Dear UUMA Member,
How is your spirit?
This time of year the answer to that question, for many ministers, would include the word "tired". For some of us it is the time when stewardships and budgets did not turn out as abundant as we hoped and maybe even prayed. For some of us, especially our interim ministers, we wonder where we will be working next year. For those of us who work on UUA and UUMA staff we are in the final preparations, and occasional obsessions, of helping to make sure General Assembly and Ministry Days turn out just right.
When I served congregations, Ministry Days and General Assembly were mainly the time to reconnect with colleagues and share stories of our successes and challenges of the past year. I made time for workshops and worship to learn and be inspired but the main joy, for me, was being with friends and remembering the great honor and privilege of being a minister. The last few years Ministry Days and General Assembly have become more work. There is still joy in being together but between fretting over the details of Ministry Days and attending meeting after meeting the opportunities to connect, learn and be inspired have become fewer.
Which is why I'm looking forward to our time in Phoenix this year. We have dedicated Tuesday of Ministry Days to preparing for Justice General Assembly in the hopes that we ministers can show up at General Assembly and be more present as the religious and spiritual leaders we are. I'm not sure I've done that very often at General Assembly and I wonder how many of you have either. The UUMA Board is limiting our meetings to meals and we hope to be as present at General Assembly in ways we have not been in the past.
My first General Assembly was at Phoenix in 1997. Phoenix in June isn't the best place in the world to be. But Phoenix in July might be even worse. I was in Phoenix with many of you in July 2010 when SB 1070 took effect. I wasn't arrested, as many were, but I marched, waited outside the jail until the wee hours of the morning singing, chanting and waiting for people to be released. It was a powerful and moving time when I know our presence as Unitarian Universalists made a difference.
I'm looking forward to this General Assembly because I think it will be another time when our presence will make a difference and that we will learn and grow together how to more faithfully bear witness. I hope I will see you there and that you will encourage your colleagues and others to come.
How is your spirit? May it be nurtured and revitalized by our time together.
UUMA Executive Director
Ministry Day Registration Rates Increase Tuesday, May 1
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). A correction to the earlier Newsletter Announcement Email: Onsite registration is allowed for Ministry Days - but no food is available for those who register onsite. Save a few dollars, enjoy meals with your colleagues, and help us plan for your arrival - register today - or at least by April 30!
Beyond the Call Application Deadline is May 15
Beyond the Call: Preaching and Worship Arts, a two year program of study, practice and teaching, begins in January 2013. Three of our finest preachers and liturgists - Mark Belletini, Kathleen Rolenz and Abhi Janamanchi - are the deans of the program. You will work with 18-24 colleagues over two years meeting at two retreats year; having several conference calls between retreats and helping to lead small groups of colleagues who want to improve their preaching and worship leadership just like you. Applications are due May 15. For more information on the program go to https://uuma.site-ym.com/?beyondthecall and to apply click here. Email Don if you have any questions.
2013 Institute For Excellence Registrations Are Rolling In!
Congratulations to Penny Rather who was the first person to register for the 2013 Institute at 5:03:51 on April 1. Over 120 colleagues have already registered. How about you? Dr. James Forbes preaching seminar filled up fast and we are only accepting waiting lists requests; our seven other seminars have plenty of room. Speaking of room, we have plenty of rooms at the Sirata Resort where we will be staying, learning and having fun. We have added more scholarship opportunities so be sure and apply. All the information you need to register can be found at: http://www.uuma.org/event/institute
Each month we will highlight the work of one of our seminar or worship leaders. The Rev. Carol Howard Merritt is a pastor at Western Presbyterian Church, an intergenerational church in Washington, DC. She is the author of Reframing Hope and Tribal Church and is a regular contributor to The Christian Century and The Huffington Post. She is also the co-host of "God Complex Radio"; click here to see her blog and listen to a broadcast of the show. She will be leading a seminar at the Institute titled "Currents: How Are the Shifting Tides Changing Your Church Today?" Don't miss the chance to learn from Carol, Rebecca Parker, Mark Hicks, and many others as we enjoy the warmth of colleagues and the #1 beach in American January 28-February 1, 2013!
Calling all UUMA Members!
The General Assembly Planning Committee is looking for qualified leaders to facilitate Reflection Groups during Justice Assembly. Reflection Groups occur 3 times throughout the Assembly on Thursday, Friday and Sunday for 45 minutes each. Facilitators are expected to lead groups of 8–12 Justice Assembly attendees in prayer, critical reflection, and spiritual action informed by the Reflection Groups curriculum; attend each of the 3 Reflection Group meetings; and, attend a virtual or face-to-face training prior to leading the groups. For more details and/or to volunteer to facilitate, please contact Gregory Boyd, GAPC Reflection Group Liaison, at Bookwrm03@aol.com.