The Rev. Wendy Pantoja
A learning organization is one in which individuals are always growing, learning, and creating.
It is an environment in which there exists mutual respect and a willingness to examine
both one’s own assumptions and those of others. -Thomas R. Hawkins
And it is no different in learning congregations with the added benefits of growing stronger in our faith and Unitarian Universalist identity. Religious education is not just for children.
In the time I have been here you have shown very clearly that you love to learn. A class or workshop gets announced and on the first day many more people show up than had originally signed up for it. It is also manifested in the numbers that come to discuss books in the Lunch Bunch and the Sunday reading group.
There are other ways in which you have demonstrated that you are a learning congregation. You have welcomed consultants from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) who have worked with the congregation at large and with specific groups. You encourage lay leaders to attend district conferences and General Assembly. And some of you have shared what you have learned in your spiritual journeys by leading worship and workshops.
This year there will be many other opportunities to deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalism and what we are called to do. We have started the year with UU 101. This six-session class based on a UUA curriculum titled The New UU will focus on such topics as theology and worship, social justice, UU history, polity, and the meaning of membership. Already about fifteen folks have started the class most of whom are considering becoming members of UU Miami.
This month, the Religious Education Committee (REC) will begin its year-long Parent Exchange Educational Series. These sessions will run through the year and promise to cover such topics as homework, tantrums, discipline, and many others affecting families today. For more information, please contact Monica Rizzo, DRE, or Dan Dickinson, chair of the REC.
In January we will be beginning a reading group on the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. This book deals with the inordinate mass incarceration of people of color, mostly men, as a result of the war on drugs. Gregg Moore, co-chair of the Social Justice Committee, and I are working on bringing to our sanctuary two films that deal with this topic and which will be open to all who wish to attend even if they are not enrolled in the class.
Then in February, we will launch small group ministry with an Evensong series. These sessions help participants make connections with other members as they explore personal beliefs and possibilities. Structured as an alternative style of worship service, we will we sing, share readings and let our lives be our “sermon.” There are no “right answers,” only personal and evolving ones.
The learning congregation is a vibrant religious community as each member participates actively in their own transformation and that of the entire corpus. May we continue to learn and grow in faith.
En paz y fe,
Contact the Minister
Minister’s Office Hours
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 1 PM – 5 PM*
Monday: day off
Friday: Sermon writing day
Saturday: reserved for special meetings and other events
Please know that this schedule is subject to change in order to meet other ministerial and denominational responsibilities. It will also be revised over the course of the year in response to congregational needs.
Rev. Wendy is available by telephone 9 AM – 8 PM except on her days off. Emergency calls will be accepted at any time.
*It is always best to call for an appointment. If these hours do not accommodate your schedule, please do not hesitate to call for an appointment at a mutually convenient time.