Opportunities for Connection ~ February 2024

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: LeaderLab

Icons showing resources connected by a colorful network.

LeaderLab is a tremendous resource for congregational leaders.

LeaderLab provides multiple ways to access resources and even full length courses on a variety of topics. Here are some of your options:

  • A searchable database to help you find answers about questions you have around any area of congregational life. Topics include congregations as employers, stewardship, membership and more. Use key words or tags to filter your searches.
  • Listings of on-demand classes and webinars. Find classes on UU Institute of varying costs on a variety of topics, upcoming webinars being offered by staff and recordings of past webinars for your review. Topics cover most areas of congregational life. This directory includes courses offered on UU Institute.
  • Recommendations for committee and board trainings, including articles and videos teams can review and discuss together.

Just like Unitarian Universalism, LeaderLab is ever-evolving. New articles and videos are being added regularly. We welcome feedback as we continue to develop resources. We are all part of an ongoing and growing community. Please check out LeaderLab and let us know what you think.

CER Leadership Skill Ups - February Is Practices of Intergenerational Connection

Dark blue galaxy background with starts. Words read: CER Leader Skill Up. CER Leadership Skill Ups for Changing Times. Practices of Intergenerational Connection. February 1st, 7-9 pm. Image of brown and tan hearts around the edge.

The Central East Region team is excited to announce our monthly Leadership Skill Ups for Changing Times series next year! These are drop-in calls for all congregational leaders where you can learn a new skill - or fine tune an old one - with CER staff and other leaders doing similar work in other congregations. Calls alternate monthly between Tuesdays and Thursdays – mark these dates on your calendars and stay tuned for topics as they emerge – and let us know what topics would be helpful to you. All times are 7-9 pm ET.

  • Thursday, February 1 - Practices of Intergenerational Connection
  • Tuesday, March 5 - What is Shared Ministry, Really?
  • Thursday, April 5 and Tuesday, May 7 - Watch This Space! Topic to be determined when we see what the world is like in 2024

Contact your primary contact for the link or see your email copy of the newsletter.

UUA Legacy Giving Webinar

Saturday, February 10, 2024 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
The UUA’s Legacy Gifts Office offers a number of services, including an online workshop to assist congregations and other UU organizations in creating legacy giving programs. The webinar on Saturday, February 10, 2024 covers the basics of legacy giving and aims to equip legacy giving committees with the knowledge they need to start or refresh their program. To register for the webinar or to reach out with a question about legacy giving, email us at legacy@uua.org or call (617) 948-6509.

Certification Time! It's not too late!

UUA logo

If you are a president, minister or administrator you've probably been getting emails from the UUA about certification. This is the time of year we ask all congregations to update their information with us. The deadline is fast approaching - February 5th at 11:59 pm HST! So please attend to this as soon as you can!
Here are some important links:

You can also check the report from the past two years (2022 ~ 2023) to see what your congregation did then.

Summer Institute Job Applications Open

CERSI and UUMAC logos together

Help make SI magic happen while reducing your registration costs. We are blessed with a community of talented people willing to share their gifts.

Job applications are open now for CERSI 2024: July 7th-13th

Review the open jobs for this year ~ Submit your application!

Registration for CERSI will open March 1, 2024.

To learn more about CERSI, visit the website or check out our CERSI video.

Winter Institute is Back!

Lodge at Salt Fork State Park, OH

Winter Institute (WI) is a long-held tradition of gathering over President’s Day weekend for a mid-winter retreat at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio. This retreat was the brainchild of a group of Summer Institute (SI) attendees who wisely determined that a year between SI gatherings is just TOO LONG to wait to gather with extended Beloved UU Community!

Over the years, this relaxing weekend has been an intimate gathering for UUs of all ages. There are frosty outdoor activities like sledding, hiking and cross country skiing. For those who choose to stay in their slippers all weekend, there is a beautiful lodge with its many cozy corners and fireplaces. The pool and hot tub are truly a wintertime treat. There are fellow UUs always ready to play board games or to join in the community jigsaw puzzle(s). We have wonderful community worship services in the morning and evenings.

This year we will gather February 16-19, 2024 at Salt Fork. Registration for WI is open! Early Bird registration closes January 15 and full registration deadline is February 11.

Beyond the Binary Coming in April

Hands striped in LGBTQ flag colors, making a chalice with a flame that is rainbow striped. Reads Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary. save the Date 4.27.2024

Join us Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Beyond the Binary: Building Beloved Community Event. “A place to find community with transgender, nonbinary folx and our allies. A conference for us to gather, learn, and grow.” In-person and online! Registration will open in February 2024.

In person sessions will be hosted at First UU Society of Syracuse, NY, in Nashville, TN, Austin, TX and other locations to be determined.

Canvass Clean Up Webinar

multi cultural thumbs up with the words Canvass Clean Up Webinar March 24 & April 25

Join us at the Canvass Clean Up Webinar – Thursday March 14 and Thursday April 25, 2024, 7:30pm – 9:00pm EST. The hardest part of the canvass is often the last ¼ of the pledges. Join other Unitarian Universalists from around the country attempting to finish the pledge drive with positive results. This is a two-part webinar where participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, commiserate, and celebrate as we make our way towards the finish line. Learn more and register.

Threads that Connect: Stories that Inspire

colorful hands reaching into a colorful overlapping circles. Text next to the right of the image reads 'Threads That Connect, Stories that inspire. Regional Assembly 2024'

You are invited to join the MidAmerica and Pacific Western Regions in their hybrid joint Regional Assembly on April 19 and 20, 2024. Join in person at First Unitarian Church Madison, WI or First Universalist Church of Denver, CO or attend online.

Friday Keynote speaker(s): Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt & Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson

Learn more and register.

GA 2024: Love Unites, Stories Ignite

Red letters G and A, with silhouette shapes of people in front

Are you looking forward to GA 2024? This year it will be all virtual! Our theme is Love Unites, Stories Ignite. Watch this video to learn more. Registration is open!

Interested in being a volunteer? There are lots of opportunities. Learn about available jobs and how to apply at the GA volunteer page. Volunteers receive a reduction in or free registration.

The tentative program schedule is now available! There are many opportunities for networking, to hear featured speakers and engaging in General Sessions and business.

New Resources for Emerging Adults!

Screenshot of a zoom meeting with 12 boxes of the members of the Emerging Adult Task Force.

Congregations! Ever wondered what the best practices are for ministering with / for your recently bridged emerging adults? This support letter (google doc) has a myriad of tips, tricks, and resources for doing just that!

New Emerging Adult Web Content

The UUA has new web content specifically for emerging adults and / or for congregations seeking to better support their 18-24 year olds. There's information about pastoral care, worship, and about the National Emerging Adult Taskforce (NEAT). Check it out at the UUA website.

Side with Love February Events - Skill Up, Mixers, Webinars

Side With Love Logo with Hearth

Each month the Side with Love team offers a wide range of events on a variety of topics. Regular monthly events include:

Check these out as well as the additional offerings on their events page.

Better Together Blog: It’s Time to Decide What Kind of World We Want to Live In

Megan Foley 2021

by Rev. Dr. Megan Foley

If you’re a Gen Xer like me you might also find yourself surprised by the recent successes in labor organizing – something I didn’t see in my earlier adulthood. This past fall, United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain made an attention-getting statement on the eve of their successful strike against the Big Three car manufacturers. Fain said, “It's time to decide what kind of world we want to live in and it's time to decide what we are willing to do to get it.”

It's time to decide what kind of world we want to live in and it’s time to decide what we are willing to do to get it.

Read the rest of the article

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News from the UUA

The Renaissance and Music Leadership Professional Development Programs provide Unitarian Universalist Religious Professionals learning communities within which they can easily access applicable skills and tools for religious leadership. Courses are also open to interested lay leaders. Check out the lists of classes, these are great resources!

The Sermon of the Month series is a monthly subscription service providing recorded sermons that congregations can download and use for worship. Along with a transcript of the sermon, each month’s offering will include suggested readings and hymns. Speakers will be members of the Congregational Life staff, other UUA staff groups, or guest preachers from around the country. The subscription costs $350 for 12 monthly sermons that can be used at any time. Annual Program Fund (APF) Honor Congregation will receive a $50 discount. For more information at the UUA Sermon Series webpage.

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. Learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund. 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 a list of virtual speakers, check it out to see who is available! Visit the Virtual Guest in the Pulpit Database to see who is available. 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 - Announcing the 2023-24 UUA Common Read: On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (Beacon Press, 2022). Now available for order are: A Fire at the Center: Solidarity, Whiteness and Becoming a Water Protector by Karen Van Fossan and Through the Lens of Whiteness: Challenging Racialized Imagery in Pop Culture by Diane S. Grimes and Liz Cooney. The February GoodReads book is You Should Be Grateful" Stories on Race, Identity, and Transracial Adoption by Angela Tucker.

The UUA is hiring for several positions, including CFO. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.

Calendar Items and News

For events, webinars and congregation news and events visit the following pages: