Opportunities for Connection ~ April 2022

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: 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 streaming equipment and other needs for multi-platform programming for UU Congregation of the Catskills, NY, UU Church of Amherst, Williamsville, NY, and the UU Fellowship of Harford County, Churchville, MD; installing air filtration systems to allow for in person meeting at Accotink UU Congregation, Burke, VA; hiring a part-time membership coordinator and restarting the children's program to include Jubilee kids at the UU Church of East Aurora, NY; 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; and hiring a membership coordinator at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco, NY.

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.

Final Chance to Register for Intergenerational Spring Seminar!

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)

This weekend is the final chance to register for the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the UN in partnership with UU Ministry for Earth, UUSC, and Side With Love. This year’s theme, “Displacement and Human Rights: All In for Climate Justice,” is becoming increasingly relevant as climate change causes so many places on Earth to become uninhabitable. Learn about the issues and how to take action to create climate justice in your community and world. In addition to the virtual programming of the Spring Seminar April 22 - May 1, 2022, congregations have an opportunity to host in-person local gatherings for participants in nearby communities. The Seminar will include special activities for youth (14+) and young adults! Learn more and register by Sunday, April 3 at the seminar webpage.

Video Engagement Strategy with Peter Bowden, Sponsored by the UUA

White man in black shirt smiles and waves with multiple video screens in the backgroun

Daily Livestream April 25 - 29, 2022 – Free, Live, 30-Minute Sessions with Q&A

The need for our congregations to effectively engage with people online has never been greater! During this free five-day YouTube Live series, Peter Bowden will share video-based strategies to support online visitors, increase engagement with worship, and amplify advocacy and witness efforts. Peter is a Unitarian Universalist trainer and coach specializing in media and digital strategy. This series shares the core strategies from his popular Video Ministry Academy training. The UUA is sponsoring this public training to make these strategies available to all congregations.

More details to come online at Peter Bowden's website.

General Assembly News - Choir Registration, Workshop Previews

UUA General Assembly 2022 Porland, Oregon

Each year a talented group of choral singers gathers to practice and perform for the General Assembly audience. For many, singing in the choir is a key part of coming together as UUs at GA. This year, GA will have two choirs: one in Portland, and one online. Both choirs will be under the lead by the 2022 GA choir director Allison King. Choir Registration is now open for the Virtual and In-Person Choirs. Advance registration is required, and space is limited.

A Multi-Platform Banner Parade - The Banner Parade is a GA institution, and this year the tradition will be reimagined for a multi-platform audience. Banners will be displayed in the General Session Hall and the celebration will be live-streamed. This year, participants will be dropping off their banners before the Opening Celebration begins. Volunteers will be able to decorate the hall before the celebration, allowing attendees to enjoy the event without having to wait in line for a processional.

Please bring your congregation’s banner to General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, or submit a high-resolution photo of your congregation’s banner by Friday, April 29. Both in-person and virtual banners will be incorporated into the Opening Celebration. There will not be a processional on site so no need to bring your banner poles.

Registration for in person and virtual attendance is open, financial aid applications are open on a first-come, first-serve basis and some volunteering positions are still open.

Spring for Change in 2022: A Season of Sacred Activism

UU the Vote square logo

Get ready for UU the Vote 2022! On Sunday, April 10 at 4pm ET/1pm PT join President Susan Frederick-Gray, UU leaders, and partners to learn how you can show up for our UU values and communities in the critical midterm elections. Invite your congregation and social justice teams to join us for an exciting launch of UU the Vote 2022. Register Today. Help your congregation participate in this event with this toolkit.

“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.

Summertime is Coming! Camps Registering for In Person!

Sky at Sunset

UUMAC 2022 - UU Mid-Atlantic Community in person at DeSales University
July 10-16, 2022. We're very excited to welcome you to join us this year for what marks our 41st UUMAC and first in-person conference in three years! For one week, through workshops, dancing, worship, songs, laughter, and much more, we will cultivate this year's theme: Go Lifted Up! led by Paula Gribble, DRE, Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel, and our dedicated staff team, all beloved members of UUMAC. Come help build multi-generational UU community on the DeSales University campus near Allentown, PA. Registration is open!

CERSI 2022 - Central East Region Summer Institute in person at California University of PA, July 10-16, 2022. Back in person again! Help us Question the Unquestionable and Answer the Unanswerable with Kazim Ali. Workshops, bridging, youth space and more. Help us check out our new space! Details and registration at the CERSI website.

Better Together Blog: A Garden Story Part 2: The LAP Plan

Shannon in her office

by Shannon Harper

Remember the classic Dr Seuss book, Oh the Places You’ll Go? Arguably the most quoted text at High School graduations and a favorite baby shower gift? Ultimately inspirational, it paints a seussical story of both the ups and down, trials and tribulations involved with becoming who we are meant to be. And there’s this place right in the middle of the book that is feeling very familiar right now in congregational life. The Waiting Place.

Read the rest of the article

You may also want to read:

So You Passed the 8th Principle, What’s Next? by Rev. Sana Saeed.
Recently, I’ve been getting messages from more and more congregations who have passed the 8th principle. This is exciting! According to the 8th Principle Project, there are now 156 congregations that have passed the 8th principle. Fifteen of my primary congregations have passed the 8th principle as well, and the question your congregation may be wondering now is what to do next after passing the 8th principle?

News from the UUA

JUUst Breathe Live is now a podcast! Find us at any place you get your podcasts, or still on YouTube. 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 - The UUA Common Read is Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris. Various resources and materials for the Common Read are being posted at the UUA Common Read page. Available now for order is Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Memoir of Bisexuality and Spirit by Elizabeth Jarret Andrew. April's Goodreads Book Club pick is Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris.

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: