Opportunities for Connection - June 2024

Featured Resource: UU Climate Justice Revival

Flowers in the corner. Reads Reimagine Together From An Extractive Age to a New Era Info Sessions! Join any of our sessions to connect with the Planning team, ask questions and learn more about how to host the Revival in your congregation! Wed May 29 @ 1p ET/10a PT; THurs, June 6 @5p ET/2p PT; Thurs June 13 @ 5p ET/2p PT

UUs are coming together to inspire, reawaken, and transform our churches through climate justice. Bring your justice teams, problem solvers, and dreamers. The planning team will provide everything needed: facilitation toolkits, training, music, projects, coordinated justice action, and more. No matter your congregation’s size or resources, you can join and together we will enter a new era of climate action. Let's go—appoint two volunteer facilitators who will be trained to participate.Learn more.

UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt invites all Unitarian Universalists to our first-ever UU Climate Justice Revival in this short video. Because of her training as an environmental ethicist, this work - this calling for climate justice - is central to President Betancourt's hopes and dreams for all Unitarian Universalists.

Are you excited for the first-ever UU Climate Justice Revival... but... still have so many questions? Is it on Zoom or in person? Can kids participate? Is it a regional or national event? When we do new and different things, questions are expected! Come to the UU Climate Justice Revival Info Session on June 6 or 13 and get all your questions answered! Registration is open.

Invitation for Synergy (Bridging) After-Party

Photo of wooden bridge over blue water

On Thursday, June 20th, after the broadcast of the Synergy service for GA attendees, Lifespan Faith Engagement is hosting an online party for bridgers and their supporters. During this gathering we’ll view an abridged version of the Synergy service and members of the National Emerging Adult Taskforce (NEAT) and Young Adult Revival Network (YARN) will celebrate and welcome the bridgers into the YA community.  

Please RSVP or share this link with UU youth and young adults to join the after party June 20, 8 pm ET.

Virtual General Assembly 2024

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

In a world filled with division and challenges, the theme for this year's General Assembly is a powerful reminder of the core principles that unite us as Unitarian Universalists. "Love Unites, Stories Ignite" celebrates the profound impact of love as a binding force that transcends boundaries and fosters connections within our faith community and beyond.

The 63rd General Assembly will take place virtually Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23, 2024.

More GA details:

Plan Your Board Retreat and Training

crew of rafters working together to get a yellow raft through the rapids on a river

Help your board get off to a great start! Your CER staff is ready to partner with you.

  • Plan your annual self-directed board retreat using our materials
  • Take our new online board training, then join us for live discussion sessions, where we will connect you with a cohort of board members from similarly-sized congregations. Make new friends from congregations across the region as you work on case studies and creative problem solving.

The online on-demand training (available in early July) will include self-paced pre-work. Topics include governance, conflict and change dynamics, cultural competencies, fiduciary responsibilities, efficient meetings, mission-based budgeting and decision-making, self-differentiation and boundaries, and spiritual grounding.
The live discussion sessions with your learning cohort (starting in August) will be scheduled in the next few weeks. Registration will open July 1, 2024.

Please let us know your interest, and which weeknights would work best for your congregation’s board members.

Cost is $15 per person.

Join us for Unlikely Superheroes at CERSI 2024

black outline of a human figure with a camp blowing off to the right, hands on hips. Reads: CERSI 2024. Unlikely Superheroes. Skills for practicing faith and ethics in tough times.

We invite you to join us at CER Summer Institute for a week long UU mulitgenerational family camp in western Pennsylvania July 7-13. UUMAC (UU MidAtlantic Community) will also join us for this year's gathering!

Our theme Speaker is Rev. Julian Soto, a UU minister and activist, presenting “Unlikely Superheroes: Skills for Practicing Faith and Ethics in Tough Times.” Rev. Soto brings a remarkably loving presence and a depth of spiritual leadership. Prior to being a minister, they were also a teacher and a lawyer. Each of these has been a way for them to engage with people, with transformation, and with the goal of making the world a better place.

Learn more at the CERSI webpage. Note that the deadline for scholarships from the CERSI scholarship fund is May 31, 2023.

In-Person Our Whole Lives Trainings: Two Locations!

A black-and-white image that is abstract.

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training for Elementary Levels, August 2-4, 2024, Wilmington, DE

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training for Secondary Levels, August 2-4, 2024, Pittsburgh, PA

Do check our calendar often for updates.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is an excellent, comprehensive sexuality education program that offers participants the opportunity to explore their values and gain accurate information about topics that are often not easily accessible. The overall goal of the Our Whole Lives program is to help participants gain the knowledge, values, and skills they need to lead sexually healthy, responsible lives. The goals of this workshop are to prepare the participants to implement the curriculum as well as the Sexuality and Our Faith component. Through a varied program including practice and participation activities, the trainers will cover implementation techniques, curricula details, and technical information. You can see all trainings at the UUA Our Whole Lives Facilitator Page.

A New Embracing Neurodiversity Offering

The image reads ‘UUA and UUMA present Embracing Neurodiversity: Pathways to Understanding' on a blue background with neurons on it. There is a design of two heads facing away from one another and a rainbow infinity symbol underneath the text.

Join us in celebrating the UUA/UUMA Neurodiversity Skill Up series! The series bundle, as well as individual Skill Ups, are available for purchase on the UUMA site.

Please visit the Embracing Neurodiversity: Pathways to Understanding page on LeaderLab to learn more from the team who put together the Skill Up series in a new, free recording. While we are closing this project and celebrating the many contributors and learnings, know this work is never done. We encourage you to carry forth the work, rooted deeply in our UU values, of creating safe, inclusive, and accessible spaces for the full, beautiful, and complicated spectrum of neurotypes among us.

UUA Virtual Hymnal: Exciting Updates!

A Black woman wearing headphones smiles and sings, holding a tablet or iPad.

For over a year, your UUA Virtual Hymnal Task Force has steadily worked towards its mission of building a living collection of song resources through an accessible, equitable, online platform grounded in UU values. This virtual hymnal will help Unitarian Universalism live into our prophetic calling as a joyful, liberatory, and anti-oppressive faith. Now we've got exciting news to share!

You're invited to attend upcoming Zoom gatherings for a sneak peek of the virtual hymnal prototype! Join Camille Hatton, the virtual hymnal consulting manager, and Rev. Erika Hewitt, UUA Minister of Worship Arts, as they reveal the working model, explain its testing phase, and present financial details that are emerging. Each gathering will also include a poll of your most cherished public domain hymns, which will populate the Beta version of the virtual hymnal.

Pre Registration is required for these Zoom presentations. For dates and times and to register, please visit the UUA website -- where you can also learn more about the Virtual Hymnal Task Force and the Zoom Q&A sessions that were held in January.

LREDA Professional Day: Accessibility is Love

yellow square with an image of a brown hand making a "I Love You" sign, an outline of a heat, and a cartoon human figure in a wheelchair. Reads Accessibility is Love. with Rev. Julian Jamaica Soto. Tuesday June 18, 12p ET, 9a PT. Liberal Religious Educators' Association Professional Day 2024.

Tues June 18th, 2024, 12 pm to 6 pm ET
Join the Liberal Religious Educators’ Association for our Professional Day 2024 as we proudly proclaim that Accessibility is Love. This online gathering will offer us a chance to engage with some of the heart of Disability Theology, to share questions and expertise, and to spend some time focused on the areas of accessibility that matter to us most. Blend in some worship time, nice big breaks, and maybe even a chance to show off your amazing spaces, for an enriching professional development experience for new and seasoned religious professionals alike.

Find out more at the LREDA website.

Side with Love June Events - Gatherings and Groundings

image of a blue watering can. Reads Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation. Wednesday June 5. 4 PT, 5 MT, 6 CT, 7 ET. Logo for Green Sanctuary and Side with love.

Each month the Side with Love team offers a wide range of events on a variety of topics. Here is what is scheduled for June.

Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation
June 5 at 7 pm ET
Get to know the new Green Sanctuary! Join the monthly orientation session to get a better understanding of the program and learn how your congregation can engage in ongoing climate action. Green Sanctuary 2030: Mobilizing for Climate Justice can transform your congregation through climate justice! Orientation meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 4PT - 5MT - 6CT - 7ET. Register Here

Side with Love Monthly Mixer, June 10 at 8 pm ET. Register Here

UPLIFT Transgender/Nonbinary+ Pastoral Small Group, June 14 at 8pm ET. Registration.

UPLIFT Transgender/Nonbinary+ Monthly Gathering, June 25 at 8pm ET. Register Here

Find all the Side with Love events and activities on their website.

Better Together Blog: New Learning Opportunities for Leaders

by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchtozke and Rev. Lillian Drab-Braddick introduce some new programming available from the UU LeaderLab team on the UU Institute and LeaderLab.

Read the rest of the article

You may also be interested in The Seeds That Have Sprouted: What Did We Learn This Year?, our report and recording of the final CER Skill Up for 2023-24.

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News from the UUA

Summer/Fall Training Programs for Religious Professional Focusing on Transitions. The Association of Unitarian Universalist Transitions Professions (formerly, GIRE) is offering several training programs for religious professionals. These classes comprise the AUUTP Professional Interim Training Program designed to equip religious professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to serve congregations in transition, and a one-day course on “The Three C’s” (conflict, communication, and covenant) also being offered and idea of staff teams. These programs are open to both ordained and non-ordained religious professionals and are particularly relevant for those serving in transitional roles or serving communities in transition. Details and registration at their website.

Camp Unirondack announces New Adult Programs this Spring! Announcing a whole season of new camping trips, just for adult campers! From canoe camping and backpacking intro trips to wilderness leadership and wilderness art programs, we’re so excited to have you join us! Meet and find belonging in the forever-wild Adirondacks alongside other adventurous folks. All trips are fully guided, with no camping experience necessary, just bring your clothes and a sleeping bag. Learn more at their website.

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 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.

New publications from the UUA - Now available as an ebook, Love at the Center by Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt. Available for pre-order is Blessing It All: Rituals for Transition and Transformation edited by Heather Concannon and Allison Palm. Check out the UUA bookstore for all Beacon Press and Skinner House books.

The UUA is hiring for several positions, including several positions in other regions. 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: