Opportunities for Connection ~ August 2017
Featured Resource: Primary Contacts
Do you know who your congregation's primary contact is?
The Central East Regional (CER) has moved to a primary contact staff system to ensure our congregations know who to reach out to for assistance. What this means is that each congregation has a UUA staff member from CER who serves as your Primary Contact for all services of the region and the UUA. This is someone with whom you can build a close, working relationship, who will have an intimate knowledge of your congregation's blessings and challenges, and can be proactive in helping you to share those blessings and meet those challenges. Your Primary Contact can help you to navigate all the support and opportunities available to your congregation. Find your primary contact now.
It's Time for Your Yearly Updates!
Every year our congregations change their leadership. To ensure that your leaders are getting information they need from us, we need you to go to myuua.org and update your congregation's information. Please know, we use your information in myuua.org to set up our lists of congregational leaders, so it is really important that you update that information after your elections or whenever a leadership change happens. Learn more about this at the UUA website.
Link2Lead Can Provide Congregations with Demographic Data
- Do you want a better picture of who is in your neighborhood?
- Are you interested in providing ministry to your community, but not sure what the issues are?
- Would you like to see a visible map of where your members live and how far they are from your location?
These are just some of the questions that can be answered through Link2Lead.com, a website for local congregational ministers and lay leaders. It is available free of charge to congregations in the Central East Region (CER). Through Link2Lead and its various programs, you have access to the latest information about your community, hands-on tools to better understand and develop your own capabilities and a variety of additional resources to assist you in leading your congregation into the new world of opportunities awaiting us in the 21st century. Learn more on our website.
Better Together Blog: Serving with Mutuality
My spouse and I are planning out a permaculture garden in the backyard of our new house. We don’t know much about permaculture yet, but we are learning. We are starting with the soil. The yard had been covered with concrete, so we are starting from scratch. We hauled several truckloads of leaf and tree mulch from the city and are watching it compost in place over the summer. There are a few volunteer pumpkins from discarded Halloween pumpkins that were mixed in the mulch, and we threw a few seeds in to see if they would sprout, but this is really a time for the organic material to decompose and welcome microbes and other creatures to make their home in our new garden. We are also augmenting the soil with our household compost, and we plan to plant a temporary groundcover in the fall that can be worked into the soil. Eventually, we will find plants, bushes and trees that allow for the soil to replenish itself while feeding the flora, thus the name permaculture.
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News from the UUA
Missed something at GA? Most of the events in the main hall area available online at the UUA website. You can also check the UUA YouTube Channel.
Skinner House Books announces a search for an author or authors to write a book about the blessings of participating in a liberal religious faith community. The book would be fairly short, written in an informal, non-academic way. It could be thought of as an alternative to the increasing number of calls to be “spiritual but not religious.” Instead, this book holds up what is good about religiosity—such as community, ritual, pastoral support, mutual caring, exposure to new ideas, and participating in social justice works while part of a faith community. It would use real-life stories and examples to show rather than tell about why Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals find congregational life so sustaining. Learn more at Skinner House.
Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation Training, February 17, 2018 sponsored by the Southern and MidAmerica Regions in Louisville, KY. Unitarian Universalist and Social Justice Facilitator, Chris Crass will offer a one day workshop entitled "Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation." Workshop will begin with brief worship and include small and large group discussions, storytelling from preselected congregations, theological reflection, and participatory exercise. Concluding segment will focus on "What are you bringing back to your congregation?" and "How will you be accountable for your plan?" Workshop will close with "Revival for Racial Justice" testimonials. The purpose of this workshop is to help build SJ communities and cultures rooted in UU values with the courage to do racial justice work. Focus will be on encouraging activism and leaders, building capacity, and putting UU congregations in touch with one another.
The Breakthrough Congregations Program has been reimagined and re-invented. This program celebrates and shares innovative ways congregations are adapting to the challenges faced in an evolving religious landscape. We are looking for bold one time initiatives as well as on-going sustainable efforts. This is not based on numerical growth or whole congregation health, though we will consider other benchmarks of health in your congregation. For more information and application materials, go to the Breakthrough Congregations webpage. Congregations and covenanting communities can apply and the application deadline is September 1, 2017.
The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee are excited to launch Love Resists, a joint campaign to protect both the values of our democracy and the humanity and rights of individuals and communities most at risk. Since the election of President Trump, more than 860 clergy members, 40% of UU congregations, and nearly 15,000 individuals have endorsed a Declaration of Conscience, pledging to stand on the side of love to protect the most vulnerable, defend core values under attack, and commit themselves to speak out and to act in support of basic human rights. Love Resists is the next phase in translating this declaration of values into action. Get involved by signing the Declaration of Conscience, exploring our resources, and taking action to support sanctuary and solidarity in your community. Visit www.loveresists.org to learn more, and share your stories of justice and solidarity with us using #LoveResists.
New publications from the UUA - The following new publications are now available: Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry; To Wake, To Rise: Meditations on Justice and Resilience; Faith for the Unbeliever; Our Whole Lives, Grades 4-6, Second Edition; and Class Action: The Struggle with Class in Unitarian Universalism. This month's Goodreads Book Club Pick is "You're In the Wrong Bathroom" And 20 Other Mytns and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. Visit the Publications Page for details.
The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.