Metro NY Minute

Metro NY Minute – 
July 2015

News from the District  

Central East Region Hires New Staff  Rev. Scott Tayler and Rev. Joan VanBecelaere are very pleased to announce the addition of three new staff to the Central East Region Congregational Life Team as well as several other additions to other regions. Raziq Brown, Rev. Megan Foley and Rev. Hope Johnson will join the team this fall.  Keep reading...


NYC Pride Parade – Over 60 youth and adults from 9 Unitarian Universalist congregations of the MNY District marched in the June 28th NYC Pride parade.  20,000 marched in this year’s parade and an estimated 2 million attended.  It was a historic year for Pride, following the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality, and an honor to be Standing on the Side of Love!

Worth Repeating 

2015 MNY Annual Meeting  Thanks go out to those in attendance at the MNY Annual Meeting who contributed their spirit and energy.  Your presence completes the imagined picture of planning into a full flowering of community.  Next year’s meeting is projected for May 6-7, 2015, so please mark your personal AND congregational calendars.  There are many resources, PowerPoints and video links from the AM available here.

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

Milestones and Transitions




LIAC Coming of Age  The Long Island Area Council of UU Congregations (LIAC) recognized thirteen youth for completing the Coming of Age Program.  The ceremony was held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington on June 6.  Uniquely designed, the youth meet once each month for five consecutive months, from 2:00 – 9:00 PM.  The extended time provides the space for faith development and rich community development.  Each session includes worship as well as faith defining and faith building activities.  Between sessions, youth complete a series of projects to build an understanding of world religions, their own congregation, and complete a minimum of 6 hours of community service.  In addition to the five sessions, the youth explore the Boston area, to learn how Unitarian and Universalist history and American history are entwined.  Visits to the UUA, UUSC and Walden Pond guide our youth to the power of right action to create social change.

CERG Update  Click hereto view the July 2015 Central East Regional Group of the UUA update.

New scheduled webinars from CERG include:


A variety of on-demand webinars are also available from CERG.

News from the UUA 

Celebrating Scotus Ruling with #JustMarriage  The U.S. Supreme Court issued their 5 to 4 ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing federal recognition of same-sex marriage. With this decision, marriage equality for same-sex couples has become the law of the land nationwide. In celebration of this historic victory for equal rights, UU ministers and congregations will offer free weddings for same-sex couples nationwide on July 11 and 12, in an event called #justmarriage.  Keep reading...

The Faith Development Office has just published a new, 8-session curriculum, Miracles.  Miracles is for a wide age span of children, it is very hands-on, and it can involve the whole faith community through Faith in Action activities suggested for each session.  Miracles is part of the Tapestry of Faith curriculum family and is currently being field tested in order to gain feedback.  Congregations are invited to field test Miracles and provide feedback to the Faith Development Office. Please contact for more information.

News from Congregations 

UU Church of Flushing Suffers Damage from Fire  During the storms that swept through New Jersey and New York the end of June, the UU Church of Flushing, in Queens, NY was struck by lightning which resulted in a roof fire.  The fire was contained to the roof of the church and was out within 30 minutes.  No injuries were reported.  In response, a fund to assist the congregation in their recovery has been created and a Faithify Project has been posted.  You can donate through the Faithify Project here.

UU Congregation of the South Fork voted unanimously to hire Kimberly Quinn Johnson to be its Minister.  She has recently completed her ministerial training at the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, where she was selected as the President’s Scholar.  Although new to ministry, she comes with an extensive background in social action and community organizing as well as a professorship at New Jersey City College in Jersey City.  The congregation is very excited about the prospects for the new ministry.  Kimberly’s relative youth and African-American heritage will bring a fresh perspective to the congregation.  She will bring a strong social justice presence and experience in youth ministry.  She is expected to begin her Bridgehampton ministry August 16.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockland held its (first) annual congregational picnic on June 7 in Haverstraw Bay County Park.  The park is beautifully situated on the banks of the Hudson with playgrounds and walking trails.  More than 50 people attended including several members of the UU Congregation of Rock Tavern, whom we invited to join us.  We played music, pitch and catch, talked, and ate.  The weather was perfect.  The wind was just strong enough to keep all the bugs away and to speed sailboats through the white caps on the river.

Central Unitarian Church joins Bergen County Stigma-Free campaign and declares itself a “Stigma-Free Zone”  Members of the Central Unitarian Church in Paramus voted to join the Bergen County Stigma-Free campaign at a congregational meeting on June 14, the first house of worship in the county to declare itself a “Stigma-Free Zone.” The Bergen County Stigma-Free campaign is a county-wide initiative that seeks to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.  The approved resolution, sponsored by the congregation’s Pastoral Care Team, states, “As Unitarian Universalists we have a commitment to recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to act with justice and compassion. Thus we strive to create a safe environment for individuals and families impacted by mental illness so that they may seek pastoral care and information regarding educational and other resources available within the local community. We further strive to ensure that those whose lives are touched by mental illness face neither discrimination nor harassment within our spiritual community. We seek to end the stigma associated with mental illness by encouraging awareness, education, and open discussions about mental health.”

Other Noteworthy Items

Stonewall Still Rages by Rev. Jude Geiger  I woke up on Friday to the news that SCOTUS spoke for the soul of our country this time. We can stop saying same-sex marriage, or gay marriage, and go back to saying just marriage and mean it; or maybe #JustMarriage as my fellow members of faith are beginning to say. Equality may be an abstract idea for some, or a political talking point for others, but for many of us it can mean life and death. This morning, I woke up learning a new truth. There's a stunning distance between the idea of equality and the realization that you're no longer a second class citizen.  Keep reading...

The Town Shrink  Mindy Fullilove, Vice President at the UU Congregation in Orange, NJ, has been featured in the NY Times for her work with urban renewal.  For the complete article. click here.

Skinner House is putting out a new call for proposals, for a book about hospitality in congregations.  For more information, click here.  Proposals are due by August 15.

Unitarian Society of Ridgewood is seeking a Religious Education Administrative Assistant. The RE Administrative Assistant works closely with the Director of Religious Education and maintains relationships with paid staff, volunteers, and families of USR in support of the RE program.  Keep reading...

LoraKim Joyner – First Principle Project and Multi Species Ministry  Click hereto see how Rev. LoraKim Joyner is making a difference in the world.

Caring for the Dying and the People Who Love Them  The Stony Brook congregation is offering a workshop to help people learn about the dying process, and the wide range of feelings experienced when people grieve.  This workshop is for congregational Pastoral Care teams and anyone who wants to care for people who are dying and those who love them.  For more information and to register, click here.

Meadville Lombard Theological School is offering lay folk an opportunity to study at The Chautauqua Institution this summer.  The course: Crossing Boundaries – Multifaith Leadership in the New America is being taught by Rev. Dr. Lee Baker, President of Meadville Lombard, and Roger Doebke, Meadville Lombard MAR ’14 and being offered at The Chautauqua Institution from August 8-15, 2015.  This course promises to build a foundation of knowledge and skills for leadership in the American multi-religious context.  For more information, click here.

If you love games, art, swimming, music, sports, nature and bonfires, our camping experience on this historic Universalist site is just for you!  Camping in the Grove!  Five days of fun-filled summer UU adventure for children going into 4th through 8th grade at Murray Grove Retreat & Renewal Center.  August 9-13, 2015.  NEW 8th Grade Adventure Program includes exciting daily excursions!  Cost: $450 for 4th-7th grades and $475 for 8th grade.  For more information contact Murray Grove at or 609-693-5558.  Important: Due to a very successful sign up period, there are only 6 spots for 8th grade boys available. 


Our camp is currently looking for a few more Junior and Senior Counselors.  Junior Counselors help the Senior Counselors lead a small group of campers throughout the 5 days.  If you love working and having fun with children while using your leadership skills, then this is the job for you!  Click here for more details.

Youth Events

Visit the MetroYouth website for more information and other events.


Junior High Retreat: September 12-13, 2015, Camp Herrlich, Patterson, NY.  For a flyer, click here.  To register, click here.


Goldmine Youth Leadership School East: August 16-21, 2015, Stony Point Retreat and Conference Center, Stony Point, NY.  To register, click here.


Activate: Transformative Social Justice Training for Youth: Open to all high-school-aged youth interested in justice, UUCSJ’s Activate programs offer you the chance to gain hands-on skills to help organize, transcend boundaries, and engage in justice work grounded in UU theology.  Working with local partners, you’ll create community across differences and leave with a deeper understanding of yourself and the work of social justice.  Youth who attended high school during the 2014-2015 school year are invited to participate.  Find out more and apply today here.


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.


Senior High OWL Lock-In – Grades 10th – 12th – July 31 to August 2, 2015 – UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.  Click herefor more information.  Click here to register. 


Looking for Summer OWL Training?  JR/SR High OWL Training – August 14-16, 2015 – Murray Grove Retreat Center, Lanoka Harbor, NJ.  Click hereto register Click herefor more information.


RE Week at the Sea: August 10-14, 2015, Grove Hall Retreat Center, Ocean Grove, NJ.  For more information and to register, click here.



General Assembly and other UUA programs are made possible by congregations' generous gifts to APF and GIFT and individual friends like you. Thank you!