2015 UUMA CENTER Institute for

Excellence in Ministry Countdown

February 2-6, 2015

Asilomar Conference Center

Pacific Grove, CA



Dear Colleagues,   


As I rummage through my apartment looking for my suitcase (there are limited places a suitcase can hide, right?) and try to remember how to set up my away messages, I am getting all excited to be with you all for my first Institute for Excellence in Ministry!


Though my current ministries focus on supporting youth and young adults of color within our movement and youth-led social justice work beyond our denomination's boundaries, there is a particular sustenance I gain from being in the company of Unitarian Universalist colleagues. I look forward to going deep without the distractions of the day to day (where is that suitcase?!), to being around smart, soulful people who will call me back to my better self, to (re)connecting, and maybe spending that afternoon off hunting down Vietnamese food and adventures in Monterey.


I'm trying not have too many expectations as I head into our gathering. In part, I know that if unleash my wildly high expectations (spiritual revelation, new best friends, and skills that will transform my ministry forever!), I risk getting disappointed. But more than that, I'm trying to let go of expectations so that I can be surprised - by god, by community, by mystery, by myself. I'm so looking forward to getting out of my normal routines and habits, to the freshness that a different schedule and location offer. I hope a surprising spirit will bring small and big moments of insight, new perspectives, a shaking loose of whatever is stuck, and a remembering what holds my center. So who knows what this Institute will bring for me - I have few expectations and a few more days to let go of those I'm still holding on to.


So here's to surprises, and to getting whatever ducks or suitcases or snow shoveling we need to get in a row in order to get to be together in a few days!


with gratitude,

Elizabeth Nguyen



Our first Beyond the Call:Entrepreneurial Ministry program retreat began on Thursday at Asilomar.  I'm not sure what was more invigorating - the 70 degree sunshine, the waves crashing along the beach or the 36 mulit-faith colleagues who have begun a two year program of learning about new ways to change the world.  The BTC-EM retreat is the appetizer for a week of feasting on learning, collegiality and inspiration.  Soon the 450 people I'll be standing in line with for breakfast will be colleagues instead of people from other conferences.  Soon almost every meeting room will be filled with the passion and enthusiasm of learning relevant to our ministries and our world.  My hope and prayer for each of you is that you travel safe and well in the next few days and you come to this little slice of heaven ready to rest a little, learn a lot and make connections that will inspire and nurture your spirits and your ministry.  See you soon!  - Don



Volunteers Still Needed on Monday


Volunteering at registration is a great way to start your week off at Asilomar. Especially if you are arriving early in the day on Monday, click here check out our volunteer opportunities.



Onsite Packet Posted


Want to get a jump start on your arrival reading?  We have posted the onsite packet to uuma.org.  Check it out! 



Miss Something?  


Box Lunches:Did you miss signing up for a box lunch on Friday (deadline was January 30).  We have ordered a limited number of extra.  To claim yours email Janette. First come, first served. 

Ground Travel: Did you reserve a space on the UUMA Shuttle and then lose your email?  Find shuttle lists and directions here. Forget to make plans altogether? See your options here.

Mailings: Did you miss a mailing?  We have archived it all. Click here to see what we have sent you!



Wondering about the weather??!


According to the forecast, it will be sunny skies and highs in the 60s all week! Click here to see the extended forecast for Pacific Grove at weather.com.  


Don't forget to pack layers for those early morning and sunset beach walks!

January 31, 2015      

Link to Menus


Curious about the meal plan?Asilomar has provided menus for Monday-Wednesday - click the link above to learn how meals will work.  Menus for Thursday and Friday will be posted when available.



Stay Connected:

Meet-Ups, Texts, Daily Updates, Face Book, & Hashtags!



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: Join Meet-up or sign in here. 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.


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


Bookmark the Connect Blog for Daily Updates


This year the blog will replace the morning new bulletins we printed in the past and will have information regarding room changes, new meet-ups, fun happenings, etc. See it here (must be signed in)


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. 


# Institute Hashtags 

If you're posting on social media during the Institute, use #uumainstitute so we can all follow along. We have individual hashtags for each seminar as well:


Seminar 1: #IEM15preach  
Seminar 2: #IEM15artist   
Seminar 3: #IEM15just   
Seminar 5: #IEM15play      
Seminar 6: #IEM15love      
Seminar 7: #IEM15staff 
Seminar 8: #IEM15cot   
Seminar 9: #IEM15cov  
Seminar 10: #IEM15write  


We'll be collecting tweets at the end to create group notes for each seminar, so we hope you contribute!






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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