Central East Region: CER News
Main Content

Opportunities for Connection ~ March 2018

word cloud of congregational life area resources

Featured Resource: CER Resource Pages

The Central East Region announces a new addition to our website - Resource Pages by Topic.

We know our congregations are looking for resources. And to help you find them we've created these pages on a variety of topics relating to congregational life. Each page points to blog posts, books, webpages and videos curated by the program manager for that area of congregational life.

Topics we currently have include:

  • Resources for Congregational Leaders such as Communications & Social Media, Stewardship, Developing Leaders
  • Resources for Conflict Transformation and Multicultural Transformation
  • Faith Development Resources for youth ministry and safe congregations
  • Governance Resources
  • Resources for Re-imaging Religion including Growth and Vitality, and Multi-site or Partnership situations
  • Resources for congregations with specific size challenges such as smaller or larger congregations
  • Tips for congregations to be good employers

Check it out and let us know what other resources would be helpful.

Purple fountain and trees on pink cityscape background

General Assembly 2018: All Are Called

Interested in attending General Assembly this year? Registration, housing requests and financial aid applications open on March 1.

Grounded in a deep belief that we are all prophets, Unitarian Universalists ask, “How can we faithfully meet the demands of our time?” The call to witness and act for justice in our society and in the world is clear. So, too, is the call to examine our structures and practices, dismantling and transforming those which fail to recognize the full humanity of all people and to honor the interdependent web of life. Join us in Kansas City as we dive deeply into questions of mission for our Unitarian Universalist Association, for our congregations and communities, and for each of us as individuals.

New this year you can propose a Networking Session or apply to present a poster. Deadlines for both are March 15th. See the GA webpage.

Deadline for Financial Aid Application is March 31, and early bird registration ends April 30. Off-site delegate options are also available to those who are unable to travel to Kansas City. Learn all the details at www.uua.org/ga.

Hope Johnson

Better Together Blog: Making Holidays Relevant Today

February. Black History Month. I celebrate Black History every day of my life so I find it odd to devote one month in the year to celebrating Blackness.

I am keenly aware that many Unitarian Universalist congregations struggle with what to do all month. This month. With the escalation of obvious racial injustices, coupled with our Unitarian Universalist commitment to dismantling systems of white supremacy, it is important to honor and to commemorate the painful legacy of the Black experience in this country. And yet, it is important to keep the hope for a more just future alive, not only by praying, but also by doing.

Read the rest of the article

Youth at Goldmine

Summer Youth Opportunities

Goldmine Leadership School
Offered by the Central East Region, Goldmine is an intense leadership school for youth focusing on self-reflection and leadership skills. Youth learn concrete leadership skills, learn to lead a worship in a wide variety of youth worship styles, and work to articulate the faith based grounding for their values and leadership. 2 dates and locations this year!

Summer Seminary
Summer Seminary is a program for Unitarian Universalist youth exploring the possibility of becoming a religious professional. Focusing on discernment and exploring various forms of ministry including parish, lay, community, religious education and music ministry, the program offers youth the opportunity to learn about life as a religious professional, and connect with other youth passionate about Unitarian Universalism considering religious professional career paths. Summer Seminary 2018 will be at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago, IL July 24-30, 2018. Learn more at the UUA website.

Now is the time to Activate Your Summer! from UU College of Social Justice
Do you know a youth who wants to learn more about social justice activism? Are you a youth who is already passionate about taking action for justice? Consider applying for – or spreading the word about – these upcoming programs:

  • Activate New Orleans: Racial Justice & Beloved Community, July 15-22, 2018, in partnership with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal
  • Activate Tucson: Sanctuary, Solidarity & Immigration Justice, Aug. 5-12, 2018, in partnership with BorderLinks
  • Learn more at the UU College of Social Justice
UUA Chalice Gradient Version (Preview) (red shading to orange)

News from the UUA

Ministers, Treasurers and Congregational Leaders are invited to check in with the Congregational Giving Team during one of our monthly Annual Program Fund monthly webinars, which will take place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 5-6 pm ET. If you have questions about how APF works, please join us. At the meeting time, join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/6179486514

Are you a credentialed religious professional who has given or will give a sermon on the topic of Stewardship between April 16, 2017 and April 15, 2018? You are eligible for the Stewardship Sermon Award! The UUA is now accepting submissions for the Stewardship Sermon Award. More info is available at the UUA website.

Support the Promise and the Practice of Our Faith. New materials are available for congregations to use during The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith campaign. Congregations now have customizable campaign flyers and campaign talking points/resource guides at their fingertips. Request a complimentary 11x14 campaign poster to hang on your bulletin board. Use these materials to amplify the campaign. All congregations are encouraged to hold a service dedicated to the campaign’s theme and submit a financial pledge of $10/member or soul served to be eligible for the $1:$1 match by June 30, 2018. To request these new materials or learn more about the campaign, visit uua.org/BLUU-campaign.

Submit Original UU Hymns and Win! - The Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) is seeking original music and lyrics suitable for congregational singing (otherwise known as "hymns") in UU worship services. The 2018 Vincent B. Silliman Congregational Song Competition will award $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place, and name nine honorable mentions. The winning hymns will be sung at the UUMN Annual Conference in Portland, OR, August 1-5, 2018. The deadline is April 30. Early submissions are encouraged. For more information and to apply, visit the UUMN website.

Spiritual Leadership in Communities of Faith: A Contemplative Retreat - Being a spiritual leader should be rich and rewarding work—for clergy, religious professionals, and lay leaders. But the continual tectonic shifts in the landscape of religion in America is making it difficult. That’s why nurturing your own spirituality is essential. To help you do just that, the Center for Congregational Spirituality is offering a spiritual leadership retreat, July 29 – August 3, 2018, at the Transfiguration Spirituality Center near Cincinnati, Ohio. This one-week contemplative retreat—designed for both lay and ordained spiritual leaders—will explore how the practice and ministry of spiritual direction can help you faithfully attend to the spiritual lives of others in your community of faith while staying grounded in your own relationship to the source of our being. The program is limited to 24 persons. In order to achieve a balance of roles, registration will be capped at 8 clergy, 8 religious professionals, and 8 lay leaders. The tuition is $1750, which includes a single room at the retreat center and all meals. Register before February 28, 2018, and receive an early bird discount of $500—use discount code EARLYBIRD when registering.

New publications from the UUA - The following new publications are now available: In Later Years:  Finding Meaning and Spirit in Aging and Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism. Visit the Publications Page for details.

The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage. The UUSC is hiring a new president and CEO. Beacon Press is also hiring a Publicity Assistant.

Calendar Items and News

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

Upcoming Events

  • Congregational Leaders Check-In SEP 23


    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.
  • VirtUUal Youth 2


    From Central East Regional Group
    This studio space is for adults who organize or facilitate UU congregation youth groups, two sessions.
  • Webinar Series "Unitarian/Universalism's Colonial Legacy: Are We an Imperial Faith?"


    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...
  • Webinar: Small Congregation Check-In Sept 24


    From MidAmerica Events
    A time for leaders of small congregations in the MidAmerica Region and elsewhere to check-in about the challenges UU religious communities face
  • CONstituent YA Con in Hinsdale IL


    From MidAmerica Events
    Join us (Mid-America Unitarian Universalist Young Adults) for a weekend of conversation, contemplation, resting and learning in Hinsdale IL Sept 25-27...
    Hinsdale, IL

Search events

Testimony The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism

By Meg Riley

From Skinner House Books

A dynamic collection of personal stories from people whose lives have been dramatically changed by Unitarian Universalism.

Buy Now

Daring Democracy Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want

By Frances Moore Lappé, Adam Eichen

From Beacon Press

An optimistic book for Americans who are asking, in the wake of Trump's victory, What do we do now? The answer: We need to organize and fight to protect and expand our democracy.

Buy Now

Centering Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry

By Mitra Rahnema

From Skinner House Books

A joint project of CARM and Skinner House Books, Centering is the first book to center the stories, analysis, and insight of Unitarian Universalists of color offering their religious leadership. Pre-order now! Books are due to arrive at our warehouse on 5/26/17.

Buy Now