Metro NY Minute

Metro NY Minute – 
May 2014

News from the District

Worth Repeating!

UUMAC 2014 takes place July 13-19, 2014, at DeSales University in Center Valley PA. The Theme for the week is  "Spiritual Wisdom -- With or Without God." The Theme Speaker will be the Rev. Bruce Southworth and the Minister of the Week will be the Rev. Sandra Fees.

Camping in the Grove at the Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Lanoka Harbor NJ is scheduled for August 10-14 for children entering fourth through seventh grade in September 2014. For more information, click here .

Universalist Convocation 2014 will be held May 16-18 at Heritage UU Church in Cincinnati OH. The theme is The Rainbow of Universalism: LGBT and the Good News of Inclusion, featuring keynote speaker Susan Ritchie. For more information, contact Rich Koster.

Are you an experienced, trusted congregational leader who is looking for a new challenge? Would you like the opportunity to serve our faith by growing other leaders? The new Central East Regional Group (CERG) “Peer Host” program may be for you! Peer Hosts will be partnering with CERG staff to host the cluster-based, in-person sessions of the new Hybrid/Online UU Leadership Team Institute (H-UULTI) debuting in the Fall of 2014. For more information visit, click here, or contact the Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

If you can’t make the trip to Providence RI for General Assembly 2014, you can still watch live streaming of events in Plenary Hall, or view them afterwards. Events covered are Opening Celebration, All Plenary Sessions, Morning Worship in the Plenary Hall, including the Sunday Morning Worship, Service of the Living Tradition, Synergy Bridging Service, Ware Lecture, and Closing Ceremony.

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, the UUA online magazine

UU Service Committee news

Hundreds of UUs from across the District attended the 2014 District Annual Meeting May 2-3 at the Hyatt Morristown in Morristown NJ, featuring keynote speaker Carey McDonald, UUA Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries; a 50-voice District Choir, led by Marjorie Herman, Director of Music at the UU Congregation of Princeton (NJ); and the Central Unitarian Church House Band. View a slide show of pictures.

Delegates to the 2014 District Annual Meeting elected four District trustees and three members of the District Nominating Committee. Elected as District trustee serving two-year terms were the Rev. Margaret Allen, Minister at the UU Fellowship at Stony Brook (NY), the Rev. Jude Geiger, Minister at the UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY), Ryan Novosielski, member of the Fourth Universalist Society (Manhattan), and Charlie Schott, member of the UU Congregation of Danbury (CT). Elected as a member of the District Nominating Committee serving two-year terms were Sarah Ahrens, member of the First UU Fellowship of Hunterdon County (Baptistown NJ), Randy Burnham, member of the Unitarian Church in Westport (CT), and Jeffrey Tomlinson, member of the Community Unitarian Church at White Plains (NY).

Eleven District awards and three District scholarships were presented at the 2014 District Annual Meeting. Congratulations to all!

Award for Excellence in Religious Education: Tuli Patel, Unitarian Church in Summit (NJ)

Jai Berg Young Adult Leadership Award: Amanda-Beth Campbell, UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (Manhasset NY)

Jerry Davidoff Award for Lifetime Achievement: Ted Fetter, UU Congregation of Princeton (NJ)

June Z. Gillespie Award: John Hooper, Unitarian Church in Westport (CT)

Mendon W. Smith Award: UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY)

O. Eugene Pickett Award: UU Congregation of Somerset Hills (Somerville NJ)

Unsung Unitarian Universalist Award: Gia DeWitt, UU Congregation of Monmouth County (Lincroft NJ)

Unsung Unitarian Universalist AwardGregory Morton, UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester (Mount Kisco NY)

Winifred Latimer Norman Award: Winifred Latimer Norman (posthumously awarded)

Youth Empowerment Award: Charlie Neiss, First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (NJ)

Youth Empowerment AwardDenice Tomlinson, UU Congregation of Rockland (Pomona NY)

Scholarship: Julia Bataille, Unitarian Church in Summit (NJ) and First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (NJ)

Scholarship: Sam Morkal-Williams, UU Fellowship of Briarcliff, Croton, and Ossining (Croton-on-Hudson NY)

Scholarship: Emily Parker, First UU Fellowship of Hunterdon County (Baptistown NJ)

If you attended the 2014 Annual Meeting, your evaluation will help improve future annual meetings. To fill out an evaluation form, click hereIf you would like to submit a workshop proposal for next year, click here.

Nancy Ruckes, District trustee from 2000-2006, passed away on April 26 in Eugene OR, where she lived with her daughter, Ginger. Nancy received the District's 2006 June Z. Gillespie Award, which recognizes an individual who has encouraged congregational participation in denominational affairs at the District or national level. The award was presented to her at the 2006 District Annual Meeting by the Rev. Harry Green, former District Congregational Services Consultant. Read the Rev. Green's presentation of the award .

The April 2014 edition of the CERG Superstorm Sandy Volunteer News is now available, featuring UUs continuing to help in the recovery efforts, including  members of the UU Congregation of Briarcliff, Croton, and Ossining (Croton-on-Hudson NY), organized by the Rev. Susan Karlson, Central East Regional Group Disaster Response Coordinator.

Chris Buja, District Growth and Vitality Consultant, completes the "trifecta" of congregational growth by exploring the importance of increasing a congregation's participation capacity of its "ministry teams" as a way for members to share their skills and gifts with the congregation and wider community. Read more  .


Upcoming scheduled webinars from the Central East Regional Group include:

June 12: Planning for Teacher Development & Orientation (for DREs)

A variety of on-demand webinars are also available.

News from the UUA 

The UUA moves to its new headquarters at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston on May 16. Offices will be closed on May 16 so that computers, servers, and other essential equipment can be moved. Staff will not have access to respond to phone and email messages throughout the weekend while those systems are transitioned. Staff will be ready to take phone calls and respond to email messages when the new office opens on May 19. The new mailing address is 24 Farnsworth St, Boston MA 12210-1409. PO box addresses remain the same.

2015 Annual Program Fund (APF) and GIFT Program pledge forms will be arriving at congregations in the coming weeks. Please be sure to return them soon. Scanned and emailed pledge forms to  are accepted. Be sure to send final 2014 APF or GIFT payments by early June so that your congregation can be recognized properly at General Assembly. Use the envelope enclosed with each statement to send payments directly to the APF office, or mail to Annual Program Fund, PO Box 843153, Boston MA 02284-3153.

Do you know a high school youth who is passionate about social justice? Is he or she planning to attend General Assembly in Providence RI this year? If so, extend an invitation to join the UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) on June 25 for Activate!, a one-day pre-GA event offering the chance to discuss workers' rights and explore systems of oppression and social change. Visit the UUCSJ to learn more!

The 2014 Faith Development Office monthly webinar series reaches out in May to religious professionals and congregational leaders looking to begin or revitalize religious education programming for adults with a one-hour webinar offered on May 27 at 1:00 pm and May 28 at 9:00 pm. Request webinar login and call-in information by emailing and specify the day and time of the webinar you wish to join.

News from Congregations

Milestones and Transitions

The Rev. Catherine Torpey has completed her service as Minister of the South Nassau UU Congregation (Freeport NY), accepting the position of Executive Director of the Focusing Institute in Nyack NJ.

The Rev. Lara Campbell accepted the call to be the settled minister at the First Parish UU Church in Kennebunk ME.

The Rev. Kathleen Green, Minister at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood (NJ) and District trustee, is featured in an interview by the Center for American Progress about her role as an abortion clinic escort. Says the Rev. Green, "Our main purpose is to make sure that any woman who wants to go into the clinic can do so safely and with support." Read more.

The UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUCSR) (Manhasset NY) held a vote on May 4 to grant six nonprofit organizations $100,000 each through UUSCR’s Large Grants Program. The Large Grants Program was created in 2007 in order to facilitate annual contributions made by UUCSR to causes selected by the congregation. Through the Large Grants Program, funds set aside for the past seven years have been allocated in grants no less than $100,000 to a particular cause or organization. “Each year the Large Grants Program has allowed our congregation to actively practice the Unitarian Universalist faith. In the spirit of generosity and commitment to action, we collectively seek to provide funding for worthy organizations that align with our vision of building a more just world for all human beings,” stated UUCSR president, Nancy Chen BaldwinRead more .

The Rev. Jude Geiger, Minister at the UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY) and District trustee, shares his thoughts in his latest piece in the Huffington Post titled “The Meaning of Good Friday.” Read the article.

Other Noteworthy Items

The UU Legislative Ministry of New Jersey is sending letters to the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging them to use alternative forms of detention and provide better treatment of detainees in immigration detention centers. Read more.

Two UU ministers, other progressive clergy, and same-sex couples seeking to be married have joined the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in filing a federal lawsuit arguing that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage violates their constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom. Filed April 28 in federal court in North Carolina, General Synod of the United Church of Christ et al. v. Cooper et al  is the first suit to make a religious freedom argument on behalf of marriage equality. Read more.

Upcoming Meetings and Workshops

Visit the District Calendar and the District Events page for these and other events. You may also want to visit the CERG Events page.

Beyond the Golden Rule: A New Model for Intercultural Competency: May 17, Community Unitarian Church at White Plains, White Plains NY. For a flyer, click here  . To register, click here. For more information, contact the Rev. Peggy Clarke.

Goldmine Youth Leadership School West: July 6-12, East Shore UU Church, Kirtland OH. For complete information, click here. To apply for a youth or young adult scholarship, click here.

Junior/Senior OWL Training: July 18-20, Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center, Lanoka Harbor NJ. For a flyer, click here . To register, click here.

Goldmine Youth Leadership School East: August 17-23, Unitarian Church of Staten Island, Staten Island NY. For complete information, click here. To apply for a youth or young adult scholarship, click here.