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Better Together

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Central East Regional Group

  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    “Wayside Pulpits” have been mainstays at UU congregations for decades. They started out as outside display cases that hold an uplifting quote from a famous sage (or other respected source) printed on heavy poster-sized paper. Some examples are:...
  • The Central East Region’s staff is excited to announce the hire of Shannon Harper, our new Youth and Young Adult Coordinator.
  • By Beth Casebolt
    It's almost time for a new church year and you have new congregational leaders. Where do they find resources and training they need?...
  • Members of Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, NJ visited the Prague Unitarian Congregation in the Czech Republic from May 9 - 15. Members of both congregations hiked to the the Jan Hus pulpit, the rock located in the Benešov region southeast of Prague on which the early church reformer and martyr...
  • By Hope Johnson
    JUNETEENTH is a time for reflecting and rejoicing. From its Galveston, TX origin in 1865, the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States, and beyond....
  • All four districts have now voted to dissolve and regionalization is now fast becoming a reality. For those of you who are now asking but wait, how do I know who to call? Where do I go to get help? We have an answer. We ask that you start with your primary contact. What is a primary contact you may...
  • General Assembly 2016 in Columbus, OH is over and many decisions were made. Here is a short summary of what happened. For details please visit the UU World coverage of GA....
  • By Joan Van Becelaere
    By now, we all know the story of Orlando – it is the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in the history of the U.S., and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11 in 2001....
  • By Joan Van Becelaere, Megan Foley
    Dear Clergy, Congregational Leadership and Congregants of the Central East Region,...
  • Two members of the UU Congregation of Shelter Rock, Colin and Latifa, were greatly touched by the refugee crisis that began last fall. Latifa's family members had been refugees when her family fled Afghanistan in 1979 and eventually came to the States....
  • The Northern Virginia (NOVA) cluster religious educators have come up with a way to expand the religious education offerings for their adult members. They have created a website that lists Adult RE programming at each congregation that is open to members outside the host congregation. Cluster...
  • On Saturday, April 23, close to fifty Unitarian Universalists from congregations in Western New York gathered for a social justice summit at the UU Church of Buffalo. The summit focused on three topics: Climate Justice, LGBTQ Justice and Racial Justice....
  • By Patricia Infante
    The news is full of stories about sexual abuse in spaces we have always regarded as “safe.” You may have noticed that diverse community organizations such as churches, schools, and scouting are paying greater attention to the safety and well-being of everyone in their community. Are you feeling...
  • General Assembly, the annual business meeting and gathering of the UUA will be held this year in Columbus, Ohio on June 22-26. This is a great opportunity for our members to experience General Assembly and benefit from the resources provided there close to home....
  • In Fall 2015, the recently created Central East Regional Advisory Council conducted in-depth interviews with a limited number of congregational leaders and clergy around the region. This fall survey focused on Large Church leaders, Congregational Cluster leaders, and those who had experienced...
  • Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, PIttsburgh, PA, and the Delta Foundation held a "Hope Against Hate" rally at the church after a medical office on the North Side of Pittsburgh was defaced with a homophobic slur. Speakers included Dr. Stacy Lane of Central Outreach Wellness Center, Candi...
  • A couple weekends ago (on President’s Day weekend) CERG youth had our very first regional caucus at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg on Clover Lane! Our goal was to have youth and adult representatives from each district meet and figure out how to organize ourselves before the regionalization...
  • By Rose Edington
    The West Virginia House of Representatives has passed a "Religious Freedom" bill. You can read an article about this on the Think Progress website....
  • Last summer when the clergy of Montgomery County, Maryland realized that each was working on racial justice and Black Lives Matter issues in their congregations and communities, and each was struggling with the tensions, hopes, challenges and opportunities that racial justice work presents, they...
  • Several of our regional congregations have taken the plunge and tried out the new website template created by the UUA for UU congregations. We talked with two webmasters who have made the switch about their experiences and here is what they had to say....
  • By Hope Johnson
    The UUA has created a webpage with a google map that shows which congregations have a Black Lives Matter banner hanging at their building. Please check the map if your congregation displays one and see if you are on it. If not, let us know....
  • When a member of the UU Fellowship of Plattsburgh, NY came to the board of trustees and asked that they make a public statement regarding Syrian refugees, they decided to write a letter to the editor to their local newspaper. They were all greatly dismayed by the things presidential candidates and...
  • The Standing on the Side of Love Campaign is excited to share that Thirty Days of Love will be back in 2016 observed from Saturday, January 16 through Sunday, February 14, 2016, culminating on the 7th Annual National Standing on the Side of Love Day! Thirty Days of Love 2016 will lift up the ways...
  • Since 2004, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst, NY has been offering a special and highly successful program for 4th and 5th graders. First Light recognizes a first step in the development of a child’s Unitarian Universalist Identity. Each child signs up with an adult mentor—usually...
  • The Rev. Mary Grigolia has worked with the UU Fellowship of the Firelands in Sandusky, OH for four years, leading services once a month, facilitating a workshop/discussion after service and coffee hour/lunch. But last March she encouraged them to take a different path, totally dropping Sunday...
  • Having a keynote speaker share an idea increases its influence and impact. Having a dozen speakers has a multiplying effect. Video-recording those speakers and sharing the presentations widely can have an exponential effect. That’s what happened at the Dawning Future Conference hosted by the...
  • Congratulations to the UU Congregation of Buffalo, who installed the Rev. Joan Montagnes on Sunday, November 15, 2015!
  • On November 15, 2015, The First Unitarian Society of Plainfield discovered that it had been vandalized by someone throwing objects at their historic church’s large stained glass window.
  • The geography of Pittsburgh PA is challenging when trying to get from one part of the city to the other. With three rivers, a few tunnels and many bridges, it’s tempting to just stay in one’s own neighborhood. The UUs of Greater Pittsburgh challenged that tendency in the Fall of 2014 by...
  • By Beth Casebolt
    On September 5, 2015, the Unitarian Fellowship of Huntington, WV, experienced an electrical fire that results in fire, water and smoke damage throughout the building. Thankfully the fast response by the fire department prevented a total loss and minimized the damage....
  • By Douglas Taylor, Joan Van Becelaere
    Partnerships sometimes emerge in strange but exciting ways. The Partnership of the UU congregations in Binghamton NY and Cortland NY is a mix of contrasting sizes, ages and histories. But these contrasts bring strength to the relationship. This video shares the views of the ministers of the two...
  • By David Pyle
    A dream that began in 2012 became true on Sunday, October 18, 2015 for the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware, as they dedicated their new Church Home in Lewes, Delaware. The congregation moved this fall from their small rental space to this spacious converted home, which they had...
  • UU Congregation of Sterling has been working towards change and understanding of racial issues. Here is what they've done from their October Newsletter article - Spare Any Change?...
  • By Megan Foley
    Many CERG congregations are choosing to respond to the events of the Black Lives Matter movement by posting “Black Lives Matter” signs in front of their congregations.
  • By David Pyle
    Is your congregation considering expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, by placing a banner or sign on congregational property or your web presence?
  • Unitarian Universalist seminarians in the southern Central East Region gathered August 20-22 in beautiful New Windsor, Maryland for our third In Care retreat. Together, they worshipped, got to know each other, asked burning questions, and examined real life ministerial case studies. "These...
  • By Beth Casebolt
    Have you heard about Faithify.org?...
  • Every year at this time of the year we have new staff starting in many of our congregations - new settled ministers, interim ministers, new religious educators, music directors and administrators. The staff of the Central East Region would like to welcome all our new folks to our region and let you...
  • We'll be expanding this blog to posts from all our regional staff and feature the work and unique programs of all congregations and clusters in the region. Next week will be our first regional post at our new home....
  • The board meeting was tense. There was a difficult issue under discussion, and no clear answer was presenting itself. Greg, a young adult and newer board member, mentioned that he had recently been on a web meeting as part of the Healthy Leadership 101 course he was taking, and that a leader from...
  • Rev. Scott Tayler and Rev. Joan VanBecelaere are very please to announce the addition of three new staff to the Central East Region Congregational Life Team as well as several other additions to other regions. Raziq Brown, Rev. Megan Foley and Rev. Hope Johnson will join the team this fall....
  • It is with great sadness we tell you that on July 9th the Rev. Chris Neilson lost her battle with leukemia. She was well known in both the OMD and the SLD....
  • It was a busy week, the week we were at General Assembly. Lots of news to share!...
  • By Evin Carvill Ziemer
    It's that time of year again! Time to sign up for Goldmine. What's Goldmine? It's a week long life changing experience for teenage UU's. It's a chance to practice leadership skills, to explore one's values, to ponder on one's own calling. It's a chance to learn to lead worship and to learn more...
  • By Evin Carvill Ziemer
    Why are all those yellow shirts marching in Cleveland? They're not all UU's, the story is even better than that. And might help you know what to work on in your city.
  • By Evin Carvill Ziemer
    My son is 19 months old and his favorite topic of conversation is what noises animals make. No surprise then, that one of his favorite songs is "Old MacDonald". At our house "Old MacDonald" has a lot of verses. There are every variety of farm animal and usually the babies too. And there are elk,...
  • By Joan Van Becelaere
    Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of wonderful, creative energy in some of our congregations focused on the benefits and opportunities of working in Partnership with other congregations....
  • And Spring arose on the garden fair,...
  • By
    First Unitarian in Rochester NY has made some really exciting changes in how their youth program is structured. While they have a large youth program, the philosophy of these changes is accessible to youth programs of every size. Here's an over view from Sheila Schuh, DRE:...
  • I have had the privilege of being the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst for 4 years now. As any veteran DRE knows, change is something that often needs to be approached delicately, and in small increments. For at least my first 2 years, consistency and a...

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