Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association 
Membership Counts: E-Update
Vol. 4 Issue 1 ~ January 2013

Dear Allison,

Happy new year! I hope your holidays were a time for reconnection with loved ones and rest and renewal for your spirits.  My holidays were filled with an anxious Advent of awaiting test results about my wife’s health (which turned out as good as we could hope) and a week of being sick in bed. Coming back to and work and sifting through the piles on my desk and in my email box this week has been a little easier because I brought my rediscovered health with me.

December was a hard month for many of us. I have the fairly unique privilege of getting to talk to colleagues all around the world as a main function of my ministry. Even though most of those connections are during conference calls and meetings I get the chance to hear how people’s lives and ministries are doing. I don’t remember ever hearing so many stories of ministers dealing with tragic deaths, painful pastoral crises, challenging congregation leaders, imploding budgets, institutional dysfunction and downright orneriness. And that was before the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened.

I notice that my gratitude and appreciation for what ministers do, what youdo, grows the longer I am your Executive Director. When I was in parish ministry I would always warn people who got into leadership that they would see "behind the curtain” and might see some things about people, including their minister, that they didn’t want to see. While I could say the same thing to people who get involved in UUMA leadership (sometimes our flaws and weaknesses do get the best of us), the truth is that having the chance to watch what you do and how you do it from afar is more than inspiring. And one of the reasons it is inspiring is that most of you don’t even realize how amazing you are. You just do what you do.

Ministry is hard work. Lots of jobs, of course, are hard work. But there is something different about being a minister. The last few months I have meeting with people to talk about the intersection between business and spirituality. In late November I met with a former CEO of a Fortune 50 company who is now the dean of a business school. As we talked about business, spirituality and religion he shared his admiration for the ministers he has known in his life. We shared our personal stories of business and religion and he shared with me his perspective that ministers have the hardest jobs in the world. I was surprised to hear this from a man who was a CEO of multi-national company responsible for thousands of employees and billions of dollars in sales.

The new year always invites us to look at life, and our self, in new ways. May each of us have the gift of seeing ourselves, and the difference we make in the world, in a new light. As we notice and appreciate the small and large differences others make as well.


Don Southworth
UUMA Executive Director

Membership Renewals

Did you extend your membership through January 15? A reminder that you can log in to your profile and renew under the Membership Info link (on the right hand side My Profile menu.) Need help with your renewal? Contact Janette atadministrator@uuma.org. January 15 is also the last day to request a waiver.  If your circumstances are such please consider applying.  For more information contact Janette.

UUA/UUMA Mentor Task Force Wants Your Help!

Last month I wrote to tell you about the work that we have begun to strengthen and widen mentoring for all candidates and ministers in preliminary fellowship, with a special emphasis for people with historical marginalized identities. You will be hearing more information on how to get involved with this effort in the next few months but first we’d like to hear from you! The task force has put together a brief survey to get information from on how to design the best program possible. If you have five to ten minutes please click here (http://www.uuma.org/surveys/default.asp?id=Mentor_Survey) and fill out the short survey. Thanks for your time!

2013 UUMA Ministry Days Update

We are excited to announce the keynote speaker for our 2013 UUMA Ministry Days in Louisville, Kentucky will be the Rev. Lillian Daniel. Rev. Daniel is the Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC of Glen Ellyn, Illinois and is an author, teacher and editor at large for Christian Century magazine.  Her work has appeared in Leadership, The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, The Journal For Preachers and The Leadership Journal. Her latest book, When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Finding God in Surprising Places, Even the Church, comes out this month and will be given to everyone who attends Ministry Days. Ministry Days begins on Monday evening June 17 and ends Wednesday afternoon June 19. More details and information will be sent out in February and registration will open on March 1.

Application to be a 2013 GA Chaplain - Deadline February 1, 2013

Ministers in final fellowship with the UUA MFC and in good standing with the UUMA (including retired ministers) are invited to apply to be one of five Chaplains for General Assembly 2013.  The online application and job description are available at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e6quproahae0w6c1/start

Registration for the 2013 General Assembly is paid for each full-time chaplain chosen. All applicants will be notified by February 30 of their application status.  For more information or questions, please contact Rev. Aaron Payson (arpayson@charter.net).

 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)