Opportunities for Connection ~ November 2018

book cover of Justice on Earth

Featured Resource: 2018-19 Common Read

This year's Common Read is Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom. This highly anticipated anthology presents a powerful and penetrating look at environmental justice from some of the key thinkers and activists in Unitarian Universalism today.

The UUA has also prepared a discussion guide. A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. It can build community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations. For more information about how you and your UU community can participate, and for PowerPoint slides of the discussion questions, check out the Common Read webpage.

The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

Election Outreach Opportunities

The midterm elections are just around the corner, but it's not too late for you or your congregation to take action.

If you are in Ohio, Issue 1 is something that UUs and UU Justice Ohio have been working to get out the vote and educate the public about. There is a Get Out The Vote event in Cleveland, OH November 3-4, 2018 with Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray you can participate in. Learn more about this issue and what you can do at the UUA website.

Also, if your congregation is helping with voter registration or other activities, please remember to keep the law in mind. The Real Rules explains how the law impacts what our congregations can and cannot do. Basically you can support or campaign against issues but you cannot support or campaign against candidates.

The UUA has a number of resources on their Voting Rights and Election Reform page.

Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Summer Institute Announces Theme Speaker

Summer Institute is pleased to announce that this year's theme speaker is Dr. Ysaye Barnwell.

Dr. Barnwell is a native New Yorker who lives in Washington DC. She is a musician, actress, leader, performer and composer. She has, for the past thirty years spent much of her time off stage working as a master teacher and choral clinician in African American cultural performance. Her workshop “Building a Vocal Community®: Singing in the African American Tradition” has during the past twenty-eight years, been conducted on three continents, making her work in the field a significant source of inspiration for both singers and non-singers, a model of pedagogy for educators, and cultural activists and historians.

The Planning Committee is excited to bring her energy and music to Summer Institute in 2019. Learn more about Summer Institute at www.cersiuu.org

Paula Cole Jones

Better Together Blog: We Need Churches

The communities where we live and work and go to school are constantly changing. The nation and the wider world is constantly changing. There is so much that we do not control. We face everyday challenges as we go through the various phases of our own lives and the lives of family and friends. And in these challenges there are many opportunities for us to stretch and grow.

Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

Is your congregation in New Jersey? There is a law change that affects you related to sick leave that goes into affect 10/29. Please get in touch with your primary contact if you did not get our email about this change.

November is Open Enrollment month! If you have staff who want to join the UUA health or dental insurance plans, this is the month they can do that. The deadline is November 30. Details at the UUA Benefits Page.

Does your congregation have employees? Have you done your annual Benefits Tune Up? The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances urges every congregation to complete this Benefits Tune-up Workbook to ensure that you are administering UUA benefits in accordance with plan rules and requirements. By offering UUA benefits, you have made a commitment to honoring the terms of our plans and congregational missteps can be costly.

Looking for a congregational outreach program? The Church of the Larger Fellowship will be sending almost 900 holiday cards to CLF members experiencing incarceration. Could you help? Invite your social action committee or youth to write messages of hope. If you're interested, it’s important to read a detailed list of Do’s and Don’ts at this link. CLF staff and volunteers will address all envelopes, bringing a bit of cheer to our incarcerated UU members, many of whom are lonely and without support. Questions? Reach out to Beth Murray at bmurray@clfuu.org

Think your congregation is a Breakthrough Congregation? It's not too late to apply for 2018-19. The deadline has been extended to December 1. Learn more at the Breakthrough Congregation website

Now is the time for congregations to schedule immersion learning journeys with the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice for Spring and Summer 2019. Learn more about the journeys available to youth, young adults and adults of all ages or contact info@uucsj.org to ask about setting dates for your congregation.

Support Black Unitarian Universalists. Take part in a special opportunity to support the Promise and the Practice of Our Faith Campaign and double the impact of your gift. All individual gifts or pledges of $500 to $5,000 that are made by December 31 will be matched by the UU Funding Program up to a total of $150,000. More details are available online or by contacting Cheri Taylor at bluu-campaign@uua.org.

New publications from the UUA - Now available! Companion Resources to go with Revisiting the Empowerment Controversy: Black Power and Unitarian Universalism by Mark Morrison-Reed. 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

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.

Search events

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

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.

Buy Now

Upcycle Your Congregation Creative Ideas for Transforming Faith Communities

By Sarah Lammert

From Skinner House Books

Engaging essays from Unitarian Universalist leaders in the field show creative ways to transform and "upcycle" the main ingredients of our congregations into something relevant, innovative, and new.

Buy Now

Justice on Earth People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment

By Manish Mishra-Marzetti

From Skinner House Books

Fourteen activist ministers and lay leaders apply a keen intersectional analysis to the environmental crisis, revealing ways that systems of oppression intersect with and contribute to ecological devastation.

Buy Now

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