Opportunities for Connection ~ December 2017
Featured Resource: Common Read for 2017-18
A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. A Common Read 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.
This year the committee chose two books: Daring Democracy and Centering. Discussion guides may be downloaded (PDF) from the UUA Common Read web page for groups engaging with the two books selected for this year’s UUA Common Read:
- Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema, shares stories, analysis, and insights of UU religious professionals of color. The discussion guide for Centering was written by Aisha Hauser and Gail Forsyth-Vail.
- Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, examines the reality of our democracy today and sounds a call for civic action. The discussion guide for Daring Democracy is by Susan Lawrence.
Both discussion guides offer UU groups a choice of one or three-session formats.
Find past Common Reads and their discussion guides at the Common Read page on the UUA website.
Introducing the Commission on Institutional Change
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Commission on Institutional Change is charged with long-term cultural and institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism. Appointed by the UUA Board of Trustees in 2017 for a period of two years, the Commission will analyze structural racism and white supremacy within the UUA.
The Commission has a webpage on the UUA website and a blog. Meet the team and learn more at their webpage.
Better Together Blog: Responding to Violence in Our World
A few weeks ago I took my seat on a Jet Blue flight that would take me from San Diego to JFK in about 5 short hours. I had just left the wonderful Mosaic Makers Conference where we figured out ways to center the experience of the global majority in Unitarian Universalism—and beyond—in a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural. We made some meaningful strides in spite of the difficulties that abound.
Read the rest of the article
New Salary Recommendations and Resources Available
The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances team has now posted Salary Recommendations and related resources for the 2018-2019 year. Please note:
- New for 2018-2019, the Geo Index Listing features a designation for areas with an especially high cost of living relative to cost of wages. (The Geo Index itself is based on cost of wages.)
- You may recall that 2017-2018 was a "catch-up year," in which we held all recommendations steady to allow for thoughtful congregational review and adjustment of salaries with respect to our guidelines. Thus, the 4% increase in salaries for all positions in 2018-2019 reflects changes in wages over a 2-year period.
- The Guide to Salary Recommendations has been updated to provide a deeper understanding of our recommendations and how to use them in your context for new and continuing staff.
- Look for our Compensation Worksheet, modified for greater flexibility, which helps congregational leaders ensure that they are properly budgeting for benefits.
If you have questions please be touch with jgartner [at] uua [dot] org (Jan Gartner) and our Compensation Consultants
News from the UUA
Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and the UUA has a matching grant program in progress. Please support your UUA by giving tomorrow and double your impact. Your gifts support the work of your regional staff serving congregations in the Central East Region, curricula such as Tapestry of Faith and Our Whole Lives, and resources from the various UUA offices such as the Church Staff Finances. Thank you for your support!
Do you have employees? The Office of Church Staff Finances has created a Benefits Tune-up Workbook to help congregations make sure they are operating within the rules of the UUA benefits plan. Learn more at the OCSF's webpages.
Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation Training, February 17, 2018 sponsored by the Southern and MidAmerica Regions in Louisville, KY. Unitarian Universalist and Social Justice Facilitator, Chris Crass will offer a one day workshop entitled "Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation." Workshop will begin with brief worship and include small and large group discussions, storytelling from preselected congregations, theological reflection, and participatory exercise. Concluding segment will focus on "What are you bringing back to your congregation?" and "How will you be accountable for your plan?" Workshop will close with "Revival for Racial Justice" testimonials. The purpose of this workshop is to help build SJ communities and cultures rooted in UU values with the courage to do racial justice work. Focus will be on encouraging activism and leaders, building capacity, and putting UU congregations in touch with one another.
New publications from the UUA - The following new publications are now available: Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism, Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice. December's Goodreads Book Club Pick is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want. Visit the Publications Page for details.
Check out the holiday guide from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop is now available! Check out this great resource for gift ideas for all of your loved ones. From inspiration titles and children’s books to unique UU items and jewelry, it’s all here! Free standard shipping on orders of $50 or more (within the U.S.) is also available from November 15th through December 15th. Your purchase from inSpirit contributes directly to the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association—thank you, and happy holidays from all of us at the bookstore!
The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.