Here is your monthly news and updates from the UU Ministers Association!
Your Monthly News & Updates
On December 1 our new Associate Executive Director, Melissa Carvill Ziemer begins working full-time.We are grateful to Jennifer Channin who acted as our program consultant from late August to mid-November as we waited for Melissa to be with us full time.
From the Associate Executive Director

The backs of my hands are scraped and bruised because I pulled a 30 gallon recycling can over on myself late last night. I pulled the recycling can over on myself because I stubbornly figured I could move it on my own, even though it was filled to the brim. The recycling can was filled to the brim because I had just finished cleaning out the paper files in my church office that I have been accumulating since I began seminary in 2001. It turns out that 15 years of paper are heavy. It also turns out that ending a ministry, at least for me, is every bit as hard as Mark Morrison-Reed said it would be in his Berry Street essay, "After Running Through the Thistles the Hard Part Begins." There is a certain kind of symmetry in my hurting hands because my heart is hurting too; now at least the outside matches the inside.
I am filled with grief at saying goodbye to the people I have served. Dear colleagues are reminding me that the reason for my grief is the strength of my love... Read More
From the Executive Director
Some people have compared the election results to the feelings of trauma and shock following 9/11. While I am not sure the loss of thousands of lives is equal to what happened on November 8, I do know that many of us woke up on November 9 heart-broken, fearful, hopeless and angry. Many of those feelings were similar to what we felt in 2001 as well. On the Saturday after 9/11/01 I spent the day calling hospitals in the metro Atlanta area where I was serving and asked how many babies had been born since that fateful Tuesday morning. There was something about discovering that 160 new lives had come into the world in those few days that gave me some hope for our future.
The day after the election hope was hard to find. But support and sustenance wasn't. We had a quarterly Collegial Development Team meeting scheduled and although I offered to cancel it so that people could be with their congregations or wherever they needed to be, most of the team showed up for the call. We threw the agenda out the window and shared how we were feeling. Eventually all of us were in tears... Read More
From the Board of Trustees-Treasurer Olivia Holmes

Dear Colleagues:

Rev. Jane Dwinell posted an article on UUMA Colleagues this past week written by Dr. George Lakoff and published in the Huffington Post. He said, "Democrats looking for donors will ask, 'What is your most important issue?' Instead, the
values that define one's deepest identity are what matters most. Polling issue-by-issue misses the overall values that are all too often primary in elections." He got me wondering whether UU leaders, clergy and laity alike, have become too issues focused to fully embrace the values that help us become the change we want to be.

Don Southworth, in his column last month noted that "we as a UUMA have gotten better and tougher about sexual - and all clergy - misconduct over the years...But we have a long way to go - especially in creating a culture where the people who have less power have the support, encouragement and trust to confront and report bad behavior."

In ten years dedicated to interim ministry here in Northern New England, I have found Don's statement to ring true of our congregations as well... Read More
UUMA Connect December:
Personal Renewal
December is Personal Renewal Month atUUMA Connect.
Keeping your spirit fresh and lively is one of the duties of ministry. It's not an add-on extra for when you have a little unplanned time or energy. Have you had a chance to check out the collected resources on personal renewal at UUMA Connect? Treat yourself this holiday season by considering
some of opportunities there. And watch for a webinar on sabbatical planning coming later this month, as soon as details are finalized. And from the Connect team: May all your holidays be bright !

Chapters are welcome to 'adopt' a monthly theme by contacting the Connect leaders
Call to Standing Rock: December 4th Interfaith Day of Prayer
Last March the UUMA Board of Trustees agreed upon two important additions to our mission and vision. A shared commitment to anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural practices is now part of our mission and we have a new vision statement calling us to express our social justice values in the wider world beyond Unitarian Universalism. One way we are living toward both of these commitments is with our support for the water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. Last month hundreds of clergy from all faith traditions responded to a call to travel to North Dakota to pray and join in solidarity with the water protectors who are blocking construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We are grateful that Lynn Gardner, Co-Chair of our CENTER Committee, was able to represent the UUMA in responding to that call. Click here to read Lynn's report. Our Associate Executive Director, Melissa Carvill Ziemer, will represent the UUMA in responding to the Interfaith Day of Prayer on December 4.

To learn more about how you or the people you serve can support the water protectors during the Interfaith Day of Prayer,
click here to check out the invitation.
The 2018 Institute Registration Opens on December 15
We are thrilled to announce that we will be opening registration on Thursday December 15 for the next Institute For Excellence in Ministry January 22-26, 2018 at the Innisbrook Resort and Spa in Palm Harbor,
Florida . We had hoped to be ready to do so by December 1 but some last minute details have pushed it back to the 15th. The planning team has put together an outstanding program of seminars that we know will be hard to choose from.

The theme of the 2018 Institute is "Faith Animating Innovation" and will include some of the best preaching and music you will ever hear. One of the presenters at the 2018 Institute who has been one of your favorite requests over the years is Dr. Marcia McFee. Watch this You Tube video to see some of what Marcia does in her worship design studio.

The 2018 Institute will be the first time we are welcoming clergy from all faith traditions and we are hoping you will invite those in your interfaith circles to join you. Each month we will highlight one of our presenters and offer some tips to make your Institute experience as valuable as possible. If you aren't able to join us physically in Florida we will be offering remote experiences as well.

You may book your lodging through the UUMA (and save sales tax) or book it directly through Innisbrook. You have the choice of a one-bedroom apartment or two bedroom apartment; all come with full kitchens so we have offered different meal options for you as well.You will be receiving a postcard reminder about the Institute in the next ten days and we'll send out an email with the links to registration/housing with a social media reminder as well.
A Note form the Collegiality Development Team
Beloved Colleagues,

The earth-shattering results of the Presidential election have put many of us on shaky ground as we enter the often-frenetic holiday season. We would like to add our voices to the chorus of support coming from within the UUMA leadership. In times like these we are reminded of the importance of our collegial connections, formed through our shared vocation and reinforced through trial by fire. The forces of hatred, dissension and division revealed and unleashed in the past year remind us that the saving message of our faith is more vitally needed than ever. May we all pay close attention to the well-being of our colleagues, may we reach out in our need for support, and may we be lavish in the love that we share not just with each other, but with all those who live in fear in the years ahead.
In Faith,
Deborah Raible
Peter Friedrichs

UUMA Ministry Days will be here before you know it!

We are working on finalizing details for our 2017 UUMA Ministry Days in New Orleans, Louisiana from Monday June 19 - Wednesday June 22. Keep an eye out here in the E-Update for more information on our keynote speaker and details for registration which opens on March 1, 2017.
We are planning on offering a limited number of collegial conversations and workshops at next year's Ministry Days. If you'd like to offer a workshop or collegial conversation (one has a program and the other is a conversation) please send a proposed title, a one-paragraph description and who would be leading/facilitating to Don by February 15. Each workshop/conversation will be 90 minutes long and will be held from 2-3:30 on Tuesday afternoon June 20.
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 at
Sign Up for your Zoom Room

In January we will close out the zoom room at and begin to offer discounted pro accounts to all our members. The discounted rate will be dependent upon the number of members who sign up. We anticipate the price will range from $10-$12 a month if 50-100 members join. Plans will be available beginning in January. Click here
to make your commitment to purchase a zoom pro account through the UUMA.Contact Michelle with any questions at
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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)
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