It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,... it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us... - A Tale of Two Cities
Dickens I am not. (I'm guessing you probably already knew that.) But as I reflect on the world of ministry, especially the Unitarian Universalist variety, I can think of few phrases that capture the times as well as Dickens'. I have the rather unique role of sitting on the balcony looking over the good, bad, wise, foolish, despairing, hopeful landscape of ministry. I am in conversation with our UUMA, UUA, chapter leaders on a regular basis. Often I get to be with religious leaders outside our tradition as well. I hear many of the joys and excitements our members have as they live out their vocational dreams as a minister. I see the sparkle in their eyes (even if it's usually in a video conference call) and their passion for the possibilities of our faith. I hear about the anxiety and the frustration; the worry about financial insecurity, dysfunctional relationships and institutions and living a 24/7 plugged-in life of ministry. I listen to the wisdom and sometimes heartbreak of our retired elders; the sometimes naive -always inspiring - plans of students and newly minted minsters and the optimism, weariness and uncertainty of those attempting to lead our faith towards a future we can't truly imagine.... READ MORE
Ministry Days Portland:
Registrations Closes Monday June 1
Plane Tickets - Check!
Hotel Reservation - Check!
GA Registration paid - Check!
What do you mean you didn't register for Ministry Days?!?!
Are you planning on attending Ministry Days in Portland? Monday, June 1 is the final day to register.
On Wednesday, June 24 the UUMA will gather for its Annual Meeting. All the materials you will need for the meeting - including bylaw and guideline recommendations, nomination slate, proposed budget, and reports from the board, staff and committees, have been posted online (PDF).
Coming to Ministry Days for the first time this summer? Join UUMA staff for an orientation call on June 3, 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific. We'll let you know what to expect at Ministry Days, give you a chance to meet some other first-timers, and answer any questions you might have!
Questions for the President and the UUMA Board at Ministry Days?
Why are we getting rid of the RSCCs? How will we fund new ministry start ups? What is the best and worst part of being a UUMA Board member? What should we be doing differently as ministers in the era of ministry after Ferguson? These are just some of the questions you might want to ask your UUMA Board of Trustees and/or our UUA President, Peter Morales during Ministry Days. If you have any questions you'd like to ask the Board or Peter please send them to Don before June 12.
Already Registered for Ministry Days?
Keep a look out for two Ministry Days Countdown emails with tips and tools for your time in Portland. We plan on beginning the week of June 12. If you are not able to join us look for reminders on how to join us on-line for the entire experience.
UUMA welcomes a new office assistant
The UUMA is pleased to announce the addition of Lindsey Nye as our new Office Assistant.
Lindsey graduated with her Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in 2015, when she was honored with the Robert E. Seaver Award for distinguished work in worship and the arts. At Union, she served as a Chapel Minister, and also developed and performed new forms of liturgical and biblical drama, writing Broadway Revues to tell subversively the stories of Genesis and Exodus, and creating an improvisational, ritual drama inspired by The Acts of Paul and Thecla. Lindsey continues to pursue this creative ministry in addition to her duties as UUMA Office Assistant.
Lindsey worked as a political appointee in the Obama Administration and also worked on the 2008 Obama campaign. She graduated with honors from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Lindsey spends much of her time singing, cooking, and learning about wellness. She is an aspiring life coach and dog owner, and loves living in New York City.
One of the goals of the Sustaining the Call Campaign is to create a vehicle by which we can appreciate and memorialize beloved colleagues. Here is a video of our UUMA President Linda Olson Peebles naming why this newly-established opportunity of the campaign is so personally important to her. I follow briefly with specifics about how you too can memorialize or appreciate a UU colleague through participation in the campaign. Remember, to become a founding member of the UUMA Endowment Fund, you have to pledge by June 30th! Click here to make your pledge or one time gift today.
With gratitude and blessings,
Begins July 1
The Board of Trustees continues to review the dues structure seeking to address the concerns and realities of a sliding dues scale while still presenting a balanced budget to ensure we have the resources to continue to live into our vision of a stronger, more effective UUMA.
In the 2015 fiscal year the UUMA began to move its membership period to match the fiscal year (July 1-June 30). As a result of this all memberships will expire on June 30, 2015. Because of the realities of our accounting systems all dues will be payable beginning July 1 and must be paid by October 1 to retain membership.
The renewal process is dependent upon your profile containing correct information regarding your Salary & Housing and Ministry Setting. Please make sure your profile is up to date. You will be given an opportunity to update your profile at the start of the process. Installments (10 payments spread evenly between the day you renew and June 30, 2016) and Automatic Renewals (to process annually on July 1) are both available. If you wish to prepay your FY16 dues please contact Janette.
Got a Coach?
"My coach helped me realize I already knew enough, and was enough, to do this work better."
"The UUMA coaching program brought a breath of fresh air to my ministry. Although I've been a minister for 25 years, my coach was able to provide fresh insights and areas of explorations for my ministry that I hadn't considered before."
"The UUMA Coaching Program is the single most effective development activity I've undertaken for my ministry in many years."
UUMA Peer Coaches work one-on-one with colleagues over a one-year time-span to help them set and achieve specific action-oriented goals to take their ministries to the next level. Sound like what you need to take your ministry to the next level? We are now accepting coaching requests for this Fall. Click here for more info and to request a coach by August 15!
The UUMA has a space for all your faith and spiritual renewal - Ministry Meditations! Every week on Thursday, two-minute video meditations are posted specifically for UUMA members by UUMA members. I want to urge all of you to consider being recorded for a video meditation. What helps you get through another week of the work of ministry, might be the saving grace another minister needs to hear. Your words of wisdom, introspective, reflection, and inspiration for activism, might be the antidote to someone else's sadness, loneliness, or disillusionment.
As Ministry Meditations gear up for Ministry Days, we have some exciting new meditations for you. The following preview will show you some of the meditations we have in store. We also have some surprises for you during Ministry Days. Please consider helping grow this necessary online space for spiritual reflection and healing dedicated only for U.U. ministers, by providing a mediation yourself. Email Emily to set up a Zoom meeting and to gain more information on how you can help nurture our colleagues' spirits.#UUMAMeditates
Have you heard about the ZOOM ROOM?
The Zoom Room is a new way to connect with your colleagues online! UUMA Connect offers the use of a Zoom Pro Account (video meetings for up to 25 people) free to any UUMA members who want to gather for study groups, support groups, book discussions, meetings of chapter or cluster committees or work groups, etc.