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Opportunities for Connection ~ September 2017
Opportunities for Connection ~ September 2017
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Featured Resource: UU Leadership Institute

Leadership Training is essential for all congregational leaders. In the past that meant a week away from home at a costly event. Now we offer an alternative - Leadership School online, on your schedule.

In order to help congregations, UULI is offering a series of four online leadership development courses for only $30 each. They are designed so that prospective or new leaders can take beginner courses and experienced leaders can take higher level courses. The topics in each of the courses align, so that all of the leaders can get together in person and—together—can work case studies, do interactive learning and discuss topics with materials that we provide. The four courses are Faithful Membership, Healthy Leadership, Strategic Leadership and Adaptive Leadership.

Other classes on topics such as Compassionate Communication, Revitalizing Small Congregations, Transgender Inclusion for Congregations, Visitor to Member, and Spiritual Companioning. Archived courses also available.

Learn more about the impact of leadership school in this blog post by Rev. Renee Ruchtozke.

Learn more about the UU Leadership Institute at it's website uuinstitute.org

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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.

Staffing Practices: We're HIRING!

Is Your Congregation an Employer?

This is the time of year that many of our congregations are settling in their newly hired staff. The UUA's Office of Church Staff and Finances has resources to help you out!.Their webpage on Staffing Practices has a document titled "From Starting to Parting" that will help guide your congregation through the entire employment process. They have a Welcoming and OnBoarding Checklist and other documents that can help explain the many questions congregations have about employees. And sign up for their newsletter to keep up to date with deadlines and legal changes.

Patricia Hall Infante

Better Together Blog: Finding Our Way Through the Darkness

The total eclipse of 2017 is nearly here, where the moon comes between the earth and the sun, upending all we thought we understood about the universe and our place in it. Science can explain the mechanics in ways that we humans can mostly understand but the enormity of this shadow play taking place amongst the stars is somehow beyond our earthbound, mortal comprehension. Eclipses have been observed for thousands of years and the story of the sun mysteriously disappearing in the middle of the day is part of just about every ancient culture.

Read the rest of the article

UUA Chalice Gradient Version (Preview) (red shading to orange)

News from the UUA

Leader of a Large Congregation? A cluster of top board officers of large congregations (500+ members) has been meeting monthly since 2014 to share ideas, issues, success stories and cautionary tales. Topics the group has wrestled with include stewardship, measurement of progress towards ends, transition issues, safe congregations, and social justice initiatives, to name just a few. Sometimes we've invited guest "experts" to talk with us about particular subjects. Among them have been UUA Moderator Jim Key, Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, and First UU San Diego stewardship staff. Presidents, vice presidents and presidents-elect are welcome to participate, and from time to time other key lay leaders join the conversations. The meeting is by teleconference, through Free Conference Call. The agenda is set by the participants and their interests. The conversation is facilitated by Gail Sphar, Healthy Congregation Consultant. The cluster meets the second Tuesday of every month from 7:30 - 9 p.m. eastern. If you're interested in joining the cluster, or would like more information, please contact Gail at gsphar [at] uua [dot] org. If you're interested but can't meet at that time, let Gail know and we may create a second cluster gsphar [at] uua [dot] org.

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 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: Worship That Works: Theory and Practice for Unitarian Universalists, Second Edition. This month's Goodreads Book Club Pick is To Wake, To Rise: Meditations on Justice and Resilience. Visit the Publications Page for details.

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:

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For more information contact cer@uua.org.

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