Dear UUMA Member,
I returned home from torrid Phoenix last week to unseasonably cool weather in North Carolina which was wonderful until the weekend when record temperatures set in. The change in weather was a good reminder of what happened in Phoenix. Good things never last as long as I wish they could but our memories can last forever.
For those of us who were lucky enough to be at Ministry Days and General Assembly (hard to imagine "lucky" and 110+ degree temperatures going together!) we experienced a week like maybe never before. My week began on Sunday at our Good Officers' program, intensified during Ministry Days and ended with an amazing weekend of witness, worship and oneness. As someone who has been to Phoenix five times in the last two years, beginning in July 2010 on the day SB1070 was enacted, and seeing the many challenges and concerns of the many groups tasked with putting Justice GA together, I was amazed at how things went. It was hard to fight back tears listening to the stories of families torn apart in Arizona, of our partners' gratitude at our presence and from the worship and music we experienced. As always, I am energized by the chance to be in the midst of 525+ UUMA members and only wish there was a way that all 1704 of us, at last count, could be present.
Ministry Days was a mixture of social justice teaching and inspiration, time for connecting with new and old friends, doing the work of the UUMA, celebrating our ministry and generosity during worship and listening to a Berry Street Essay that had people buzzing. We passed a budget that includes new programming and new staff; we voted to study a number of changes in our Guidelines concerning sexual ethics and we said goodbye, thank you and hello to old and new leaders. The UUMA Board and committees did virtually no business during General Assembly but did share meals with different groups including students, members of the Allies for Racial Equity and Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries and leaders of the various professional organizations.
One of the most moving UUMA moments for me - in a week with lots of moving moments - was during our lunch with leaders from the other professional organizations. This was the largest group we have ever met with which is a sign of our growing work with our partners in ministry. In the last year we have convened task forces with retired and interim ministers; with members of LREDA and the UUMN; with the UU Society for Community Ministries and we are at the table with the UUA in ways we never have been. It feels good to be modeling our mission in everything we do. And we have a lot more work to do.
But you won't get much work from me in the next few weeks. I will be taking my first extended time off since I started this work in September 2009. I will be following a calling that has been yelling and pulling at me for a few months. I'm off to Assisi for 10 days of retreat and then will return home and spend two weeks of retreat in Silicon Valley. I'm convinced that there is great possibility in the intersections of business, especially entrepreneurship, and spirituality; between people like Steve Jobs and St. Francis. If you are interested in my travels and reflections I invite you to join me on my new blog which begins tomorrow (check out the UUMA and my facebook page for more info.)
Thank you for the work you do that inspires me to do the work I do. Our lives and our faith makes a difference. Get some rest, stay cool and drink lots of water. Some things don't change no matter where we are...and some do.
UUMA Executive Director
New Positions at UUMA - Job Descriptions Posted
The UUMA is growing in many ways and we need more staff to help us better serve our membership. The 2012-13 budget that was passed in Phoenix included the addition of two part-time positions to the UUMA staff. We are looking for a half-time Program Coordinator to assist with developing and implementing our growing number of programs and we are looking for a quarter-time Office Assistant to help with the administrative needs. Information on the positions and the process for applying can be found here: https://uuma.site-ym.com/?job_opportunities. Applications are due by August 15 and we hope to fill the positions by mid-late September. If you have any questions about the jobs contact Don or Janette.
LREDA - UUMA - UUMA Task Force
One of the projects that was funded by Association Sunday 2011-12 has recently gotten underway. The newly formed LREDA/UUMN/UUMA task force met for the first time in early June. The task force has been charged with "meeting and communicating with key leaders/members of our professional organizations so they can a) identify our most urgent shared professional development needs; b) identify best practices and models for team learning and excellence; c) recommend best practices, learning opportunities and other strategies to nurture and sustain excellence in professional ministry." The task force members are Ann Principe and Annie Scott from the Liberal Religious Educators Association; Gail Casey and Karen Bauman from the UU Musicians Network; and Evan Keely and Wendy Williams from the UUMA.
The task force will be meeting at each professional associations' conference this year to gather information from colleagues and will be sending out a letter in the fall letting us know the best way to share ideas and best practices with them. Their first meeting will be at the UUMN Conference in Tulsa later this month. The task force has been asked to make recommendations to the three organizations' boards by June 2013.
Guidelines Chapter Study - Sexual Ethics
The members present at our annual meeting in Phoenix approved a change, for a year of study, to the Guidelines Code of Conduct and Standards of Professional Practice concerning sexual ethics and behavior. The Guidelines Committee hopes that all members will participate in the ninety minute study/reflection process that was distributed to chapter leaders in Phoenix (and is available on the UUMA website at http://www.uuma.org/?page=guidelines_study) and get feedback in by mid-January 2013. We urge all members to engage in deep conversation and reflection in their collegial gatherings in order to review and discuss the proposed changes. There is a feedback loop for chapter/cluster leaders to receive your comments and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Sign Up For UUMA A Coach NOW!
We have trained our first class of UUMA coaches; now the next move is up to you! For the bargain price of $100 you have the opportunity to work with a trained UUMA coach who is able to work with you for 8-12 sessions in one of eight important areas of ministry: Preaching & Worship Arts, Lifespan Programming, Multiculturalism & Intercultural Competencies, Spiritual Practices & Growth, Conflict Management, Practices & Challenges of Growth, Community Development & Social Justice and Supervision & Staff Development. To get more details about the program and coaching areas see click here and to apply for a coach visit https://uuma.site-ym.com/?page=request_a_coach. Applications for coaches will be accepted until September 1 and coaches will be assigned by September 15. If you have questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration Rates for the 2013 Institute Increase on August 1
The first registration deadline for the January 2013 Institute is August 1, 2012. If you have registered but not yet paid, your payment must be submitted by this date in order to keep the early registration rate. Please contact Janette at email@example.com if you need any assistance or have any registration questions. The first scholarship deadline has passed but the deadline for one of our full scholarships is August 1. Don't miss the Institute because you can't afford it! Here are some links that you might find helpful.