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Opportunities for Connection-February 2016
Opportunities for Connection-February 2016
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Featured Resource: New Young Adult Programs

The UUA has announced TWO new programs for young adults in our faith.

For UU emerging adults (age 18-24) there is Meaning Makers, a yearlong spiritual development program including retreats, virtual monthly small group ministry and mentorship.  Kicks off June 6th-9th at UBarU in Texas.  Folks should apply by February 29th.

In partnership with the College of Social Justice, the UUA has developed Grow Racial Justice for young adults (age 18-35). This program will include a track for white young adults and will also include Thrive for young adults of color.  This summer gathering at the intersection of Unitarian Universalism and racial justice work will take place July 15th – 19th in New Orleans.  Folks should apply by February 15th.


Meet the Staff: Andrea Lerner, Congregational Life Staff

Andrea Perry Lerner, currently a Congregational Life Consultant for the Central East Region, has served the UUA as the District Executive for the Metro New York District for 8 years, and 4 years as the Program Consultant for Faith Development.  She is well-known for her use of social networking to relentlessly promote Unitarian Universalism - Friend her on Facebook, or look for her on twitter @RelentlesslyUU. You can reach Andrea Lerner at  alerner [at] uua [dot] org. Learn more about Andrea Lerner at her UUA staff bio page.


CERGing Forward Blog: Regionalization: A Retrospective

Way back in 2010, on Wednesday, June 23, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the day before the evening opening of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s 49th General Assembly, the members of the Boards of all of the Districts of the UUA were invited by President John Sanders of the District Presidents Association and Moderator Gini Courter to meet together to consider the history of the UUA and the Districts, the problems facing the UUA and the Districts, the impediments to changing our ways of working together as congregations of the UUA, what some regions (CERG and New England) had already done as regions, and what we as regions could see ourselves doing in the future.

Read the full text and comments of the post


District Assemblies Around the Region

District Assembly planning is well underway for the spring of 2016. This year's District Assemblies are very important as delegates will be asked to vote on measures to do with regionalization. Each district plans its own District Assembly. Dates and basic information are listed below. Additional details will be added as they become available.

  • St. Lawrence District ~ April 1-2, 2016 ~ Syracuse, NY. Theme speaker is Rev. Sue Phillips. Theme is Covenant. Registration is open.
  • Ohio-Meadville District ~ April 2, 2016 ~ Akron, OH. Theme speaker is Rev. Susan Ritchie. UUA Moderator Jim Key will also be in attendance. Theme is Better Together. Registration is now open.
  • Joseph Priestley District ~ April 8-9, 2016 ~ York, PA. Keynote speaker is UUA Moderator Jim Key. Theme is "Congregations in Covenant: Living the Interdependent Web". The district is accepting  District Award Nominations through February 29th at noon.
  • Metro New York ~ May 6-7, 2016 ~ Morristown, NJ. Theme speaker is Taquiena Boston, UUA Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness. Theme is Better Together. Workshop proposals are currently being accepted, deadline is March 1.

News from the UUA

Your Congregation Counts!  Hurry - the deadline is Monday, February 1 at 8 pm ET. To send delegates to GA in Columbus, OH you must certify your congregation by the deadline. Visit the UUA website for more information.

The UUA Bookstore has a new name! It is now called In Spirit: UU Gift and Book Shop. Same website, new logo. Still your resource for all things UU.

Who Should Receive the Award for Distinguished Service?  The Annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism is one of the most prestigious awards given by the UUA. The Board of Trustees seeks nominations for the 2016 award, to be presented at the 2016 General Assembly in Columbus, OH. Candidates for this award should have, over a considerable period of time, strengthened the institutions of the UU denomination, clarified the UU message in an extraordinary way, and exemplified what Unitarian Universalism stands for. The deadline for nominations is March 1, and the Board will make a final selection at its April meeting. Please send nominations to: Rob Eller-Isaacs, Chair, UUA Distinguished Service Award Committee, c/o Stephanie Carey Maron, UUA, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210; or by email to secretary [at] uua [dot] org.

Visit Nicaragua with UUCSJ  In partnership with Equal Exchange, the UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) is excited to offer a new immersion learning program- Nicaragua: Fair Trade and Environmental Justice-focused on sustainable development.  Nicaragua's history has been profoundly affected by U.S. interventions - both military and economic - and also by solidarity from U.S. citizens. As much as ever there is a need for our partnership, understanding, and vocal resistance to destructive policies. Join them May 21-28, 2016. Visit the UUCSJ website for more information and to register.

Learn more about General Assembly in Columbus in 2016.

New publications from the UUA - Listening Hearts is a new addition to the Deep Connections series; Assembled is an ebook of lectures and sermons from GA 2015; and more pamphlets including A Home for Multifaith People and Families, UU Views of Jesus, and Welcome to Our Community. Visit the Publications Page for details.

The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.


CER Events at a Glance

The following events are upcoming in the region. For full details and a complete list visit the CER Website's Events Page.

  • See the OWL and Renaissance Planning Calendar for spring and summer.
  • Sexually Safer Best Practices for Congregations ~ February 6, 2016 ~ Wilmington, DE
  • Regional Youth Caucus ~ February 12-14, 2016
  • Winter Institute ~ February 12-15, 2016 ~ Cambridge, OH
  • Building Our Capacity for Authentic Diversity ~ March 5, 2016 ~ Bethesda, MD
  • SLD YAC Conference ~ March 11-13, 2016 ~ Buffalo, NY
  • Exploring Congregational Partnership and Multisite Strategies ~ March 12, 2016 ~ Oakton, VA
  • SLD District Assembly ~ April 1-2, 2015 ~ Syracuse, NY
  • OMD District Assembly ~ April 2, 2015 ~ Akron, OH
  • UU UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar ~ April 7-9. Details at www.uua.org/unspringseminar
  • JPD District Assembly ~ April 8-9, 2015 ~ York, PA
  • OMDUUYAN Cabin Con ~ April 15-17, 2016 ~ Hocking Hills, OH
  • WNY Activate! ~ April 23, 2016 ~ Buffalo, NY
  • MNY District Assembly ~ May 6-7, 2015 ~ Morristown, NJ
  • OMDUUYAN Spring Con ~ May 20-22, 2016 ~ Columbus, OH
  • Summer Institute ~ July 17-23, 2016 ~ Oberlin, OH

CER Webinars at a Glance

The following webinars will take place in the region the next two months. For full details and a complete list visit the CER Website's Webinars Page.

  • UUA LFD Webinar Series: Naming Race. Tuesday February 16 at 1 pm ET and Wednesday February 17 at 9 pm ET.
  • UUA LFD Webinar Series: Meet the UUA's Stewardship and Development Office. Tuesday, March 15 at 1 pm ET and Wednesday March 16 at 9 pm ET.

Congregation, Cluster and Affiliate Groups News and Events

Our congregations and clusters in the region have many exciting activities and announcements going on. For a complete listing visit the CER Website's Non CER Events Page. To see which congregations are hiring, please visit our Job Openings Page for listings.

  • Towanda Universalist Celebrates 150 Years
  • New Jersey Congregations, Clergy, BLM Activists Organize for MLK
  • UU Fellowship of Harford County Hosts Plan Your Own Memorial Service February 27
  • Jubilee Anti-Racism Training scheduled for January 15-17, 2016 at All Souls Church, Washington, DC
  • The Once & Future Church ~ May 20-21, 2016 ~ Buffalo, NY area

If your congregation or cluster has news or events to share, please send it to us at bcasebolt [at] uua [dot] org

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For more information contact cer@uua.org.