Opportunities for Connection, December 2015
Featured Resource: Worship Web
If your worship team is struggling to find readings and other worship materials, we recommend you visit the WorshipWeb pages of the UUA website. This site is filled with readings, stories, chalice lightings and more from a variety of sources on a variety of topics.
The Worship Web team has just added a new Compassion for Refugees worship collection, with gratitude to Unitarian Universalist leaders who have responded to a deep hunger for faith-based responses to the Syrian refugee crisis. More resources will be added in the coming weeks, as we bear witness to a humanitarian crisis that calls us to be our wisest, most generous selves. You can find additional special thematic collections that provide resources on the topics of Black Lives Matter, Standing on the Side of Love, Worship in Tough Times, Ecological Disasters and more.
If you have something to add to this WorshipWeb or any of its collections please submit it at the WorshipWeb submission form.
CERGing Forward Blog: Together, Our Vision Widens
Over the last few weeks, a number of our staff and district board members, including me, have been traveling around all of the various parts of our Central East Region to meet with different constituency groups and congregational clusters to talk about regionalization. And we have many more of these meetings scheduled for the upcoming months.
Read the full text and comments of the post
Meet the Staff: Rev. David Pyle
Rev. David Pyle is the District Executive of the Joseph Priestley District and a member of the Central East Regional Congregational Life Staff. He has served as a minister for congregations in Illinois, Michigan, and California, and as a U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain. Rev. Pyle serves as primary contact for congregations in Delaware, Central Pennsylvania and the Western Maryland and Baltimore clusters. He is regional Program Manager for justice ministries including being the liaison to the state advocacy networks, congregational governance and the after-pastor program. You can reach Rev. Pyle at dpyle [at] uua [dot] org.">dpyle [at] uua [dot] org. Learn more about Rev. David Pyle at his UUA staff bio page.
District Assemblies Around the Region
District Assembly planning is well underway for the spring of 2016. This year's District Assemblies are very important as delegates will be asked to vote on measures to do with regionalization. Each district plans its own District Assembly. Dates and basic information are listed below. Additional details will be added as they become available.
- St. Lawrence District ~ April 1-2, 2016—Syracuse, NY. Theme speaker is Rev. Sue Phillips. Theme is Covenant. Deadline for workshop proposals is November 30.
- Ohio-Meadville District ~ April 1, 2016—Akron, OH. Theme speaker is Rev. Susan Ritchie. UUA Moderator Jim Key will also be in attendance. Theme is Better Together.
- Joseph Priestley District—April 8-9, 2016—York, PA.Keynote speaker is UUA Moderator Jim Key. Theme is "Congregations in Covenant: Living the Interdependent Web".
- Metro New York—May 6-7, 2016—Morristown, NJ. Theme speaker is Taquiena Boston, UUA Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness. Theme is Better Together. Workshop proposals are currently being accepted, deadline is March 1.
News from the UUA
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will be running a special campaign on Giving Tuesday - December 1st. The UUA has been offered a special matching gift if 77 people give on that day. To learn how to give (you can give by text, online or phone) visit the UUA webpage on Giving Tuesday. In addition the UUA will be hosting a conversation on Twitter at 2 pm that day using the hashtag #BecauseofUU. Let us know why you give to the UUA.
The UUA's new Professional Learning Units for Staff (PLUS) Program is a series of short units that form a free, self-paced orientation for new professional staff in UU congregations. The PLUS Program strives to nurture new staff into well-equipped, spirit-filled professionals who serve and lead in right relationship with their colleagues and their congregation. Each PLUS unit is designed to be completed in no more than an hour. The world of professional religious leadership is complex and ever-changing, so make regular professional development a habit starting with PLUS!
Learn more about General Assembly in Columbus in 2016.
New publications from the UUA - Listening Hearts is a new addition to the Deep Connections series; Assembled is an ebook of lectures and sermons from GA 2015; and more pamphlets including A Home for Multifaith People and Families, UU Views of Jesus, and Welcome to Our Community. Visit the Publications Page for details.
The UUA Bookstore has a number of new items including jewelry, umbrellas, bags and all sorts of apparel including socks for sale. If you are looking for UUA themed items for holiday gifts, be sure to check their new items.
The UUA is hiring for several positions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.
CER Events at a Glance
The following events are upcoming in the region. For full details and a complete list visit the CER Website's Events Page.
- Fundamentals of Healthy Youth Ministry Training—December 4-6, 2015—Utica, NY
- Metro NY Youth Racial Justice Conference—December 4-6, 2015—Manhasset, NY
- Healthy Congregations Training—Series starts January 23, 2016, NYC area
- MNY Peer Chaplain Training—January 8-10, 2016—Montclair, NJ
- SLD YAC Con—January 29-30, 2016—Albany, NY
- Building Our Capacity for Authentic Diversity—January 30, 2016—Pittsburgh, PA
- Winter Institute—February 12-15, 2016—Cambridge, OH
- Worship Arts Festival—February 19-20, 2016—Cherry Hill, NJ
- SLD District Assembly—April 1-2, 2016 ~Syracuse, NY
- OMD District Assembly—April 2, 2016—Akron, OH
- JPD District Assembly—April 8-9, 2016—York, PA
- MNY District Assembly—May 6-7, 2016—Morristown, NJ
- Summer Institute—July 17-23, 2016—Oberlin, OH
CER Webinars at a Glance
The following webinars will take place in the region the next two months. For full details and a complete list visit the CER Website's Webinars Page.
- UUA LFD Webinar Series—Meet the UUA International Office—December 15 at 1 pm (ET) or December 16 at 9 pm (ET)
- Compassion and Restoration One Small Group at a Time—January 16, 2016 at 12 Noon (ET)UUA LFD Webinar Series—OWL Facilitators and
- Faith Development—January 19 at 1 pm (ET) or January 20 at 9 pm (ET)
Congregation, Cluster and Affiliate Groups News and Events
Our congregations and clusters in the region have many exciting activities and announcements going on. For a complete listing visit the CER Website's Non CER Events Page. To see which congregations are hiring, please visit our Job Openings Page for listings.
- UU Congregation of Rockville, MD hiring a Director of Religious Education
- UU Fellowship of Newark hiring a Developmental Director of Religious Education
- Jubilee Anti-Racism Training scheduled for January 15-17, 2016 at All Souls Church, Washington, DC
If your congregation or cluster has news or events to share, please send it to us at bcasebolt [at] uua [dot] org