1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:06,304 2 00:00:06,304 --> 00:00:08,720 Jim Key: Welcome Jessica York, Faith Development Director, 3 00:00:08,720 --> 00:00:13,726 for the presentation of Angus MacLean Award. 4 00:00:13,726 --> 00:00:27,340 [APPLAUSE] 5 00:00:27,340 --> 00:00:29,300 Jessica York: Angus Hector MacLean 6 00:00:29,300 --> 00:00:32,560 is one of our Universalist ancestors, 7 00:00:32,560 --> 00:00:36,110 a religious educator, and a minister whose legacy 8 00:00:36,110 --> 00:00:39,790 is central to our identity still today. 9 00:00:39,790 --> 00:00:43,980 Religious education that is child-centered, religious 10 00:00:43,980 --> 00:00:46,390 education which insists on relevance 11 00:00:46,390 --> 00:00:50,120 to the life of the participants of all ages. 12 00:00:50,120 --> 00:00:56,110 MacLean espoused experiential hands-on, full-body-on learning 13 00:00:56,110 --> 00:01:00,420 that involves all of our senses and anticipates diversity 14 00:01:00,420 --> 00:01:03,440 in the ways we each learn and grow. 15 00:01:03,440 --> 00:01:06,505 If you've ever heard the phrase, "the method is the message", 16 00:01:06,505 --> 00:01:10,300 you know something about Angus MacLean. 17 00:01:10,300 --> 00:01:13,010 MacLean served the St. Lawrence Theological School 18 00:01:13,010 --> 00:01:16,830 as professor of religious education and as dean. 19 00:01:16,830 --> 00:01:21,050 And in 1972, the school's Alumni Association 20 00:01:21,050 --> 00:01:24,410 and the UUA's Religious Education Department 21 00:01:24,410 --> 00:01:27,690 created the annual Angus MacLean award for excellence 22 00:01:27,690 --> 00:01:29,550 in religious education. 23 00:01:29,550 --> 00:01:32,910 And for 43 years, the award has honored someone 24 00:01:32,910 --> 00:01:35,730 who understands that religious education is 25 00:01:35,730 --> 00:01:40,280 crucial to sustaining our faith-- someone who 26 00:01:40,280 --> 00:01:43,830 has lived in bold service to this call. 27 00:01:43,830 --> 00:01:50,052 This year I present the award to Rev. Dr. Nita Penfold. 28 00:01:50,052 --> 00:02:01,996 [APPLAUSE] 29 00:02:01,996 --> 00:02:03,370 Jessica York: Angus MacLean asked 30 00:02:03,370 --> 00:02:06,660 us to recognize that how religion is taught 31 00:02:06,660 --> 00:02:10,680 is just as important as what is taught. 32 00:02:10,680 --> 00:02:12,320 Nita Penfold's work for our faith 33 00:02:12,320 --> 00:02:15,210 exemplifies this understanding. 34 00:02:15,210 --> 00:02:19,970 A multidisciplinary artist with degrees in divinity, the arts, 35 00:02:19,970 --> 00:02:22,530 and communication, and certifications 36 00:02:22,530 --> 00:02:25,850 in Montessori education and music, Nita 37 00:02:25,850 --> 00:02:29,710 is an educator whose many gifts help us understand and explore 38 00:02:29,710 --> 00:02:33,460 how faith development can and indeed must 39 00:02:33,460 --> 00:02:37,700 be nurtured among people of all ages and abilities. 40 00:02:37,700 --> 00:02:40,350 As one of its creators, Nita's name 41 00:02:40,350 --> 00:02:44,500 will forever be identified with the program she co-founded, 42 00:02:44,500 --> 00:02:45,876 Spirit Play. 43 00:02:45,876 --> 00:02:52,820 [APPLAUSE] 44 00:02:52,820 --> 00:02:55,290 Jessica York: A Unitarian Universalist adaptation 45 00:02:55,290 --> 00:02:59,500 of Jerome Berryman's play, which is based in the Montessori 46 00:02:59,500 --> 00:03:02,390 philosophy that encourages independent thinking 47 00:03:02,390 --> 00:03:05,010 through wondering questions. 48 00:03:05,010 --> 00:03:07,740 Numerous religious educators have participated 49 00:03:07,740 --> 00:03:12,810 in the more than 100 Spirit Play trainings Nita has led. 50 00:03:12,810 --> 00:03:15,280 Spirit Play programs are happening in congregations 51 00:03:15,280 --> 00:03:16,880 all across the country. 52 00:03:16,880 --> 00:03:19,360 And parts of Spirit Play, including 53 00:03:19,360 --> 00:03:23,720 wondering questions, independent learning activities, and story 54 00:03:23,720 --> 00:03:27,830 baskets, have become woven into the DNA of many 55 00:03:27,830 --> 00:03:31,490 of our religious education programs. 56 00:03:31,490 --> 00:03:34,300 To quote Angus MacLean, it has been 57 00:03:34,300 --> 00:03:39,790 said that liberal religion is a do-it-yourself kit. 58 00:03:39,790 --> 00:03:42,930 But there is a danger that we would make it a kit 59 00:03:42,930 --> 00:03:49,280 not only without blueprint, but without tools and materials. 60 00:03:49,280 --> 00:03:52,040 A religious educator, especially, 61 00:03:52,040 --> 00:03:55,470 is charged to find the tools and the materials 62 00:03:55,470 --> 00:04:00,060 and sometimes even to present possible blueprints to inspire 63 00:04:00,060 --> 00:04:03,580 and nurture the faith development of others. 64 00:04:03,580 --> 00:04:06,140 Nita Penfold has taken this charge to heart 65 00:04:06,140 --> 00:04:11,180 and gone well beyond to share resources across our faith. 66 00:04:11,180 --> 00:04:13,000 Spirit Play is not the only tool Nita 67 00:04:13,000 --> 00:04:16,779 has given us with which to work. 68 00:04:16,779 --> 00:04:22,240 Nita, you bless us by being an educator, 69 00:04:22,240 --> 00:04:25,320 preschool teacher, Montessori teacher, drama teacher, 70 00:04:25,320 --> 00:04:28,360 writing instructor, Renaissance leader, 71 00:04:28,360 --> 00:04:32,150 Unitarian Universalist religious educator. 72 00:04:32,150 --> 00:04:34,640 Through your 21 years of service as Director 73 00:04:34,640 --> 00:04:38,810 of Religious Education at the Milton, Lexington, Melrose, 74 00:04:38,810 --> 00:04:43,160 Massachusetts congregations, and as a teacher of spirituality 75 00:04:43,160 --> 00:04:47,460 and art classes at Andover Newton Theological School, 76 00:04:47,460 --> 00:04:52,100 as a writing workshop leader at Star Island and Ferry Beach, 77 00:04:52,100 --> 00:04:54,380 as a teacher in community outreach programs 78 00:04:54,380 --> 00:04:59,060 in Massachusetts, and am author for the UUA's own Tapestry 79 00:04:59,060 --> 00:05:01,510 of Faith core curriculum, you have 80 00:05:01,510 --> 00:05:04,250 helped hundreds of educators incorporate the arts 81 00:05:04,250 --> 00:05:07,660 into curricula. 82 00:05:07,660 --> 00:05:11,670 Nita, you bless us by being an artist, 83 00:05:11,670 --> 00:05:16,320 visual artist, award winning poet, singer. 84 00:05:16,320 --> 00:05:19,960 The light you shine on women's spirituality, 85 00:05:19,960 --> 00:05:23,220 the transcendent beauty of our everyday lives, 86 00:05:23,220 --> 00:05:26,580 and the serious work of play, reminds us 87 00:05:26,580 --> 00:05:30,980 of the ways that art both expresses and expands 88 00:05:30,980 --> 00:05:33,590 our human spirit. 89 00:05:33,590 --> 00:05:35,280 I do not believe the educator can 90 00:05:35,280 --> 00:05:38,600 be separated from the artist for as one member of the Melrose 91 00:05:38,600 --> 00:05:40,820 Congregation remarked, your ministry 92 00:05:40,820 --> 00:05:45,490 is integrated into all aspects of your life. 93 00:05:45,490 --> 00:05:50,680 Nita, you are a generous, loving, yet forceful spirit 94 00:05:50,680 --> 00:05:54,295 who is not afraid to speak up in defense of gentler souls 95 00:05:54,295 --> 00:05:56,670 and who does not ever check her values 96 00:05:56,670 --> 00:05:59,860 or her intelligence at the door. 97 00:05:59,860 --> 00:06:05,550 More yet, you encourage others, children, youth, adults, 98 00:06:05,550 --> 00:06:08,950 elders, teachers, religious educators, artists, 99 00:06:08,950 --> 00:06:12,210 to play their spirits out into the world, 100 00:06:12,210 --> 00:06:19,020 creating love, celebrating life, growing in faith. 101 00:06:19,020 --> 00:06:24,580 Assembly, I give you the recipient of the 2014 Angus H. 102 00:06:24,580 --> 00:06:28,830 MacLean Award for Excellence in religious education, Rev. Dr. 103 00:06:28,830 --> 00:06:29,810 Nita Penfold. 104 00:06:29,810 --> 00:06:57,400 [APPLAUSE] 105 00:06:57,400 --> 00:06:59,960 Nita Penfold: As religious educators, most of us 106 00:06:59,960 --> 00:07:02,840 toil behind the scenes, doing the work 107 00:07:02,840 --> 00:07:06,580 we are called to do with little expectation of reward. 108 00:07:06,580 --> 00:07:09,440 The work itself has to be enough. 109 00:07:09,440 --> 00:07:12,830 So it is somewhat of a surprise to find people somewhere 110 00:07:12,830 --> 00:07:15,770 have been paying attention. 111 00:07:15,770 --> 00:07:19,300 I am overwhelmed and greatly honored by this award. 112 00:07:19,300 --> 00:07:22,450 Thank you to the UUA, my soul sisters, 113 00:07:22,450 --> 00:07:25,342 and my husband, Nick Page, for their support. 114 00:07:25,342 --> 00:07:38,150 [APPLAUSE] 115 00:07:38,150 --> 00:07:40,000 Jim Key: Congratulations, Nita. 116 00:07:40,000 --> 00:07:44,630