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Opportunities for Connection ~ August 2020

Primary Contact Staff for the Central East Region

Featured Resource: Primary Contacts

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. This is someone with whom you can build a close, working relationship, who will have an intimate knowledge of your congregation's blessings and challenges, and can be proactive in helping you to share those blessings and meet those challenges. Your Primary Contact can help you to navigate all the support and opportunities available to your congregation. Find your primary contact now.

Picture of computer with Zoom on screen

Gathering Virtually this Fall

It’s never too late to bring your church online this fall! Maybe you never really figured out how to do virtual church, hoping the pandemic would blow by before you had to learn? There’s still time to bring your church online for the fall by checking out theseZoom guidelines and services. You’ll see how to purchase a discounted Zoom subscription, tips for better worship, avoiding unwanted intruders and all the rest. Don’t let more time pass by before being together virtually this fall!

UU Leadership Institute

UU Leadership Institute Provides a Variety of Training Options

During this time of social distancing, online learning opportunities are more important than ever! The UU Leadership Institute offers 2 core leadership trainings, Centered Leadership 1 for any active members of your congregation, and Centered Leadership 2 for current or potential leaders. A robust Lay Spiritual Care training opened last Spring. It will help your pastoral care team serve with confidence.

Co-Creating Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in our Congregations is a course that will help you feel more at ease in conversations across difference in your social justice partnerships. You will also find trainings on Volunteer SustainabilityOutreachOrganizing, and several UU History trainings including a History and Theology of Covenant. Training fees range from free to $30. Materials—including readings and recorded videos—are available on demand. For more information, visit www.uuinstitute.org or email info@uuinstitute.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.

Megan Foley

Better Together Blog: These Certain Times

by Rev. Megan Foley

I see commercials sometimes that refer to these as “uncertain times”. I don’t know. I think things are becoming pretty certain. I think it’s pretty certain that we’re suffering, pretty certain that our neighbors and families are sick and dying, pretty certain that we’ll be living in troubled spaces for a long time coming. Pretty certain that our churches will be operating in a different way for a while. Not to say that everything about these times is always bad – more about that later on. But these times aren’t uncertain. It is certain that everything is being deconstructed. It is certain that the future is uncertain – but now seems pretty certain to me.

Read the rest of the article

Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Session 12

News from the UUA

The UUA will be closed for a summer holiday from July 27 through July 31.
Need resources to help your congregation with the COVID-19 Pandemic and resulting issues?
Please check the LeaderLab COVID-19 Resources and the Safe Congregations Team Resources. You can find the UUA Guidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides on the UUA website.

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.

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.

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. Also available 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

  • System Theory learning opportunity

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    FULL. System Theory will ground this learning experience and aid religious professionals to apply these learnings to their own professional context.
  • Board Development

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    From Pacific Western Region
    Event: PWR Board Development: Leading in These Times. Training for 2020-21, leading when you're not sure where you'll end up.
  • Congregational Leaders Check-In Jan 27

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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.
  • Small Congregation Check-In JAN 28

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    From MidAmerica Events
    A time for leaders of small congregations in the MidAmerica Region and elsewhere to check-in about the challenges UU religious communities face
  • Congregational Leaders Check-In Feb 3

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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.

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

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