Opportunities for Connection ~ June 2021

Featured Resource: Summer Programs in the Region

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

As things change daily with COVID-19 and vaccines, our summer programs are taking different approaches to how to meet this summer. Summer Institute and UUMAC will both be meeting virtually this year.

Summer Institute, meeting virtually July 11- 16. Theme: Food for the Soul.
We have a delicious menu of SI tidbits and treats – old traditions and new – ready for you and your family! You will find opportunities to connect with friends and meet new folks, to refresh and renew your spirituality, to think and learn, and to have some fun! We have built on what went well last year and are offering an exciting selection of tasty SI samples in anticipation of our in-person event in 2022 at Cal U. Register and learn more at their website.

UU Mid-Atlantic Community, meeting virtually July 11-31. Theme: Communities within Community.
Theme speaker is Paula Cole-Jones speaking on Communities within Community. Minister of the Month is Rev. Elias Ortega.
Over the decades UUMAC has become many things to many people: a spiritual retreat, time for reflection and celebration, a reunion with friends, a time to revel in a community of fun-loving and like-hearted people of all ages. From the Talent Show and Open Mic, to sharing our stories and experiences during the lay-led evening vespers services, UUMAC has many ways for us to connect and grow together. Events for children, youth, and adults will happen throughout the three weeks as we build our
community of communities. Register and learn more at their 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.

Several clusters and congregations also have summer camps in the works, please check their websites for details or see the congregation and cluster calendar.

When the Congregation IS the Youth Group

When the Congregation IS the Youth Group, June 3, 2021, 7p ET

Back by Popular Demand! Pop Up 4th Webinar for Smaller (under 120 members) Congregations

When the Congregation IS the Youth Group: How to Bring the Culture of Youth and Emerging Adult Ministry to Multigenerational Communities. June 3, 2021, 7 pm ET.

Join Shannon Harper and Jennica Davis-Hockett, UUA Youth and Emerging Adult Ministry Specialists, as we explore relationship-centered community building for all ages in small congregations. A great second part to the Sharing Youth in Smaller Congregations webinar from April.

Get details and register.

Virtual General Assembly 2021

Virtual UUA General Assembly, June 23-27-2021, Circle 'Round for Justice, Healing, Courage.

Have you registered for Virtual General Assembly yet? Registration is still open! You must be a registered attendee to attend the Ware Lecture, workshops, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Visit the UUA GA Website for details.

There are public events open to everyone. These include the Service of the Living Tradition on June 24 at 7 pm ET, Synergy Bridging Worship service on June 25 at 7 pm ET and Sunday Morning Worship at 12 noon on June 27. You can watch all of these on the UUA website or the UUA YouTube Channel.

UUA Board Offers Webinars to Help Prepare for GA

UUA Chalice Gradient Version (Preview) (red shading to orange)

The UUA Board invites you to register for two new webinars. What to Expect at GA 2021 will be offered four times, with two additional sessions providing an in-depth look at the Rules of Procedure.

Each webinar will last 75 minutes and advance registration is required. Both webinars will be recorded and posted on the UUA website for on-demand viewing.

Youth Invited to Join Synergy Bridging Service at GA

Synergy Bridging Worship Open to the Public 7pm ET June 25th uua.org/synergy

The Synergy Bridging Worship during General Assembly that honors and celebrates our youth transitioning to young adulthood (UUs call them bridgers) is free and open to the public. Even those bridgers who are not registered for General Assembly can be honored and their friends and family can attend the livestream. It’s happening Friday, June 25th at 7 pm ET.

To be honored at Synergy, bridgers can submit a photo, short video, or just their name and congregation which will be featured in the worship service. Deadline for submissions is June 7th. Each bridger will receive a commemorative engraved chalice flame necklace.

Find more information and the bridger sign up form at the Synergy Service webpage. Questions can be directed to Jennica Davis-Hockett at yayaministry@uua.org.

UU Youth Invited to Join UU Faith Lab

UU Faith Lab Logo - sketch of a hand sparking a flame with watercolor background

UU Faith Lab is a chance for UU youth to explore spiritual leadership from wherever they are, and experiment with mystery and wonder in their own context. The FaithLab community will gather just after the summer solstice, meet monthly around the full moons, and reunite on the fall equinox. Small groups will gather in between to delve more deeply into community care. Learn more, request information, and register at the UUA Faith Lab page.

Events include:

  • Ingathering on Monday, June 21
  • Synergy Worship on Friday, June 25
  • Ritual Creation on Friday, July 23
  • Youth History Archives on Sunday, August 22
  • Reunion! on Wednesday, September 22

Better Together Blog: Resilient Is a Verb

Evin Carvill-Ziemer holding a door open wearing a robe and stole

by Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer

I keep hearing the word “resilient” and keep wondering what people mean by it. From a trauma-informed lens, resilience doesn’t mean we aren’t impacted. People who go through trauma are changed. Just as all of us have been impacted over the last year. Not just the pandemic, but also racist police violence and the attack on our capitol. Some people have more trauma from the pandemic: more deaths, surviving an ICU stay, or working in health care. But all of us are impacted by this time of fearing for our lives and our loved ones, being physically isolated, and the constant conflicts over community safety.

Read the rest of the article

Hope For Us: Conflict Engagement Team

As of May 1, 2021, Hope for Us: Conflict Engagement Team has been working together to develop teams and processes to help Congregational Life Staff serve congregations in conflict. This process of formation will, of course, take time. We are off to a great start.
Hope for Us: Conflict Engagement Team is the culmination of many things:

  • the vision of the late Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson
  • years of training in different processes for conflict management and restorative practices
  • developing and practicing a variety of district and regional models for conflict engagement
  • the iterative process of comparing and improving those practices
  • this time of change and opportunity
  • the maturational growth of Unitarian Universalism

Read the rest of the article

News from the UUA

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Support COVID-19 Response in India. The UU Holdeen India Program’s partners have been working around the clock during the COVID-19 crisis. A second surge of infections since April 2021 has led to severe shortages in oxygen, medical supplies, and hospital beds. The raging virus has not spared any part of the country – small towns, villages, and big cities have all been hit hard. The road to recovery will be long and challenging. HIP's partners across the country are working closely with the authorities to ensure relief reaches all those in need. If your congregation is planning to take up a special collection to support crisis relief in India, please consider the Holdeen Fund as a beneficiary. Donations to UUHIP can be made online or by texting HOLDEEN to 51555. Contact holdeen@uua.org if you’d like more information or a short video to introduce the special collection.

UU Congregations All In for Climate and Food Justice. The UUA Office at the UN invites congregations to dedicate one worship service each year to addressing the work of the United Nations, our UU connections to global justice work, and the yearly theme. The 2021-2022 UN Sunday theme is “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability.” Save the date now for United Nations Sunday at your congregation: The recommended date is United Nations Day which falls on Sunday, October 24, 2021. UN Sunday can be held any time. Reach out to the UU@UN (unitednations@uua.org) if you’d like to coordinate a virtual guest speaker. A collection of worship-planning resources is under development and will be available this summer, also including an action toolkit! UN Sunday resources will be online at the UUA website.

Begin engaging with this topic: Join the Group called “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability” in the Create Climate Justice network to begin connecting with others who are passionate about climate and food justice, and share about events and opportunities. Check out resources and more from the UU@UN!

The Guild of Interim Religious Educators (GIRE) now offers a training program focusing on congregational transitions for professional staff serving in religious leadership roles. This program provides you with the tools you and your team need while serving a congregation experiencing a transition. And when you want to imbue your work in the congregation with fresh perspectives, this program will provide you with the skills you need to re-imagine a bright future in your church! This program is the first of TWO seminars, providing leaders with the skills and perspectives they need on a variety of topics. Dates are Thursdays: July 29, August 5, 12, 19 at 1 pm ET, each class runs for 2 hours. Registration deadline is July 15, Cost is $200, GIRE members $160. Details and registration at their website.

Meadville Lombard is hosting Meadville Lombard Week June 13-20. All events are open to the public and free. Learn more and register for events at their website.

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. Also new guidance on singing together.

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: