UUMA E-Update
Membership Counts 


The UUMA's online membership survey asked for your input on our mission and vision. Some 422 of us responded - roughly a quarter of our membership. Over the next several months, board and staff members will reflect briefly on on mission and the elements of our vision. This month we visit the UUMA's Vision regarding collegial development 
organizational health.   

"The UUMA is a healthy, effective organization that is focused on meeting its mission, serving its membership, and strengthening Unitarian Universalism. We have systems and processes in place to maintain sufficient resources, articulate clear roles for leaders and staff, utilize the most effective communication technology and practices, promote a culture of ongoing development and fair compensation, and rigorously monitor our goals."



UUMA Board of Trustees

In This Issue
Ministry Days
2015 Institute Highlight
Survey Results
UUMA Connect
Quick Links
Registration Open
Ministry Days 2014


Register for  
2014 Ministry Days 



Full Registration Packet 


We understand that housing in Providence is difficult!  Be assured the GA Office is working with the Providence Convention Bureau to add more rooms to the housing block as they become available. See the UUA GA Housing site for updates. 


If you would like to post a request for a roommate - or have local housing available to share with a colleague consider using the Roommate Finder on uuma.org (click here).  Check back often for updates!


Some members have inquired about dorm housing during ministry days.  We have been told there are still spaces available in the dorms for the nights of ministry days. 

Quick Survey
This month we are beginning a new practice.  With 1800+ members it's difficult to get a quick pulse of our membership.  Each month we will have a one question survey that we will leave up for one week so we can get a sense of our members' desires.  This month's question is "Are you in favor of the clergy housing allowance continuing?"  The dilemma many have about the clergy housing allowance is that a) it's good for most of our wallets and/or b) it seems to be a violation of the separation of church and state.  Please click here to tell us your vote.  
Is Money Keeping You Away?  


The UUMA has limited scholarship funds to help our colleagues attend the Institute for Excellence in Ministry and Ministry Days.  If you have limited resources and can describe your financial need, please apply for this scholarship opportunity. There will be a quick turnaround on our answers so that you can complete your travel plans.  



Educational Grants for Ministry Days 2013

Educational Grants are available to UUMA Members to assist with the cost of Ministry Days Registration.  Educational Grants are available from UUMA to cover up to the full cost of a Ministry Days registration. Preference will be given to those who have not been able to attend Ministry Days in recent years. Criteria for distributing these funds are financial need, the last attendance and first come, first served.  


Submission Deadline: April 6, 2014


Scholarships for the 2015 UUMA CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry will be for up to the full cost of registration and housing. If you are applying for a scholarship and want to ensure that you get in a particular seminar, please register and choose the "Mail a Check" option. Your full payment will still be due before the next rate increase, but you will have heard about your scholarship by then and will be able to apply that amount to the total. If you do not receive a scholarship and need to cancel your registration, you can do so before the rates increase without incurring a cancellation fee. 


The deadlines for applications are July 1, Sept 1, and Nov 1.


Seminar Highlight:
2015 Institute For Excellence In Ministry 

There's still time to register for Rev. Michael Piazza's seminar, "Preaching & Worship for the Future Church and the Future of Church" at the 2015 Institute for Excellence in Ministry! 

The template for our worship is hundreds of years old; yet, it can be transformed and revitalized for the 21st Century. Michael Piazza believes that churches that now appear to be unviable and unsustainable can revitalized where they are. He knows what he is talking about. Under his leadership the Cathedral of Hope (Dallas, Texas) went from unsustainabilty to over 4000 members, making it the largest liberal and inclusive church in South. Now he leads the Center for Progressive Renewal.  Michael Piazza is an energetic, charismatic and hopeful presence who will encourage you and your ministry. Dive into the Michael Piazza experience. To test the waters, here are two recent Michael Piazza videos. The first is his presentation to the Connecticut UCC conference. The second is a recent sermon delivered at a return visit to the Cathedral of Hope. 
Registration Open Now!
For program registration, click here
For housing registration, click here.
April 2014
Dear Member, 

One of my favorite things to do is surprise my colleagues.  As Treasurer I get a lot of emails and personal conversations to the effect of: "My goodness my UUMA dues are high!  Let's go back to everyone chipping in $200 and call it good."  I like to surprise these folks - by agreeing with them.  For a time, I was one of those colleagues.  I can relate.  They are right; the dues are high.  And they are not the only thing that is high.  We have found that UUMA members also have high expectations of what their professional association should do for them.  Many have said that the UUMA is one of the best sources for them in getting continuing education while practicing ministry.  Furthermore, the UUMA is the primary way we are able to be connected to each other as colleagues.   Taken together, continuing education and collegiality nurtures ministers in the field.  Continuing education and collegiality is particularly important for new ministers as they begin to come into their own with formation and ministerial identity.  The work of the UUMA ensures the health and future of the Unitarian Universalist ministry.  Which is something else that is very high: our vision for ministry and Unitarian Universalism.  These lofty ideals take shape in various concrete programs, but ultimately that is what your high dues go toward: our high expectations and our high vision for our ministry.  

To support that vision, we need a healthy institution.  These days, the UUMA is financially very sound.  Our budget and staff are growing and this allows for all of the programs, such as the Institute, to continue and thrive.  However, if we are to continue to grow and be even more effective in our vision, then our association needs new income streams.  Simply raising dues periodically won't do it.  Don, myself, and the new Stewardship Team are exploring new ways of developing those revenue streams that are not burdensome to the membership.  You will be hearing more about this at Ministry Days this June, so stay tuned.    

On the policy front, the Board and Executive Director have a strong relationship that is mutually supportive and fruitful.  We are continuing to define and refine our Board's policies to ensure that our governance structure is both effective and efficient.  The staff is off to great start doing monitoring of our financial policies.  The Board meanwhile is in the process of expanding our policies to include things beyond money.  Good governance is a process that takes time and a lot of checking in with each other to ensure mutual understanding.  I believe the Board is doing a good job of driving this process and the staff and Executive Director are responding in kind.


All and all the state of the UUMA is very strong.  That is probably not a surprise to any of you!


The Rev. Dr. Joshua Snyder
UUMA Treasurer


From the Executive Director . . .

I'm back.  I've missed you.  I hope you missed me.  How have things been for you the last five months?  I returned on March 1 and have been running fast to keep up with all the great work our staff and volunteer leaders have done.  I'm deeply grateful to them and to you for creating an organization that provides sabbaticals for your staff.


The last words I wrote to you in November were:  "I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of sabbatical the UUMA has given me.  The only way I know how to repay you is to come back to you refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated with ideas on how we can build a more effective UUMA and do what we can to strengthen our faith and our ministries."


How appropriate for me to come back to the e-update when we are highlighting our vision to be a healthy, effective organization.  I am refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated with ideas and re-reading your comments from our survey last fall reinforced what we are working on and reminded me what we have left to do.


It's no surprise that we received the fewest comments on this vision statement.  As I've been saying in chapter visits since I took this job, organization health and effectiveness aren't sexy.  I'm thrilled that 84% of you think it's important to our mission and only 1.5% of you don't.  With all of the programs and opportunities for learning and connection the UUMA offers, ensuring organizational health and effectiveness is my, and the staff's, most important job.


Most of you say we are doing a good job at this work.  Many of you said you didn't have enough information to make an assessment; some of you wondered how we measure how we are doing and almost all of you had good things to say about the staff.   We appreciate your confidence and you should know that we are continuing to do everything we can to evaluate our health and effectiveness.  (The survey being an important tool.)


The three most popular issues you raised were: communications, chapter health and our website.  The good news is that we are working on all three.  Communications is the #1 challenge and priority of any organization.  My biggest frustration in reading all your survey comments is that despite our efforts at multiple communications strategies, too many of you don't know what we offer.  We continue to work with our communications advisory team, attend communications workshops and experiment with how we can do better.


One of the gifts of being able to visit all twenty UUMA chapters at least once is that I've seen their strengths, challenges and "unevenness" up close.  Leadership and programming are not always excellent and issues such as geographic size, diversity of ministries and collegial commitment are some of the causes.  Next month we will be convening a new Collegial Development Committee that will help develop strategies on how we strengthen collegial connections both in chapters and in other ways we gather.  My dream is that a member can expect outstanding collegial life no matter where they are serving.  We still have a ways to go to make that a reality.


Lastly our website.  In the next few weeks you will see a change to uuma.org.  An even bigger change is the launching of UUMA Connect.  Our hope is that UUMA Connect will become the #1 resource for your ministry.  We will be using the Fulfilling the Call handbook as the framework for offering conversations, connections, and continuing education for what you need to thrive in your ministry.   Within one year we will be offering worship and other resources for your personal spiritual life. 


Today (or at least last fall) 60% of you feel that uuma.org is valuable to your ministry.  Our goal is to make that number at least 80% of you over the next 18 months.  For us to get there we know we will need to communicate ALOT about what you can find on the website, we need to offer multiple opportunities to learn about the website and we hope you will work in your clusters and chapters to not only play with the site but give us feedback on how we can make it better.


Your elected Board of Trustees are charged to articulate the mission and vision of for the UUMA.  Our jobs are to do everything we can, using all the human and financial resources available to us, to put the systems, processes and programs we can to make the mission and vision a reality.  Don't forget that we need your help and ideas to make that come true. 




Don Southworth UUMA Executive Director 
Survey Results

Strongly Agree

10.15% (34)


49.85% (167)

Neither Agree nor Disagree

29.85% (100)


7.76% (26)

Strongly Disagree

2.39% (8)




UUMA Connect
UUMA Connect Promotional Video
UUMA Connect Promotional Video

Imagine a More Connected Future...


Have you heard about UUMA Connect yet? Due to launch on May 1, UUMA Connect will be new online center for continuing education and collegiality for UU ministers. The new site will offer resources for our ministries and offer opportunities to "Connect" with colleagues across the country and around the world. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQs (link here)!

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.




Follow us on...  

Rev. Don Southworth,
Executive Director
617-848-0416 (phone)
617-848-8122 (fax)






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