Opportunities for Connection ~ May 2021

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: Central East Chalice Lighter Program

CER Chalice Lighter Logo

Are you a Chalice Lighter?

The CER Chalice Lighter Grant Program uses the spark of small, regular contributions from individual UU’s to ignite the growth of our UU faith, both in numbers and in justice, compassion, and spirituality. These contributions are pooled to make $20,000 grants available to support the growth of UU congregations of all sizes, groups of congregations with innovative ideas for outreach, and even for the development of new congregations.

What do your donations support? Recent projects have included a building renovation project at the UU Congregation of Binghamton, NY, a two-story addition at the UU Church of Delaware County in Media, PA, a membership coordinator at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco, NY, full time ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore in Galloway, NJ and helping with programming support at the Sophia Lyons Fahs Summer camp.

Interested in becoming a Chalice Lighter? Sign up at the CER website.
​Does your congregation or cluster have a project this fund could support? Learn how to apply.

UU World Special Issue: (Re)Building Democracy

UU World Special Issue: (Re)Building Democracy

Coming Soon! UU World Special Issue: (Re)Building Democracy: A National Reckoning About Race, Justice, and Equity

We are excited to announce that a special issue of UU World magazine will be arriving in Unitarian Universalists’ mailboxes in early May. Redesigned and including vibrant art and photography, this issue captures this historic moment in (re)building democracy in the United States. Through interviews, essays, images, and reflections, we seek to engage readers in examining how each one of us can help create a truly just, equitable, and anti-racist democracy.

Look for your issue to arrive in your mailbox in early May! Not sure if you’re getting UU World magazine or need to update your subscription information? You can do that on the UU World subscriptions webpage.

Virtual General Assembly 2021

UUA General Assembly 2021 Avatar with dates

If you haven't registered for Virtual GA 2021 already, there is no better time than right now! Registered attendees are among the first to hear program announcements, such as the Ware Lecturer and featured speakers, and only registered attendees will have access to the NEW! GA app. So register early to join online discussions, familiarize yourself with the GA schedule, and find your place in our community of communities. Cost is $200 and financial aid and volunteer positions to help defray the cost are available. Registration and details at the UUA GA Website.

UUA Board Open Houses on Zoom

UUA Logo

Co-moderators Meg Riley and Charles Du Mond invite you to come and check in with the UUA Board of Trustees at its upcoming Zoom Open House. Bring your questions and chat about:

  • what the Board has planned leading up to General Assembly
  • General Assembly 2021
  • serving Unitarian Universalism as a volunteer at the national level
  • the progress of the Article II Study Commission
  • your congregation’s engagement with Widening the Circle of Concern
  • the UU issues that matter to you

We look forward to seeing you! Click the date to register.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021; 4pm Pacific / 5pm Mountain / 6pm Central / 7pm Eastern
Tuesday, June 8, 2021; 4pm Pacific / 5pm Mountain / 6pm Central / 7pm Eastern

Summer Programs

Sky at Sunset

CER Summer Institute - July 11-16, 2021. Food for Your Soul! Online content will be live and recorded to watch on your schedule by using the Whova app recently used with New Day Rising. The schedule is shaping up to include morning worship, small group interactions, time to meet new people and see old friends. We will have a sample of 2022’s Theme Speaker Kazim Ali's poetry and talks, Hal Walker and friends in concerts, RE and Youth Programing. Registration is now OPEN! Details at the CERSI website.

Virtual UUMAC - UU Mid-Atlantic Community will gather July 11-31 online. The theme speaker will be Paula Cole Jones speaking on Community of Communities. Learn more at the UUMAC website.

Murray Grove will be offering two in person camps this summer, check their website for details.

Camp Unirondack is planning for a full summer schedule this year with modifications to the programming including outdoor eating and activities. You can find their policies and schedule on the Camp Unirondack schedule.

Sophia Lyons Fahs Camp will be held (enter dates here, if no dates, then delete). Details and registration at the LIAC website.

Network of Hospitality for Bridging Youth

The UUA’s Office of Lifespan Faith Engagement—in collaboration with the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church—is happy to announce the piloting of a new network of hospitality for Unitarian Universalist youth who are bridging out of their high school years. Building off of wisdom from previous programs, this network aims to connect bridging youth to the congregation where they will be living. Whether they’re staying in the same place, or moving far away from home, bridging youth may appreciate connection and community in this new life stage.

Congregations sending forth bridging youth are encouraged to share the Bridging Youth Hospitality Network survey with their youth to fill out. That way, bridging youth will identify how they would like to be supported. Congregations receiving these new young adults are encouraged to also fill out the survey, to make the connection. The intensity of the connection can vary and should develop organically from the needs expressed by the young adult. Visit the Bridging from Youth to Young Adulthood page to find additional bridging resources.

Questions about this network can be directed to Rev. Stevie Carmody, Emerging Adult Ministry Associate in the Office of Lifespan Faith Engagement of the UUA, by emailing youngadult@uua.org.

Virtual Worship Services for Congregations

A candle is lit

If your congregation is looking for worship services to use and give your worship committee a break, the UUA has created two complete services for use. Each has recorded elements that you can download and use.

  • Loved Into Being is a full worshipservice on video (captioned in English or in Spanish). This service features the preaching of our own Susan Frederick-Gray, and invites our congregations and our UU people to grow in spirit, in courage, and in generosity.
  • Side with Love's Thirty Days of Love service centers our commitments to intersectional racial justice.
  • Faithify, the UU Crowdfunding platform has also created two paired elements, a “story” and a longer reflection, on the theme of Obstacles, Play, and Teamwork

Better Together Blog: Plant Check!

Shannon Harper

by Shannon Harper

Last fall I wrote a blog post about bringing my plants inside and setting them up to survive the dark, cold, dry months of winter. I debated whether it was worth the effort to buy lamps and humidifiers or if I should “let the leaves fall” as it were. I ultimately decided that with some minimal and strategic planning on my part I could keep my plants alive long enough to see spring. And I’m excited to share that it [mostly] worked. Here’s what I learned.

Read the rest of the article

News from the UUA

UUA Logo

The UUA has updated the Guidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides including new recommendations on how to plan for multi-platform congregational life and how to address appropriate inclusion of children and youth. 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 Sons by 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: