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Ministry Days Programming

Monday Registration, Reception, and Welcome

Pick up your registration materials outside the Grand Ballroom A-B of the Davenport Grand anytime between 2:00 and 7:00 on Monday, then head over to meet your colleagues and watch the sunset on the Rooftop Deck of the Spokane Convention Center at our wonderful opening reception! Join your colleagues as we enjoy each other’s company, reconnect, and sample food and music of Spokane. Again, this year we will have a game area which is family friendly where pastor parents, their partners, and other members can gather with their children for games (people are encouraged to bring a favorite game). In the connected main space, there will be food and conversation from 7:00‐8:00 and live music from 8:00‐9:30. We will all be together at 7:45 for a welcome from your UUMA Board.

Cafe and Sensory Break Space

This year we are providing alternate spaces for participants to take a break from the programming. In addition to a simple café (with chairs, and complimentary coffee and snacks), a separate room designated as a sensory break room, with low stimulation and space for attendees to sit, move around, or lie down will be available.

Tuesday Opening Worship

We will begin our day with worship on the theme Stronger in the Broken Places: Accountable Nurturing of our Shared Ministry. Worship will blend into a time of small group reflection, where we will go deeper into the topic. As is our tradition, we will joyfully celebrate the dedication of children in our collegial community during this worship service. If you would like to have your child dedicated during the service, please indicate so on your registration form or inform Janette Lallier, Director of Operations, at by June 1. Because our morning session will include small group work in a large space, we ask that anyone who is sensitive to background noise please indicate so on their registration form so that we may have an appropriate number of alternate spaces available.

About the Presenters:

Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley ministers to North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock, VT. He is deeply committed to the hard work of compassion and forgiveness on the individual and interpersonal dimensions as well as on the institutional and structural dimensions. He is also a Red Sox fan, a fierce dog-lover and an unabashed beer snob. Rev. Dunkley serves on the UUMA’s Leadership Development Committee.


Rev. Debra Faulk is currently in her 9th year serving in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Debra is a life-long UU. Her passions are relational, building beloved community within her congregation and beyond through Interfaith engagement, reconciliation processes with the Indigenous people and community organizing. She is currently a Good Officer and member of the UUMA’s Collegial Development Team. 


 Rev. Duncan Teague is the founding minister for the emerging Abundant LUUv Congregation of the West End community in Atlanta, GA. Abundant LUUv is led by a Core Team of eight and celebrated their first anniversary in February. Teague serves on The UUMA’s Committee for Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Multiculturalism, and he is a member of the Southeast UUMA chapter on the Nominating Committee.

Tuesday & Wednesday Lunch

To provide much needed time for you to connect with your colleagues, we have opened the schedule to allow for longer lunches. We hope that you will use this time to both reconnect with old friends and to meet new colleagues. On Tuesday, we will provide a simple lunch of soup and salad in the main meeting space so that we might all share a meal and make new connections. To help old friends reconnect with each other, we will again use Meet‐Ups to gather over Wednesday lunch (you can also plan an evening gathering!). Anyone can create a Meet‐up or look over what’s been created and join in. Please note: No breakfasts will be provided, but the morning break will be a little fuller. To help you plan your meals, menus will be available in May.

Collegial Conversations

Do you have a proposal for a Collegial Conversation? Collegial conversations are a time for colleagues to gather and discuss topics of importance within the UUMA, the UUA, and the life of ministry. Past topics have included Guidelines Revision, Ministerial Transitions, Retirement, Addiction Ministry, Race and Collegiality. Please send a title and description to Rev. Melissa Carvill Ziemer, Director of Collegial Practices, by the end of March ( We will select conversations to host from among those submitted in April, with a goal of ensuring we have a range of conversations for your consideration.

Conversation with UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

Gather with your UUMA Colleagues for the annual conversation with the UUA President.

Art as a Spiritual Practice

End the day with an opportunity to engage the theme of Stronger in the Broken Places through art and spirituality. Using different modalities, we will explore the power in our brokenness, especially when shared in community.              

Wednesday: 25/50 Worship

Continuing a long tradition, UUMA Colleagues will gather on Wednesday morning in celebration of Ministry. This year’s speakers, representing ministers ordained in 1969 and 1994, will be the Reverends John Nichols (50-year class) and Joan Montagnes (25-year class). 

John Nichols graduated from Dickinson College in 1965 and Meadville Theological School in 1969. He served the Unitarian and Universalist congregations in Canton MA, the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale IL, and, for twenty-three years, the Unitarian Society of Wellesley Hills, MA, where he is Minister Emeritus. He is an Accredited Interim Minster, having served ten UU congregations in that capacity. John is the author of four books with a fifth moving toward publication. He and his wife, Nancy, are parents of two adult children and grandparents of five.


Joan Montagnes was born in Toronto, Canada. She was educated at the University of Toronto and picked up a degree in Botany at the University of Alberta before entering Meadville Lombard Theological School for the Ministry in 1990. She likes to believe that science is a good foundation for a life in the ministry, but who's kidding who? Joan has been honored to serve congregations in Edmonton, Alberta; Beaconsfield, Quebec; Wenatchee, Washington.


Annual Meeting

There is a lot going on in the UUMA. Join us for our annual meeting when we will hear about new initiatives, consider proposed changes to the UUMA guidelines, elect new leaders, and celebrate those who have served. Gather with your Colleagues and be part of UUMA history.

Berry Street Lecture:

Truth, Trauma, and Transformation: Embracing the Cracks and the Gold

Rev. Leslie Takahashi came into Unitarian Universalism as a young adult and credits the faith with saving her life. Unitarianism was her family religion on her mother’s side—and she was raised unchurched. She has served in various leadership positions in the UUA, the UUMA, and at the district and cluster level. She has been privileged to serve as convenor of the Accountability Panel for Justice GA, as part of the planning team for the last Convo, as president of DRUUMM and as part of two on-going collegial study groups which ground her. She is the co-author, with Rev, Chip Rouch and Leon Spencer of The Arc of the Universe is Long: Race and the UUA, published by Skinner House and is a contributor to a number of UU anthologies and to Worship Web. Currently, she serves as Lead Minister of the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church and as the Chair of the Commission on Institutional Change. She is the grateful parent of Garner Takahashi Morris and Liam Takahashi and mother to canine trauma-survivors Crystal and Ferdinand.

Gathering for Aspirants and Candidates

All aspirants and candidates are invited to gather for a reception from 3:45 to 5:00 pm on Wednesday after the Berry Street Essay. This is an opportunity for connection with one another and with some of the leaders of the UUMA, as well as a chance to meet with Rev. David Pettee, the UUA’s Ministerial Credentialing Director, and Jesse King, Chair of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409
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