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Opportunities For Connection ~ March 2016

Featured Resource: The New CER Website

The Central East Region is pleased to announce our new website hosted by the UUA.

Here you can find your congregation's primary contact, read the latest news for the region and our congregations, look at the list of clusters and find out which congregations are in each one. You can still learn about regionalization, find resources and discover what programming we are offering.

We have calendars for youth programming, regional programming, webinars and congregation and cluster events. You can subscribe to one or any combination of the calendars.

Please explore the site and let us know if you have questions, or can't find anything. And please update your bookmarks!

Renee Ruchotzke presents a Visioning Workshop at UU Congregation of Binghamton.

Meet The Staff: Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Congregational Life Staff

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke has served as Congregational Life Staff for the Central East Region since the Fall of 2010. As part of her program manager role for Leadership Development, she serves as Dean of the online UU Leadership Institute, blogs at Growing Vital Leaders and curates leadership resources on the UUA website. Rev. Renee serves as primary contact for congregations in the Toledo, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and New York State “southern tier” clusters.  When not serving other CER congregations, she sings in the choir and teaches Middle School RE in her home congregation, the UU Church of Kent, OH. You can reach Rev. Ruchotzke at  rruchtozke [at] uua [dot] org (rruchtozke [at] uua [dot] org). Learn more about Rev. Renee Ruchtozke at her UUA staff bio page.

Laura Conkle

CERGing Forward Blog: Finding Resources to Learn About Regionalization

I’ve written here previously about how we are our Unitarian Universalist Association. I’ve covered our Memo of Understanding which guides the formation of our Central East Region. I’ve written about getting stuck and unstuck and other topics. You can find my previous posts by searching my name or scanning through older posts.

As I sit to write today, probably my last post before our historic votes this spring, I’m filled with gratitude for my opportunities to serve. Which is not to say that my work around regionalization has been mostly easy or fun. In fact, lots of times my heart has broken wide open and my faith has been dinged. Staying committed to the real-world work of regionalization, which is much more an ongoing process than a one-time action, has required my faith to mature and deepen. And for that I’m grateful.

Read the full text and comments of the post

Central East Region UUA Logo

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. Childcare, scholarship and exhibitor deadline is March 1.
  • 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. Childcare, scholarship and exhibitor deadline is March 1.
  • 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. Registration is now open.
  • 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.
UUA Chalice Logo

News from the UUA

UU UNO Intergenerational Summer Seminar - Registration deadline is March 18 for early bird rates. Learn more at their website.

UU UNO Internships Available - The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office is currently accepting applicants for our summer internship program. The UU-UNO’s internship program is open to rising high school seniors (16 yrs+) and college students. Our internship program provides young people an exciting opportunity to learn about the United Nations and to work in support of its efforts to eradicate injustice and promote peace and human rights around the world. Interns working at the UU-UNO conduct research, build partnerships within the UN and NGO community, work on our communications, and develop resources. Our office focuses on a series of advocacy areas which are: LGBTQ Rights, Climate Justice, Women’s Rights, Every Child Is Our Child, and Racial Justice. The deadline for applications is April 15th. Learn more at their website.

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.

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 - Turning Point: Essays on a New Unitarian Universalism is edited by Fredric Muir. In fresh, inspiring essays, 20 Unitarian Universalist leaders issue a clarion call for change. Unitarian Universalism is at a crossroads. 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 Calendar Page.

  • See the RE Programs page for this spring and summer schedule of offerings.
  • Building Our Capacity for Authentic Diversity ~ March 5, 2016 ~ Bethesda, MD
  • OMD Social Action Conference ! March 11-13, 2016 ~ Youngstown, OH
  • SLD YAC Conference ~ March 11-13, 2016 ~ Buffalo, NY
  • Exploring Congregational Partnership and Multisite Strategies ~ March 12, 2016 ~ Oakton, VA
  • MNY Junior High Conference ~ March 19-20 ~ Manhassett, NY
  • SLD District Assembly ~ April 1-2, 2015 ~ Syracuse, NY
  • OMD District Assembly ~ April 2, 2015 ~ Akron, OH
  • MNY CONstellations Youth Conference ~ April 1-3, 2016 ~ Manhssett, NY
  • Hybrid Curriculum Planning Renaissance Module Beings April 4.
  • UU UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar ~ April 7-9. Details at www.uua.org/unspringseminar
  • JPD District Assembly ~ April 8-9, 2015 ~ York, PA
  • OMD Chaplain Training ~ April 8-10, 2016 ~ Rocky River, OH
  • OMDUUYAN Cabin Con ~ April 15-17, 2016 ~ Hocking Hills, OH
  • SLD Rochester Con ~ April 15-17 ~ Rochester, NY
  • Commissioned Lay Leader/Lay Ministry Retreat ! April 20-30, 2016 ~ Delaware, OH
  • 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 Webinars Calendar.

  • Faithify 101: Crowdfunding for Unitarian Universalists, March 1 at 8 pm ET. Register at the Faithify website.
  • UUA LFD Webinar Series: Meet the UUA's Stewardship and Development Office. Wednesday, March 15 at 1 pm ET and Wednesday march 16 at 9 pm ET.
  • Regionalization Webinar, Sunday March 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm.
  • Hybrid Curriculum Planning Renaissance Module Begins April 4.
  • UUA LFD Webinar Series: Radically Shared Ministry. Tuesday April 19 at 1 pm ET and Wednesday April 20 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 of events visit the CER Congregations and Clusters Calendar Page. For news and to see which congregations are hiring, please visit our News Blog for listings.

  • UU Congregation of Northern Chautauqua Celebrates Giving $10,000 to Charity
  • JPD Jubilee Ant-Racism Training ~ March 4-6, 2016 ~ Baltimore, MD
  • Fourth UU JPD Raical & Social Justice Summit ~ March 12, 2016 ~ Bethesda, MD
  • Leadership the UU Way ~ March 19, 2016 ~ Wilmington, DE
  • I-81 Cluster Conference ~ April 16, 2016 ~ Ithaca, NY
  • WNY Activate! ~ April 23, 2016 ~ Buffalo, NY
  • Delmarva Cluster Pastoral Care Workshop ~ April 30, 2016 ~ Lewes, DE
  • 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 (bcasebolt [at] uua [dot] org)

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For more information contact cer@uua.org.