Opportunities for Connection ~ June 2017
Featured Resource: Chalice Lighters
This program has been in place for decades in most areas of the United States as a way to fund growth in Unitarian Universalist congregations helping to establish new congregations, improve and expand structures, fund new staff and resourcing programming innovations. Clusters of congregations may also apply for funding for collaborative projects.
Want to know more? Read our FAQ.
Individual Chalice Lighter Subscribers pledge to contribute three times a year when the calls are issued – and those faithful contributions add up to significant funding. In the Central East Region alone, contributions have totaled almost TWO MILLION DOLLARS over the past 15 years! Subscribe today!
We are moving toward a Central East Region Chalice Lighter program beginning in the fall of 2017 replacing four individual District-based programs, and we need help from our congregations and members. To learn more please read the Better Together blog post on Chalice Lighters.
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.
Breakthrough Congregations Returns and They are Looking for You!
Breakthrough Congregations returns with a focus that 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.
Are you a congregation in the Central East Region doing adaptive, innovative ministry in a way that could be replicated elsewhere? Maybe you’ve found a new revenue stream, or have done something different in worship? Or maybe you have a ministry in your community that has become the hallmark of your congregation. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it!
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.
General Assembly is Coming - Are you ready?
General Assembly will take place in New Orleans, LA on June 21-25 this year. Registration and housing opened on March 1. Learn more about General Assembly at the UUA website. Delegates can learn what to expect at UUA GA Orientation webinars on May 31, June 3, June 4, June 7 and June 12. One will be recorded for those who cannot attend any of the dates. Learn more at the UUA Board Page.
The GA Credentialing Manager is now open - Certified congregations can access the Credential Manager at my.uua.org to assign and distribute credentials to their member delegates for General Assembly (GA). Delegates must have their credential in order to vote on GA business and in the UUA presidential election. Delegates unable to attend GA may access their election ballot by following the voting link found in their credential.
Delegates - Please be aware that we will be using electronic voting for the election at General Assembly. Please see the UUA website Elections Page for details. There are 3 ways a delegate can vote in the election this year:
- In person at a voting kiosk at GA from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT on Saturday, June 24.
- Online using a computer or mobile device beginning June 1 and up until 5:00 PM CDT on Saturday, June 24. Delegates may use this method even if they attend GA.
- Absentee, by requesting and returning a paper ballot by mail. Requests must be postmarked no later than June 1, and ballots returned by June 14.
Better Together Blog: From Your Regional Lead: Prepping for General Assembly
One of the things I’ve been doing to prepare for General Assembly this year is to work through these excellent preparatory materials provided by the Planning team. As the GA webpage puts it, “General Assembly in New Orleans will awaken and deepen the commitment of Unitarian Universalists to the power and possibility of working in solidarity with those on the margins. [Here] are resources to help you prepare to enter fully into that experience.” Now that the UU conversation about white supremacy has intensified, preparing for GA in this way seems even more important. I’m doing as suggested, exploring the resources in each of the five sections (Encountering New Orleans; Understanding Intersections of Race, Class and Economics; Enhancing Capacity to Build Relationships; Centering the Experiences of People of Color; and Examining Whiteness) to get a broad overview.
Read the rest of the article
News from the UUA
The Global Majority (Unitarian Universalist Ministries) Collective will be a cohort of multigenerational Unitarian Universalist people of color working to create innovative contributions toward the creation of a multicultural UUism. This group will work to amplify and cross pollinate the talents and skills of its members to create liturgical, cultural, and other resources to decenter whiteness within UUism. We invite you to bring your whole self and join us in building this vision! Participants must be able to attend our first gathering on August 17-20th in Detroit, Michigan. Register here.
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.
The 2017 Angus H. MacLean Award will be presented to the Rev. Patricia Hoertdoerfer, M.Div., at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 10:28 a.m., during General Session III. A former Director of Religious Education (May Memorial Unitarian Society, Syracuse, NY) and Minister of Religious Education (River Road Unitarian Church, Bethesda, MD), Pat served the UUA in our Curriculum Development office from 1993-2005 and, later, as district staff. Pat’s contributions to shaping UU religious education include her chapter, “Religion as Relationship,” in Essex Conversations; her many consultations with religious educators in our congregations; and her work on the Family Matters Task Force. Her Sage-ing ministry, which she continues to this day, combines education, spirituality, and creativity in programs that empower others to find their spirit and express it in their lives.
The Faith Development Office has published a series of small group ministry sessions designed for reflection, discernment, and commitment of faith at this moment in U.S. political history: A Call to Faith in Turbulent Times. Since the U.S. Presidential election, many Unitarian Universalists feel challenged by this moment in our nation’s history. Four new, two-hour sessions by the Rev. Marta Valentín for adult small ministry groups ("chalice circles") help us discern the requirements of our faith commitments and values. The sessions use a standard “small group ministry” format and include readings, audio-visual materials, and questions for reflection.
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.