Dear UUMA Member,
Every month when Janette and I prepare this e-update I wonder what to share with you in these few paragraphs. To be honest it is a dilemma I had for ten years when I wrote newsletter columns for the congregations I served. Shall I write about all that's going on and invite people to join in since I know we have to say things over and over again in the hope to truly communicate? Shall I write something about the joys and beauty of life, or its sorrows and injustice? Shall I share something personal or try to speak to something universal?
In a sense a newsletter column, at least mine and perhaps yours too, presents the challenge that E.B. White had each day, "I wake up each each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it very hard to plan the day.” How true in planning our days, writing newsletter columns, or determining the shape of our ministries.
Since our quarterly newsletter is coming out in the next couple of weeks, and I have a deadline for that column in 24 hours, I prefer to keep the program updates and details brief. On April 1 at 5pm registration will open for the 2013 Institute for Excellence in Ministry; if you haven't participated in the survey on the work we are doing to identify UU ministers' tasks and responsibilities in the 21st century do so by April 5; in the next few weeks you will hear more about how you can work with a UUMA coach next year; be sure to register for Ministry Days soon and applications for the first Beyond the Call program on preaching and worship arts close on May 15.
The main thing I want to share this month is my deep gratitude for the work you do. I took this job because I hoped I could do something to help my colleagues more fully live their calls to ministry. (I have joyfully discovered that helping people live their calls, especially ministers, is the core of my calling.) I hope the new educational programs, the expanded opportunities to serve and lead in the UUMA, the collaborations we are building and nurturing, the increased methods and resources we have for connecting with colleagues is making a difference, how small it may be, in your life and your ministry. I know some of us are still too lonely or isolated; some are struggling because the gap between the reality and aspiration of ministry seems too large; some of us are challenged with dwindling resources and not being able to do all we want, and need, to do. And yet we change lives a little bit every day. In this time of Easter, spring, death and rebirth it seems especially important to remember this.
Save and savor. Such is life. Such is ministry.
UUMA Executive Director
2013 Institute Registration Begins April 1 at 5pm - No Fooling!
The 2013 UUMA CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry, January 28 - February 1, 2013, at the Sirata Resort in St. Pete's Beach, will be accepting registrations beginning April 1 at 5pm. Registration for the program includes worship, programming, Monday dinner and breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Friday. Hotel reservations can be made, separately, through the UUMA website (to save sales tax) or directly through the Sirata. Seminar registration and hotel reservations will be done on a first-come, first-served, basis. Be sure and read about the expanded scholarship opportunities! All the information you need will be available on April 1 at: http://uuma.site-ym.com/events/event_details.asp?alias=institute
Ministry Days Registration Discount Ends on April 30
We have added an extra day to Ministry Days this year focused on social justice and helping UUMA members prepare for Social Justice GA. To register visit: http://uuma.site-ym.com/event/md2012. Not sure if you have already registered? Wondering who else is coming? Check out the RSVP list - click here. If your name is not on the list and you are sure you have registered it could be that we are awaiting your payment or your registration has not yet been processed (can take 24 hours depending upon the length of Janette's 'to do' list).
Ministry Days Scholarship Deadline April 1
Need a little help with expenses for Ministry Days? The UUMA offers scholarships up to the amount of the full Ministry Days registration cost. To apply visit: http://uuma.site-ym.com/?page=scholarship
Joint UUA/UUMA Survey - Let your voice be heard
You are invited to participate in a joint project with the UUMA and UUA to develop an assessment framework for UU ministry. Working with senior consultants from the Education Development Corporation in Newton, MA, we are working with a panel of your colleagues to create a rubric describing various developmental stages of excellence for ministers over the arc of their careers.
Using a methodology employed by many different professions, we have created a draft list of nine roles of UU ministers, detailing the observable duties each role entails. Attached is a survey we encourage you to fill out offering feedback on our work. If you are retired, on medical leave, or in a community setting, simply fill that information in on the lines asking you for your congregational affiliation. Leaving a line blank will not cause the survey tool to freeze, so just leave out anything that doesn’t make sense in your setting:
The next phase of the project will involve our panel listing four levels of competency within each duty. Eventually we will have a tool that will inform the MFC as they work on updating their (currently 17) areas of competency, as well as help the UUMA CENTER team and the UUA Director of Professional Development design courses that will support ministerial excellence in a comprehensive way. For individual seminarians and ministers, this can be a self-assessment tool that will help focus and hone your professional development goals.
One final note is to lift up an intention behind this work: This is a future –oriented listing of ministerial roles and duties. We hope and trust that this will help us live into a strong, vital future for our faith. We have deliberately included ministers of different ages, stages, abilities, settings, and identities on the panel. We are very grateful to these colleagues for volunteering a significant amount of time to work on this project:
David Pettee - Abhi Janamanchi - Cheryl M. Walker - Robin Tanner - Howard Dana - Daniel Kanter
Nancy Palmer Jones - Harlan Limpert - Alicia Grace
Sarah Lammert, Director of Ministries and Faith Development, UUA &
Don Southworth, Executive Director, UUMA, Co-Conveners