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

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Featured Resource: UUA LeaderLab

What would Unitarian Universalism look like if we trained our lay leaders as highly as we train other religious professionals such as ministers and religious educators? We would no longer be able to joke that we’re too disorganized to be called “organized religion.”

Your UUA Congregational Life staff has been working on a variety of online resources for lay (and professional!) leaders, and it’s now ready for its Beta release.

Introducing LeaderLab!
LeaderLab is our new home page for congregational leaders. There you will find the portal to our leadership material database, training for board members and congregational leadership development teams, leadership schools (both in person and the online UU Leadership Institute), upcoming live webinars and on-demand online courses.  www.uua.org/leadership

Breakthrough Congregations - New Ways for a New Day

Is Your Congregation a Breakthrough Congregation?

We are looking for Unitarian Universalist communities of all kinds-- congregations, covenanted communities or start-ups that have demonstrated new and better ways of meeting the needs of people who are currently underserved or not served at all in our religious communities. We’re looking for innovative approaches of real significance that have succeeded in bringing new vitality to UU communities, and for the stories of successful change leadership that have brought them about. Stories that would be inspiring and useful to other UU communities trying to meet similar needs. This isn’t about numerical growth, community size or even whole-community programming. We want to celebrate innovative ways UU communities  are adapting to the challenges that they face in this changing religious landscape. Learn more and apply on the UUA website. And congratulations to the All Souls UU Church in Bellville, OH who was selected as a breakthrough congregation in 2017-18.

Joan VanBecelaere

Better Together Blog: Now is the Time

“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season.  (W.E.B. DuBois)
For me, now is the accepted time and the appropriate season to retire from my work with the Central East Region as a congregational life consultant as of April 15, 2018.  This was decision was not made lightly.  There are a number of personal,  health and deep family issues that have combined to make this the right decision for me and my family at this time.

Read the rest of the article

a crowd of engaged people getting ready to use UUA web resources to prepare themselves to get the most out of GA2018 in Kansas City, MO

General Assembly Preparation Materials Available

The UUA has created Preparation Materials again this year for General Assembly to help our delegates be prepared to attend and participate. The booklet contains 5 sections and you can use these suggested resources to prepare for transformative experiences in worship, witness, collective decision-making, and learning. If you are attending as a group, completing the activities together will help everyone be better prepared for GA.

Complete one activity from each section and record it on your printed document or on the online form and receive a ribbon at GA from the UUA Expressway! Learn more at www.uua.org/ga/prep

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

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..

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.

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.  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

  • 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

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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.

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