Opportunities for Connection ~ February 2020

A candle is lit

Featured Resource: WorshipWeb & App

If your worship team is struggling to find readings and other worship materials, we recommend you visit the WorshipWeb pages of the UUA website. This site is filled with readings, stories, chalice lightings and more from a variety of sources on a variety of topics. You can even find full worship services and advice about copyright and technology use.

Looking for help for your worship associates or how to host guest speakers? You can find the best practices document for hosting guest speakers here as well.

The Worship Web team has created special thematic collections that provide resources on the topics of Black Lives Matter, Compassion for Refugees & Immigrants, Immigration, a Living Wage, Side with Love, Worship in Tough Times, Ecological Disasters, and Accessibility among others. Check them out to see if they fit a service you are already planning.

Trying to figure out how to create worship? Check out the WorshipLab, a series of blog posts about the business of crafting worship.

Looking for images to use on your website or social media? There is an image collection as part of WorshipWeb.

Wish you could access all this while on the go? Check out the WorshipWeb App.

Hope Johnson

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 - Conflict Engagement and How to Have Difficult Conversations. These resource pages are managed by Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson.

From the page: Conflict is natural and exists in each and every congregation offering opportunities for growth and change. The goal for congregations is to develop a keen awareness of unhealthy conflict so that it can be diffused before it blows up into a major crisis. Congregations often miss the cues ignoring the patterns of behavior that lead to conflict that often escalates into crisis level.

Congregational Conflict Transformation begins with engagement. Knowing when—and who—to ask for help is often the first step. From there, commitment through covenant can begin to restore community as the work of conflict transformation begins. Your Congregational Life staff is ready to support you. Learn more at the CER website.

River Rising Logo, honor ancestors, find balance, ground yourself, weave connections, leadership for a new future.

River Rising: Summer Youth Immersion Experience

These times of change and uncertainty call for a certain kind of UU leadership. A leadership that is rooted in our Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist history but is also ready to re-examine and question old narratives and ways of being. A leadership that honors our ancestors while making way for new innovative and emergent voices. A leadership grounded in justice, skilled in listening and able to move between support, witness, organizing and pastoral care within our congregations and in the wider world.

The school is taught by pairs of youth and adult Guides. Youth Guides are experienced leaders. A typical day at River Rising will consist of youth led worships, silent reflection time, small group discussions, team based cooking projects, games and activities to teach leadership skills, and of course necessary free time. Learn more at the River Rising Webpage

Two offerings this year:

  • July 5-11, 2020 at UU Church of the North Hills, Pittsburgh, PA
  • July 27-August 2, 2020 at Main Line UU Church, Philadelphia, PA
Central East Region Summer Institute Logo

What Happens at CERSI (Summer Institute)?

Have you ever wondered what people do at CERSI (Summer Institute)? There’s something for everyone! This year’s week-long morning seminars include permaculture, engaging with your evangelical neighbor, yoga, fairy houses, developing a personal spiritual practice, youth activists, climate change, lessons from transcendentalists, using narrative to explore your life story, creating a personal sacred space, circle practices, and art for meditation. Afternoon drop-in workshops include rock painting, choir, body art, euchre, duck tape art, science, writing, folk orchestra, art in the afternoon, resistance songs, poetry, sacred song circle, volleyball, dances of universal peace, adult happy hour and tie dye. The best part: you decide what you want to do. Participate in as much as you’d like but don’t hesitate to take time to do your own thing, to gather with old or new friends, or take a nap. You make the week to be what you want it to be! Registration opens March 1. Watch the CERSI Facebook page and website at cersiuu.org

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.

Megan Foley

Better Together Blog: How Do We Know When We Need Each Other?

by Rev. Megan Foley

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have trouble asking for help. First, it takes me forever to figure out I need help. Then I feel strange and awkward about asking - I don’t want to bother anyone. Then if I finally do ask and someone seems hesitant, I get kind of mad – don’t they know how bad I need help if I’m asking!?!

And getting general support – I mean to do it, but I get so busy, and those supportive things I do like touch base with mentors and colleagues fall by the wayside. That’s fine for a while, but little by little, what once needed just a little advice and reassurance suddenly feels like A Much Bigger Deal.

Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

Are you ALL IN for CLIMATE JUSTICE?! Register now to attend the UU United Nations Office’s Intergenerational Spring Seminar All In For Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet in New York City April 16-18, 2020. Participants will learn and grow together while exploring local and global engagement with issues such as the intersectionality of the climate justice struggle, strategic organizing skills, and individual and congregational involvement with UN efforts towards climate change mitigation and adaptation. Apply for reduced registration by January 27 and register by February 3 to get the Early Bird rate! Youth attendees must be accompanied by an adult Sponsor. Registration for Youth, Sponsors, and Young Adults includes housing at a fun NYC hostel. www.uua.org/unspringseminar
The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances has updated their Compensation Guidelines, restructured the recommendations, and updated the salary ranges. Congregational geo-indexes have also been updated. For full details on the changes visit their Salary Recommendations for Congregations page.

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.

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:

  • Summer Internships are now open for application!. These are paid internship opportunities and locations range from Texas, Massachusetts, New York and Florida. Visit their website for details.
  • 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 for pre-order is Worship for Young Adults: A Practical Guide for Creating Contemporary Services from the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office. The February Goodreads Book is A Black Woman's History of the United States by Diana Ramey Berry and Kali Nichole Gross.

The UUA is hiring for several positions including a National Organizer for UU the Vote. 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

Worship for Young Adults A Practical Guide for Creating Contemporary Services

A practical guide to shaping engaging and inspirational young adult worship gatherings, whether in a congregation, with a community group, or on a campus. Includes case studies, songs, and more.

Buy Now

A Black Women's History of the United States

By Daina Ramey Berry

From Beacon Press

A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country

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