a means of separation and segregation, as tools to educate towards common imaginative and healing responses to suffering.

•  Peace & Justice (coordinator: Carl Procario-Foley)

After introductions and general discussion, the Peace and Justice Work Group will discuss possible ways of engaging the theme for the 2019 REA Annual Meeting, potential collaborative projects with other task forces, and brainstorm about other ways of highlighting the importance of education for peace and justice within and beyond the REA.

•  Senior Scholars (coordinator: Bob O’Gorman)

•  Religion and Education (coordinators: Ryan Gardner and Callid Keefe-Perry)

Since its beginning The Schools Work Group explored the ways that schools can be an ecological support of all religious traditions, and how they can be a place and vehicle for growing intellectually probing, critically discerning, and spiritually oriented souls and citizens.

In 2018 we had a very engaging and productive working group meeting. There were twelve people in attendance. John Falcone and Ryan Gardner were the two members of the REA from the United States, and then we had two from Indonesia, two from Germany, two from South Korea, one from Turkey, one from the Netherlands, and one from Austria. Ben Marcus, from the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum Institute, also joined us, by special invitation. As we introduced ourselves to each other, we also shared what we were working on and what our current projects are. This gives us an opportunity to make connections, network, and explore possible collaborations.

We also had a report from Moon Son and Dr. Hyun-Sook Kim on the status of our proposal for a significant grant from the South Korean government to consult with religious education stakeholders in South Korea regarding the development of religious education programs in South Korea. At least two new members of our group may be joining our team for the South Korea project, which Dr. Moon Son will be submitting in February 2019. We will be sending that proposal around to the group to see if anyone is interested in joining us, and also to solicit feedback from other members of our working group.

We invited Ben Marcus to share with us the work he did in Albania this past summer helping government, academic, and faith communities work together to create a plan and a program for the development of a religious education approach in Albanian schools. We had a very robust and insightful discussion about lessons he learned from that experience that are relevant for our upcoming potential project in South Korea.