Lifespan Religious Education: Sustainability & Faith – A New Way of Living

July 16 - 23, 2016

As stewards of the earth, it is essential that we relate to and learn from one another in order to sustain our faith and connect to the web of life. We will explore methods of transforming education into action-oriented and value-based experiences in our lives and the lives of future generations. There will be opportunities to examine questions such as:

  • How does our faith nurture our lives?
  • How do we keep faith alive in our children and youth so that they will want to be Unitarian Universalists as adults?
  • How can we communicate our values and advance our understandings through innovative programs?
  • How can we use our resources to enhance our commitment to a sustainable future?

Our theme speaker is climate activist and co-founder of the environmental group Peaceful Uprising, Tim DeChristopher. Tim states, “Climate change is a moral issue. We must bring moral leadership to the climate justice movement. We need religious communities to lead, challenge, and deepen the movement.”

This week we will examine ways to incorporate climate and environmental matters in our work as religious educators. Morning workshops will provide various methods to help us in lifelong learning and to create meaningful changes in our world. In the afternoons we will offer special tours of Star Island’s groundbreaking energy work and its systems (water, power generation, compost and gardens). There will be all kinds of conversations about what it means to be living in our world as Unitarian Universalist educators. We will discover what sustainability looks like in some of the most important relationships in our lives: with one’s faith, with fellow beings, with the earth, and with the divine.

Youth Programming

There is a morning program for children and youth from birth through high school. Children are grouped by age: nursery/preschool, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. The young people’s program will follow the conference theme which is Sustainability & Faith. Children will learn about Star Island’s energy initiatives and systems (water, power generation, compost, bee keeping, and gardens).

During morning programming, children build water powered rockets out of a plastic soda bottles; they create duct tape boats to race in the regatta; learn aikido, do yoga, row to Smutty Nose, visit the Marine Lab. In the afternoons there are activities for all ages including tie dying, swimming, boating, scavenger hunts, ice cream social, a softball game against the Pelicans. Evening activities are multigenerational events such as bonfire and marshmallow roasts, bingo, dancing, talent show, and musicale. There are family worships, a youth-led worship and a bridging ceremony for both junior and senior youth. Other activities include the polar bear swim, wake up singers, arts and crafts, scary story-telling, and much more.

Theme Speaker

Tim DeChristopher, climate activist and co-founder of the environmental group Peaceful Uprising. Tim is a seminarian at Harvard Divinity School.

Minister of the Week

Rev. Fred Small, President of Creation Coalition

Program Fee

$153/adult and youth 12+, $127.50/youth 6-11.


Contact Registrar Jane Clay at

Room & Board Rates

These rates include lodging, meals, and ferry transportation.

LRE Standard Shared Standard Single Motel Shared Motel Single
Adult 18+ $912 $1,193 $1,123 $1,585


Youth rates are determined by age on the first day of the program, regardless of room type.

LRE Under 6 6-11 Yrs 12-17 Yrs
Youths Free $462 $640

Ferry Schedule

Saturday, July 16
Departure: Portsmouth 2:25 p.m.
Arrival: Star Island 3:25 p.m
Saturday, July 23
Departure: Star Island 8:20 a.m.
Arrival: Portsmouth 9:45 a.m.


Registrar Jane Clay can be reached at