Here is your monthly news and updates from the UU Ministers Association!
Your Monthly News & Updates
 
From the Acting Executive Director
Melissa Carvill Ziemer

Dear Colleagues,

Whenever I am invited to think about times I experienced hospitality and generosity, I think about my visit to Puerto Rico. I went when I was young, just a couple of years out of college. After months of saving and planning and reading, I was over the moon when I finally arrived. I went first to San Juan where I walked around for hours just taking in the sights and sounds and flavors of the city. From there I traveled to the island of Vieques where I camped in my little backpacking tent on a beautiful white sand beach and swam in a sea so clear I had to keep reminding myself it was really real. 

So many years later, the details about what happened next are sketchy in my mind. I met a young man on a bus trip across the island, talked for quite some time and somehow decided to go with him to the hotel where he was staying. It wasn't long before it became clear to me I had not made a very wise decision. He went to the bathroom and I took that moment to gather my things and head right back to the bus station. I was dismayed to find when I arrived that there were no more buses out that day. . . READ MORE

In faith,
Melissa

The Rev. Qiyamah A. Rahman is the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix. She has written a letter to Unitarian Universalists. Please take a moment to read her letter  and then take another to consider how you and your Unitarian Universalist community can help. 
From the Board of Directors 

Cheryl M. Walker, President
This summer I had the privilege and pleasure of spending time with our British Unitarian colleagues at their fall gathering. We met in the a place called Great Hucklow, which is about 3 hours northwest of London. It's a little town in the English countryside. When we first gathered we worshiped in a chapel that was built in 1696. Someone told me the difference between the British and the Americans is that the British think 100 miles is a long distance, and Americans think 100 years is a long time. How very true.


Spending time with our colleagues, I saw that they struggle with many of the same issues that we struggle with. How to remain true to our traditions while facing an ever more pluralistic society. How to stay relevant beyond the walls of our congregations. How to stem the tide of dwindling membership, especially among younger people. How to make a living at ministry.

 

It made me think about 100 years from now and what will Unitarian Universalist ministry be. It is not a long time from now, though most of us here, on the North American continent think so. What we do together, now, will have an impact on the not so distant future. How we answer those questions today, will make tremendous difference tomorrow. READ MORE . . .

From the UUMA Intern 

Sana Saeed: UUMA Intern
My pluralist journey expanded in 2009, when I was hired as the Director of Youth Programs at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington in Virginia even though I was and still am a Muslim. Except, now I'm a Unitarian Universalist Muslim aka UU Muslim. I dove head first into work and learning about UUism mostly from middle and high-schoolers. At the same time, I remember visiting my Pakistani Muslim parents in that first month I was hired and witnessing a complete parental freak out. Why? Because my younger brother had googled UU's only to stumble upon websites declaring it was a cult. Unknown to me, he had convinced my parents I had been hired by a cult. To some degree I don't even think my brother cared if I had joined a cult, he just enjoyed watching my parents freak out on me. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I was finally able to sit with my family and talk to them about why I really liked working in a church community, and four years later seeing their surprise at the fact I was serious about it.
 
As a person of color and a UU Muslim, I have grappled with formulating a 30 second elevator speech introducing what I believe in and what Unitarian Universalism means to me.  READ MORE . . .
Invite Your Multi-Faith Colleagues to the Institute
 

We hope that we will see you at the 2018 UUMA CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry this January, 22-26 at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida. If you have not registered, I hope that you will consider attending - keep in mind rates increase Oct 1. Visit the Institute Page for information about all that we have in store for you. If you need a scholarship, there are still funds available, so apply by November 1. Registration does end December 15, so do not delay!

 

Whether or not you are attending this January, we need your help. This Institute is a multi-faith event. We need you to invite your colleagues of other faiths to attend. Please share this brochure with colleagues whom you think would benefit from this opportunity for learning, renewal, and collegiality. If you refer them, they will receive the early bird rate ($100 off) by using the code 2018InstituteReferral. Thank you for your willingness to support the UUMA, and the Institute. And we hope to see you in January!!

Have You Been Thinking about Getting a Coach?

It isn't too late!  The UUMA peer clergy coaching program now offers rolling enrollment. If there is something you want to work on that you think may take time to consider, our traditional coaching model offers roughly monthly calls over 8 to 10 sessions to allow time and space for extended and unfolding exploration and practice.  If you have a clear and focused goal that you need some support to work toward, our fast track coaching model offers 4 to 6 sessions roughly every other week for an intensive period of attention and effort.  
 
If you have a goal this year you are working on, are in discernment about some aspect of your ministry, feel stuck in some way or need help making a plan for getting where you know you want to go, coaching could be a great resource for you.  Learn more and follow the easy instructions for getting started!  Click Here For Details
Announcing the first ever joint UUMA/Hungarian Unitarian Church Ministers Association Pilgrimage 
 
The UU Partner Church Council working collaboratively with the UUMA and the Hungarian Unitarian Church (HUC) Ministers Association is thrilled to offer the first ever joint UUMA/HUC Ministers Association pilgrimage in conjunction with celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda. Beginning and ending in Kolozsv├ír/Cluj, this pilgrimage will take participants to the region's most significant Unitarian holy places including Torda, Gyulaferhervar & Deva. It will include attending the dedication of the Center for Religious Freedom in the renovated Bishop's House in Kolozsv├ír and a conference on religious freedom led by a panel of theologians from Transylvania, the US, Indonesia, India and Burundi (including Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt). The pilgrimage will include three days of conversation and programming with Hungarian Unitarian Church colleagues at a retreat center in the Transylvanian Unitarian heartland. 

This pilgrimage is ONLY open to members of the UUMA who are in preliminary or final fellowship and members of the Hungarian Unitarian Church Ministers Association. In order to foster bonds with Hungarian Unitarian Church counterparts that might endure for many years of service in ministry, priority registration will be given to ministers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.  

In addition to this main trip, we also offer an optional 4 day/3 night pre-trip extension to Budapest. Contact UUPCC Executive Director Rev. Roger Bertschausen or visit the Registration Page for more information. 

Price: from $1,295/minister + $150 registration fee (airfare not included). Limited travel grants will be available from the UUPCC and possibly other sources for ministers in their 20s, 30s, or 40s. Registration closes: April 17, 2018 - 11:00pm CDT.
Membership Renewals Due By Oct 15

When we shifted memberships to match the fiscal year all memberships expired on June 30. Because of the realities of our accounting systems all dues are payable beginning July 1 and must be paid by October 15 to retain membership. Please also remember that if you require a waiver you must submit your request by October 15.

About Waivers: Must be requested by Oct 15. Members may not receive a waiver more than three years in a row without special circumstances. Documentation presented can include one of the following: most recent tax return (first page) or a detailed list of income and expenses. Members on disability will be granted a full waiver with SRI documentation.

Waiver Sliding Scale:
First Year Requested: 75% off: $62 (parish) / $31 (non-parish)
Second Year Requested: 50% off: $125 (parish) / $75 (non-parish)
Third Year Requested: 25% off: $188 (parish) / $95 (non-parish)
Full waivers granted on case by case basis.

Membership Discounts: If you belong to a separate organization that is necessary to your ministry, you may use a discount code to deduct a portion of your dues. One code is allowed per membership. If applying this code to your membership brings your dues amount below the minimum you are requested to pay the minimum. Click here to view available codes.
 
To renew, log in to your profile at uuma.org and click on the Membership Info link in the My Profile menu. If you are already logged in you can click here. If you are having trouble, please contact Janette Lallier
 
Team Up To Tune Up Your Benefits in October 
 
Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager
Are you participating in UUA insurance or retirement plans? If so, your congregation has committed to honoring the terms of these plans, terms that comply with federal laws and represent our Association's obligations to Plan providers. Congregations that operate outside of plan rules put their participation in our plans at risk, may negatively impact their employees, and jeopardize the UUA's ability to provide these benefits.
 
You know it's important, but learning the rules and making sure that your congregation is following them feels overwhelming. We get it! That's why the Office of Church Staff Finances has created a new Benefits Tune-up Workbook. Designed to be completed by a small team, the Workbook uses fill-in-the-blanks and multiple choice questions to walk leaders through the basics. We've incorporated reflection questions and left plenty of white space. We're urging every congregation to complete this workbook in October (and occasionally thereafter).

We need your help. Please make sure that this resource is seen and used in your congregation. Whether or not you decide to be part of the Tune-up Team yourself, your encouragement and attention are critical to the success of the effort. Thank you for alerting and engaging your administrator (AUUA members have been helpful and enthusiastic!), personnel team, finance leaders, and board. We've put the word out through many communication vehicles, so we hope they've already heard about it.
In actively supporting your congregation's tune-up process, you are encouraging leaders to take good care of your whole staff team as a way of practicing the values of justice and equity within the walls of your congregation. This is also about establishing robust systems and meeting legal requirements. We want your congregation to be a reliable and confident employer, and your voice is necessary to the conversation.
 
My easiest email: comp@uua.org. To receive monthly updates with tips and resources on compensation, staffing, and personnel, sign up here for Compensation and Staffing News
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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. Melissa Carvill Ziemer,
Acting Executive Director
 
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