Opportunities for Connection ~ July 2018

Becoming a Safer Congregation: A UU Guide to Effective Safety Policies and Practices

Featured Resource: Becoming a Safer Congregation Handbook

Our congregations strive to be safe and welcoming places to all. It is impossible to make a congregation 100% safe; however, there are steps that you can take to make your congregation safer while still creating a supportive space for learning, growth, and challenge as well as actively working for the inclusion and safety of all people.
This handbook contains resources for congregations to prevent and address issues pertaining to the safety of our people (staff, volunteers, leaders, congregants, guests, children, youth, vulnerable adults, etc), places (congregational buildings, grounds, campus, etc), and things (finances, data, property, etc).
Already a safe congregation? The second hardest part of this process is thinking your congregation is "done." Keeping up to date on your safer congregation policies and procedures means that your policies and procedures need to be reviewed and scheduled for updating on a regular basis. This resource can help!
Read the handbook at the UUA website.

Purple fountain and trees on pink cityscape background

Looking for General Assembly Resources?

What a great General Assembly we had. All of the events that took place in the main hall such as the Opening Ceremonies, all the business meetings, the Ware Lecture, the Synergy Bridging Ceremony, the Sunday Morning Service and the Closing Ceremonies were recorded and are now available on the UUA website and the UUA YouTube Channel. Additional resources, such as the amended texts of the Actions of Immediate Witness and the accepted Congregational Study Action Issue will be published to the UUA website in the coming weeks.
During GA there was a time of discussion for all the participants where they talked about these four questions:

  • What is essential to you about being a Unitarian Universalist?
  • What do our purposes and principles capture well that is essential to who we are and what we must do as Unitarian Universalists? What do they leave out?
  • How could our mission, purposes, principles and bylaws more accurately convey our vision of a future for our faith that compels us to act on our deep commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression?
  • In what specific ways are we asked to transform lives, communities and the world in these times? How does our shared life in our congregations and covenanted communities prepare us to do this?

The report back to the full group can be found in this video clip. Additional details and information will be sent out to the delegates after there is more time to analyze the answers. The delegates were asked to bring these questions home to their congregations. How might you answer them? Might your congregation discuss these questions? How would your congregation answer them?

Central East Region UUA Logo

Reminder - It's Time to Update Your Leadership Information!

It's that time of the year again. Your congregation has held its annual meeting, or its on your schedule and elected new officers. You have new committee chairs appointed to lead your work for next year. But have you told anyone about these changes?

To help us and the UUA stay in touch with the leaders of your congregation we need YOU to update your leadership information on myuua.org. This is the same place you update your UU World lists. Need help? Let us know or check out the webpage with the details.

Shannon Harper

Better Together Blog: Maintaining the Beloved Community

Summer is a glorious season. Traditionally it’s sold as a leisure time, a time to relax, enjoy yourself, get outdoors and have some fun. But anyone who has ever had children in or around their lives knows summer can actually be even more work – scheduling, planning, coordinating and entertaining – than the rest of the year. And whether because of travel or change in routine or just wanting to enjoy some extra lazing hours on cool Sunday mornings, many of us find our church attendance slipping during the summer months. But the beautiful part about beloved community is it calls us to practice our values beyond the limitations of Sunday mornings in the sanctuary. When I reflect on what keeps me coming back to my congregation in the fall, ready to re-commit, pouring our sacred water in covenant, I think about the relationships I’ve formed there. These bonds have not only expanded my own world, they’ve tied me to the congregation as a whole.
Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

Activate 2018! This summer the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice is offering two youth justice trainings:

  • Activate New Orleans: Racial Justice & Beloved Community, July 15-22
  • Activate Tucson: Sanctuary, Solidarity & Immigration Justice, August 5-12

Learn more at the UU College of Social Justice Website.

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. 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 - The following new publications are now available: Revisiting the Empowerment Controversy: Black Power and Unitarian Universalism by Mark Morrison-Reed and Love Like Thunder: Meditations the 2018 volume of the InSpirit Series. There are also several new pamphlets available: Belief and Belonging, Death and Grieving, The Faith of Unitarian Universalist Humanists, To the Point, and UU Views of Evil. Visit the Publications Page for details.

The UUA is hiring for several positions including Director of Congregational Life. 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

Copy the Google (ICS) or Outlook (ICS) link address to subscribe to this calendar (or download the file to import current events) in a program which supports the iCal format.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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