Opportunities for Connection ~ March 2022

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: UU Institute

Screen shot of UU Institute website with Leadership Course offerings

Do you know about the UU Institute? Originally started as our online learning platform for lay leaders, you can find so much more there now.

The UUA’s online learning website has recently been redesigned to help you find trainings that interest you! You’ll find faith development trainings under “learners” and leadership development under “leaders.” Training materials are divided into modules, available “on demand” as pre-recorded presentations with additional reading materials, discussion questions and other resources.

What can you find on the site? You’ll find leadership trainings for board members, stewardship teams, membership teams, and lay pastoral care teams.General knowledge trainings about UU History, Covenant, Theology, Coming of Age for Adults, Intercultural Skills and Anti-racism. Professional trainings include Renaissance modules and credentialing and certification related trainings.

Courses can be taken individually, or you can sign up as a team. Some courses can be used as adult religious education offerings when taken as a team. Course fees range from free to $30. Some professional courses use different registration systems, as noted on the main training page.

The General Assembly Traveling Chalice & Information Webinars

UUA General Assembly 2022 Porland, Oregon

The General Assembly Chalice traditionally travels among various congregations in the region where the annual event is being held. The Local Area Task Force coordinates the transfer of the chalice along with a personal invitation to attend GA. This year, the circle widens as the chalice travels digitally to congregations everywhere. Please download this video and share it during worship services and meetings. Spread the word that all are cordially invited to participate in the 62ndannual Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly, online or in-person in Portland, Oregon June 22 – 26, 2022.

In Person Registration and the Housing Reservation system is now open, virtual registration opens March 1. Find out about all the plans at the UUA website.

Want to learn more about General Assembly and what is planned? Register for the UUA Board webinars on General Assembly. The following topics are scheduled: What Does Multiplatorm Mean for this Year's General Assembly?, Discussion of Proposed Business Resolutions, Going Deeper into Understanding Proposed Bylaw Changes, In-Depth Look at the GA 2022 Rules of Procedure and General Assembly 2022 Business Orientation. Dates, times and registration links on the UUA website.

A Second Slice of Pi: An Online Conference for Smaller Congregations

A Second Slice of Pie: A Small Conference for Small Congregations, Saturday, March 12, 2022, 3-5 pm ET/12-2p PT. An opportunity for connecting, learning and sharing, A grey background with a piece of pumpkin pie and a torn piece of notebook paper next to it with words on it.

Are you in a small congregation of 120 members or fewer? Want to connect with others who are doing church the way you do – or the way you hope to? We have just the thing for you!

Join us for A Second Slice of Pi: A Small Conference for Smaller Congregations. This is an opportunity for networking, connecting, sharing and learning with others, all from similar sized congregations to yours.

What will be happening? As of now, an online resource library is available for any participant to access. On March 12 from 3p-5p ET/12p-2p PT there will be opportunities to talk with other congregational leaders about worship, partnerships, creative uses of space, covenanting communities and more. Learn more at the event page. We encourage you to register now and attend with at least one slice of your favorite pie!

Jubilee 3 Anti-Racism Training

Jubilee 3 Anti-Racism Training, April 1-3, 2022, online, "If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together." - Lila Watson

Do you wish to deepen your understanding of how race and ethnicity play out in our institutions and our daily lives? Are you ready to take a leading role to nurture a multicultural future in the face of opposing cultural currents? Come Join Us for this Life-Changing Weekend!

Weekend Activities: The training includes presentations, discussions, videos, exercises, and small group work. This 2 ½ day workshop is open to anyone who wants to journey toward making a stand against racism. Church members and church leaders of any faith, as well as non-church members are all welcome! April 1-3, 2022 online. Registration and details at the CER website.

Spring for Change in 2022: A Season of Sacred Activism

Congregational Climate Convergence with SIde with Love and Green Sanctuary 2030. March 22 1-4:30 pm. Community Nourishment and Skill Building for Gree Teams, Eco-& Social Justice, Lay Leaders & Religious Professionals. Image of a globe.

The season of March 20 (Spring Equinox) through May 22nd (International Day for Biodiversity) is an invitation to the Unitarian Universalist faith community to embody the transformational, regenerative power of Spring through sacred activism for Earth and all our relations. Together, we will Get Rooted in our faith communities, our spiritual practices, and our relationships to the ecosystems we are home to. We will Get Ready by facing the facts and forecasts of our climate and ecological crises with courage, moral clarity, and a commitment to act for justice.

Congregational Climate Convergence - March 22
Calling all congregational lay leaders and religious professionals passionate about climate justice! Join Side With Love, Green Sanctuary 2030, and UU Ministry for Earth for a day of community nourishment, resource sharing and skill-building to support your local eco ministries! Register now.

“Get Rooted, Get Ready!” Earth Day Worship Service - April 22
Livestream at 9am PT / 10 MT / 11 CT / 12 ET, Also Available for Congregational Use
Theme & Description: “Get Rooted, Get Ready!”
When you imagine pathways to embodying the inherent worth and dignity of all people, particularly climate migrants, what do you see? Who is with you on in this journey to realign our values and practices with justice? What transforms and gives way to new beginnings? Who and/or what are you accountable to along the way? Join UU Ministry for Earth for a special Earth Day worship service exploring these questions in a collective journey on the pathways to being rooted and ready for climate justice. This program will include a special collection for the UU Ministry for Earth – donations are encouraged and received with deep gratitude. Learn more.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar: “Displacement & Human Rights: All in for Climate Justice”

Blue text on a white background reads "Displacement and Human Rights" in the top left. Green text reading "All In for Climate Justice" curves around a blue and green depiction of Earth showing continents east of the Atlantic (Africa, Europe, and part of Asia)

Hosted by the UU Office at the United Nations (UU@UN), UU Ministry for Earth, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and Side With Love, April 22 through May 1.

The Intergenerational Spring Seminar, hosted by the UUA Office at the UN aims to instill in Unitarian Universalist youth and adults a commitment to global engagement and the skills to take action locally to address global issues. The intergenerational seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with others while learning how to be a global activist. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, you will undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth while exploring some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.
Learn more and register.

Better Together Blog: A Garden Story

Shannon in her office

by Shannon Harper

This song, written by Ghanaian drummer Sol Amarifo, is on my mind right now as we in congregational life navigate this liminal pandemic time. Two years ago, in what feels now like a blink of an eye, we changed everything from how we do worship to how we provide pastoral care to how church staff do their jobs, all while experiencing a global crisis that brought grief, anxiety and loneliness like some of us have never experienced before. Now two years later we can add exhaustion and confusion to our lingering symptoms. Progress feels slow. Answers about our future are elusive. Some days it really feels like we’re stuck in the mud and the messiness of the unknowing, stumbling over the rough parts of a road that’s leading us in circles. We’ve taken to calling this time we’re living in liminal, the between.

Read the rest of the article

You may also want to read: Lessons from a Crisis by Beth Casebolt.

News from the UUA

The next JUUst Breathe Live is Sunday March 27th at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET with Special Guests… Linnea Granberg, Eric James, and Casey Stainsby from MyceliUUm… Huzzah! It's the new, innovative, Canadian youth and emerging ministry network. It is designed to connect young folk from ALL across Canada... regularly. It's smart, innovative, and we can't wait to interview them to learn more! Be sure to like and subscribe our YouTube Channel, and follow us on Instagram - JuustbreathePod … spread the word! And JUUst Breathe.

Get Involved with the Article II Study Commission. The Article II Study Commission is connecting with Unitarian Universalists throughout the Association to hear from you about what—if any—changes to Article II might lead us boldly into the future. What’s Article II? It’s the section of the UUA bylaws that serves as the home of our Principles and Sources, the UUA’s Purposes, our Inclusion clause, and Freedom of Belief Statement. As a living faith, we must regularly revisit the documents that guide us to be sure they match our values and commitments. You are invited to utilize new resources developed by the Study Commission to engage your community in this study and share back your reflections through the Article II Individual Survey (Google Form) . Check out the new resources and scheduled opportunities to engage with the Article Study Commission in the latest communication from the Commissioners.

Does your congregation have staff? You need the Benefits Tune Workbook, now in a new format. Our popular Benefits Tune-up Workbook, now in its 5th edition, will help you understand key documents, eligibility criteria, enrollment windows, and more while providing a path to putting sound systems in place to ensure compliance with Plan rules. We urge all congregations participating in any UUA benefit plans to complete the Workbook annually - as well as whenever a new congregational leader becomes a responsible party. Make it a team effort among a small group of staff and lay leaders who have benefits administration responsibilities.

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 out 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 - Available now for pre-order (ebook is now available) is BLUU Notes: An Anthology of Love, Justice, and Liberation, edited by Takiyah Nur Amin and Mykal Slack and Beyond Welcome: Building Communities of Love edited by Linnea Nelson. Have you checked out the enhanced Digital Children's Books with Cine-Books? 2 books are on the channel with more coming.

The UUA is hiring for several positions. 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: