Opportunities for Connection ~ May 2022

By Central East Region of the UUA

Featured Resource: General Assembly 2022

UUA General Assembly 2022 Porland, Oregon

Join us for Meet the Moment: Reimagining Radical Faith Community at General Assembly 2022, June 22-26, virtually or in person in Portland, Oregon.

Registration is open! You can register for onsite or virtual and you can book your hotel from the links on the UUA website. Choir Registration is open for both the in person and virtual choirs. Want to volunteer? There is still a need for Virtual Volunteers. Contribute 18-20 hours before or during GA and receive a fully funded virtual registration. Apply today!

Business Mini-Assembly Change - This year, the business mini-assembly will take place before GA begins on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 4pm ET / 3pm CT / 2pm MT / 1pm PT. Delegates will access the mini-assembly via the delegate platform.

The UUA board is offering two Business Orientation webinars in June and a webinar on what a Multiplatform GA means in May. Visit the UUA Board page to see dates, times and registration links.

Program Highlights of GA include the Ware Lecture with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Sunday Morning Worship with Rev. Gretchen Haley, the annual Service of the Living Tradition with Pastor Jacqueline Duhart and the annual Synergy Bridging Services. See the full schedule of events on the GA website.

Join us and be a part of this multiplatform event, be a part of important decisions of the association and participate in workshops, worship and more!

General Assembly: $$ for Youth and Young Adults

$$ for Young Folks @ GA, uua.org/ga-scholarhip. Registration discounts and housing scholarships

Youth and Young Adults (those who’ve competed 9th grade [or the homeschool equivalent] up to 35 years old) can get a scholarship in the form of a discount code they apply during the registration process.

Please invite youth and young adults to fill out this Youth and Young Adult Scholarship Form for General Assembly 2022 before they register to get their code. Codes can be used for virtual and in person registration.

Anyone, including young adults and youth group trip organizers, using the UUA GA Housing Reservation System, can use the Financial Support Application to apply for lodging credit

Scholarships are distributed by Lifespan Faith Engagement and provided by contributions from GA registrants, the Katie Tyson Fund for Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Jerry And Denny Davidoff Fund For Lay Leadership.

To talk with a friendly UUA staffer in Lifespan Faith Engagement about additional options for youth and young adult funding to attend GA 2022 email yayaministry@uua.org.

May and June Youth Mental Heath First Aid Trainings Scheduled

Mental Health First Aid Logo

June 11th 9-12p PT / 10-1p MT / 11-2p CT / 12-3 ET & 12th 12-3p PT / 1-4p MT / 2-5p CT / 3-6p ET

This evidence based program created by practitioners and people with lived experience teaches people how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health challenge, how to provide help and what to do in a crisis. This training teaches the lifesaving skills of assessing for risk of suicide and harm, identifying alternatives to calling the police in a mental health crisis and putting someone who's overdosed in the recovery position. Lifespan Faith Engagement infuses this training with UU values of youth empowerment and agency, community care, and cultural humility. Registration fee is on a sliding scale from $0-$80. You can also request a private training for your congregation or cluster. Find out more and sign up on the training page.

UUA Presidential Search Begins

The Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Presidential Search Committee has start their work for the 2023 UUA Election. The Presidential Search page, you'll find the official job description for UUA President, the portion of the UUA Bylaws that describe the nomination process, the application deadline, how to apply, and who to contact for more information. You can learn more from the UU World Article on the process. Do note that applications are now being accepted through July 15, 2022.

Peer Pastoral Care for Youth Offering Online

Peer Pastoral Care Training 1: Intro to Peer Pastoral Care and Listening Skills, May 7, 2022, 4-7 pm ET online. Open to HS youth and adults.

This is a 3 part series of interactive online workshops for youth and adults who support youth to learn peer pastoral care skills in a way immediately useful in their online lives. Pastoral care is an essential part of religious community and an essential part of caring for each other as human beings. We each can be present to each other as we go through both the hard and joyful parts of life. Compassion, witness, listening, and empathy are gifts we can all give each other.

The three workshops are:

  • Part 1 - Intro to Peer Pastoral Care and Listening Skills, May 7, 2022, 4-7 pm ET - this training is required to take parts 2 or 3.
  • Part 2 - Supporting Youth in Crisis, May 14, 2022, 4-7 pm ET.
  • Part 3 - Pastoral Care After Microaggressions, May 21, 2022, 4-7 pm ET.

Cost is $15 per session or $30 for the full series. Registration is open. Details at the Peer Pastoral Care Training Page.

Emergent Strategizing for Liminal Times

Emergent Strategizing in Liminal Times, May 25th 7:30 ET, Register Here (url). Image of curled up fern sprouts

May 25th, 7:30-9 pm ET/4:30-6 pm PT, online

Join other congregational leaders for this real-time introduction to emergent strategizing in liminal times. A follow-up online workshop will be available through the UU Leadership Institute for congregations wishing to facilitate their own emergent strategizing sessions. These offerings are inspired by the facilitation work of adrienne maree brown and UUA Congregational Life. Presented by Shannon Harper.

Cost for this workshop is $25. It is recommended that only one person from a congregation attend since registration is limited. Everyone who registers will receive all the materials needed to help with your own congregation’s emergent strategizing. Registration is open on the UUA website.

How Are You Really Doing?

The UUA and UU professional organizations want to know. All community ministers and paid staff of UU congregations are invited to complete a questionnaire that does a deep dive into stressors and satisfiers of congregational life. At the end of the survey a personalized report gives insight as to how you’re doing and why.

In fall, when the summary report is made available, gatherings by job role will unpack and debrief the implications of the findings. Those who have taken the survey will be invited.

Additionally, you will be given the option of including your anonymized data in academic research carried out by a PhD candidate at Emmanuel College, Victoria University, University of Toronto who helped develop this questionnaire and has been using it for both research and leadership support since 2015. Whether your data is included in this research is entirely up to you and will not affect the UUA reports.

For more information, read the google doc.

Better Together Blog: Take Your 730 Bad Days to a Party This Spring

Megan Foley Image

by Rev. Dr. Megan Foley

Can you believe the pandemic started more than two years ago? That’s 730 days. Plus.

I heard this song today as I was idly contemplating “where we now are in the pandemic”. Like spring, the signs of greater freedom are budding around us; unlike the last time(s) we thought the pandemic might be ‘over’, I’m a bit more jaded about these promising signs. We’ll certainly have spring and summer soon, but I’m not quite ready to recommend any sort of rush towards figuring out the next chapter of church life (although be sure to check out these ideas when you’re ready).

Read the rest of the article

News from the UUA

If you missed the UU the Vote 2022 Launch in April, you can still watch the recording and learn more about the program from the Side With Love website.

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.

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.

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: