Opportunities for Connection ~ July 2022

Featured Resource: inSpirit Bookstore

inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop Logo

Did you know that the UUA has it's own bookstore that is a place where you can find books and gifts and UU merchandise for all sorts of purposes?

The bookstore is called inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop! The word inspirit is rich in meaning. It can mean to fill with spirit, to encourage, to exhilarate, or to bestow with strength or purpose. They offer books to support people of all faiths and seekers alike to engage with spiritual questions. Unitarian Universalists will find items that will help to nurture their faith, to connect with our history, and to ground and enhance our work for social justice. They also offer cards, a wide range of fair trade gifts, as well as accessories proudly bearing the Unitarian Universalist Association and Side with Love logos.

You can visit the in person in Boston, on the website or call and place an order.

Discounts are offered for congregations ordering bulk purchases of some books, such as a those for book discussion groups, learn more about these discounts on the website. Have a church bookstore? They have a bookstore resale program as well, details are on the website. You can also follow them on Twitter and on Pinterest.

Please check them out online and see what they offer!

Trainings for Board Members in August 2022

cartoon of four humans around a round table, view from above.

Planning and Running A Board Retreat Webinar, August 2, 6:30-8:30 pm online. Learn how to plan and facilitate a board retreat that helps you build skills together. This is a webinar for both board members and ministers. We’ll explore questions like why hold a board retreat? What are the benefits, what are the objectives? Who should be present? Who will facilitate? We will also help you explore agenda setting and what type of activities you could use for your various needs.

Helpful Board Habits Series , 6:30-8 pm online - Session 1 - August 16; Session 2, Sept 20; Session 3, October 11. Additional resources and programming online at UU Institute. Help your board develop good decision-making processes by developing helpful board habits. This 3-part webinar series will help your board develop shared practices in communication and leadership and a shared understanding of your board in congregational governance.

Help Amplify Unitarian Universalism in Appalachia

Image of the UU Congregation of Charleston, WV, a one story tan building with a yard with a tree and a black wrought iron fence and a sign on the fence.

In the heart of Appalachia there are communities of Unitarian Universalists working against poverty and bigotry and on the side of harm reduction, reproductive and environmental justice, racial equity, and LGBTQ acceptance. They are small but mighty congregations, most with fewer than 30 members. In the face of rising challenges to human rights, a raging HIV and opioid epidemic, and increasing economic inequality, they are seeking to band together to amplify our lifesaving message. Your financial contributions will help them connect with and strengthen each other as they take action on the side of love. Please help support their new Appalachian Alliance through our Faithify Project.

Summer Institute 2022 - On Line!

Central East Region Summer Institute Logo

Join us at CERSI July 10-16 online. Yes that’s right for the first time we are doing a multi-platform model Summer Institute in the Central East Region. The link to register for Online CERSI can be found at the bottom of the CERSI Registration page. Online Registration is now open and is $100.

So join us online the week of July 10-16, 2022 for a week of fellowship and fun as we build a beloved community as we Question the Unquestionable and Answer the Unanswerable with Kazim Ali.

Sowing Seeds Youth Justice Workshop

Sowing Seeds, August 3-6, Pittsburh PA, Youth, Justice, UU Faith. Image of white lights scattering across a black background.

August 3-6, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA

Hurry! Registration ends June 30 for Sowing Seeds, a UU Youth justice focused, in-person, immersive workshop. August 3-6 Abby Crum, Sara Dendy-Green, Gina Collignon, Shannon Harper and more staff tba, will be gathering with high school age youth to build community, dig into the local Pittsburgh social movement scene and explore what seeds we’re called to plant and nurture in the world.

This is a collaborative project between the UU College of Social Justice and the Unitarian Universalist Association. It’s roots connect to the Grounded and Resilient Organizing Workshop (GROW) for UU Young Adults and UUCSJ Activate programs. The cost to attend this workshop is free and travel will be reimbursed thanks to the generous funding from UUCSJ.

Please share with UU high schoolers! This event is for anyone in the US and Canada.

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Trainings in Person Return!

OWL Image

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Trainings in person are back! Thus far we have two trainings on the books, check back for updates:

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training for K-1/4-6, Bethesda, MD, July 15-17, 2022 (deadline to register is July 1!)

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training for Adult Levels, Columbia, MD, Sept 30-Oct 2

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is an excellent, comprehensive sexuality education program that offers our young people the opportunity to explore their values, 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.

Is Religious Education Credentialing For You?

Photo of a lit chalice against a blue background

The Religious Education Credentialing Committee (RECC), in an effort to dismantle white supremacy practices in our credentialing processes, has been working with MMAPEU Consulting over the past church year to evaluate and assess our programs for barriers to access. The first tangible outcome of this ministry is to share our new Mission, Vision, and Values Statement, placing our Unitarian Universalist faith and values at the core of all we do. Please review this document and consider if the Religious Education Credentialing Program is right for you or a religious educator near you! Contact the UUA’s Professional Development Programs Manager, the Rev. Sarah Gettie McNeill, for more information sgmcneill@uua.org.

Better Together Blog: What Comes Before GROW??

Shannon in her office

by Shannon Harper

Grounded and Resilient Organizing Workshop (GROW), a joint program between the UUA and the UU College of Social Justice, is aimed at workshopping challenges faced by young adults who are active in organizing/justice making spaces, as well as helping young adult organizers build a strong support network that can be long lasting and consist of meaningful relationships. For the last two years, GROW has consisted of online cohorts that would meet weekly over the course of several months. This year, GROW participants will gather in person in Portland Oregon, prior to General Assembly, to build community, learn from local Portland organizers and explore various locations in Portland related to organizing and resilience practices.

Read the rest of the article

News from the UUA

Did you miss General Assembly and now you are hearing that there were great presentations you want to see? You are not too late! You can still register and receive access to all the recording workshops, featured speakers and the Ware Lecture. The Ware Lecture will be available for 2 weeks after GA due to contractual agreements. Visit the UUA website to learn more about this program.

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.

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!

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 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 - 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 Trusting Change: Finding Our Way Through Personal and Global Transformation by Karen Hering, Incantations for Rest: Poems, Meditations, and Other Magic by Atena O. Danner. Available for pre-order is Little Did I Know: An Anthology on Loving and Companioning Young Lives by Vanessa Rush Southern.

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: