Opportunities for Connection ~ August 2020
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.
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 these Zoom 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 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 Sustainability, Outreach, Organizing, 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 [at] uuinstitute [dot] org.
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.
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.
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 and Held: 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: