Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

June 28, 2019

Honoring What's Magic: A Reflection from our UUMA Intern


Sana Saeed, UUMA Intern

Dear Colleagues,


I don’t know how your Ministry Days and General Assembly went, but my experience was intense and I find myself still creating space in the aftermath as a chaplain for folx in the UU POCI community. But I don’t want to go into hashing out what happened at either event. Instead, I want to explore, with intention, a question Rev. Rebekah Ann Savage asked in the UUMA POCI (People of Color and Indigenous folx) Chapter’s Facebook group: What made General Assembly magic for you?


This word ‘magic’ has been whispering in my mind for the last few days. As I thought of it, I felt the easing of pressure and found myself slowly halting. It allowed me to realize there were magical things that happened for me, and there were magical things that some other POCIs were doing at both Ministry Days and General Assembly. As I exit out of the position of UUMA Intern and enter into the Collegiality Program Assistant role, I would like to share with you a few things that made Ministry Days and General Assembly magical for me.

  • The first magical thing to happen was a surprise. I was very happy and grateful to receive my first stole ever! It was a parting gift from the UUMA as I finish up my internship. It’s also a gift only given to UUMA interns and UUMA board members to acknowledge their work and service, which is cool! But the best thing about it is that it is part purple, my favorite color! (check out the picture Cheryl M. Walker took at the POCI reception that happened at GA).
  • I discovered some internal magic (not at this GA or Ministry Days) over the course of the internship with the mentorship of Melissa Carvill Ziemer, where I learned to own my truth. I now find myself leaning towards my authority and leadership as a minister, and moving past fear influenced by the insecurities of others. At this GA, I found myself grounding myself in this knowledge and embracing the resilience that my story is rooted within, a resilience where I find strength and know I can make it through challenges.
  • Another magical thing that happened was working with amazing colleagues to lead covenant groups. To be honest, I really didn’t think we would have enough facilitators in time for ministry days, which I expressed to Melissa with some panic. But thanks to some magic and the power of collegial connections/listservs, we ended up having 51 facilitators, out of which 32 facilitated identity-based groups. We also had 12 offsite facilitators and many on-call facilitators ready to help if someone couldn’t facilitate at the last minute. Their energy was magical!
  • The magic was also being with friends. More particularly, a friend of mine who I've known for 14 years outside of UU circles was invited to be at GA this year, even though she doesn’t identify as UU. . Vanessa wrote a recommendation letter for me when I applied to Harvard Divinity School to move towards my calling. It was great to see her and have someone from my larger community with me at GA who has been supportive of my ministry from the beginning. The most magical part of this reunion was that she gave me a gift of succulent plants from her garden in California to take home to Philadelphia (and they made it!).
  • Some more magic to end on: I am proud to move into the role of President of DRUUMM and - I am aware I have a pretty high bar to meet moving into this role after our colleague Rev. Ranwa Hammamy. In the last two years as DRUUMM President, Ranwa moved us towards a new direction of growth and deepened relationships. I am excited that as part of the DRUUMM Steering Committee’s work this year, we were able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UUA to re-establish a relationship and commitment that ended ten years ago.

I am so grateful for the experience of this internship and the relationships formed through this time. I am also excited to be staying with the UUMA as the organization continues to move courageously towards transformation, rooted in justice.


UUMA Learning Online


The UUMA is launching its online learning platform, UUMA Learning Online, in September 2019! The following courses will be available at launch, with more added throughout the year:

  • Lessons from Beyond the Call 3 (Series of mini-courses on Entrepreneurial Ministry)
  • Intro to Healthy Boundaries
  • Accountability Guidelines Study Guide
  • Ethics Guidelines Study Guide

We will be Beta testing the site in July. Please contact if you are interested in being one of our testers.


UUMA Institute for the Learning Ministry


When: February 8-12, 2021


Where: We are excited to announce that the next UUMA Institute will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Mission Bay in sunny San Diego, California.


Why: In reviewing west coast venues, we selected San Diego because of the ease of airport access and the relative cost of venues. After visiting properties in downtown San Diego, Mission Valley, and Mission Bay, our clear home was the Hyatt Regency. Located on a beautiful marina and close to the beach, the most compelling aspect of the Hyatt’s presentation is their commitment to sustainable, organic and farm to table catering. In addition, the size of the hotel will allow our group to be the only group on property.


What’s New: In addition to a new name, we are excited to announce that the UUA Pacific Western Regional Assembly will be held the following weekend to allow local colleagues to combine trips. The committees are already busy brainstorming collaborations!


Timeline (How to spread out payments):

- June 15, 2019 - February 15, 2020: After this date, you can reserve your room directly with the hotel and pay on-site.

- December 15, 2019: Program Early-Bird Registration Opens (50% due on registration, 50% due on April 15, 2020)

- April 15, 2020: Program Registration Rates Increase (50% due on registration, 50% due on August 15, 2020)

- August 15, 2020: Program Registration Rates Increase (50% due on registration, 50% due on December 15, 2020)

- December 15, 2020: Registration Closes (no onsite registration available)



Be in Touch!


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feedback, and ideas!


Thank you for your service in the world

and for your commitment and passion

for ministry.




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