E-Update: January 2016
From the Executive Director
The first Monday back to work in the new year.  I'm starting with a clean office and desk, something of a rarity for me but a nice way to start anew.  I hope you had some time for rest, renewal and maybe even reflection during the busy-ness that are the holidays.  Perhaps you are even taking some time away in January, a growing practice for many of our colleagues.  The last week of the year is a traditional time of looking back and looking forward.  I've preached enough sermons on Janus to know that is a regular practice/cliche for many of us.

For some of us 2015 was the best year of our life so far, for some it was the worst and for most of us it was somewhere in between.  Since I lost my mom and some other people who were close to me I'd put it towards the worst side of the ledger but I won't forget it.  There is something about a clean office and desk, a new year on the calendar and a re-commitment to those spiritual and other practices that make a difference that rekindles excitement and possibility for the new year ... READ MORE
From the Board of Trustees
Tricia Hart, Trustee-At-Large
None of us can predict what will happen in this new year, just beginning.  But one thing we can be sure of is that we will be dealing with changes and challenges, both personal and professional, unlike any we've seen before.  This is true for those just beginning in ministry, and those who've been at it a while.  Wherever we serve - whatever kind of ministry we practice - our work will continue to be impacted by changing cultural landscapes, complex world crises, and shifting narratives about the role of religion.  Impacted as well by economic stress in our own lives, and the lives of the people we serve. 

It's hard to make sense of it all, much less know what to do.... though we try!  I preached a sermon a few months ago, entitled Not Your Parents' Congregation.  People made a special point to come to church that Sunday; their anxiety was not relieved, though, when I offered more questions than answers. 

All of this is terrifying.  It is also exciting.  At this point, now halfway through my term on the UUMA Board, I am increasingly aware that the work of our professional association is not to know all the answers, not even to design a smooth path through bumpy times.  The work of the UUMA is to be aware of all these shifting currents, and to look for the unprecedented opportunities sometimes hidden amid the challenges.  It is to cultivate ways that members can be in deep communication with one another, sharing ideas and  ... READ MORE
UUMA Ministry Days will be here before you know it!
We are working on finalizing details for our 2016 UUMA Ministry Days at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio from Monday June 20 - Wednesday June 23.  Next month we will have more information on our keynote speaker and we'll be sending out details for registration which opens on March 1.  We are looking forward to having a UUA Presidential Candidate "Action" for the first time and some other surprises as well.  

We will have a limited number of collegial conversation spaces that the Board will be choosing in March. If you have an idea for a collegial conversation send a proposed title and one-paragraph description to Don by February 15 so the Board can consider it. 

Finally, we will once again be having a child dedication if you know your family would like to participate please be in touch with Janette Lallier
Save the Date:
2018 Institute for Excellence in 
The UUMA CENTER team and staff are thrilled to let you know the dates for the 2018 Institute for Excellence in Ministry - January 22-26, 2018. We'll be meeting in central Florida (more details will be coming) for our fourth Institute and have some surprises in store for you.  Keep an eye on the e-update for more details but for now put the dates on your calendar in ink!
Job Opening at the UUMA
The UUMA is seeking a half-time office assistant.  If you or someone you know is interested in please check out the job description.  Any questions can be directed to Janette. Applications will be received until January 8, 2015. 
Guidelines Study Feedback Due on February 1
Have you, your chapter and/or cluster reviewed/discussed the study guide regarding social media and our guidelines and the guideline changes that our membership voted on in June 2015?  The Guidelines Committee wants to hear your feedback!  You can find the study guide here and you can send feedback or questions to guidelinescommittee@uuma.org.
Sustaining the Call
Greetings my fellow maladjusters,

Martin Luther King Jr. said to those gathered for the Ware lecture at the UUA General in Hollywood, Florida, in 1966, 

"My friends, there are some things in our nation and in our world to which I'm proud to be maladjusted. And I call upon you to be maladjusted and all people of good will to be maladjusted to these things until the good society is realized." 

King was a visible and courageous religious leader of the civil rights movement, but there were so many others. You are our "so many" today-UU religious leaders calling for and leading our people to be maladjusted towards those injustices and inequalities towards which none of us should be adjusted. UUMA members are on the front-lines, leading congregations and communities in local, regional, and national efforts for justice. One powerful way of supporting social justice is to tend to the care, nurture, and training of spiritual leaders. 

Please consider making a pledge to the Sustaining the Call Campaign today. Consider making your gift in honor or memory of a religious leader who has nurtured or inspired you in this important work.

With gratitude and blessings,
Sarah Moldenhauer-Salazar
Where Leads Our Call? Conversation begin!
Our third UUMA-wide conversation, Where Leads Our Call? (WLOC), is being presented for the first time in January.  The WLOC program contains two modules - Call and Excellence and Call and Accountability - and provides an opportunity for reflection and conversation about our individual and collective calls today and in the future.  Each module takes six-eight hours and will be available for the next three years in person and eventually on-line.  The program is available for chapters, regions and/or cluster meeting and is co-facilitated by two colleagues.  To schedule a session contact Don for more details.  
New Members
Congratulations and Welcome to all and new and upgrading members. Click here to see a full listing.
A New Year for Ministry Meditations
Everyone is making changes for the New Year, including Ministry Meditations. Based on interest and feedback, Ministry Meditations will continue posting once a month via our E-Update and Facebook page, and then post throughout the months as submissions come in on our Facebook page and blog. This way our meditations get the attention and distribution to our members they deserve. Also, this makes it possible to post them without a particular schedule, giving those submitting and the staff freedom to make the ones we receive the best we can make them. Click here if you feel like you have missed any from 2015. (Reminder: You need to be logged in as a member.)
Ministry Meditations have been gifts to the UUMA and to all of our member colleagues - because they are the words of encouragement, prayer, meditation, and gratitude made specifically for all of us in ministry. They are truly our own worship and prayer space, a space made just for UU ministers. We encourage all of you to keep giving the gifts of your words, prayers, and meditations for Ministry Meditations, because as we know, our colleagues are the ones who need words of encouragement more than anyone.  Please record some words of prayer and meditation to your colleagues and contact intern@uuma.org. Give a gift that keeps on giving!
For January, our Ministry Meditation comes from Erika Hewitt, reflecting on how we are all more than enough! 
Here is the link for the full meditation.

UUMA Collegial Small Groups (registration open)

One of the greatest predictors of a successful ministry is for a clergy person to be supported by, and accountable to, a small group of colleagues.  The UUMA is experimenting with Collegial Small Groups this winter and invite you to participate.  Thanks to those who have already signed up for our two groups on community ministry and collegial covenant which are full and will begin in January.  Our last group on social witness, which is described below, has a few slots available.  We know small groups are important and needed and plan on offering more in the future based on the feedback from our three pilot groups the first half of the year. We have received a few ideas from our membership for future small groups, please feel free to send your ideas to Andrew Mertz, our Program Assistant at programs@uuma.org. 
Theological Ground of Social Witness:
This online small group will dive into the Unitarian Universalist grounding for our call to social justice. The small group will be convened by Tom Schade, a minister on CENTER and the writer of The Lively Tradition, and Kathleen McTigue, Director of the UU College of Social justice. This small group will explore our theologies of social change and practical ways to bring these theologies more explicitly into our ministries. This will be a committed group meeting the last Tuesday of every month for six months, starting Tuesday January 26th from 4:00-5:30 pm EST. There will be readings, some invited speakers, and lots of collegial conversation. Join the excitement, as we faithfully learn about our collective call to justice. 
To find out more about UUMA Collegial Small Groups, or to request to participate in the social witness pilot groups click here. Requests for participation in this group will end January 15th!

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  
919-824-3999 (mobile)  
617-848-0498 (main office)
617-848-0973 (fax)  

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