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Opportunities for Connection ~ June 2019

Three gondolas are silhouetted in front of a purple arched bridge

Featured Resource: General Assembly 2019 Prep Webinars

In a time of great challenge and heartbreak in our world, what does our faith ask of us?

At this year's General Assembly we will explore the power, possibility, purpose, struggle and joy of finding the path forward together as Unitarian Universalists. During this time of rapid change, the collective practice of our faith evolves and adapts to follow that path. General Assembly 2019 will have new elements that will help us begin to move through the journey, including streamlined business sessions and deep discussion groups to help explore and strengthen "the power of we." Whether you're a first-time delegate or a long-time attendee, please join us at a pre-GA webinar to learn about some of these changes. Members of the Board of Trustees will provide an overview of some of the changes, along with information for delegates regarding the business sessions.

Visit the UUA website for full details on how to access the webinar. Dates and times of the webinar offerings include:

  • Sunday June 2, 2019, 1 pm - 2:15 pm PDT
  • Monday, June 3, 2019, 8 am - 9:15 pm PDT
  • Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 5 pm - 6:15 pm PDT
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 1 pm - 2:15 pm PDT

If you're unable to participate in any of the scheduled webinar options, a video of one of the webinars, the slide deck presentation, and some frequently asked questions will be posted on UUA.orgbefore GA.

River Rising image.

River Rising Offers Youth Leadership Training Re-Imagined

We are excited about our new version of leadership school in Central East Region!

This school is built on the premise that to be a good leader you must know how to take care of yourself - emotionally, spiritually and physically - and be able to care for your your people, whether they are in your congregation, camp, school, or friend group.

It's about recognizing and honoring a reciprocal relationship with the natural world if we are going to survive as a species.

And it's about collaboration, creative problem solving, and joyful play as self care and spiritual practice.

And here's the best news: any UU youth entering 9th-12th grades in the United States and Canada can attend River Rising, even if they've already attended CER Goldmine or another leadership school! Scholarships are available! Learn more on the CER website.

Starfish on beach with a foamy wave next to it

Looking for Professional Development? Try RE Week at the Sea!

Five Days of Learning, Collegial Connection and Relaxation for all Religious Educators including Professional Faith Development Staff, Ministers, and Lay Leaders is available this summer in Ocean Grove, NJ!

RE Week at the Sea offers two learning sessions, Mon-Wed and Wed-Fri. Participants may opt to attend a single 2.5 session or the full two session week (Mon-Fri). Training options include:

  • UU Theology Hybrid Renaissance Module
  • Building a Culture of Inclusion
  • Leadership for Unitarian Universalist Religious Educators
  • Worship Renaissance Module

Find all the details and register on the CER website.

photo of Andrea Perry Lerner

Some Goodbyes, Some Welcome Backs, But Same CER Team Spirit of ‘Better Together’

Summer is bringing some staffing changes to Central East Region.

Our biggest piece of news is that Andrea Lerner, who serves our congregations in the Metro New York area, will be retiring from the Central East Regional staff as of June 30th of this year. Budget cuts at the UUA have led to a need to downsize in the Region, and we are grateful for her willingness to retire sooner than had been originally planned.  Andrea has been ably serving the former Metro New York District and now the Region for sixteen years, and I know you’ll join me in celebrating her tenure and wishing her well in her next chapter.

On July 1 we’ll welcome back Rev. David Pyle to our staff after his year with the New England Region.

Read the full blog post about the changes coming to the region's staff, including timelines.

Megan Foley

Better Together Blog: Create a Counter Narrative in Your Church

by Rev. Megan Foley

If you’ve ever studied Unitarian Universalist theology over the course of history, you’ve seen that again and again, UUs choose to be “this worldly” in orientation. Over the course of the past few hundred years we proposed that human beings can improve themselves in this world, not a heavenly one. We proposed that this world could be made better if we acted for good. We proposed that hell is only something we make in this world, not something to be threatened with after we die. And we proposed that the human life itself has sacred worth and meaning and that wasting and abusing it is an epic tragedy.

Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

Did you know? The pledge letters for all congregations in the UUA were mailed to the church's mailing address in March. This letter states the amount of your fair share for 2019-2020 and asks that you please submit your form so we can plan our budget for next year. If your congregation did not receive yours, or it has been misplaced, please contact the Annual Program Fund office at apf@uua.org.

Calling all high-school aged youth, join the UU College of Social Justice from July 13th through the 20th for Activate New Orleans: Racial Justice and Beloved Community! This one-week training for high school youth offers interactive social justice education and meaningful hands-on work with local organizations resisting white supremacy and building a thriving New Orleans. In a program grounded in UU values and practices, participants of all backgrounds are welcomed to engage issues of race and class against the unique backdrop of New Orleans history, culture, and activism. Generous financial aid that can cover up to 75% of the program fee is available based on need until funds are spent. Learn more and register by May 31st at UUCSJ.ORG/ActivateNewOrleans

New publications from the UUA New from Skinner House books is The Spirit That Moves: Readings and Rituals for Times of Change and Transition by Rev. Barbara Child on change in congregations, Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience, Goodness Gracious: A Gratitude Book for Children, and Sparks of Wonder: Theme-Based Ministry for the Whole Congregation. The June Goodreads Book Club pick is A Queer History of the United States For Young People by Michael Bronski and adapted by Richie Chevat (Beacon Press). Check the Publications Page additional reviews and book details. Also look for Skinner House at General Assembly!

The UUA is hiring for several positions including Regional Lead for the Pacific West and MidAmerica regions, regional field staff for the Pacific West and New England Regions, and an Organizing Strategy Director. 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

  • Dimensions of Faith Development Online Training


    Natalie Briscoe shares her groundbreaking work for a new look at the Dimensions of Faith Development.
  • Congregational Leaders Check-In OCT 28


    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.
  • Gathering for Presidents


    From New England Region
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gatherings-for-congregational-presidents-t… here! You asked for regular meetings for congregational presidents, and here...
  • Zoom Skill Up


    From New England Region
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zoom-skill-up-for-congregational-volunteer… here! Do you need a deeper bench of Zoom volunteers in your congregation? Need...
  • Ordination of Dan Miyake in Clarklake, MI


    From MidAmerica Events
    Dan Miyake will be ordained by the UU Church of East Liberty in a virtual event Nov 1

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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

Current Chalice Lighter Call Benefits CER Congregations

From Central East Regional Group

The Fall Call will help fund projects like these congregations.

Current CER Chalice Lighter Call

General Assembly, the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates....

General Assembly OLD

The Spirit That Moves Readings and Rituals for Times of Change and Transition

By Barbara Child

From Skinner House Books

In The Spirit That Moves, editor Barbara Child has collected a wealth of worship materials to help you and your congregation turn transition into transformation.

Buy Now

Spilling the Light Meditations on Hope and Resilience

By Theresa I. Soto

At once deeply compassionate and spiritually empowering, this volume of the inSpirit Series by Rev. Theresa I. Soto tends to our souls and emboldens us to become our truest selves.

Buy Now

Sparks of Wonder Theme-Based Ministry for the Whole Congregation

By Becky Brooks, Erika A. Hewitt

Buy Now

A Queer History of the United States for Young People

By Michael Bronski

From Beacon Press

Queer history didn't start with Stonewall. This book explores how LGBTQ people have always been a part of our national identity, contributing to the country and culture for over 400 years

Buy Now