Opportunities for Connection ~ July 2020

Virtual Summer Camps, CERSI, and UU Mid-Atlantic Community

Featured Resource: Virtual UU Summer Camps​

Because of COVID-19, the two yearly summer gatherings in the Central East Region have decided to go virtual. Both CERSI - the Central East Region Summer Institute - and UUMAC - the UU Mid-Atlantic Community are offering different options online.
CERSI Summer In Situ (Institute) 2020
Grab a bit of virtual SI magic with a package of experiences and activities that will bring community and connection, creativity and reflection right to your home. For the week of SI, July 12-17, registrants will receive a daily email containing spiritual, creative, and thoughtful activities; videos to ponder and discuss, and virtual inter-generational Community Events in the evenings where we can chat, entertain, share and enjoy our SI community. Separate programming with be offered for youth and children during the day. Participate as your schedule permits. Registration is open until June 30 at www.cersiuu.org with a sliding fee scale. Questions: registrar@cersiuu.org.
UUMAC 2020
Come to UUMAC this summer! We’re UUs in the Mid-Atlantic region gathering as an intentional beloved Community. We will be holding a Virtual gathering, or VUUMAC, and you’re invited! Even better: it’s FREE!
Our theme this year is ‘Self Love as Power for Social Justice’. We’ll be ‘zooming’ with a minister and theme speaker, having discussions and virtual activities for kids, tweens, teens and adults of all ages. Attend some or all of our programs starting July 11. For more information and registration go to UUMAC.org.

Central East Region UUA Logo

Update Your Leadership Please!

It's that time of the year again. Your congregation has held its annual meeting and elected new officers, or it's on your schedule. You have new committee chairs appointed to lead your work for next year. But have you told anyone outside the congregation about these changes?

To help the UUA and the Central East Region stay in touch with the leaders of your congregation we need YOU to update your leadership information on myuua.org. This is the same place you update your UU World lists. Need help? Let us know or check out the webpage with the details. Please note that you can make these updates at any time. Many congregations hold elections in the spring or late fall, but appoint new committee chairs in summer or early fall. Each event should prompt a review of what is listed in myuua.org to ensure it is up to date. Staffing changes should also be listed in this location.

Need more details? Check our blog post on this topic from June 8th.

An image of the COVID-19 virus.

Resources for Congregations for Dealing with the Pandemic

UU Congregations shut down in March due to COVID-19 and at that time, the UUA staff created a lot of resources to help congregations with everything from worship planning, technology assistance, annual meeting planning, pastoral care and more. Recently the Safe Congregations Team put out Guidance on Gathering in Person that includes a list of questions congregations should discuss and consider before determining if it is time to re-open in your area. The recommendation from the UUA is to plan to be virtual through May of 2021.

Where to find information:

The UUA has created a response fund for those who want to make a donation 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.

Paula Cole Jones

Better Together Blog: Farewell from Paula Cole Jones

by Paula Cole Jones

It is time to say farewell to you as my position with the Congregational Life staff in the Central East Region of our UUA comes to an end on June 30th. I am passing the baton on to Sana Saeed, who will serve you beginning July 6th. Both the global health crisis and the civil rights movement to end racism and reform policing have changed the nature of this farewell.

Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

The Office of Church Staff Finances reminds us this is a time when we have a lot of staff changes is our congregations. Please check out their LeaderLab page on Compensation Standards and Resources which includes their Benefits Workbook to help you make sure you don't miss any deadlines. You'll also want to check out their From Starting to Parting document that provides advice on welcoming new staff, providing ongoing support and ensuring healthy departures.
Seeing with New Eyes, a sequel to The Best View: Congregational Life in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic is being sponsored by the UU Association of Membership Professionals and Feel Good Consulting. Two sessions are available: Tuesday July 14 1-2 pm ET and July 20 3-4 pm ET. Registration is open.

The Living Legacy Project is offering a series of virtual programs focused on voting rights, past, present and future on the last Tuesday of every month between May 26, 2020 and Election Day. These are free and open to everyone. Learn more and register at their website.

The UUA has created a response fund for those who want to make a donation 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 Disaster Relief Fund continues to support congregations affected by tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, flooding and other natural disasters as well. To learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund visit their webpage. We are Better Together.

Looking for speakers for your virtual services? The reality is that you can choose anyone regardless of geography. Many community-based religious professionals have developed a list to make it easier to find speakers. You can find it here. Also, don't forget to check out the CER Guest in Your Pulpit program, which includes both lay and professional worship leaders.

Do you know about UUAMP - The UU Association of Membership Professionals? They have resources and other help on their website and through their networks. Check the UUAMP website for details on all things membership related.

New publications from the UUA - Available now for ordering is Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change, The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism and Aging, and Breaking and Blessing: Meditations by Rev. Sean Parker Dennison. Now available for pre-order is Stubborn Grace: Faith, Mental Illness, and Demanding a Blessing by Rev. Kate Landis andHeld: Showing Up for Each Other's Mental Health by Rev. Barbara F. Meyers.

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 August 31 have been cancelled, postponed or moved to a virtual option. For events, webinars and congregation news and events visit the following pages:

Upcoming Events

  • UU Mid-Atlantic Community 2021


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


    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


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


    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


    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

The Stonewall Generation LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging

From Skinner House Books

InThe Stonewall Generation, sexuality researcher Jane Fleishman shares the stories of fearless elders in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of the Stonewall Riots.

Buy Now

Breaking and Blessing Meditations

By Sean Parker Dennison

From Skinner House Books

In the 2020 volume of the inSpirit Series, Rev. Sean Parker Dennison imagines letters from angels, draws on the natural world, and reflects on love and calling.

Buy Now

Stubborn Grace Faith, Mental Illness, and Demanding a Blessing

By Kate Landis

From Skinner House Books

With unflinching honesty and humor, Kate Landis chronicles the hardest parts of her young adulthood as well as her poignant journey to faith and community.

Buy Now

Held Showing Up for Each Other's Mental Health

By Barbara F. Meyers

From Skinner House Books

In Held community minister and mental health advocate Barbara F. Meyers illustrates how members of liberal religious congregations can be supportive to those living with mental health problems.

Buy Now