Opportunities for Connection ~ December 2020

By Central East Region of the UUA

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry

Featured Resource: 2020-21 Common Read, Breathe

The UUA is pleased to announce that Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry (Beacon Press, 2019) is the new Common Read.

Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues a challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love—finding beauty and possibility in life—and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition. The New York Times calls Breathe “an elixir of history, ancestry and compassion, which, together, become instruction…a parent’s unflinching demand, born of inherited trauma and love, for her children’s right simply to be possible.”

Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience.
Discussion materials for UU congregations, groups, and individuals are coming soon, free of charge. Visit the UUA website to learn more and find a list of past Common Reads.

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.

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

UUA Volunteers

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The Unitarian Universalist Association seeks visionary and flexible Unitarian Universalists to serve the committees, commissions, and boards that work with staff and the UUA Board of Trustees to carry out the mission of the Association. If volunteering at the Associational level is of interest to you, please consider serving in volunteer leadership.

The UUA is actively recruiting to fill openings on the following volunteer bodies, which will be elected into position at General Assembly 2021. Submit an application for these by the January 15, 2021 deadline: Board of Review, Board of Trustees, Commission on Appraisal, Commission on Social Witness, Financial Advisor, General Assembly Planning Committee, and Nominating Committee. Rolling applications for additional positions are also being accepted.

Interested in being a part of the team? Visit the UUA Website Volunteer for a UUA Committee page to learn more about each position and apply.

Better Together Blog: Building Resilience for After the Election

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

by Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer

Here we are a week after the 2020 election, an election where UU’s really worked to “UU the Vote”. If you’re suffused with joy or giddy with relief, you can stop reading now. Go outside and soak it all in. Celebrate. Do not let anyone distract you. This is part of how we build resilience.
If there’s a knot in your stomach still; a dread of what else may be coming; fears about the Supreme Court; worry about your safety; feelings about your neighbors, family, and fellow citizens who support racism, fascism, and misogyny; this is an offering from me to you.

Read the rest of the article

News from the UUA

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Support from the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances. Does your leadership role entail responsibilities related to supporting staff or budgeting for staff? The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances has a wealth of personnel-related resources available through their homepage, Benefits, Compensation, and Aid Funds, all designed to help you make sure that your congregation is a faithful employer – faithful to the law and to our values. Stay current by subscribing to Compensation and Staffing News, their monthly newsletter. Check out the November issue, which included articles on staff-sharing, salary recommendations and resources, and timely Retirement Plan reminders.
The Article II Study Commission (A2SC) was appointed at the 2020 Virtual General Assembly, to complete a review of the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This process is outlined within the bylaws of the Association and is required every 15 years. The A2SC has released an introductory message and reflection of their first six months engaging their charge. This first blog post is available on the UUA website.
Looking for social justice learning opportunities? The UU College of Social Justice has adapted some in person workshops and created new offerings for this current moment. Check their website for more.

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 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: