Dear UUMA Members,
(UUMA Life Member - This week a colleague wrote me about all the new programs that the UUMA are working on and said "I wish these were around when I entered the ministry." These are exciting times in the UUMA. I wrote in my newsletter column this quarter about visiting the UUMA archives and reviewing 45 years of letters, minutes, proposals, etc. Some of your names were in those documents. The challenges we face and ideas we are creating aren't all that new. I hope you know how deeply appreciative so many are of the work and ministry you have done, and in many cases are still doing. And if there are any of the programs below that speak to your heart and spirit please consider applying for something.
On another note I wrote a few months back about a task force we are putting together to look at best practices between retired and settled ministers. Some of the members have been identified and we expect to have everyone named by next month. I'll keep you posted.)
I'm writing to you this month from the air. I've been accused once or twice of having my head in the clouds but right now my head is above the clouds. Sunday I preached at the First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Worth, Texas for Association Sunday. I suspect they would have preferred hitting the lottery and wining millions but instead they won me. It was a joy to celebrate and worship with them. And to raise some money for our religious professionals' continuing education.
This week I'll be meeting in Denver with our CENTER committee to continue planning the 2013 Institute for Excellence in Ministry, to work on our strategic plan on how we will be able to effectively implement the many continuing education programs we are offering in the coming months, and to have some fun too.
On October 1 I celebrated my two year anniversary in this position. Two years ago I didn't know if I or the UUMA would be up to having an Executive Director. It seems we are doing okay. Our goals and dreams are lofty but that is the way it should be. This month we will begin taking applications for three new and exciting programs - our coaching program, Who Are Our Neighbors? and our first Beyond the Call two-year module on Preaching and Worship Arts. I hope you feel compelled to get involved in at least one of the programs as a leader or participant. If you have any questions about the details of getting involved please let me know. Also, don't forget that October 31 is the deadline for posting sermons/essays on Whose Are We?. The three chapters that have shown the greatest participation in the Whose Are We? program will each receive $3,000 for future spiritual/theological programming.
The world looks different from 30,000 feet. In this work I get the chance to enjoy that perspective often. But I have to remember to look up from my book, computer screen or newspaper and look outside. When I do I am moved by the awesomeness and sacredness that surrounds me. It's not easy to remember. Whatever form of ministry you are practicing these days, I hope you take the chances and stop to look around. Savor the awesomeness and sacredness around you.
UUMA Executive Director
UUMA Coaching Program Seeking Coaches
Are you someone who has the skills and passion to become a UUMA peer coach? The UUMA Coaching Program is asking UUMA members who wish to become a peer coach to apply now. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2011. Those who are selected will be given coaching training next spring and will begin coaching colleagues in fall 2012. For more information the expectations for coaches and to fill out the application click here or go to http://www.uuma.org/?coaching_application
"Who Are Our Neighbors?" Facilitator Applications Ready
"Who Are Our Neighbors?" is our next UUMA chapter-based conversation focusing on multiculturalism and intercultural competencies. We are looking for up to thirty members who are willing to be facilitators for the program in chapter and regional settings for UUMA members and other lay leaders and religious professionals. Beth Zemsky, who was outstanding at the first institute for Excellence in Ministry and has worked with congregations and organizations on intercultural competency, will lead a train the trainers session for the facilitators May 3-6, 2012. For more information on facilitator expectations and the application click here or go to http://www.uuma.org/?whoareneighbors_app. The application deadline is November 30, 2011.
This year you may begin to print a Life Membership Card directly from the website. You can then laminate it on your own - or just tuck it into your wallet as is knowing you can print a new one at any time. To print your membership card visit the Manage Profile section of uuma.org (must be logged in). You can also see a link from the Membership Info screen. The office is happy to print, laminate, and mail you a card at any time - just ask Janette (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beyond the Call:
Preaching and Worship Arts - Now Accepting Applications
Beyond the Call is a program jointly developed by the UUA and UUMA designed to provide UUMA members in final fellowship a chance for in-depth study, ongoing collegial reflection and engagement in a critical area of advanced ministerial competence. Twenty to thirty colleagues will join three deans, and an assortment of guest experts in the field for two years of in-depth study and training in a specific skill of ministry.. Our first module will begin in the summer of 2012 on the topic of Preaching and Worship Arts. Students will be expected to attend four retreats, meet between retreats and begin a small study group for colleagues not in the program. Our deans Mark Belletini, Kathleen Rolenz, and Abhi Janamanchi will be working with students throughout the program. For more information on the program and to fill out an application click here or got to http://www.uuma.org/?beyondthecall.