Opportunities for Connection ~ October 2018
Featured Resource: Ware Lecture Discussion Guide
One of the highlights of the 2018 General Assembly was the Ware Lecture by Brittany Packnett. This was a passionate and straight-talking talk about the place where we find ourselves and where we must find ourselves as individuals and as faith community. This talk offers much for us to reflect upon as we examine the impacts of racism and white supremacy culture within our faith.
To assist congregations in engaging with this material, the Commission on Institutional Change has created a discussion guide with questions to help participants consider the presentation. You can find the guide at the UUA website.
Stories for the Future of Unitarian Universalism
When it comes to our future, we know at least three things:
- Organized religion is changing at breakneck speed as more people— young and old, of all identities and races— look for new forms of spiritual community that better meet their needs for meaning, personal fulfillment and companionship;
- Our Unitarian Universalist tradition and principles speak directly and powerfully to many of them, even if our traditional ways of being in community don’t always;
- And UU leaders of all types, professional and lay, are pioneering new ways of being in community, worshiping, educating, expressing creativity, leading social justice and starting-up social enterprises that give exciting expression to Unitarian Universalism.
For Breakthrough 2018-19, the UUA and UU World want to tell your stories of innovations that are working, how you’ve brought them about and what you’ve learned along the way. This isn’t about numerical growth, community size or even whole-community programming. We want to celebrate innovative ways UU communities of all kinds— congregations, covenanted communities or start-ups -- are better serving those who need Unitarian Universalism right now. Please help us inspire others to see possibilities, to adapt ideas that are working, and to encourage all the change leaders among us. We can’t wait to tell your story!
Anyone familiar with a Breakthrough innovation can submit an application after notifying the appropriate community leader, minister, religious education (RE) professional and Board or Board delegate. To learn more and submit an application go to https://www.uua.org/growth/breakthrough/apply. Please apply by November 1.
Summer Institute Announces New Name
THE RESULTS ARE IN! Summer Institute finally has a new name, chosen by an overwhelming majority vote of members of the SI community, and that new name is… Central East Region Summer Institute!Our new name is practical and descriptive, it echoes our old name (switching OMD to CER), and, as a huge bonus, we now have an easy-to-pronounce acronym—let’s give a big welcome to our new nickname, “CERSI”! New logo and website coming soon!
CERSI WORKSHOP PROPOSALS BEING ACCEPTED NOW! One big way that you can help make CERSI 2019 awesome is to help us offer strong programming that will appeal to a range of people. Morning seminars for adults meet with the same group every day for 75 minutes, with content building from day to day. Early (inter-generational) and late (sometimes age-specific) afternoon workshops tend to be more open-ended, with folks coming and going during the 90 minutes of activity. All of them can be learning-based or activity-based, and topics might be spiritual, practical, physical, intellectual, gustatory, artsy, musical, or more! If you have an idea for an interesting morning seminar or afternoon workshop, please submit a proposal by October 30, 2018. The links can be found at http://omdsi.org/news/already-thinking-about-si-2019/
Better Together Blog: Falling Off the Log
“You promised Sunshine. You go first.”
I looked at the telephone pole 30 feet in the air on a mountain where we were 5,000 feet above sea level. She was right, I had promised that if asked any of the Coming of Age youth to do something, I would do it too. At that time, the ropes course was months away and barely worth my notice. Now, here it was. Very real and very high.
Did I mention I’m afraid of falling? It’s not heights. I can be high- it’s falling.
News from the UUA
Join the 2018 Mississippi Living Legacy Pilgrimage. Did you know that the Mississippi murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, roused the resistance into a Movement, that is, the American Civil Rights Movement? Understanding what is happening in our world today means taking the time to learn our history, so we can more effectively work against 21st century white supremacy. How else can we move to an equitable future? This pilgrimage is October 28-November 1, 2018. Learn more at their website.
Share the Word About UUCSJ’s Immersion Learning Programs with Your Community! Immersion learning is what happens to us when we step outside of our comfort zones and allow the world to speak to us. It’s in the sudden awakening we feel when we cross boundaries of language or culture, race or country, with open minds and hearts. It’s when people whose lives are different from ours invite us into their homes, and we leave with the recognition that we are family. Learn more about these opportunities, see how you can get your community involved. Experiential learning that inspires spiritually grounded action for social justice.
New online course: Transgender Inclusion in Congregations. Is your congregation ready to take your welcome to the next level? Our movement has come a long way with regards to LGBTQ inclusion, but there’s still a long way left to go. A recent survey of trans UUs found that only 44% of trans women and men feel that their current or most recent congregation is completely inclusive of them as trans people—and this number drops to a shocking 18% for non-binary folks. “Transgender Inclusion in Congregations” aims to make a dent in these numbers. This is not a “trans 101”—it’s a comprehensive, six-session online course for individuals, groups, and congregational teams that are committed to transformation, offered by two trans UU faith leaders: Rev. Mykal Slack and Zr. Alex Kapitan. Each of the course’s six sessions includes a 45- to 60-minute pre-recorded lecture, reflection questions, and resources that take the conversation deeper. In addition, Mykal and Alex will be holding regular live video chats for all current or past course participants. Congregational teams are particularly encouraged to take the course. Each of the course’s six sessions includes a 45- to 60-minute pre-recorded lecture, reflection questions, and resources that take the conversation deeper. In addition, Mykal and Alex will be holding regular live video chats for all current or past course participants. Congregational teams are particularly encouraged to take the course. Find out more and sign up: https://www.transformingheartscollective.org/online-courses/
College of Social Justice programs allow those passionate about social justice to experience this work in their areas of interest. Current locations range from Minnesota, Houston and Honduras and topics range from racial justice, to recovery to interfaith work. Volunteers also being matched with partners working with those directly affected by oppression. Congregations and clusters can also request programs in their interest areas. Learn more at the UU College of Social Justice website. Experiential learning that inspires spiritually grounded action for social justice.
Funds are Available to Take Your #PowertothePolls. The Fund for UU Social Responsibility is pleased to announce that grants of up to $500 are available for your 2018 Get Out The Vote projects! Unitarian Universalist congregations frequently support the democratic process in a nonpartisan manner by participating in voter registration drives, providing nonpartisan educational materials or forums for voters, or by volunteering to help registered voters get to the polls on election day. The deadline is rolling and you can apply between March 15 and November 1, 2018. Grants will be available until the fund is depleted. Applications and more information are available online. You can also contact us at uufunding [at] gmail [dot] com (uufunding [at] gmail [dot] com )or (617) 971-9600.
Support the Promise and the Practice of Our Faith. Since the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) Sunday campaign kicked off, many Unitarian Universalist congregations have been excited about exploring the theme of The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith and making a pledge to BLUU by June 30. Has your congregation scheduled your Sunday? Please post it to this map! This spiritual and financial commitment to BLUU allows UU congregations to address systemic inequality while uplifting the voices and stories of Black Unitarian Universalists. The worship materials, written by Unitarian Universalist Professionals of Color, allow Unitarian Universalists to deeply explore the challenges, the beauty, and the complexity of UU traditions from the perspectives of Black Unitarian Universalists. Join the UUA as it continues to work toward the path of being an inclusive, multicultural and multigenerational faith tradition. Get resources and guidance for holding a BLUU Sunday service in your congregation on UUA.org and help us all enter into a new chapter within our faith..
New publications from the UUA - Now available! Companion Resources to go with Revisiting the Empowerment Controversy: Black Power and Unitarian Universalism by Mark Morrison-Reed. October's Justice and Spirit Goodreads Book Club pick is History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times by Mary Frances Berry (Beacon Press). Visit the Publications Page for details.
The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.