Opportunities for Connection ~ September 2020

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: LeaderLab

Icons showing resources connected by a colorful network.

LeaderLab is a tremendous resource for congregational leaders. Itprovides multiple ways to access resources and even full length courses on a variety of topics. Here are some of your options:

  • A searchable database to help you find answers about questions you have around an area of congregational life. You can type in your topic and can find links to videos, articles, on-demand webinars and other resources.
  • 12modular training sessions that are particularly helpful for new board members, but everyone could use a little reminder on what it means to serve on the board of a religious organization. Board members could easily do these sessions at their own pace throughout the month and then participate in a discussion at the monthly board meeting. Additional training modules for other areas of congregational life are in development.
  • Interested in something more in-depth? Extensive training is available by taking one of the full length leadership courses from the Unitarian Universalist Leadership Institute that are designed to help leaders with the basics of leadership and to help them understand the unique complexities of leading in the context of our UU congregations. Courses are on demand and always open for enrollment. The latest addition is a course for Pastoral Care Providers. UU Institute has a complete list of the courses offered, both elective and on demand.

Just like Unitarian Universalism, LeaderLab is ever-evolving. New articles and videos are being added regularly. We welcome feedback as we continue to develop resources. We are all part of an ongoing and growing community. Please check outLeaderLab and let us know what you think.

Gathering Virtually this Fall

Computer with Zoom

It’s never too late to bring your church online this fall! Maybe you never really figured out how to do virtual church, hoping the pandemic would blow by before you had to learn? There’s still time to bring your church online for the fall by checking out theseZoom guidelines and services. You’ll see how to purchase a discounted Zoom subscription, tips for better worship, avoiding unwanted intruders and all the rest. Don’t let more time pass by before being together virtually this fall!

Help the Disaster Relief Fund Support Congregations

Wildfire overtakes homes in California hills

The UUA has created a disaster relief fund for those who want to make a donation to help congregations who have faced losses due to tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and more. Please donate if you can. To learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund visit their webpage. If your congregation needs assistance, you can apply for a grant on that webpage. We are Better Together.

Update Your Leadership Please!

Central East Region UUA Logo

It's that time of the year again. Your congregation has held its annual meeting and elected new officers, or it's on your schedule. You have new committee chairs appointed to lead your work for next year. But have you told anyone outside the congregation about these changes?

To help the UUA and the Central East Region stay in touch with the leaders of your congregation we need YOU to update your leadership information on myuua.org. This is the same place you update your UU World lists. Need help? Let us know or check out the webpage with the details. Please note that you can make these updates at any time. Many congregations hold elections in the spring or late fall, but appoint new committee chairs in summer or early fall. Each event should prompt a review of what is listed in myuua.org to ensure it is up to date. Staffing changes should also be listed in this location.

Need more details? Check our blog post on this topic from June 8th.

Better Together Blog: Nature as Beloved

Renee Ruchotzke

by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

When I first visited Ilze and Oskars on their permaculture farm in Latvia as a WWOOFER, Ilze sent me out to pick “salads” for dinner. When I asked where the lettuce garden was, she told me to pick wild greens. I asked her how I could tell the right ones. She gave me a wry smile and put her pinched fingers to her mouth and said, “just taste!”

Read the rest of the article

News from the UUA

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

Suggest a Theme for GA 2021. We are excited to announce an opportunity for you to win complimentary virtual registration to General Assembly 2021!

*Create a captivating theme and explain it.
*Suggest up to two areas of focus for GA.

*Submit your entry by September 11, 2020.

    Winner(s) will be announced September 29, 2020. For more information visit the GA home page.
    Need resources to help your congregation with the COVID-19 Pandemic and resulting issues? Please check the LeaderLab COVID-19 Resources and the Safe Congregations Team Resources. You can find the UUA Guidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides on the UUA website.

    The Office of Church Staff Finances reminds us this is a time when we have a lot of staff changes is our congregations. Please check out their LeaderLab page on Compensation Standards and Resources which includes their Benefits Workbook to help you make sure you don't miss any deadlines. You'll also want to check out their From Starting to Parting document that provides advice on welcoming new staff, providing ongoing support and ensuring healthy departures.

    Looking for speakers for your virtual services? The reality is that you can choose anyone regardless of geography. Many community-based religious professionals have developed a list to make it easier to find speakers. Also, don't forget to check out the CER Guest in Your Pulpit program, which includes both lay and professional worship leaders.

    New publications from the UUA - Available now for ordering is Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change, The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism and Aging, and Breaking and Blessing: Meditations by Rev. Sean Parker Dennison. Also available order is Stubborn Grace: Faith, Mental Illness, and Demanding a Blessing by Rev. Kate Landis andHeld: Showing Up for Each Other's Mental Health by Rev. Barbara F. Meyers. The UU Goodreads book for September is Scripture Unbound: A Unitarian Universalist Approach by Rev. Jonalu Johnstone.

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

    Calendar Items and News

    Do note that all CER in-person events through December 31 have been cancelled, postponed or moved to a virtual option. For events, webinars and congregation news and events visit the following pages: