Saturday January 26, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM EST

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First Parish Church of Stow and Acton 
353 Great Road
Stow, MA 01775

Driving Directions 


Rev. Jack Lewis 
781.235.7423 x-112

Make it Better Now
Professional Development Opportunity for Unitarian Universalist Leaders

Join us for a day of workshops and discussions on how to better welcome and minister to LGBTQ youth within our Unitarian Universalist congregations.  This professional development opportunity is available for Ministers, Seminarians, Directors of Religious Education, Youth Group Leaders and all other UU leaders interested in exploring the pastoral care needs of LGBTQ youth, reflecting on church policies, and sharing best practices.

Make It BetterCOST: $15 per person includes refreshments and lunch


  • 9:30-10:00       Registration/ Gathering
  • 10:00-10:45     Welcome/ Goal Setting
  • 10:45-11:45     Workshop Block #1
  • 11:45-12:45     Lunch Conversation- Church Policies and GLBTQ Youth
  • 12:45-1:45       Workshop Block #2
  • 1:45-2:30         Youth Panel
  • 2:30-3:00         Closing Conversation


  • Clara Barton and Massachusetts Bay Districts of Unitarian Universalist Congregations www.cbd-mbd-uua.org
  • North Atlantic Regional Chapter- Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)
  • Renewal House- Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry www.uuum.org
  • Unitarian Universalist Association www.uua.org
  • West Suburban Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth (WAGLY)  www.WAGLY.org


  • Church Policies and LGBTQ Youth- Has your congregation ever reflected on what assumptions about gender and sexuality are including in its Safe Congregation and Youth Group policies?  Over lunch we will be examining a few sample policies and reflecting on heteronormative and gender binary assumptions contained within them. [Presenters- Rev. Jack Patrick Lewis, Assistant Minister at UU Society of Wellesley Hills and Executive Director of WAGLY & Michelle Cote, Director of Religious Education at the First Parish of Stow & Acton]
  • Creating a Culture of Safety, Acceptance, and Exploration - LGBTQ youth, youth groups, youth ministry  This facilitated discussion will give us a chance to explore our successes and struggles with welcoming and integrating LGBTQ youth into our communities. How do we create a youth group culture that is truly open and accepting? And what does it really mean to be an ally? [Presenters- Cindy Beal, Director of Religious Education at UU Society of Northampton and Florence and LREDA Board Member & Roberta Altamari, Director of Lifespan Religious Education at First Parish of Sudbury]
  • Pastoral Care to Support LGBTQ Youth  This workshop will provide the fundamentals of pastoral care to support LGBTQ youth. Some of the topics that will be covered are sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Sexual orientation assessment tools will be discussed and processed. [Presenters- Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cummings, UUA Director of Ministry to Youth and Young Adults of Color]
  • Playing it Safe: A Conversation about Teen Dating Violence  Join us for a workshop and discussion on LGBTQ teen dating dynamics, violence, and communities. In this session, we will be exploring questions of how we can validate teen relationships, offer support, and engage them in healthy conversations about dating and sex. Questions to consider include: how do LGBTQ teen relationships differ from other relationships? What specific struggles and issues do LGBTQ teens face? And what can ministers and congregations do to support healthy teen relationships? [Presenters- Pierre R. Berastain and Vilma Uribe, Renewal House at UU Urban Ministry]
  • The Power of Questions in Engaging with LGBTQ Youth- In any group, there are the possibilities of conflict, of avoidance or silence, or of "just being polite," which may not promote the deep engagement and trust you want in your youth group or congregation. This workshop is an opportunity to experience something else: genuine curiosity and inquiry, the power of questions to open up conversation and connection.[Presenters- Alison Streit Baron and Chloe Kanas, Public Conversations Project]
  • Youth at Risk: Understanding Disproportionate Violence, Suicide, and Homelessness among LGBTQ Youth - As suicide and homelessness rates for queer and trans youth skyrocket, it is more important than ever for liberal religious people to understand the disproportionate risks queer and trans youth face, and which youth may need the greatest support. Not only will this workshop inform pastoral care toward youth, but it will also speak to the need to ground our social justice efforts in the experiences of those who are most marginalized and in need. [Presenters- Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cummings, UUA Director of Ministry to Youth and Young Adults of Color & Zr. Alex Kapitan, UUA LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Administrator]
While online registration is closed, you are welcome to register in person on Saturday morning.  Just email Rev. Jack Lewis to let him know you're coming.  He wants to be sure there's enough food, seats and materials for everyone who attends!
Register Now!