Last week I took a quick trip to Boston to attend Terasa Cooley's good-bye party and to meet, in person, with several colleagues who normally are only in my zoom room on my computer screen. The weather was beautiful - cold, clear and crisp - which prompted me to spend time doing what I love best to do in Boston, walk around the city.
One morning I walked up to our old UUA headquarters at 25 Beacon Street to see what was going on. "25" and the other two buildings that the UUA sold on Mt. Vernon Street and the former Eliot-Pickett Houses, were covered with giant "tents" out front, with a back hoe digging dirt and many construction workers scurrying around. I took a peek inside 25 and saw that the main staircase has been torn down and much of the ground floor, as I remembered it, had been cleared away. As I walked across town to our new headquarters at 24 Farnsworth Street, I remembered with fondness walking up those stairs to see the MFC in 2000 and imagined all the lives that were touched and changed in the place the UUA used to call home.
It has been less than two years since the UUA headquarters have moved. The area has changed a lot and the many cranes and construction workers in our new neighborhood predict more change is on the way. I love the modern feel of our new headquarters and the opportunities they provide for easier collaboration, more productive meetings and new ways to connect today while remembering our yesterdays.
"24" and 25 provide a metaphor for the work we must do as ministers in the future ...READ MORE
From the Board of Trustees
Jennifer Ryu, Vice President
Having just reached the Big Five-O milestone, I know that a half-century is both a long and a short span of time. It is enough time to accumulate a wealth of stories, wisdom, and traditions; enough time for patterns to emerge. And yet these experiences can still easily be held in the storehouse of memories.
Each June, the newly constituted Board of Trustees spends its first days together talking about the past. Many of you can recall the early years of the UUMA, and others were present as important cultural shifts impacted the professional ministry. The way we tell the story of our successes, challenges, struggles, and triumphs becomes the framework by which we lead into the future. Consistent themes shine through our collective history: honoring teachers and mentors, the importance of professionalism, dedication to collegial relationships, commitment to life-long learning.
During the Board's most recent in-person meeting, we studied the comments you shared during our Chapter Visits about the present and future of the UU ministry. We heard your desire for technical help as well as the need for more collegial connections. We also heard your worries about knowing how to minister outside the congregation. Rather than going straight into problem-solving mode, trustees spent time in that "field beyond right and wrong" (as Rumi described) to ask some interesting questions that began to challenge our assumptions. What would happen if we broadened our scope to include other liberal faiths? In what ways do institutional habits keep us from fulfilling our mission? How well do we recognize assumptions embedded in UUMA processes about who minsters are, where they serve, and even what they look like?
We will continue to explore these questions as we re-visit the Vision Statement this spring. As always, we are eager to hear from you.
UUMA 2016 Ministry Days
June 20-23 ~ Hyatt Regency Columbus, OH
The Ministry Days planning team is thrilled to have as our keynote speaker the new President of the United Church of Christ, John Dorhauer. Look for more information on the title and theme of his keynote in your Ministry Days registration materials.
The classes of the ministers celebrating 25 and 50 years have selected their speakers. Wednesday morning Revs. Joel Miller and Joseph Bassett will represent their colleagues during our annual worship celebrating ministry.
A few reminders:
If you and your family would like to participate in the 2016 child dedication please be in touch with Janette
If you have an idea for a collegial conversation send a proposed title and one-paragraph description to Donby Feb 15 so the Board can consider it in their next meeting.
We hope you will join us in Columbus! Registration opens on March 1.
Sustaining the Call
Greetings dear colleagues,
Thanks to the generosity of 31% of our membership we now have $672,000 pledged to the Sustaining the Call Campaign for a UUMA Endowment Fund! Thank you to all of you who have so generously supported this important effort. Our goal is to reach a million dollars by Ministry Days 2016. If you haven't given yet, perhaps you're wondering why you should support the campaign. Here are just a few reasons:
1.Our legacy: We have all been the beneficiaries of the legacy left to us by the ministers who came before us. This is our big chance to pass the gift forward to generations of ministers to come. Now is the time!
2.Your legacy: Speaking of legacies, legacy giving is a simple and profound way to support the organizations that have enriched your life and nurture your values. You can make an on-line pledge to the UUMA Endowment Fund today as a legacy gift that will be paid at the end of your life (rather than paid now when your finances may be tight). If you have questions, I would be happy to talk with you about this simple and profound way of financially supporting your colleagues.
3.Financial need: UUMA dues are based on your salaries. Ministry salaries don't tend to keep up with inflation. Thus, each year the money the UUMA has is worth less while costs rise. If the UUMA does not have other sources of income (i.e. an Endowment Fund) we will not be able to maintain the same quality of service and support currently provided, never mind innovate to respond to the changing religious landscape. In addition, a large portion of our membership will be retiring in the coming years. Since retired ministers do not pay dues, the UUMA is facing a large drop in annual income.
4.Continuing education: The UUMA is the primary source of continuing education for UU minsters. This education comes in many forms-the informal connections of collegiality and mentorship fostered by Chapter membership, structured mentoring and coaching programs, The Institute for Excellence in Ministry, health and self-care programming, cultural competency training, and facilitated exploration of professional ethics and guidelines, to name a few. Learning the arts of ministry is a life-time endeavor. We need to support the organization that is tending to our growth in ministry across the life span and across our diverse ministries-support for both today's and tomorrow's ministries.
Rev. Diane Dowgiert and over 600 of your colleagues have already joined this collective effort. In the spirit of love letters in this Valentines month, Diane captures her love of the UUMA and her enthusiasm about Sustaining the Call Campaign in her video testimonial below.
Please make a pledge or gift today. Here is the link to the Sustaining the Call webpage. Thank you for all the ways you support your colleagues and nurture excellence in ministry!
Interested in being trained as a mentor? Ask your chapter/cluster/regional leadership to arrange for a free UUMA/UUA training by Feb 29th. This excellent training is offered free to chapters through June 30, 2016. After this date, chapters are responsible for the facilitator's transportation & honorarium. Although online mentor training will be rolled out soon, the cost structure is still undetermined. Learn more here and contact Andrew Mertz by Feb 29th if you would like to get a Mentor Training scheduled in your area.
Want to be Considered as a Mentor?
Those in preliminary & final fellowship need to indicate their interest in being a mentor. Colleagues in preliminary fellowship and candidates in the emerging post-RSCC system will look to your UUMA profile to see your availability as a mentor. So, if you are a mentor or are interested in serving as a mentor, please add yourself to our Mentoring Database so prospective Mentees can find you! All you have to do is click here and update your information on your UUMA profile.
Building Connections with UUMA Connect: the UUMA wants to spread the word about the usefulness and capabilities of Connect. Much like the student center on a college campus, Connect is the place where you can find out what's happening with your colleagues (Joys & Sorrows), meet up for a cluster or leadership meeting (Zoom Room), contribute to a conversation about things that matter to you (wikis), receive spiritual nourishment (ministry meditations), or meet in a support group (small group ministries). Over the next couple of months the Connect leaders will be sharing information and ideas on how to take advantage of Connect. If you have ideas or thoughts on what we should highlight with your colleagues please share them with theleadership team of Tom Shade, Molly Housh Gordon, Meghan Cefalu, and Andrew Mertz.
Update your profile: UUMA leadership & Mentors are identified by your profile!
Looking For UUMA Leaders! Have you filled out your UUMA profile and included information about your gifts and where you would like to share them in the UUMA? When we recruit new leaders for our standing committees such as CENTER and the Guidelines and ARAOMC (CARM) Committees, we start by looking at who has indicated a desire to serve via their profile. To fill out your profile log in to uuma.org and click on Manage Profile (under the My Profile Menu) and then click on Edit Bio. The gifts and talents sections are located at the middle of the page.
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.