Opportunities for Connection ~ January 2021

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: WorshipWeb COVID-19 Collection

A woman wearing headphones sits at a laptop, gesturing with both hands at someone (not visible) on the screen.

Have you discovered WorshipWeb? This section of the UUA website is filled with everything you need to create worships services - readings, chalice lightings, prayers, meditations, stories for all ages, and even entire service scripts. You can search by holiday, theme, principle and more. It's a treasure trove of resources shared by fellow UUs to be used in our services.

But wait, there's more! In addition to a searchable library, there are several collections of materials written specifically for a particular situation or event. The latest addition to the collections is one for COVID-19 online services. Many Unitarian Universalists have provided WorshipWeb with worship resources written specifically for the online worship services made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore the COVID-19 collection which includes videos you can use and hymns that don't require copyright permissions.

Need doodles for children in worship or looking for images? Check. Want to learn more about copyright law or worship theory? We have a sections on that too. Want to learn more about crafting worship services online or in person? Check out Worship Lab. Everything worship related can be found on WorshipWeb. Can't find something? Reach out to your regional staff and we'll do our best to help.

New Day Rising National Coming February 27

New Day Rising Conference National, Identifying Your Congregation’s Next Faithful Steps in Changing White Supremacy Culture, Worship, Workshops, Caucusing, Feb 27, 2021

Is your congregation ready to take a new step in racial justice work? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home?Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.

On Your Own:Watch compelling video TED-talk style testimonials from selected congregations around the continent sharing their learnings, hopes and next steps in their quest for racial equity in their congregations

Together:Worship·Workshops·Caucusing.With plenty of breaks on Saturday, February 27th, 12n-9p ET

Registration opens January 2021. Brought to you by the Unitarian Universalist Association

General Assembly 2021 - Circle 'Round for Justice - Healing - Courage

Circle 'Round for Justice, Healing, Courage

General Assembly (GA) is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. The UUA Board of Trustees has passed a resolution making the 2021 UUA General Assembly a 100% virtual event. All details can be found at the UUA GA website.

COMING SOON - Programming for your Congregation

The Congregational Life staff of the UUA are working on several programs for this winter/spring. Details are still be worked out, but keep an eye out for these events:

  • Stewardship Webinars:Your Regional staff is partnering with the Stewardship For Us consultants to present a 2-part series in early February:
    • Saturday, Feb. 6th: Effective Pledge Drives: Connecting Online and Off
    • Saturday, Feb. 13th: Asking for Contributions During These Times
  • Small Congregation Webinar Series - small congregations are invited to join us for a 3 part series February-April focused on collaboration and program and staff sharing. Dates are Feb 18, Mar 18 and April 22. Registration and details will be available in January.

Side with Love will once again bring us 30 Days of Love beginning with MLK Day and ending on February 14th. There will be a Side With Love worship service for everyone to attend on Feb. 14th. Details coming soon!

CER's Summer Institute invites you to join us in "practicing patience"... and to join us in July! As we pass the Winter Solstice in this year of uncertainty, we can take comfort in a few things we know for sure: the earth will keep turning, our days will grow longer, and when July rolls around, Summer Institute will be there for you & your family—NO MATTER WHAT. The CERSI Planning Committee is working hard to make sure that whatever the format may be, our week will be fun, fulfilling, and inspiring. Right now, we are practicing our patience as we await a decision by our host institution, Cal U, concerning in-person on-campus summer programming. But no matter whether we get together in-person or online, whether you are joining us on the Cal U campus or from your living room, CERSI 2021 will take place the week of July 11-17. Please consider joining us!

Better Together Blog: Relational Health Advisory for Our Congregations and Communities: December 2020 and Beyond

Rev. Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe

by Rev. Sunshine Wolfe

A confluence of events has come together to create a season of potential miscommunication, reactivity, and disconnection. The normal seasonal currents of grief during the holidays, colds, seasonal affective disorder, and family trauma have met with jets of quarantine, Covid, political foolishness, working too many hours, inability or failing to take healthy time off, and grief over recent deaths. This is creating unsuitable conditions for healthy communication. Expect higher chances of overwhelm, assumptions, heightened emotional response, and conflict for the next 3-6 weeks.

Read the rest of the article

Also from the Blog: Remembering Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson

It is with overwhelming sadness and shock that the Central East Region acknowledges the sudden death of our colleague and dear friend, Hope Johnson, from a long-term respiratory illness.

Read the CER Staff's memories of Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson

News from the UUA

UUA Logo

Support from the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances. Much about this year has been difficult and filing all the appropriate forms in January will continue to make it so. Please check out the OCSF Publications page where you can review past issues of Compensation and Staffing News to find guides and tips for doing this work. December's issue has a box by box guide to W2s.

Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership, a new course from the UU Leadership Institute. Originally developed as a popular in-person workshop by the New England Region staff, is now accessible nationwide as an online training through the UU Leadership Institute! Consider taking this training if you and your congregation are looking for ways for congregational life to be more about:soulful engagement with your faith;finding energy and meaning in the gifts already present in your congregation; and the transformative power of communities living their values in ways that challenge dominant culture — both within and beyond the congregation.

EqUUal Access is holding their Carolyn Cartland Sermon Contest. This annual contest highlights disability-related themes and topics. Entries are due by May 1, 2021 with a cash prize of $500.00 going to the chosen applicant. The award will be presented at the virtual EA Celebration. Time permitting, the winner may be asked to give an excerpt at the event.For more information, pleasevisit their website. All entries, including the cover page found on this link should be emailed to info@EqUUalAccess.org 
The UUA has updated theGuidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides.The recommendations have not substantially changed but it does address some issues in line with current questions and situations. It also provides sample plans for what data to evaluate for reopening.Looking for other Pandemic Resources?Please check the LeaderLab COVID-19 Resources and the Safe Congregations Team Resources.

The UUA has a Disaster Relief Fund for those who want to make a donation to help congregations who have faced losses due to tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and more. Please donate if you can.To learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund visit their webpage. If your congregation needs assistance, you can apply for a grant on that webpage. We are Better Together.

Virtual Guest in Your Pulpit! The UUMA has taken over maintaining the list of speakers started by Rev. Kimberley Debus. Check it out to see who is available! 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 This Day in Recovery: 365 Meditations, edited by Lane Campbell and Katie Kandarian-Morris, Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change,and this year's Common Read, Breathe: A Letter to My Sonsby Imani Perry.

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 June 30 have been cancelled, postponed or moved to a virtual option. For events, webinars and congregation news and events visit the following pages: