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Opportunities for Connection ~ April 2018

Purple fountain and trees on pink cityscape background

Featured Resource: General Assembly 2018: All Are Called

Interested in attending General Assembly this year? Registration, housing requests and financial aid applications opened 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.

General Assembly is an opportunity to network with others, learn about new projects or ways of doing things, participate in the governance of our faith and meet a wide variety of UUs from around the globe. The opportunities are endless.

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 General Assembly.

Sky at Sunset

Summer Programs in the Region

Summertime offers a lot of different opportunities for individuals to unwind, share experiences, network and develop skills. Here is a taste of what is available just in our region:

Patricia Hall Infante

Better Together Blog: The Learning Lab of Life

Innovation! Adaptation!! Experimentation!!! We live in a time of incredible change and shifting paradigms. Technology continues to zoom along at a pace that is breathtaking and society seems to be chomping at the bit for the next big thing. At the same time, some of the things we thought we could count on to stay the same have fallen away or been eroded all across our society and our planet. Human rights, glacial ice, democratic principles and civility are under attack and there are moments when I wonder if the universe is testing humanity to find out if we are really up to the task of living meaningful lives.

Read the rest of the article

Joan VanBecelaere

Saying Good-byeSummer Youth Opportunities

Rev. Joan Van Becelaere will be retiring from the UUA to focus on her work as Executive Director of UU Justice Ohio on April 15. Now is your chance to say good-bye, you can email her at jvanbecelaere@uua.org or find her other contact information on her UUA Staff Page.

She will make her formal good-byes on our blog Better Together on April 9th.

UUA Chalice Logo

News from the UUA

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.

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. When the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) Sunday campaign kicked off, many Unitarian Universalist congregations were 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..

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: Faithful Practices: Everyday Ways to Feed Your Spirit, Upcycle Your Congregation: Creative Ideas for Transforming Faith Communities, In Later Years:  Finding Meaning and Spirit in Aging and Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment.  Justice on Earth is the Goodreads Justice and Spirit UU Book Club for April.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

  • CER Networking Mon 0920

    From Central East Regional Group
    Join us for the Third Monday of the Month Networking calls with Rev. Megan Foley.
  • The UU Identity Renaissance Module


    The UU Identity Renaissance module Module Requirements The UU Identity Renaissance module is an online learning experience comprised of five two-hour...
  • 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...

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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.

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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