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Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

October 15, 2020

Rod Richards, Vice President UUMA Board of Trustees

Start Where You Are


There is a popular teaching from Lao Tzu which is often quoted as: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


In other words (mindful of ableist metaphors), the journey begins with the very first movement in the direction we have chosen to go. However, there is another translation which I have come to cherish even more which suggests that the journey actually begins with the ground beneath us. It begins exactly where we are.


I thought of this when Kathleen McTigue and Ashley Horan invited participants in the into the realization that it all begins with being grounded. The journey we are on together in these days leading up to and following the election is not so much about where we are going, but rather what is coming. How do we remain flexible enough to respond to whatever may occur, and courageous enough to be proactive in creating a context of compassionate engagement for whatever happens? And where do we find strength and consolation when fear is all around (and within) us and when so many people are suffering losses of many kinds?


“Our safety and strength lie in relationships and community, constantly renewed and endlessly expandable,” Kathleen McTigue said. “Those working toward liberation and justice are legion.” How beautiful is that? The culture tells us that needing others is a sign of weakness, when actually it means we are connecting with the most powerful energy source there is--constantly renewed and endlessly expandable! I cannot remember a time in my 19 years of ministry when I have witnessed this kind of excitement around and engagement with collaborative, creative and supportive efforts across congregations, between colleagues, and with other religious professionals and lay leaders. We are plugging into that inexhaustible energy source like never before. It is so good to know you are there, dear colleagues.


You all are beautifully and powerfully living out the words of the Why statement, expressing the reason the UUMA exists:

Calling forth courageous and transformative ministries empowered by love

committed to collective liberation...

because we need one another.


Do not hesitate to call out for help or to offer it. Everything begins exactly where you are. The ground underneath you at this moment is holy ground. And each of you are a gift to this world.


Interdependently yours,


Realism and Resilience Recording Available Click here! with UUMA, UUA, and UUSC logos next to each other

Click above to view the recording

Institute for the Learning Ministry 2022


It's not too early to register for the !


Even though the Institute has been moved to January 31- February 4, 2022, you can *. Doing so allows you to split the costs over three years, with registration this year, flights in 2021 and housing at the institute in 2022. The early registration rate ends on December 15, 2020. If a scholarship will help you, the deadline for the first round is November 15. You can apply for scholarships .


We are excited to announce the for the 2022 Institute. The UUMA believes in the power of shared ministry and wants to support vital shared ministry staff teams by making our 2022 UUMA Institute for the Learning Ministry available to other religious professionals. We recognize that many religious professionals do not have the same professional expense funds or income that ministers receive and, thanks to the generous support of the UU Funding Panel, are excited to offer full scholarships to religious professionals who wish to attend the Institute as part of a staff team.


More information and the application form can be found .


*If you registered previously your registration is all set to go.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay San Diego Site of the 2022 Institute

Opportunities for Connection


12 Step Recovery Meeting: Mondays at 1pm ET/ 12pm CT/ 11am MT/ 10am PT. This meeting is especially for clergy and led by a UUMA member. Registration is not required but you can find the Zoom link .


Chaplain Support Gatherings: We are grateful that a group of UU Chaplains has agreed to resume holding weekly support calls for chaplains beginning next week. Starting next week (October 19) calls will be held on Mondays and Thursdays 8 to 9 ET and Mondays and Thursdays 8 to 9 PT. Chaplains are encouraged to drop in to any of the dates and times that work for you to get support for this challenging time in ministry. Registration isn't required but if you'd like to get a reminder please register at the links below. Zoom information is listed on the calendar links below.


Eastern Time:

Pacific Time:


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.




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Director of Ministries for Collegial Care


Director of Ministries for Lifelong Learning


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Lifelong Learning Assistant


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UUMA Tagline: Because We Need One Another


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