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September 2013
How can it be September?? As I prepare to take a four month sabbatical in November I thought it would be good to invite the other three members of your UUMA staff to get a chance to write to you and for you to get to know them a little better as well. This month you’ll hear from our Program Coordinator Jennifer Channin, next month Office Assistant Allison Palm and the following month our Director of Administration Janette Lallier. Enjoy!

Don Southworth,
Executive Director

Dear UUMA Member,

Those of you who are avid readers of the UUMA's monthly E-Update may notice something different about this issue. No, it’s not the typeface—it’s the author. Don’t worry—Don hasn't left for his sabbatical yet! However, in preparation for the larger role that I’ll be playing in the UUMA while he’s away from November through February, I've taken over his letter-writing duties for the month.

I’m coming upon my first anniversary as the UUMA's program coordinator. This past year has introduced ministers to a new model for the UUMA—one that is multi-staffed and program-rich. However, it has also been my own introduction to the community of ministers that the UUMA serves, since this is technically my first ministry since being fellowshipped and ordained this year. This has given me a perspective about you—the UU ministry—that other new ministers may not get to appreciate as fully.

One observation I’ve made is that you know what you are doing. Like most of us, I entered seminary with limited experience of UU worship, congregational life, and ministerial community, and I assumed that whatever I had experienced was the best there was. I graduated with an outsized sense of my own brilliance and my own attunement to the needs and spirit of our movement—especially when compared to the "old guard.”

This is a good thing; few change movements have succeeded without the energy and naïve audacity of arrogant upstarts like myself. However, after participating in communities of our colleagues all around the country—at Chapter Meetings, in webinars, and at the Institute and Ministry Days—I have yet to meet more than a handful of ministers who seemed "out of touch” about the needs of UUs today.

On the contrary, I've met scores of ministers who know what our movement needs, know how to get us there, and have been nurturing the roots of these prophetic visions in their communities for a long time. What many of them lack, however, are the tools, resources, and support networks to get there.

Furthermore, UU ministers have incredible talent, especially when it comes to worship. The morning and evening services at the Institute in Florida this past February humbled and awed me. The participants in our "Beyond the Call” program on preaching and worship have blown me away. Being part of this community has raised whatever standards I previously had for excellence in UU ministry.

The truth is that having a continental community of ministers who are all engaging in the same conversations and experiencing each others’ talents raises the bar for everyone.

By entering this community now, I have the privilege of being mostly ignorant about what the UUMA was like before these changes. With that ignorance comes the (perhaps naive but very useful) presumption that these shifts—towards a collegial culture that is integrated across region and ministry, in which peer-to-peer support is freely asked for and given, and in which "excellence in ministry” is not perceived as a destination but as an ever-changing horizon that we are all moving towards together—are not only achievable, but are well-underway. I am excited to move towards it with you.


Jennifer Channin
Program Coordinator

We Want to Hear From You!

Have you been one of the more than 300 UUMA members who have taken our membership survey? If not please spend 20-30 minutes of your time and take the opportunity to answer the survey (which you can find here until October 1.) In the last four years UUMA members have chosen to radically change the nature and possibilities of our professional association. We have created this comprehensive survey to give all 1768 of you the chance to tell us how we are doing and we can do better in the future. Thank you in advance for your time and thoughtfulness. We look forward to your feedback and to sharing the results of the survey later in the fall and using your responses to help us shape the future of your UUMA.

Don’t Forget CENTER Presenters’ Programs When Planning Retreats

Have you read about the new offerings of the UUMA's CENTER Presenters program? In addition to some great returning Presenters, we've added a new workshop to our slate: Preaching by Heart: The Art of Preaching without a Script~ Dr. M'Ellen Kennedy & Stephen Shick . CENTER Presenters are available to lead workshops in your chapter or regional gathering and have received great reviews from our colleagues. The UUMA offers funding of up to $1,500 to chapters that offer a CENTER Presenter program. Read about all of them here: http://www.uuma.org/?page=centerpresenterlist

September 15 begins UUMA Membership Renewal Season.

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). This year the dues structure and scale remains the same. To review the structure visit: http://uuma.site-ym.com/?page=dues. Paper renewal forms will be mailed on Sept 23rd. If you are able to renew online before then you will save a little extra paper and postage.

A reminder that some of you are scheduled for an automatic renewal. Emails will be sent out before September 15 to those of you with payments that are scheduled to run on November 15. If your dues or 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 the office (Allison at office@uuma.org or Janette at administrator@uuma.org.)

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.

UUMA Update Corner

The summer has been very busy for the UUMA and the fall won’t be any different. More than 40 people have signed up to work with a coach this year; we are in the process of selecting 30 lead mentors to attend training in January 2014 so we can expand and deepen our mentoring to those in preliminary fellowship and UUMA student members; we are beginning a six-month pilot health and wellness program, Choose Health, for more than 20 colleagues in partnership with the UUA and Wellness Advocates from Duke; we will be creating our first UUMA endowment for ongoing continuing education and scholarships; we will be starting year two of Who Are Our Neighbors? and offering it to regional gatherings of lay leaders and religious professionals; we will begin designing our next Beyond the Call program on entrepreneurial ministry and we will start to implement the recommendations from our task forces with LREDA/UUMN, UURMaPA and the UUSCM, and we will opening registration for the 2015 Institute for Excellence in Ministry in December. We will also be preparing for Don’s sabbatical which begins on November 1 and have some exciting new surprises and programs you will be hearing about as well!

Register for the first Continental Gathering of Unitarian Universalist Seminarians

Registration is now open for the inaugural gathering of Unitarian Universalist seminarians in Boston from October 11-13, 2013. For information on the details and program visit http://cguus.org. If you need help finding housing register before September 20; registration closes on October 3.

Moving? Update 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. 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 Allison at office@uuma.org and she will make the change for you.

Do you enjoy audio tutorials?
Learn how to update your profile and chapter using this quick 5 minute tutorial. Click Here

Changing Chapters?

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 under Options Menu.

Miss Ministry Days?
All the videos are now posted online.

Click Here to view all the video offerings available on uuma.org.