Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association

Vol. 4 Issue 5 ~ May 2013

Membership Counts

In This Issue

Main Bar:
1. UUA President Talk
2. Online Resources
3. CENTER Presenter Applications
Side Bar:
1. Ministry Days
2. UUMA Coaching
3. Civil Rights Tour

Register for Ministry Days

Save Money if You Do It TODAY!!

Registration is open for Ministry Days on the UUMA Website. Rates increase tomorrow, May 1.


A few new things this year:

  • Everyone who registers will receive a copy of Lillian Daniel's newest book.
  • Special access and reception at the Muhammad Ali Center Monday night
  • A Tuesday evening vesper service!
  • More flex time to spend with colleagues.

Live From Louisville - Ministry Day Live webstream

The UUMA will be experimenting with live online streaming of a portion of Ministry Days. Keep an eye out in the June E-Update for details on how to participate.

UUA Moderator Elections

The UUMA will be hosting two webinars to give Jim Key and Tamara Payne-Alex the chance to answer questions from our members and to discuss their plans if they are elected moderator. The webinars will be held on Friday May 17 from 1-2:30 pm Eastern Time and Wednesday May 29 from 7-8:30 pm Eastern. If you have a question you'd like to ask please email it to Don Southworth at executivedirector@uuma.org. We’ll send out more information about how to join the webinars on our Facebook page and through email the week before they convene.


Civil Rights Pilgrimage

The Living Legacy Project invites your participation in its 2013 Pilgrimage to civil rights sites in Alabama and Mississippi. Registration information and a full description are available at the website www.uulivinglegacy.org. The itinerary begins September 21 in Birmingham, which will have just observed the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, and continues through Marion, Selma, Hayneville, and Montgomery in Alabama, then Meridian, Philadelphia, Jackson, Greenwood, Money, Ruleville, and Oxford in Mississippi before a September 28 return to Birmingham. In the course of the Pilgrimage the group meets with veterans of the Movement at many of these stops. If you can’t go, pass the word to someone who might benefit from such a pilgrimage. Early registration at lower cost ends on June 30.


Dear Member,

I write to you this month still jet-lagged from my 10 day trip to the Philippines with my friend and colleague Roger Bertschausen, CENTER member and Vice President of the Partner Church Council. The trip was my first visit to the Philippines, or any developing country, and I am still processing the experience. I debated long and hard about making the trip. I was honored by the invitation but we have only a handful of UUMA members there and I wondered if ten days away was a wise investment of my time, money and energy. Our Board encouraged me to do what was best for me and the UUMA - I love that about them! - and accepted the invitation.

My "official" duties included giving the keynote speech at the UU Church of the Philippines annual conference, leading a workshop on Ethics and Right Relationships at the UUMA meeting, preaching at the Bicutan congregation in Manila, delivering the charge at the Rev. Tet Gallardo’s ordination service (Tet is the first Unitarian Universalist out lesbian to be ordained in the Philippines!), participating on a panel discussion at the University of Manila and visiting five congregations throughout the country.

The experience was profound in many ways and I suspect it will take me awhile to understand the various and specific benefits the UUMA and I have received from the trip. Ministry is hard - everywhere of course - but especially in the Philippines. Ministers make, on average, $50 per year. Most serve small rural congregations, in addition to farming or other work that sustains them and their families. Despite the language barrier between us, the ministers we met were warm, curious and extremely grateful for our presence. The same could be said about the people in the congregations we visited as well.

I was overcome and humbled by the welcome and joy we received. There are faces of young and old, smiles with missing teeth, simple homes with holes on roofs and feasts on tables that I will never forget. Cinder block churches with rickety benches and plastic chairs filled with bright-eyed toddlers and wise and wrinkled grandmothers. Ministers from 30 to 90 singing Spirit of Life with some words and dialects I hadn't heard before, but with as much, if not more, gusto than I hear in the United States.

The houses and cultures we live in, the salaries we make, the congregations and communities we serve, and the ministries we practice are different here than they are in the Philippines. The difference in material wealth between us is sobering and perhaps even a bit obscene. But the passion and love for ministry and our free faith is as intense - if not more so - than in anyone I have ever met.

We are so fortunate to do the sacred work of ministry. I know I didn't have to travel halfway around the world to be reminded of that fact. And yet the gratitude and awe I have for the privilege to be a Unitarian Universalist minister and your Executive Director has grown because of this trip. I know that is good for me and I think it’s good for the UUMA as well.


Don Southworth
UUMA Executive Director

Ask a Question of the UUA President Peter Morales

Peter Morales, UUMA member and President of the UUA, will visit with us at Ministry Days on Tuesday June 18 from 4-5pm. 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 by Friday June 7 to Don Southworth (executivedirector@uuma.org). We plan on having some time for questions from the floor and twitter as well.

What Are Your Favorite Resources For Your Ministry?

The CENTER committee is working on creating a central website (most likely the UUMA's) as the first place you can look for resources,online learning opportunities and collegial connections. Imagine online study groups or small group ministries connecting colleagues from all across the world via video chat; resources for worship and your own personal spiritual practice; a clearing house for easily searchable images, poetry, sermons and essays, and webinars or videos on specific topics. We are in the preliminary phase of development and we want your input. Please send us your ideas for resources to be included on our resources page: links to the blogs you write or read, poetry websites, images for worship (non-copyrighted), your favorite readings, etc. Send them to onlinelearning@uuma.org. Keep your eye out for new online content by the end of the year.

Is Coaching Right for You?

Coaching--the practice of support through the process of achieving specific objectives--is a powerful tool for meeting our personal and professional goals. The UUMA Coaching Program is accepting applications, starting April 1st, from members in final fellowship, who would like to be matched with one of our trained coaches. Visit our website (http://www.uuma.org/?page=request_a_coach) to request a coach for yourself, or contact Jennifer Channin, programcoord@uuma.org, with any questions.

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)

UU Ministers Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108