Opportunities for Connection, January 2016

Featured Resource: UU Leadership Institute

The Unitarian Universalist (UU) Leadership Institute is offering several Spring 2016 courses for only $30 per course per semester. Along with Healthy Leadership 101 (recommended for all leaders) we are offering:

Courses open on January 22 and will run through June 30, 2016. For more information, visit the website or contact info@uuinstitute.org

Meet the Staff: Sue Tabone, Administrative Staff

Sue Tabone is part of the regional administrative team. She is responsible for events and logistics on the western side of the region. Sue lives in sunny and often snowy, Buffalo, NY with her husband of over 3 decades. She loves the cycle of the four seasons in the northeast. She enjoys meditating and listening to soothing music and the sound of waterfalls. You can reach Sue Tabone at stabone@uua.org. Learn more about Sue Tabone at her UUA staff bio page.

CERGing Forward Blog: Communications, Legalities and Reasons

The four elected district boards have dedicated much of their work these last few years to transition us from districts to the shared ministries and resources of our region. We’re in the home stretch. In a few months all four districts will ask their delegates to vote to dissolve their district in favor of our Central East Region.

Read the full text and comments of the post

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. Registration will open January 11th.
  • 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. Registration is now open.
  • 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". The district is accepting workshop proposals through January 22nd andDistrict Award Nominations through February 29th at noon.
  • 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

Your Congregation Counts! This year, the UUA's Congregational Certification, where congregations report annual membership and financial figures, is changing! The online reporting portal is updated and easier to use, and now anyone from your congregation who has the secure link to your unique page can input information. Additionally, new questions have been added to help the UUA serve congregations better; these will likely require information from various people in your congregation, so be sure to review the questions in advance. In appreciation for completing the new questionnaire, congregations will receive three free updated UU pamphlets of their choice. Visit the UUA website for more information.

Who Should Receive the Award for Distinguished Service? The Annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism is one of the most prestigious awards given by the UUA. The Board of Trustees seeks nominations for the 2016 award, to be presented at the 2016 General Assembly in Columbus, OH. Candidates for this award should have, over a considerable period of time, strengthened the institutions of the UU denomination, clarified the UU message in an extraordinary way, and exemplified what Unitarian Universalism stands for. The deadline for nominations is March 1, and the Board will make a final selection at its April meeting. Please send nominations to: Rob Eller-Isaacs, Chair, UUA Distinguished Service Award Committee, c/o Stephanie Carey Maron, UUA, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210; or by email to secretary@uua.org.

Visit Nicaragua with UUCSJ In partnership with Equal Exchange, the UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) is excited to offer a new immersion learning program- Nicaragua: Fair Trade and Environmental Justice-focused on sustainable development. Nicaragua's history has been profoundly affected by U.S. interventions - both military and economic - and also by solidarity from U.S. citizens. As much as ever there is a need for our partnership, understanding, and vocal resistance to destructive policies. Join them May 21-28, 2016. Visit the UUCSJ website for more information and to register.

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.

  • Healthy Congregations Training—Series starts January 23, 2016, NYC area
  • MNY Peer Chaplain Training—January 8-10, 2016—Montclair, NJ
  • SLD YAC Con—January 29-31, 2016—Albany, NY
  • Building Our Capacity for Authentic Diversity—January 30, 2016—Pittsburgh, PA
  • Sexually Safer Best Practices for Congregations—February 6, 2016—Wilmington, DE
  • Winter Institute—February 12-15, 2016—Cambridge, OH
  • Worship Arts Festival—February 19-20, 2016—Cherry Hill, NJ - Workshop Proposals now being accepted.
  • SLD District Assembly—April 1-2, 2015—Syracuse, NY
  • OMD District Assembly—April 2, 2015—Akron, OH
  • JPD District Assembly—April 8-9, 2015—York, PA
  • MNY District Assembly—May 6-7, 2015—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.

  • 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)
  • SLD Regionalization Presentation for Congregational Presidents—January 24 at 7:30 pm (ET) and January 26 at 7:30 pm (ET). Contact Sue Tabone, stabone@uua.org, for connection details.

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 Binghamton, NY hiring Director of Lifespan Faith Development
  • Jubilee Anti-Racism Training scheduled for January 15-17, 2016 at All Souls Church, Washington, DC
  • Mt Vernon Unitarian Church offers showing of Green Fire January 23, 2016 at 7 pm.

If your congregation or cluster has news or events to share, please send it to us at bcasebolt@uua.org