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UUMA Weekly News July 26, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

July 26, 2019

Feeling Our Way Through:

Discernment after Ministry Days and General Assembly


Sana Saeed’s article in a recent was a celebration of some of the magic she found at Ministry Days and General Assembly in Spokane this year. Indeed, as we trust you who were there witnessed, there was much to celebrate and honor in both gatherings. And, as you likely experienced or heard, there were also some challenging moments. Our proposed Guidelines, while generally embraced with hope and gratitude, were upsetting to others both before and during our gathering. Additionally, some of our colleagues experienced microaggressions in the 25/50 worship service.* Amidst these tensions, Melissa ministered to us by offering a prayer to hold us in covenant and invite us into our best becoming. Then, later in the week, many of our members were activated by the contents of a book by a colleague and member, which he was disseminating widely during the General Assembly.**


All of this, as well as the events of the last few years, have us in deep discernment about what is called for from us as leaders. We have found it helpful to consider the ways these experiences may be connected. The conflict regarding the proposed Guidelines Revisions, the ongoing reality of microaggressions in our collegial gatherings and the controversy surrounding our colleague’s book seem to have some common ground related to:

  • the work of dismantling white supremacy culture in our institutions, associations and congregations,
  • the impact of trauma in our institutions, associations and
    congregations and in our wider world and what it means for us to be
  • how we do or should or could handle conflict and practice
    accountability for ministers,
  • and questions about authority and responsibility and the appropriate role of the UUMA.

Rest assured that in our discernment and in our actions, we are committed to remaining aligned with our core values. Thus, we are honoring our collegial relationships among ourselves and with our collaborators in other organizations, facilitating learning for our members and nurturing anti-racist, anti-oppressive and multicultural practice. Our commitment is to the health and integrity of our ministry and to the flourishing of our faith.


As we are in discernment, we don’t have any detailed plans to share with you about what comes next. We recognize that many of you may find this disappointing or frustrating. However, we value transparency and honesty over expediency. As much as we wish we had a clear path forward, we just aren’t there yet. Still, we want you to know where we are in our deliberation and discernment about how we are called to lead and how to support and equip you as leaders in this faith we share.


As soon as we are able, we will share more. For now, we just want to remind you that if you have particular questions or want to share your perspective, we are always happy to hear from you.


In faith,

Rev. Wendy Williams, President of the UUMA Board and

Rev. Melissa Carvill Ziemer, Director of Collegial Practices


*You can access a recording of the

**You can access several public statements about the book in question and the response it stirred here:




UUMA chalice at General Assembly in Spokane, WA with pink roses in front of it

What's New in Continuing Education?

There is a lot happening this Fall in Continuing Education.


Following up on the recommendations from the Continuing Education Task Force, we have developed Continuing Education Standards ( to view them). These will guide us as we live into a learning ministry. We invite you to take a look at them and try living into them for the year. The system to track your continuing education hours will be available beginning August 15. Check the Eupdate in two weeks for more information as well as a special opportunity!


Important Dates:

  • August 15: Launch of the system to track continuing education hours on the website
  • September 1: Online Learning Platform will launch on the website
  • September 15: Guidelines Study Guides available on the website

Moved? It's Time to Update Your Chapter

  • Log in to your account at
  • Navigate to the Group Page for your new chapter. .
  • Once on the Group Page for your new chapter click the "Join the Group" link on the upper left hand side of the Group Page.
  • Click on the "Groups" link in the "My Profile" box in the upper right area of the page. (You will see your old chapter listed as your primary group. And your new chapter listed as well).
  • Click on the drop-down box in the "Primary Group Management" section. Select your new chapter as your primary group. Click "Update."
  • Visit your old chapter and click the "Leave this Group" link on Options Menu


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.




Follow us on:


Director of Collegial Practices


Director of Education


Director of Operations


, pro tem

Melissa, Darrick, and Janette




Education Program Assistant


Collegiality Program Assistant


Did you miss a previous issue? Our goal this year is to provide

shorter, more frequent updates. If you missed one,



Higher Logic

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