E-Update - June 2014

The UUMA promotes multiple models of collegiality, gathering in covenant to meet both the shared and unique needs of our diverse ministries (including retired, community, candidate, consulting, interim and parish). Shaped by a culture of vulnerability, intimacy, trust and accountability to one another, we embrace leadership and mutual learning and model excellence in ministry through collegiality.

From Collegiality Development Trustee, Susan Rak

Collegiality is one of the "three c's" of the UUMA's mission to "nurture excellence in ministry".  The UUMA Board "vision statements" that guide our work in promoting and living out this mission states that: "The UUMA promotes multiple models of collegiality, offering spaces for our members to gather in covenant that are shaped by a culture of vulnerability, intimacy, trust and accountability to one another."


One thing the comprehensive survey of our UUMA Membership revealed is that the Board is right on track in pursuing this vision.  However, it is "getting there" that continues to challenge all of us, UUMA Trustees, Staff, Chapter Leaders and colleagues of every stripe. The survey results remind us again of the importance and value of collegial relationships, in ministerial formation and as we move through all the stages of our ministries. 

We have known for generations that good collegial relationships are essential for excellence in ministries.  And note that we are not pursuing perfection in our ministries, but excellence - the quality of living into and out of our call, where success and error, connection and distance teach us the arts of resilience ... READ MORE


From the Executive Director

This month I'm doing something a little different.  I'm writing a slightly different message to each of four specific groups of our members - those who are candidates, parish, community and retired.  (Unfortunately we don't yet have a way to differentiate interim from parish.)  Our theme this month is collegiality.  When we surveyed you last fall 58% of you agreed/strongly agreed we were doing a good job in achieving this vision; 29% of you had no opinion; and 13% disagreed/strongly disagreed that we were doing a good job.  As with all of our mission/vision we continue to have work to do.


This vision statement is probably my most favorite...and definitely my most challenging.  Since I've been your Executive Director I have had the privilege to visit every chapter at least once and spend more time with more UU ministers and candidates for ministry than probably anyone in the world.  While you spend your days serving congregants, patients, customers, communities and institutions I mainly spend mine with ministers and those planning to be ministers.... READ MORE

UUMA Connect is sponsoring its first Webinar on June 12th

Sacred Space and Changing Faith


Ministry takes place in all types of spaces.  As we think about the changing landscape of a post-church world, how does this change our relationship to buildings and spaces, let alone worship styles?  If the future of churches is coffee shops and strip malls, what makes a space sacred?  And how is that different than "traditional" Church architecture?  What is gained or lost?  Join us for a conversation about sacred space and our changing faith.  


June 12, 2014 at 4:00 EDT - Register Today!


Webinar Presenter: Dr. Nicole Kirk, Meadville-Lombard

Quick Survey

Thanks to everyone who participated in last month's survey on technology and ministry.  The three most important tools for your ministry are email, association websites and Facebook.  The three tools you'd like to become more competent in are Twitter, Audio/Video Conferencing, organizational software and Facebook.  We'll consider your answers as we develop continuing education in the future.


This month's topic concerns having the UUMA membership and/or UUMA Board make declarations/resolutions about divesting from the UUMA Retirement Fund or other investment funds.  We get occasional requests from members and outside groups who are committed to divesting from companies/mutual funds for different reasons (i.e. fossil fuels, human rights abuses, Israeli occupation, etc.) and we are wondering what you think.  You can find the survey here

First Institute Scholarship Deadlines are July 1

Are you planning on "Diving In" to the 2015 UUMA CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry in California in February 2015?  If so, two important deadlines are coming soon.  The first scholarship deadline for UUMA and UUA financial support is on July 1, 2014.  The UUMA has funds to provide partial financial support and at least one full scholarship (including travel) in honor of Kay Montgomery's service to the UUA.  The UUA offers educational grants up to $500.  Register for the Institute and apply for scholarships TODAY so you have the best chance to get the most money!  For more information and to apply click here.


Questions for the UUMA Board & Peter Morales?


As is our annual custom at Ministry Days we will be spending an hour in conversation with the President of the UUA, Peter Morales.  This year we will be live-streaming the conversation, on Tuesday June 24 from 4:30-5:30 EDT, for the first time.   We are adding something new this year and also giving you a chance to be in conversation with the UUMA Board of Trustees on Tuesday June 24 from 1:30-2:30 EDT (it will also be live-streamed.)


If you have a question for Peter and/or the Board please email them to Don Southworth by Friday June 13.   This also gives those who won't be able to attend Ministry Days a chance to ask their questions. We plan to have some time for questions from the floor, around the world, and twitter as well. 

We're about to finish our 2-year Pilot Coaching Program!
Over 80 colleagues received one-on-one coaching support for reaching their ministry goals from our 26 trained coaches. If you're interested in being trained to become a coach, there will be a training for new coaches in late Fall 2014. If you wish to be paired with a coach, new coaches will be available in early Spring 2015. Look online for applications for both this July! 

Calling All Mentors - Training and Support is on the Way!

The UUMA and UUA have partnered to develop training and tools to help colleagues in the art of mentoring.  Twenty-five Lead Mentors were trained by Larry Peers, of the Center for Pastoral Excellence, and Phyllis Braxton, of Pink Consulting in January 2014.  These Lead Mentors will be leading in-person and on-line sessions beginning in the fall of 2014 for those who are currently mentors and/or those who wish to improve their mentoring skills.   Mentors will also be offered an opportunity to take part in learning communities to work with other mentors.  

In mid-2015 the UUMA will offer mentoring to candidate members in addition to those in preliminary fellowship who are required to have a mentor.


We need to hear from those of you who are or wish to be mentors.  Please take ten minutes to fill out a survey on how you'd like to improve your mentoring skills in the coming year. The Mentoring Coordinating Team will use these responses in developing the specific training programs in the coming year.  Thank you for taking part.  You can find the survey 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.



Rev. Don Southworth,  

Executive Director  
617-848-0416 (phone)  
617-848-8122 (fax)  

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