Opportunities for Connection ~ May 2017
Opportunities for Connection ~ May 2017
Musicians and choir perform, dressed colorfully for UU worship.

Featured Resource: Worship Web

If your worship team is struggling to find readings and other worship materials, we recommend you visit the WorshipWeb pages of the UUA website. This site is filled with readings, stories, chalice lightings and more from a variety of sources on a variety of topics. You can also find advice about copyright and technology use.

Is your congregation participating in the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn? Thanks to Kenny Wiley of Black Lives of UU for creating this tremendous Worship Overview & Resource Guide!

The Worship Web team has created special thematic collections that provide resources on the topics of Black Lives Matter, Standing on the Side of Love, Worship in Tough Times, Ecological Disasters, After the Election and more.

If you have something to add to this WorshipWeb or any of its collections please submit it at the WorshipWeb submission form.

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

UUA Board Appoints Co-Interim Presidents

The Unitarian Universalist Association is in the midst of a tumultuous time. UUA President Peter Morales, Chief Operating Officer Harlan Limpert and Congregational Life Director Scott Tayler have resigned in the midst of controversy over UUA hiring practices. Since then the UUA Board has appointed three Co-Interim Presidents - the Rev. Sofía Betancourt, the Rev. William G. Sinkford, and Leon Spencer.  Rev. Sarah Lammert is serving as acting Chief Operating Officer. We recommend the UU World as an excellent source of coverage, including a compilation of statements from a wide variety of UU groups and individuals. Your Central East Regional Staff released a letter in response to the changes you can read here . As part of these changes, the UUA has endorsed the White Supremacy Teach-in put forward by BLUU. To learn more about these and find resources for your congregation visit the BLUU website.

We want to personally reassure you that despite changes in our UUA's upper management, your Central East Regional Team is prepared as always to support you, your leadership, and your congregation. Feel free to reach out to any one of us.

UUA General Assembly June 21-25, 2017

General Assembly is Coming - Are you ready?

General Assembly will take place in New Orleans, LA on June 21-25 this year. Registration and housing opened on March 1. Early Bird registration deadline is May 1. Learn more about General Assembly at the UUA website.

There will be a pre GA workshop - Resist and Rejoice: Undoing Racism with The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond June 20-21 in New Orleans. For details and registration visit www.uua.org/getready.

Prepare your heart, mind, and spirit to enter into the Resist and Rejoice! experience in New Orleans, arriving at GA ready to learn what the people, culture, history, and geography have to teach. Check out these resources to help you prepare. Choose at least one activity from each of five categories: Encountering New Orleans, Understanding Intersections, Enhancing the Capacity to Build Relationships, Centering the Experiences of People of Color, and Examining Whiteness. Before heading to GA, print the READY booklet from the webpage and tell us what you did. Turn in your list at the UUA Expressway to receive a READY ribbon to affix to your GA name badge!

Megan Foley

Better Together Blog: Thoughts in a Turbulent Time

Sometimes you sit across from people you know well, even people you love, and you just cannot believe how far apart from them you feel. You can’t believe how much you disagree. In between you is so much pain. So much misunderstanding. So much … distance. It’s tempting to turn away and move towards those who seem more compatible, to whom you feel closer in spirit, or in story.  To create an enclave of other people who look like you, who think like you, and who agree with you.

Read the rest of the article

UUA Chalice Gradient Version (Preview) (red shading to orange)

News from the UUA

Nearly half of all Unitarian Universalist congregations are joining the #WhiteSupremacyTeachIn. It's not too late to join in. "Whether your UU community has dozens of members and children of color, or just about everyone is white, the commitment to combat white supremacy must be strong and urgent. Battling racism in its many forms is not easy. Everyone has to start somewhere, and it takes a commitment to disrupt business as usual." Worship resources are now available: http://tinyurl.com/luumzou. Learn more from Black Lives of UU.

For youth! UUSCJ - Activate New Orleans: Racial Justice and Beloved Community, July 16-23. Black Lives Matter! ….and how shall we respond as Unitarian Universalists to the call for racial justice? This one-week training for high school youth offers interactive social justice education and meaningful hands-on work with local organizations building a thriving New Orleans. In a program grounded in UU values and practices, participants will engage issues of race and class against the unique backdrop of New Orleans. Together we will develop skills for producing social change through community engagement, and learn about how we can work towards building the beloved community. From the wetlands to the Mardi Gras Indian bands, from jazz to bounce, from gumbo to beignets, from Plessy vs. Ferguson to the Black Panthers, New Orleans offers so much to discover — including yourself and your call to justice. Financial Aid Available. Apply by May 1. Youth who attended high school during the 2016–2017 school year are invited to attend.

The Faith Development Office has published a series of small group ministry sessions designed for reflection, discernment, and commitment of faith at this moment in U.S. political history: A Call to Faith in Turbulent Times. Since the U.S. Presidential election, many Unitarian Universalists feel challenged by this moment in our nation’s history. Four new, two-hour sessions by the Rev. Marta Valentín for adult small ministry groups ("chalice circles") help us discern the requirements of our faith commitments and values. The sessions use a standard “small group ministry” format and include readings, audio-visual materials, and questions for reflection.

Join us in a Show the Love response to answer the call to justice, compassion, resistance and healing in our communities. Add your congregations' vigils, demonstrations, projects, and events to the Show the Love map. Together, we see how strong and wide our love can be. Check out the Show the Love resource page for regular updates to help you plan your congregation's response.
New publications from the UUA - The publications office has released a list of Race and Class Resources. Visit the Publications Page for details.

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

Calendar Items and News

For events, webinars and congregation news and events visit the following pages:

For more information contact cer@uua.org.

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