I write to you this month from the air on my way to our CENTER team meeting in Chicago. It's hard to believe that I will be off to sabbatical in one month. Some of you have asked what I'll be doing. My hope is to pursue four practices that will deepen my connection to God. Travel, writing, prayer/meditation, exercise/nutrition. I'll be starting a book on "Calltrepreneurship" and will be visiting/interviewing social, religious and academic entrepreneurs, hopefully, around the world. Your UUMA leaders and staff are continuing to work on many programs and collaborations. Keep an eye on the e-update for continued information.
Last month I asked our Program Coordinator Jennifer Channin to "introduce' herself to you. This month it is our Office Assistant, UUMA Connect Program Manager, Intern Minister and soon to be married Allison Palm's turn. Next month Janette will do the honors. Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas before I head out of town. Thanks for all you do!
UUMA Executive Director
| UUMA Survey|
Last Change to add your voice.
We have received over 400 responses to our most comprehensive UUMA survey in history. Have you added your important feedback to the mix? If not please go here to fill it out.
We are accepting responses until Friday October 4.
| Choose Health |
Starts in September
Twenty-one colleagues will be meeting virtually this month to begin he Choose Health program, a UUMA/UUA partnership that is a trial to learn how we can best support, nurture and insure health and wellness among clergy. Our colleagues will engage in monthly small group meetings and will be setting goals and getting support for their health and wellness from our two Wellness Advocates from Duke Divinity School, which has been a leader in developing programs for clergy the last three years. We plan on widening our options for health and wellness in 2014. Stay tuned for more news...but don't wait to be healthy!
In the first of several changes planned for the UUA's WorshipWeb this year, we're working on making its treasury of resources easier to search. Worship Web's built-in search function has some weaknesses, and we're considering replacing it with a Google-powered search.
Next time you use WorshipWeb, we invite you to try using our test search, powered by Google. It has different weaknesses, and a few strengths missing in our current WorshipWeb search.
Please try a search or two with Google and with the built in search function and let us know which you like better. (You'll have to bookmark the Google test search, as it's not linked to from anywhere yet.) Suggestions for improvement to the search functions are welcome; some fixes might be quick and easy, and others might be accomplished as resources and time allow. Send feedback to Kasey Kruser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Celebrate Marriage Equality with Your Photos|
Share Your Images of Equality!
For decades, Unitarian Universalists have been at the forefront in the struggle for marriage equality. Do you have a compelling photo of witness, of action, of engagement, of ceremony, or of celebration? Share it with the UUA!
|Dear UUMA Member,| You may recognize my name from the last time you forgot your UUMA.org password, needed to change your chapter affiliation, or had a question about Ministry Days registration. Like Jennifer, our Program Coordinator, who you heard from last month, I just passed my one-year anniversary as the UUMA's Office Assistant. As a candidate for ministry, I am also coming up on my one and half year anniversary of being a member of the UUMA, and so I have been blessed in this past year to get to know the UUMA from the perspective of both being a member and being on staff.
If there is one thing I have learned in my year with the UUMA, it is that we ministers need one another. Over the year, I have had the chance to speak with many of you at the Institute, Ministry Days, General Assembly, and through conversations about our new learning community: UUMA Connect (stay tuned for more on this!). I heard many stories from you all about the joys and struggles of ministry, but the one thing that stood out to me the most was a yearning for connection. Ministry can be a lonely profession, and there are times when only our colleagues can truly understand our struggles, celebrate in our joys, and support us in our calling.
The UUMA's mission includes three C's already: continuing education, collegiality, and collaboration. However, it seems that all of these are rooted in that fourth C: connection. Connection means reaching out of the congregations and communities that we serve and recognizing that we are part of a larger whole. It means knowing that we all have something to learn from one another, that we all have something to teach, and that all of us will be better ministers if we minister together.
I have seen this kind of connection in action many times over the past year. I saw it at the Institute, when the Sirata filled up with small groups of colleagues talking deeply and passionately about their ministries. I saw it at Ministry Days, as colleagues who may see each other only once a year greeted one another with joy, and couldn't seem to get enough time together catching up and sharing about the past year.
I know that there have been times when collegial connections have not been so strong. I know that there are still times when we do not reach out, when we forget about our colleagues in the next town over, or even our colleagues who are just down the block. However, I also know there are times when connections with colleagues have been the only thing that have saved our ministries. My hope for both your ministry and mine is that this sense of connection with our colleagues will only continue to grow as we continue to grow in our larger ministry together.
UUMA Office Assistant
| Renew Your Membership by Nov. 15 |
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).
Need a little help with the process? Check out our new Renewal Tutorial.
Reminder: If you are on auto renew you your membership will be automatically charged to your credit card. If you need to update your credit card log in and click here.
Have you heard of UUMA Connect? UUMA Connect is an online learning community for Unitarian Universalist ministers, dedicated to making continuing education, collegiality and collaboration available to all UUMA members. The site acts as a central hub for the UUMA, with resources and connections that equip ministers to be excellent and are available anytime. UUMA Connect seeks to combat the isolation that ministers so often experience by creating an online version of that valuable and holy interaction that comes when we learn and grow together.
This is a project that the UUMA Board, CENTER Team and others has been envisioning for years with little success in making it come true. Thanks to a generous grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism, your member dues and an amazing staff and team of volunteers UUMA Connect will be going on-line in the spring of 2014. In the next two months we will be sending out invitations for you can be involved in the testing and implementation. Next year you will be able to learn and connect in new and easy ways.
| ICUU International Ministers Gathering|
Connecting As Ministers Across Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist Cultures.February 1-2, 2014
Theme: Connecting As Ministers Across Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist Cultures
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) will hold a global U/U ministers gathering as part of its biannual Conference and Council meeting. UUMA members are warmly invited to join with other Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist ministers from ICUU groups around the world, for 2 rare days of face-to-face meeting and learning, February 1 and 2, 2014, in New York City. Take part in shared worship, theological reflection and dialogue about the work we do, and how we can help and support each other. We'll consider the special roles ministers play in connecting U-U groups around the world, the skills we need to work cross-culturally, and how both our differences and our similarities can be sources of strength and insight. We'll aim toward understandings of how we can be accountable to each other for bringing the realities of our global movement into our daily, local work. Additional information and registration is online.
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,