2015 UUMA CENTER Institute for
Excellence in Ministry Countdown
February 2-6, 2015
Asilomar Conference Center
Pacific Grove, CA
Dear Colleague,  


I am one of those who has been to every Institute. There are probably a couple hundred of us.  It's a great format for getting together as colleagues in Unitarian Universalist ministry. There is enough time to relax into having a more leisurely conversation with an old friend. There are enough of us there to have a chance to meet people you've never met before. It's always well-planned. The worship is inspiring and the seminar leaders have been exciting. 


For the first two years, I stuck to the History track in the workshops.  At Asilomar 1, I chose to learn from Mark Morrison Reed. I had read his books, but had never spent any time in his presence. The group was not large, so we had time and space to process together some of the tragic mistakes of our collective history. When we are together as minister colleagues, and away from our constituents or congregants, we can more directly confront difficult subjects.


At St. Pete's Beach, I went with Dan McKanan's workshop on the relationships between Unitarianism and Universalism and some of the radical movements in US History. I learned some things in that workshop that inform my thinking today, as a new wave of radicalism appears to be gathering.


This year, I am turning in another direction; taking the two mini-seminars with Cat Cox and Karen Herring. A change of pace for me, and turning toward my own spiritual practices and development. 


But the biggest change this year is that I will be wearing a fashionable and distinctive hat. As a CENTER Member, I have been involved in planning the Institute. And like all CENTER Members, I am given the opportunity wear a distinctive hat so you can find us if you have questions or concerns. Apparently, it's an article of faith among the CENTER Committee that unusual hats are a key element in organizational effectiveness. 


Now I see that the Institute comes together through complex and detailed planning. But because I am so grateful for previous Institutes, I am more than happy to help make this come to fruition this year. 


See you in Asilomar; I'll be wearing a hat. 

Tom Schade

Volunteer at the Institute!

We are seeking volunteers to help out in a variety of roles during the UUMA CENTER Institute. Sign up here!


Volunteer Role Descriptions:


Front-Desk Greeters: Greet colleagues at the front desk, answer initial questions, and help them get to their rooms and to registration. This will involve map-reading or even walking guests to their destination.


Airport Greeters: Greet colleagues at the Monterey Airport, direct to shuttles and other ground transportation.


Registration Helpers: Greet colleagues at the Registration Table, and assemble and give out packets and name tags.

Accessibility Volunteers: Be on call to assist colleagues who request help getting food or drink during meals. Sign-ups for this role are by day. You will be on call for all three meals that day.


Worship Ushers: Help people find seats, and help with the offering. 

A New Way to Connect: Institute Meet-ups!

This year we are making easier than ever to gather groups of people together for conversation, meet and greets, games, yoga, or whatever else you'd like to do! We have created a Meet-up group for the UUMA and anyone can create a Meet-up or look over what's been created and join in. Here's what to do:

  1. Join Meet-up or sign in here
  2. Join the UUMA Meet-up here: You need to be approved to be a member, which we do manually, so make sure to sign up before the Institute!

For more details, check out our Meetup Instructions on the website.

January 17, 2015      

Link to Schedule


Curious about when you have free time? When meals are, registration, etc.  Check out the schedule via the above link.

Sign Up for Text Alerts 


Want to keep up with the latest news during the Institute? Sign up for text updates! All you have to do is text @Institute2015 to 23559

Join the Institute 2015 Facebook Group


Click here to join our Institute 2015 Facebook Group-a great way to connect with others who are attending the Institute and get updates from the planning team. 

Carbon Offsets

In an effort to offset the impact on the environment of a large event such as the Institute, the UUMA is purchasing carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org. We have purchased the "Large Event" offset, and invite anyone who wishes to join us in this effort to check out the options for offsetting both car and air travel here.


Due to low registration numbers all the off site tours were cancelled.  If you did register please look for an email regarding your refund.

Remaining Shuttle Seats 

Are you still working out your ground transportation?  There are a few seats left on the UUMA Airport Shuttles.  Contact Janette to purchase a seat.  First come, first served. 

1PM SJC to Asilomar: 3
3PM SJC to Asilomar: 5
MRY t0 Asilomar: unlimited

10AM Asilomar to SFO: 1
9:15AM Asilomar to SJC: 2
1PM Asilomar to SJC: 3
Asilomar to MRY: 10

Seeking to connect with a colleague to share a ride. Check out our Ride Share Forum

Helpful Links:

This email has been sent to all UUMA Members who are registered for the Institute for Excellence in Ministry and have an email address on file with the UUMA. 


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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