Central East Region: CER News
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Opportunities for Connection ~ September 2018

CER Chalice Lighter Logo

Featured Resource: CER Chalice Lighter Program

The Chalice Lighter program has been in place for decades in most areas of the United States as a way to fund growth in Unitarian Universalist congregations helping to establish new congregations, improve and expand structures, fund new staff and resourcing programming innovations. Clusters of congregations may also apply for funding for collaborative projects.

Individual Chalice Lighter Subscribers pledge to contribute three times a year when the calls are issued – and those faithful contributions add up to significant funding. Since we have formed the Central East Region Chalice Lighter program beginning in the fall of 2017 replacing four individual District-based programs, we have awarded $140,000, building on the over TWO MILLION we have awarded in the past.  Details of recent grants appear in our newsletters.  Want to know more?  Read our FAQ.

To continue this worthwhile program, we need help from our congregations and members. To learn more please read the Better Together blog post on Chalice Lighters and Subscribe today!

Course Certificate as a part of the wider system

Grow Yourself, Grow Your Congregation!

Leadership is learned from experience, from mentors, from peers and from training. The UUA’s core leadership courses help new leaders understand how congregations function and help experienced leaders to develop strategies to help their congregation reach its fullest potential.

Centered Leadership Part 1 & 2:
Learn how to function as a centered, spiritual leader in an interconnected system of relationships creating the Beloved Community.

Strategic Leadership:
Focus your congregation on mission, by building trust and developing a cohesive leadership team.

Adaptive Leadership:
Learn to help your congregations face challenges that don’t have easy answers.

Fall Online Leadership Courses Open August 31st!
UU Leadership Institute

Courses for Committed Lay Leaders and Religious Professionals

LeaderLab Other Leaders

UU Webinar Series for Congregational Presidents

This Webinar Series will replace our Presidents and Leaders Roundtable for the 2018-2019 church year.

We at the UUA want you to be

  • Prepared
  • Supported
  • Connected

The Central East Region is partnering with the Southern Region in offering a series of webinars for congregational presidents, presidents-elect and past presidents.

Join our Virtual Congregational Presidents’ Webinars, a series of monthly on-line workshops led by UUA staff which will cover topics of interest to congregational board presidents. Cost is $55 for the series. This Webinar Series will replace our Presidents and Leaders Roundtable for the 2018-2019 church year.

Schedule: First Wednesday of the month at 7pm -or- First Thursday of the month at noon

Monthly Topics:

  • September: How to run an effective board meeting
  • October: Stewardship
  • November: Building trust and engaging risk faithfully
  • December: Safety
  • January: Three types of board work
  • February: Faith Forward
  • March: Meet the Leads
  • April: Confronting White Supremacy
  • May: Preparing new board members to serve

Call-in information will be sent to you before each call, for your convenience. After each call, we'll send out all the resources we discussed, including video content which we produce exclusively for our subscribers.
Register Now.

Renee Ruchotzke

Better Together Blog: A Traditional Ethics for a Sustainable Future

We are living in a time of great change, where the forces of greed, selfishness, and fear have been unleashed and the future is unclear. We religious liberals can play an important role in influencing the conversation in a way that can shape the future with the counterforces of generosity, mutuality, and love. Unitarian Universalists have many partners in shaping our future, and we can learn a lot from one another to amplify our shared values and voices.
Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

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@gmail.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. September's Justice and Spirit Goodreads Book Club pick is Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism edited by Meg Riley. 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:

Upcoming Events

  • Youth Ministry Connection Experiences

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    From MidAmerica Events
    Looking for ways to engage your youth and youth advisors in a virtual experience which connects them to other youth in their area, and is grounded in UU
  • OMDUUMA Fall Retreat 2020

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    OMDUUMA Fall Retreat 2020...
  • CER BIPOC Gatherings 92820

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    From Central East Regional Group
    Join us for twice a month gatherings for BIPOC members of congregations.
  • Congregational Leaders Check-In SEP 30

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    From MidAmerica Events
    We will respond directly to the challenges that congregations are encountering during this time of finding new ways to be in religious community.
  • Webinar Series "Unitarian/Universalism's Colonial Legacy: Are We an Imperial Faith?"

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    From International Programs of the UUA
    This fall, the Unitarian Universalist Association's International Office will join with the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists and th...

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Learn about the CER Primary Contact Program

By Central East Region of the UUA

From Central East Regional Group

The Central East Regional (CER) has a primary contact staff system to ensure our congregations know who to reach out to for assistance. Every CER congregation and community has a UUA Staff Member who serves as your Primary Contact for all services of the region and the UUA.

Primary Contact Program

Revisiting the Empowerment Controversy Black Power and Unitarian Universalism

From Skinner House Books

The preeminent scholar of black Unitarian Universalist history presents this long-awaited chronicle and analysis of the events of the Black Empowerment Controversy.

Buy Now

Love Like Thunder

By Jess Reynolds

From Skinner House Books

In the 2018 volume of the inSpirit Series a vibrant new poetic voice invites us into an intimate relationship with nature, God, and love itself.

Buy Now

Upcycle Your Congregation Creative Ideas for Transforming Faith Communities

By Sarah Lammert

From Skinner House Books

Engaging essays from Unitarian Universalist leaders in the field show creative ways to transform and "upcycle" the main ingredients of our congregations into something relevant, innovative, and new.

Buy Now

Justice on Earth People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment

From Skinner House Books

Fourteen activist ministers and lay leaders apply a keen intersectional analysis to the environmental crisis, revealing ways that systems of oppression intersect with and contribute to ecological devastation.

Buy Now

  • Stuffy Con

    Jenni Papp

    From Better Together
    Although humans can’t gather at church, stuffed animals still can! Plan your own stUUfieCON!
  • Stories We Carry

    Sana Saeed

    From Better Together
    We are layers and layers of stories passed down by our ancestors. Sana Saeed tells us part of her story.
  • primarycontact2020

    Central East Region of the UUA

    From Central East Regional Group
    The Central East Regional (CER) has a primary contact staff system to ensure our congregations know who to reach out to for assistance.

More from Better Together