Opportunities for Connection ~ January 2020

UU the Vote

Featured Resource: UU the Vote

The stakes couldn’t be higher in the 2020 elections. All our values, our work for justice, the communities we love and the beloved community we seek to create are under attack. Our religious community must speak with moral courage and act with prophetic clarity and determination in the 2020 electoral cycle.

Our UU values of interdependence, democracy, and the inherent worth and dignity of all people are direct antidotes to the fear, bigotry, and inequity that define our world. In this political moment, UUs are called to join forces with all people who want to organize our communities and our nation to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate. Let’s UU the Vote in 2020!

On January 12 at 4 pm ET, there will be an online launch, where you can hear about the organizing plan for UU the Vote across the country, some of the strategies we'll be deploying, examples of on-the-ground work from congregations already engaging, and how you and your congregation can get involved. Together we will explore how we are called to wear the mantle of our shared legacies, principles, and values as we move boldly together, making our faith relevant and effective in bending the arc of the universe toward justice in this political moment. Register to host a watch party or to attend the event.

Download the congregational toolkit, find other resources, apply for grants and learn more about this program at the UUA website.

hands sharing applies

Introducing CER Resource Pages: Stewardship for Congregations

The Central East Region has a number of resource pages on a variety of topics important to congregational life. These are "top suggested resources" prepared by the program manager for that area. Each month we'll be highlighting one of the pages.

Up this month - Stewardship for Congregations. This resource page is managed by Patricia Infante.

From the page: Stewardship and generosity in congregations is one of our most important ministries, and is an expression of our covenantal practice of working together towards a common mission grounded in love and justice. Many communities are finding themselves squeezed by declining membership and ever increasing operating costs. Effective stewardship is a multilayered challenge that involves both teaching and encouraging generosity of time, talent and treasure, and, managing the resources placed within our care. Learn more at the CER website.

Money in a laptop

Money Mythbusters: An Online Stewardship Conference

January 25, 2020 online from 9 am to 3 pm.

This is an all day online conference featuring Elizabeth Terry, UUA Giving Specialist as the keynote speaker speaking on Money is... The program includes a panel discussion on Experiences with Covenant and Generosity and three workshop slots with two options in each slot.

One low rate for as many folks in your congregation to attend! Can't attend the whole day? We will be recording the session and video will be made available to those congregations who register. Registration is now open.

Central East Region Summer Institute Logo

CER Summer Institute Looking for Volunteers!

CERSI (Summer Institute) is looking for a few good folks to help create this summer's SI magic in California, PA from July 12-18, 2020. If you are interested in teaching in the children's program, driving a golf cart, or being a nurse, among other things, please consider filling out an application here: https://forms.gle/xuBau3H8YKdyRKUq9. These positions all come with a campership which can be applied to your CERSI fees for the week.  Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2020. Questions: contact susanroscigno@gmail.com.

Learn about CERSI at their website.

Central East Region UUA Logo

The Central East Region is Hiring!

The Central East Region is hiring a Summer Institute Youth Program Coordinator. This person will work with the Youth Panel who plans the youth program for Summer Institute each year. The position is part time, averaging around 4 hours per week, with a 50-60 hour week during Summer Institute.

The full job description can be found on the UUA website. Please contact Shannon Harper, Youth and Young Adult Program Manager at sharper@uua.org to learn more or ask questions.

Interested in something full time? We are also hiring for a Congregational Life Consultant to do primary contact work in the southeastern part of the region - eastern Pennsylvania, Delmarva, New Jersey area. The full job description can be found on the UUA website. Please contact Rev. Megan Foley, Regional Lead at mfoley@uua.org to learn more or ask questions.

A dark orange clock tower and trees on a light orange background, with the words "Providence, Rhode Island 2020"

General Assembly 2020 - Rooted, Inspired, Ready!

General Assembly 2020 will take place June 24-28, 2020 in Providence, RI. This year's theme is Rooted, Inspired, Ready! GA will delve into our theological and historical roots, bringing those threads into the present day and acting in solidarity with Indigenous communities. Attendees will be inspired and trained to engage in electoral work as people of faith, living out our values in service of all our intersecting justice commitments.

Early bird registration is open! New this year: Use the Early Bird Payment Plan to pay down your GA registration over time (initial payment of $50 required; final payment due February 29). Visit the GA Registration page.

Beth Casebolt

Better Together Blog: Are You Willing to Experifail*?

by Beth Casebolt

The holiday season, for adults at least, is often fraught with worries and stress. Do the decorations on the house look right? Did I buy the perfect present for my family and friends? Is the dinner I’m planning right for everyone? We stress over having the perfect holiday, instead of just enjoying the season and time with family and friends.

We live in a perfectionistic society. If you can’t do it perfectly, don’t do it at all. That attitude stifles creativity, thinking outside the box, trying something new. Why? Because we may fail and if we fail it may get plastered all over social media so everyone will know.

Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

The UUA has signed on as an official partner of the Women's March 2020 which will take place on January 18, 2020. In 2020, we’re going all in to fight for our future. Together. Learn more about this year's march and sign up your group at their website.

Wildfire season is upon us, with more than a dozen wildfires impacting California right now. This summer saw flooding impact several congregations. Your generous donation to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund will help provide UU congregations, their people and their communities, with the tools they need to recover when they are impacted by disasters like these. Donations from individuals and congregations gratefully accepted.

Finding Our Way Home is an annual retreat hosted by the UUA for Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious professionals of color. Ministers, religious educators, administrators, musicians, seminarians, and UUA staff are welcome to attend. This retreat offers community building, spiritual reflection, and collegial support while connecting participants with local community organizations as partners in service, witness, and advocacy. This year it will be held March 18-21, 2020 in Long Beach, CA. Registration is now open. Learn more here.

Are you a member of LREDA, AUUMM or the UUMA? Here is your opportunity to take the Transforming Hearts Collective course with your peers. Learn more at their website.

Interested in Faithify.org but don't know where to start? Project Manager Halcyon Westall is now holding open office hours on Tuesdays from 2-3 pm ET. Bring your questions, get help with your draft campaign, or just say hello at this informal meeting on Zoom. Here is the link: https://zoom.us/j/248451027 or meeting ID: 248 451 027

UU College of Social Justice has two immersion programs for those interested:

  • Are you eager to deepen your understanding of feminist leadership and root causes of migration? Are you an organizer or religious leader ready to take your work a step further? Join UUCSJ March 5-11, 2020 for our next delegation to Honduras! Learn more and register by January 6th at UUCSJ.org/honduras-por-la-vida/
  • Defend the Human Rights of Migrants! At a time of deepening crisis for immigrants and asylum seekers, the UU College of Social Justice has organized an immersion experience specifically for religious professionals. This journey will help you deepen your understanding of the migration crisis and will support your justice ministry with theological reflection among colleagues. Our spring Border Witness journey to Tucson, AZ, will be April 13-17, 2020, and will be led by UUSC President Mary Katherine Morn. Generous scholarship aid is available for religious professionals and seminary students.

New publications from the UUA - Now available from Skinner House Books is In Time’s Shadow: Stories About Impermanence by Rev. Marilyn Sewell and Scripture Unbound: A Unitarian Universalist Approach by Rev. Jonalu Johnstone and available for pre-order, Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Older Adults by Melanie Davis.

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

  • UU Mid-Atlantic Community 2021

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    From Central East Regional Group
  • Congregational Leaders Check-In July 28

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    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.
  • UU Theology Renaissance Module

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    Develop a sense of the broad scope of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist theology in this online learning experience!
  • International Day of Friendship

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    From International Programs of the UUA
    Learn more about International Day of Friendship, occurring every year on July 30, and how to mark this holiday by building bridges between communities.
  • Curriculum Development Renaissance Module

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    Clarify and expand your understanding of curriculum, religious education, and faith development with this online learning experience!

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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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

In Time's Shadow Stories About Impermanence

By Marilyn Sewell

Marilyn Sewell offers insightful, compassionate slices of life that will bring laughter and, at the same time, take you deeper into the mysteries of life.

Buy Now

Scripture Unbound A Unitarian Universalist Approach

By Jonalu Johnstone

From Skinner House Books

In this insightful guide, minister Jonalu Johnstone provides an introduction to reading sacred texts, discusses Unitarian Universalist views of scripture, and suggests ways to use sacred texts within our congregations.

Buy Now

Our Whole Lives, Older Adult Sexuality Education for Older Adults

By Melanie Davis

A holistic sexuality education curriculum for older adults. Comprehensive and progressive, this program addresses sexuality with sensitivity and respect for older adults’ wisdom and life experience.

Buy Now

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

From Beacon Press

Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up history examines the legacy of Indigenous peoples' resistance, resilience, and steadfast fight against imperialism

Buy Now