Dear UUMA Member,
There may have been a busier time in the life of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association but I am not aware of it. On March 1 registration is open for 2012 Ministry Days in Phoenix. You will find more information below. After working with the UUMA Board and several of our colleagues from Arizona and our CENTER team for the last few months I am very excited about the program that we are offering. I hope you are too. On April 1 registration opens for the 2013 Institute for Excellence in Ministry January 28 - February 1 at St. Pete's Beach in Florida. Look for a postcard in the mail this month with a beautiful picture from the beach we will be on and details about how to register. The CENTER team met at the space in late January and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone next January. The UUMA Scholarship Team has decided that in addition to offering scholarships for the Institute, we will be offering up to five all-expense paid trips to the Institute for those with the greatest financial need. More details will be coming soon. If you haven't been to our UUMA Facebook page lately check it out and see some of our invitation videos.
The UUMA Coaching Task Force is in the final stages of inviting 25-30 members to our first UUMA coaches coaches' training at the end of May. Next month we'll have details on how you can get a personal peer coach beginning in the fall. The Who Are Our Neighbors? facilitators will be gathering in early May for the train the trainers session with Beth Zemsky. We will be checking in with chapter leaders next month on the best times to schedule our next UUMA-wide, and UUA leaders', conversation on multiculturalism in the next 18 months. We have or soon will be starting new task forces with retired ministers, the UU Society for Community Ministers, LREDA and the UU Musicians Network. A new chapter presenters program is taking shape.
We have been able to secure over $200,000 in grants this year to support our new and continuing programs including Beyond the Call (which is accepting applications once again); the coaching program; Who Are Our Neighbors?; the EDC project (see below); and scholarships for the Institute. The UUMA Board will be meeting in mid March to recommend the 2012-13 budget and to finalize the agenda and schedule for our time together in Phoenix. I look forward to sharing some of the exciting changes in next year's budget with you soon.
Last week I was in the Bay Area and met with students, community and retired ministers - our most under-served members. I was reminded, as I always am when I am visiting our members around the continent, of the amazing gifts and variety of ministries that our members have and lead. Ideas and possibilities abound. Perhaps it was because my travels took me to Silicon Valley, or because of the emerging conversation about Congregations and Beyond, or simply because of the success and growth we are experiencing at the UUMA, but I came back home ablaze with passion and excitement for the future.
These are busy times for the UUMA and most likely for you and your work too. In the midst of the activities may we remember to say thank you for the life we have been called to lead.
UUMA Executive Director
Ministry Days Registration Open
WHAT’S NEW: This year we return to the two day format of former Ministry Days in order to gather and reflect on issues of Social Justice in our ministries and in preparation for the 2012 Social Justice General Assembly. We gather on Tuesday: to help ministers be theologically and spiritually prepared for "Justice GA” as well as their own public ministries; to nurture ministers in our time together and offer many opportunities for meaningful connection; and to give colleagues useful tools to take home with them
HOW: Registration begins today - March 1, 2012. Please register as soon as possible; everyone benefits when we know how many people to expect. Keep in mind that the deadline for early registration is April 30. There are financial incentives for early registration. You may register online using a credit card; beginning March 1st at http://www.uuma.org/event/md2012. You may also register by filling out the paper registration form (found at http://www.uuma.org/resource/resmgr/2012mdregpacketfinal.pdf) and mailing it, along with your payment, to the UUMA office in Boston.
Beyond the Call - Preaching and Worship Arts Update
The Beyond the Call - Preaching and Worship Arts program was originally scheduled to begin in August 2012. The main funding for the program is coming from Association Sunday 2011 funds which were less than we had hoped. We have secured more funding for the program, with hopefully more to come, and have re-opened the application process. The two-year program will begin January 25, 2013 (the weekend before the Institute) and will end in 2014-15. If you were thinking of applying and ran out of time to get your information in or weren't available in August you have a second chance. Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2012. The application process is extensive so don't wait until the last minute. You can find more information about the program and the application by clicking here.
UUMA President Reflects on BorderLinks Trip
I was honored to represent the UUMA on a UUA BorderLinks trip to the Arizona/Mexico border in January. Barbara, my wife and co-minister, and I joined Peter and Phyllis Morales, UUA staff and lay leaders in this in-depth exposure to the realities of migration experience. We met with an Immigration and Custom Enforcement agent, people deported without papers, a Federal Public Defender, and community and interfaith organizations serving migrants.
We visited The Wall our taxpayer dollars are building at a cost of $5 million a mile and served dinner to people in Mexico who had just been deported and had no place to go. We walked in the desert to a memorial to a migrant woman who died there - one of over 6000 people who have died in the desert trying to reach a better life.
It changed me. I see with different eyes. We have work to do.
I invite you to participate in one of the BorderLinks trips the UUA is planning either this spring, or after General Assembly. Click here for more information.
Blessings - Bill Hamilton-Holway
Input Needed For UUMA/UUA Task Force On Ministry
A team of UUMA members and UUA staff met in November with representatives from the Educational Development Corporation to develop a list of responsibilities and tasks for ministers. The list was long and tiring! The team will be meeting over the next nine to twelve months to develop this list and a matrix which will provide show the arc of ministerial competence from novice to master. We hope to use this work to help develop ongoing professional education opportunities, coaching and mentoring programs and simple evaluation tools. The task force needs your help in refining and adding to our work. Click here to access a survey which asks for your feedback on our first draft. The team will meet again in May so please respond no later than April 6. If you have questions about the project email Sarah Lammert or Don Southworth.