Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association
Membership Counts: E-Update
Vol. 3 Issue 9 ~ September 2012

Dear UUMA Member,

I set a record this week - at least for me.  I had six conference calls in one day!  Even for someone who enjoys talking with people "virtually" I must admit when I hung up the phone at 9pm I was wiped out.  Why so many calls?  Because the UUMA, like many of your congregations and institutions, is gearing up for the new year.  We have two new staff people to hire, we have new programs like Who Are Our Neighbors?, Coaching and Beyond the Call to begin and the second Institute for Excellence in Ministry will be here before we know it. 

I'm writing to you this month from a pub in London where I am preaching, leading a workshop, and spending time with our UK colleagues at their annual retreat.  Each year the UUMA sends a representative to the retreat and this will be the first time I have attended as your Executive Director.  I attended this retreat four years ago when I served on the then UUMA Executive Committee and I have co-led a growth workshop here a few years ago.  I wish every UUMA member could spend time here.  Unitarianism, and most religion, is slowly dying.  Ministers who are as capable as any often preach to tens of people.  A colleague told me we would have more people attend the program I'm leading on spiritual practices if they left Rev. off when describing who I was.  Rev. isn't a title that draws too many people over here (any maybe in North America as well.)

 The last two months I have had amazing conversations with people in business, academia and religion from around the world.  I have been talking about the intersection between spirituality and business.  I am awed at how many good things are happening and how spiritual principles are being taught and brought to many businesses and non-profits.

People tell me that there is a new openness in the business world to find ways for people to bring more of their spiritual selves to their work.  The world is changing. Economic insecurity, political instability and demographic changes are stoking fear and innovation.   Religion is not indifferent to these anxieties, fears and innovations. 

I wonder how we as ministers, who are not immune to these feelings in our own vocations, can best prepare ourselves and lead those we minister to in the days and years ahead.  In a week when I have had so many conversations with people all around the UUMA and UUA, working on some of the ways we are offering to help and support you in your ministries, I wonder how effective we are and what else we need to do. 

You may be in the traditional start time of year for a congregation or seminary, or in a ministry where September brings no changes except to break out the sweaters for the onset of fall.  No matter what your ministry  I hope you find comfort knowing you are part of an association of 1700+ colleagues, around the world, who can offer a supportive word, a shoulder to cry on or coaching, teaching, inspiring and affirming.  Excellence in ministry - or deepening relevance to the world - isn't easy.  I'm glad we have each other to help make it so.  


Don Southworth
UUMA Executive Director

Membership Renewals

According to the UUMA Bylaws all membership dues are payable on September 15th and due by November 15th of each year.  The easiest way to renew is to log in to your uuma profile and click on Membership Information (the last link on the right hand side "My Profile" menu).  Each year we revisit and adjust the dues structure to better serve our membership - this year the biggest change is the addition of a separate dues scale for those members working in community ministries.  To review the new dues structure visit: http://uuma.site-ym.com/?page=dues.

A reminder that some of you are scheduled for an automatic renewal.  I will be sending out emails before September 15 to those of you with payments that are scheduled to run on November 15.  If your dues category has changed (especially if you are a community minister) or if your membership category has changed you will need to cancel the pending payment and set up a new renewal.  You can see if there is a payment pending by clicking on Membership Info (under the My Profile menu).  If you wish to cancel a pending payment simply click the red x next to the transaction.  As always, if you have questions or need a helping hand do not hesitate to contact Janette at  administrator@uuma.org.

Paper renewals will be mailed on Sept 20th.  If you are able to renew online before then you will save a little extra paper and postage.

Special Note:  The webpage is going to send out an automatic reminder of your need to renew on Sept. 15 and Nov. 14 (only if you have not yet renewed).  Please do not be alarmed by the generic nature of this message, it is simply intended to be a gentle reminder of the renewal process.


Coaching Program Starts Soon - Deadline Extended to October 1

We are looking forward to matching colleagues and coaches who are this month.  We have extended the deadline to sign up to get a coach until October 1.  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 the next year, 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.  For those who have already signed up the Coaching Task Force will be contacting you in the next couple of weeks.

Have you registered for the Institute yet?  Rooms are running low so sign up now!

Are you planning on joining 400 of your closest friends and colleagues at the 2013 CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry?  If so, register now! Over 300 have already registered and have reserved all the beachfront rooms.  We have plenty of rooms left, including family suites if you are planning on bringing children and other family members, but they are going fast.  If you haven't yet applied for scholarship assistance the next deadline is October 1 and the sooner you apply the more money will be available.  To register click visit: http://uuma.site-ym.com/events/event_details.asp?alias=institute. To register for you housing (which must be done separately) visit this site: http://uuma.site-ym.com/event/institutehousing.  

Although Dr. James Forbes preaching seminar is sold out we will be lucky enough to hear him preach.  If you weren't at his 2001 Ware Lecture, or if you have forgotten it, click here for an enjoyable and inspirational hour.

Voting on the Side of Love - UUA Looking For Videos!

 It’s election season and you’re invited to get involved in a fun way and make a difference in a big way. You can spread UU values across the country and lift up major issues such as reproductive justice, marriage equality, immigration, health care and more.

A video contest is in the works. What’s your part? Produce and submit a brief video, only 4 minutes or less in length, by Sept 23, 2012. Focus on issues in this election through the lens of our liberal faith. Imagine if your video shows democracy at its best, supports the rights of marginalized communities, and brings to light the values of compassion, peace and justice.  

One important guideline: you must not endorse a particular candidate or political party. Everything else you need to know, including prizes, is here: www.uua.org/gotvideo.

Moving? Here is how to update your Chapter on uuma.org

September seems to find a great number of our members moving around the continent.  In your relocation process we would like to encourage you to keep your profile at uuma.org up-to-date.  When you update your contact information in your profile we also share that update with the UUA - hopefully saving you one step in your notification process.  Please also take a moment to update your chapter so that we can let the leadership of the new chapter know of your arrival.  While updating your contact information is a fairly intuitive process, changing your chapter is a bit more involved.  Below are the steps but if you run into problems email Janette at administrator@uuma.org and she will make the change for you.

Need to change your Chapter Affiliation? Follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Navigate to the Group Page for your new chapter. See all chapters by clicking here.
  3. Once on the Group Page for your new chapter click the "Join the Group" link on the upper left hand side of the Group Page.
  4. Navigate to the Group Tab (You will see your old chapter listed as your primary group. And your new chapter listed as well.)
  5. Change your new chapter to your primary group.
  6. Visit your old chapter and click the "Leave this Group" link on Options Menu.

 Be In Touch!
Please share your questions, feedback and ideas!
Thank you for your service in the world and for your commitment and passion for ministry.

Rev. Don Southworth, Executive Director
UU Ministers Association

25 Beacon St. Boston, MA 02108
617-848-0416 (phone) ~ 617-848-8122 (fax)