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Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

July 9, 2020

Wendy Williams, UUMA President

Wendy Williams UUMA President

Because We Need One Another


I’ve never been a big party-goer. As a raging introvert, the whole thing felt both intimidating and exhausting. All of which, apparently, meant I was destined to marry an extrovert and become a parish minister. Early in my marriage, as a compromise I suppose, we would plan and host dinner parties for a small group. One of us could get excited about the people and their energy, and the other of us could plan and cook a meal.


It was lovely. Except. A couple of hours before our guests were to arrive, I always got nervous. As a laid-back sort, I was always taken aback by the unfamiliarity of the feeling. And I’m pretty sure I dealt with it by getting ornery. This was, of course, before the days of any spiritual practice of presence. I doubt I had ever heard of someone like Sylvia Boorstein who has taught me and others to slow down and put our hands on hearts asking with curiosity, “Sweetheart, you’re in pain. What’s going on?”


Had I known anything about slowing down and going inward, I would have realized in those moments that I was scared. I was scared that no one would come to our party and if they came they wouldn’t like the food or they wouldn’t have fun. I was scared they wouldn’t like each other or that I would say something wrong.


Of course, people did come. We shared a meal and survived our own insecurities, as well as an evening together. We showed up as humans do, yearning for the warmth of connection and fearful of the vulnerability it takes to get there. Ultimately, our need for one another surpassed our practiced modes of isolation and self-protection.


As Ministry Days happened on all the many days they did, my body jangled a bit and orneriness came out. A short pause and inward dive, revealed the same old fears. No one will come. Our process will unravel. I will say or do something stupid.


And so, I returned to practice, breathing in and out. Doing what I could to be ready. Trusting others to do the same. And you came! Over 600 of you beautiful souls came. More screen time wasn’t what many of us wanted and yet, you logged in. Multiple hours spent on Bylaw changes and Guideline revisions and proposed amendments, and you hung in there. Technology glitches and procedural issues, and you stayed with us.


Ministry Days 2020 was a success because we accepted and practiced our need for one another. Like me, maybe you were nervous and cranky in the hours leading up to our time, but to all of you who risked and showed up and discussed and processed and voted, thank you. Thank you. Our UUMA is better equipped to inspire transformative ministries that work toward our collective liberation by our shared work and presence.


I appreciate all of you and the honor of serving as the President of your UUMA Board of Trustees.



Applications Invited: Good Offices Right Relationship Specialization


The function of the Good Offices Right Relationship Guide is to serve as support, coach and companion for members of the UUMA concerned about a break in our covenant as a result of a member’s violation of our code of conduct. The Guides are available to work with members who have been directly harmed by the break in covenant and are also available to work with members who have violated our code and want to work toward repair and restoration. The specific roles that the Good Offices Right Relationship Guide may play in any given situation are described in the Accountability Procedures section of the UUMA Guidelines.


To learn more about the requirements and expectations for the role and to apply,

Summer Updates:

While June is a busy month filled with worship, meetings, and events, July is busy in a different way. One of the things the UUMA works on over the updating the website. As we complete the updates we will post links here.

Please note that during the summer months
we will be publishing this newsletter biweekly.


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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UUMA Tagline: Because We Need One Another


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