Dear UUMA Member,
The mission of the UUMA is to nurture excellence in ministry through continuing education, collegiality and collaboration. I hope you already know that. What you may not know, unless you spend lots of time reading everything we send out and regularly review the website, is that we have vision statements in five key areas (continuing education, collegiality, ARAOM, organizational effectiveness and relationship to Unitarian Universalism) that guide my/our work.
One of my favorite is on continuing education. It reads: "The UUMA promotes multiple models of collegiality, gathering in covenant to meet both the shared and unique needs of our diverse ministries (including retired, community, candidate, consulting, interim and parish). Shaped by a culture of vulnerability, intimacy, trust and accountability to one another, we embrace leadership and mutual learning and model excellence in ministry through collegiality.”
The month of May provided two important venues to help us realize this vision. In early May thirty UUMA members gathered to be trained as facilitators for our next UUMA-wide conversation, Who Are Our Neighbors? Thanks to the wisdom and expertise of our two facilitators, Beth Zemsky and Phyllis Braxton, and the vulnerability, intimacy, trust and accountability of our colleagues, it was a transformative week. The tools we learned about on how to increase our intercultural competencies and our effectiveness working across cultures have the potential to help change our professional organization and ministries in amazing ways. We will begin the program in the fall and I hope your chapter/region schedules it as soon as possible.
Last week more than thirty colleagues met outside of Atlanta for our first UUMA Coaches' Training. Our facilitators from Prism Consulting taught us the practices and techniques of coaching. We learned that some of the skills of ministry are helpful for the art of coaching and some are not. Before Ministry Days those in final fellowship will be able to sign up for 8-12 sessions with a trained colleague in one of eight different areas of ministry beginning in the fall. Be on the lookout for information on who our coaches are and how you can enroll in the program.
Both of these new programs offer us the chance to "meet the shared and unique needs of our diverse ministries” if we are able to become beginners again. As I have gone around the continent, met with colleagues and watched the two trainings this month, I have been reminded how challenging it often is for UU ministers to be beginners. Perhaps we are like most professionals or perhaps the challenges of our vocations make it difficult for us to enter a place where we don’t know what we don’t know and/or know what we don’t know.
The UUMA continues to strengthen and enhance our continuing education opportunities. If we are also able to continue to shape a culture of intimacy, vulnerability, trust and accountability - what might be called a learning community - who knows what is possible. Thank you for your willingness to be a beginner and for sharing your gifts and life with so many.
UUMA Executive Director
Ask A Question of the UUA President
Peter Morales, President of the UUA, will visit with us at Ministry Days on Tuesday afternoon, June 19, from 4:00-5:00. This year we are again asking you to send in your questions for Peter so we can group them together and he can spend more time and reflection with the questions. This also gives those who won't be able to attend Ministry Days a chance to ask their questions. If you have a question for Peter email it to Don by Monday June 11. We plan on making some time for questions from the floor as well.
2013 Institute Scholarship Deadline Extended - Sign Up Now!
More than 150 people have already registered for the 2013 Institute for Excellence in Ministry at the Sirata Resort in St. Pete Beach from January 28-February 1...how about you? This year we are offering up to five fully paid scholarships (room, food, lodging) in addition to partial scholarships. The application deadline for the first scholarship submissions has been extended to July 1. If you want to get a UUMA scholarship and you want to register for the Institute at the lowest cost apply soon. In addition UUA continuing education grants are being offered but it's first come first serve so don't wait!
This month's featured 2013 Institute seminar leader is Jai Uttal. The CENTER team is committed to having at least one seminar that gives us a chance to use our bodies more than our heads. Jai is a sacred music composer, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist who combines influences from India with influences from American rock and jazz, creating a stimulating and exotic multi-cultural fusion that is truly world spirit music. He is one of the leaders in Kirtan. If you aren't familiar with his work or his music you can find lots of videos on You Tube. Click on this link to enjoy a a video with music from his CD Music for Yoga and Other Joys.
New UUA Program Recognizes Youth Leaders - Nominate Someone Now!
Luminary Leaders is a new recognition program that honors youth leaders throughout the Association. Developed by the UUA’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries with a focus group of nearly 30 youth from across the Association, Luminary Leaders will recognize youth for their leadership, highlight the tremendous gifts they bring to our communities, and connect youth to one another, opportunities for greater leadership and the Association at-large. Luminary Leaders encourages youth to seek out leadership roles and congregations and communities to invite youth into leadership.
Launching in late June 2012, Luminary Leaders will recognize youth with a wide range of leadership styles and experiences. You can learn more about the program and how it works at www.uua.org/luminary. You can also nominate a youth in your own community. Contact the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the UUA with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.