Opportunities for Connection ~ April 2020
Featured Resource: Resources for Your Congregation During COVID-19
Are you overwhelmed with how to manage your congregation with all the changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic? The UUA Safe Congregations Team is curating a growing collection of resources specific to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The local and national situation is changing day-by-day and hour-by-hour. Your UUA staff will continue to update these resources as needs evolve.
Where to find information:
- COVID-19 specific resources from the Safe Congregations Team
- General Pandemic resources from the Safe Congregations Team
- Resources and step-by-step guides created and curated by your UUA staff on the LeaderLab
- Federal Policies and Actions Related to COVID-19
- Congregations as Employers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Many congregations have been working hard on figuring out how to do online worship this past week. Some tips from your CER staff:
- You do not need to be perfect. You do not need to have a full worship service. We're finding folks are most valuing connection time. Schedule that. Do check ins or virtual coffee hour. It will be enough.
- Create services together - buddy up with a neighboring congregation, direct your folks to a large congregation nearby who has regularly streamed services, find a service online from the past and decide to watch it and then gather to discuss and connect. (Past GA Worship services are available on the UUA website).
The UUA has created a response fund for those who want to donate funds to help in the current COVID-19 situation. Please donate if you can. Visit the UUA website for details on donations and guidelines for how the funds will be distributed.
The UUA is working on getting discounted Zoom Business licenses for congregations. Details should be available by Wednesday, April 1 (No fooling!). Congregational presidents and staff will be notified when the details and signups are available.
Sources of Hope: Seaway Spring Gathering
Due to COVID-19 the Seaway Gathering is being postponed to later this spring and reimagined as a virtual event. The exact date and details are still in the works and updates will be posted to our website. This will now be a regional wide event, so please stay tuned.
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Megan Visser, MA, PhD(c), speaking on Rooted for this World: Building Safety in the Body
Paying attention to and caring for our bodies will help us build the resilience we need in these troubled times.
Introducing CER Resource Pages: Safer 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 - Safer Congregations. This resource page is managed by Patricia Infante.
From the page: Preparing Your Faith Community for the Unexpected
We all like to think of our congregation as a safe space that offers sanctuary from the world beyond but churches everywhere have become increasingly vulnerable to unexpected intrusions into our safety bubble. The threat of everything from a tornado, flood or fire to a stranger who enters our space with malicious intent is remote but real and all faith communities are encouraged to engage in an open and transparent process to create internal policies, action plans and training for staff and volunteers before the unthinkable happens. Learn more at the CER website.
Better Together Blog: What's In A Phrase
by Beth Casebolt
What a week we have had. Seven days ago we were looking at when we might consider switching to virtual services and wondering if a week or two might serve. By Thursday we were rapidly moving to most churches canceling services and moving to virtual alternatives. Last night we were advised by the CDC to suspend meetings of groups of 50 or more for the next eight weeks. The rapid changes in direction have been unnerving and anxiety inducing for all of us.
News from the UUA
The Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations (UU@UN) is excited to share that their 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar is open for registration to all (age 14+) now through April 9, 2020. Join online via Zoom April 17-18 for engaging programs to explore the theme “All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet.” Participants will learn and grow together through workshops, small-group conversations, and rituals to keep spiritually grounded. We won’t be in person, but we’re still All In for Climate Justice! See more and register at www.uua.org/unspringseminar
Confused by the "alphabet soup" of UU organizations and how our social justice projects fit together? Not sure which projects are UUA, UUSC or UU College of Social Justice? Check out the UU Social Justice Universe Map presentation by the UU College of Social Justice for help!
Need help with your election work? Sign up for the UU the Vote weekly online Office Hours every Tuesday evening from 8-9 pm Eastern Time. If you need help planning fundraising for this project, check out the UU the Vote step-by-step fundraising guide.
The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances has released their UUA Compensation Standards, formerly shifting from Guidelines to Standards. The new UUA Compensation Standards incorporate legal requirements alongside the salary and benefit recommendations that have made up our Compensation Guidelines. We believe that placing requirements and recommendations under a common umbrella adds clarity and integrity to our expectations of congregations.
New publications from the UUA - Now available are Worship for Young Adults: A Practical Guide for Creating Contemporary Services and Our Whole Lives for Older Adults from the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office.
The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.
Calendar Items and News
Do note that all CER in-person events through March 15 have been cancelled, postponed or moved to a virtual option. For events, webinars and congregation news and events visit the following pages: