Metro NY Minute – November 2013
News from the District
The 2014 District Annual Meeting will be held May 2-3, 2014, and you are invited to submit a proposal to facilitate a workshop. To submit a proposal, click here.
The third annual Thirty Days of Love sponsored by Stand on the Side of Love will run from January 18 through February 16, 2014. Thirty Days of Love is a period of intentional action, service, education, and reflection. This year’s campaign will focus on four themes: Living the Dream, Sharing our Stories, Building Bridges of Love, and Pause, Reflect, Celebrate! On February 16, congregations are invited to end the Thirty Days of Love with Share the Love Sunday, a chance for your congregation to help support social justice work.
More Good Stuff to Check Out!
Worship Service Providers available to District congregations
RE-Sources for religious education leaders
CERG Resources by Topic for congregation leaders
CERG On-Demand Webinars for congregation leaders
Job Opportunities around the District
InterConnections for lay leaders
Congregational Bulletin, UUA monthly email
uuworld.org, the UUA online magazine
UU Service Committee news
Original Blessing, a UU Congregation, is now the 52nd congregation of the District. On October 20, the UUA approved the congregation’s application for membership. The Rev. Ian Maher White (pictured), principal organizer of the congregation, serves as Lead Minister. The Rev. Amy Strano serves as Minister of Spiritual Care. Danielle Mussafi serves as Director of Religious Education. The congregation holds services and religious exploration classes each Sunday at 5:00 pm at Awakening New York in Brooklyn NY. Congratulations!
Defying Gravity: Wonderful Ways to Worship -- the Eighth Annual Leadership Day – was held November 9 at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (Manhasset NY), featuring keynote speaker the Rev. Christine Robinson, contemporary worship musician Vance Bass, Patricia Infante on worship as adult faith development, and workshops tailored to specific leadership roles. More than 150 people attended. Presenters’ materials are available online.
The Rev. Susan Karlson, CERG Disaster Relief Coordinator, and Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Lanoka Harbor NJ have teamed up to provide worksites and lodging for Sandy Volunteers. Murray Grove is providing a newly renovated bunkhouse for this purpose. Contact the Rev. Karlson at 347-979-6742 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get your congregations social action project started. She is available to meet with congregations and offer sermons about this initiative. Visit the CERG UU Sandy Recovery facebook page and the CERG Sandy Recovery Efforts website for more Sandy recovery news and information.
Does your congregation's mission mean what you think it means? How do you determine how close the stated mission is to what the congregation is actually doing? Read more on "auditing your mission" by Chris Buja, District Growth and Vitality Consultant.
Charlie Schott, member of the District Board of Trustees and Central East Regional Group (CERG) Transition Team shares his thoughts on the first meeting of the Transition Team. “There is broad consensus that a region and its field staff will serve our congregations better than our current district structure . . . the potential benefits are so compelling, e.g., economies of scale, specialization of staff, focused assistance to congregations, exploitation of technology to enhance support and transcend geographical constraints.” Read more.
Scheduled webinars from the Central East Regional Group (CERG) include:
November 20: Pleased to Meet You: Training Greeters
December 12: Ministry to Families: Managing Learning Differences in an RE Program
December 18: When in Doubt, Retreat: Fun and Effective Team Building Activities for Your Board, Committees and Congregation
January 19, 2014: Multicultural Ministry with Children
February 13, 2014: Meaningful Multigenerational Worship
March 13, 2014: Ministry to Families: Supporting Families in Good Times and Bad
April 10, 2013: Volunteer Recruitment and Enrichment
May 8, 2014: Making the Most of Technology in RE
June 12, 2014: Planning for Teacher Development and Orientation (for DREs)
For information about on-demand CERG webinars, click here.
News from the UUA
Jim Key, UUA Moderator, submitted his report on the first formal meeting of the UUA Board of Trustees October 17-20. "Building on many years of challenging and effective work by previous boards, the newly constituted UUA board gathered in Boston for its first formal meeting. The anticipated agility and other benefits of a smaller board were evident from the start," wrote Key. Read the report. Read more about the meeting in UU World magazine. Pictured are Jim Key (right) and the Rev. Peter Morales, UUA President.
The Rev. Peter Morales, UUA President, issued a statement on October 21 applauding the legalization of same-sex marriage in New Jersey. "Today, New Jersey becomes the 14th state to allow marriage equality ensuring equal rights for its citizens. It is a historic day and a victory for all who support justice and equality.” Read more. On November 14, he issued a statement in support of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii and Illinois. “Yesterday, the governor of Hawaii signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The governor of Illinois has pledged to sign their state’s marriage equality bill that the Illinois State Legislature recently passed. I applaud the great efforts of all who helped secure this victory.” Read more.
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, the UUA and UU Service Committee (UUSC) have launched a joint special appeal for Philippine relief efforts. As is the practice with international disaster relief, UUSC will take the lead in distributing funds where they can do the most good, targeting contributions toward those most marginalized.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 memorializes those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. All are invited to join in for the third annual virtual Transgender Day of Remembrance service on Sunday, November 17 at 9 pm. Hosted by the Church of the Larger Fellowship in collaboration with Standing on the Side of Love, Multicultural Ministries, and the transgender-led coalition TDOR Unite!, the theme for this powerful service is "Our Lives Are Valuable."
The General Assembly office is now taking booth reservations for exhibitors at General Assembly 2014 June 25-29 in Providence RI. Space is limited, so reserve early. The deadline for reserving space is January 31, 2014. For more information, click here.
The Faith Development Office now offers a new, two-columned Word document and PDF file format for downloading all 14 Tapestry of Faith children's (K-6) religious education programs. The two-columned project is a response to religious educators' requests for the UUA's flagship curricula to be on fewer pages and have tables of content. The new format also offers brighter, larger graphics. Visit the 16-session, K/1 program, Creating Home, to see an example. Adult and youth Tapestry of Faith programs, downloadable in the new format, will be available soon.
The deadline to participate in the groundbreaking UUA Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project Survey has been extended to November 30. If you are a youth aged 13 and older, a person of color, religious professional, or self-identify as a UU, take the survey and spread the word. For more information, click here.
Congregation-Based Community Organizing Matching Grants from the UU Funding Program are available to congregations considering participating in a CBCO organization and/or to receive training. To apply, see the CBCO Application Information and the CBCO Application . There are now almost 200 UU CBCO Congregations. CBCO Training grants are considered on a rolling application basis, while matching grants for CBCO membership will be considered with the regular UU Funding Program grant cycle.
News from Congregations
Milestones and Transitions
The Rev. Meredith Garmon was installed as Minister by the Community Unitarian Church at White Plains (NY) on November 10.
The Rev. Natalie Fenimore will be installed as Minister of Lifespan Religious Education by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (Manhasset NY) on November 17 at 4:00 pm.
The Rev. Jennifer Kelleher will be installed as Minister by the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills (Somerville NJ) on January 12 at 4:00 pm at Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg NJ.
The Rev. Sarah Lenzi will be installed as Minister by the UU Fellowship of Briarcliff, Croton, and Ossining (Croton-on-Hudson NY) on March 2 at 5:00 pm. Location to be determined. Note: Previously scheduled for December 8.
Ministers at District congregations in New Jersey began performing wedding ceremonies for same sex couples immediately following the legalization of same sex marriages on October 21. Read about the UU Congregation of Monmouth County (Lincroft NJ). Read about the Unitarian Society in Ridgewood (NJ). Read about the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship (Morristown NJ). Read about the Rev. Kim Tomaszewski exchanging vows at the Unitarian Church in Summit (NJ). Read about the UU Congregation at Montclair (NJ). The Rev. Tracy Sprowls-Jenks, Minister at the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (NJ) was among the invited guests as senator-elect Cory Booker, mayor of Newark NJ, presided over seven same-sex marriages at Newark city hall. Mayor Booker had refused to marry any couples until same-sex marriage was legalized.
Newly elected UUA Moderator Jim Key spoke to a group of interested UUs from Danbury, Stamford, New Haven, and Westport at the Unitarian Church in Westport (CT) on October 12. Read all about "Joining the Move" and Jim's vision for the UUA .
The Youth Choir of the UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY), led by Choir Director Lyz Mortati, serenaded the congregation at the installation of the Rev. Jude Geiger on October 13. The choir sang Home, stomped some of the parts, and got a standing ovation from the congregation.
The UU Congregation of Queens (Flushing NY) was the final stop on the 5th Annual Queens Interfaith Unity Walk. After visiting Saint George’s Episcopal Church, the Taoist Temple, the Sikh Center of New York, and the Tenrikyo Buddhist Temple and learning about their faiths, the congregation welcomed fellow walkers into the church. The Rev. Orlanda Brugnola spoke, and the congregation hosted a meal.
The Rev. Jude Geiger, Minister at the UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY), shares his thoughts in his latest piece in the Huffington Post, titled “Helplessness: Lessons From Childhood.” Read the article.
Other Noteworthy Items
Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center is sponsoring UU Religious Education History and Heritage, March 3-6, 2014. Workshops on religious education history conducted by the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Strong, 2010 winner of the Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education, and Barb Greve, Master level Credentialed Religious Educator. Attendance will qualify as a structured learning experience for the Philosophy of RE – UU competency, and as a significant structured learning experience for the credentialed level. During their free time, participants can rest, relax, walk the labyrinth, sing around the fire pit, hike the nature trail, play games, and enjoy arts and crafts.
The Church of the Larger Fellowship offers UU-themed pendants and notecards at Amazon. Type CLF UU in the search field. If a congregation wants to order in bulk, call Beth Murray at 617-948-6150.
Upcoming Meetings and Workshops
Long Island Leadership Institute Session 2: November 23, UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset NY. For more information, contact Chris Morris.
SASSY (Social Action Service Seminar for Youth/Advisors): January 17-19, 2014, Unitarian Church of Staten Island, Staten Island NY. More information to come.
Long Island Leadership Institute Session 3: January 18, 2014, South Nassau UU Congregation, Freeport NY. For more information, contact Chris Morris.
Long Island Leadership Institute Session 4: February 8, 2014, UU Fellowship of Huntington, Huntington NY. For more information, contact Chris Morris.