Metro NY Minute

Metro NY Minute – 
April 2015

News from the District  

Registration for the 2015 District Annual Meeting is now open!  The District Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 1-2, 2015, at the Hyatt Morristown in Morristown, NJ.  Join with hundreds of other UUs from across the District and hear keynote speaker the Rev. Scott Tayler, UUA Director of Congregational Life, participate in meaningful worship, choose from among 26 outstanding workshops, and enjoy the fellowship of old and new UU friends. Get all the details and register online here. 

Please note that if you intend to stay overnight at the hotel, reservations must be made by April 15th to get the discounted conference room rate.  You may reserve a room using the following link:

Worth Repeating 

Voyagers  This 7-week Young Adult Covenant Group, open to Young Adults ages 18-30, meets Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm in the Chapel at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY.  Come share your joys, challenges and spiritual musings in an open-minded inclusive space.  We will engage in facilitated discussion and reflection on spirituality, community, social justice and our personal beliefs.  For complete details, click 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

Carol Thomas Cissel will be ordained by The Unitarian Society, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation on April 18, 2015.  Service will begin at 3pm.  Clergy, religious professionals and seminarians will gather for fellowship and robing at 2:15pm.  Reception and Celebration immediately follows.  The congregation is located at 176 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ  08816.

Carlos Martinez will be ordained on May 31, 2015 at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ  07450 at 4pm.  Clergy and dignitaries are invited to gather at 3pm for fellowship.

Time will be devoted during the 2015 District Annual Meeting to remember those UUs who have passed away in the last year.  If someone from your congregation has passed away and you would like them to be remembered in this way, please send a picture to be used in a power point slide presentation and a biography or obituary to by April 30. Please include contact information in case additional information is necessary.

Christ Was Seen In Indiana This Week (Article by Rev. Jude Geiger) - They thought they saw Jesus in Indiana a short time ago. Entering the capitol with fanfare and accolades. They thought they saw him in the governor's office; all smiles and handshakes as discrimination was written into public policy. But instead, they waved palm branches for Caesar this year. We gave unto Caesar what was God's. We Christians climbed out of the colosseums, and took hold of the lions' reins.  They thought Jesus was seen in the pizza parlor in Indiana this week; martyred for religious freedom, as a store was "forced" to close after speaking words of hate in the guise of freedom. They were right. Jesus was there. He was flipping the tables and the trays crying out against the money changers of this day, who will cry religion but mean GoFundMe (over $700,000 and counting).  Continue Reading...

First Universalist Church of Southold On Sunday, March 15, 2015, the First Unitarian Church of Southold suffered a tragic loss.  Their historic building burned to the ground by what is thought to have been caused by an electrical malfunction.  Click here to read the article.  Donations can be made to First Universalist Church of Southold and sent to First Universalist Church of Southold, P.O. Box 221, Southold, NY  11971.  You can also donate via credit card or PayPal by clicking here.  We ask that you add 3% to cover the credit card fees. 

Multi-Cultural Leadership School – There are so many wonderful opportunities for UU Youth this summer!  Mutli-Cultural Leadership School – July 10-14, 2015 – Boston, MA.  Applications due by April 15th.  Participants must apply to attend the Multicultural Leadership School: A Gathering for Unitarian Universalist Youth and Young Adults of Color (15-30). Application deadline is April 15, 2015. Space is limited, so please apply early. All accepted participants will receive full travel, housing accommodations and food with paid registration. The registration fee information for the 2015 MLS is $275. Please do not let the cost of the conference stop you from applying—scholarship money is available and we will work with you to help you if you are interested in attending.

New scheduled webinars from CERG include:

  • ·         Welcome to the Roller Coaster: Managing Change in the RE Program: April 16 at 10am and 7pm
  • ·         Bringing Your Best Self: How to be a Good Colleague: May 21 at 10am and 7pm


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

News from the UUA 

The UUA has a new website!'s fresh look and feel follow the past year’s efforts to build a clear UU brand identity, helping UUs get better at communicating who we are, what we do and why it matters.  Our website is our best chance at getting this message out because it has almost 1 million new visitors each year. is truly the front door to our faith movement.  The new homepage has engaging stories of people and congregations living out our values in the world.  Updated pictures and content are available across the site (including hundreds of new Worship Web readings), and the slimmed-down design is ready to read on any device.  The UUA will continue to improve the site in the coming months, working to make it faster, cleaner and easier to use for the many UUs who rely on every week.  For any questions or suggestions email

News from Congregations 

Two years ago Unitarian Universalist Ocean County Congregation, now located at Murray Grove, founded a community garden project.  With the partnership of Berkeley Township Public Works and the Pinelands Antique Engine Association, a parcel of vacant land was leased to UUOCC for the foundation of Wrangle Brook Community Garden.  The PAEA spread compost donated by Berkeley Township and the County of Ocean Recycling Department over an acre of the property.  The members of the garden sowed winter rye seed in November, 2014. The ground  will be plowed by the PAEA , our “tractor guys”, turning over the rye to add nutrients to the soil.  Through a grant from the Clean Communities Act, a fence will be erected around a half-acre and the beds will be built.  Half of the ground will be planted with vegetables for the food banks and the other half will be individual beds for members and their families.  Some of the beds will be raised several feet to accommodate those who are physically challenged.  One of the pieces of equipment needed by the garden is a small tractor that can mow between the beds and also roto-till the larger “Common Ground”- the area set aside for the food banks.  To that end, a proposal was sent to Faithify, the UU website for crowd-funding projects.  Take a look at Raising Food for Hunger/Recreation for Body and Soul on

UU Congregation at Rock Tavern -- “We call you to be a leader, companion and partner .. to speak the truth in love .. to model wisdom and kindness .. to be the voice of prophetic witness ..  to nurture our movement toward greater service in the world.”  With these words from Terri Pahucki and others, over 200 congregants, friends and guest clergy installed the Rev. Chris J. Antal as the called and settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern on Sunday, March 22.  Rev. Antal  had been consulting minister to the congregation since 2011.  He is a chaplain in the United States Army Reserves and has served on active duty in Afghanistan. He is also director of faith community development at Soldier’s Heart, a clinical chaplain at the Castle Point Campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and vice-president of the Greater Newburgh Interfaith Council.  The congregation, which has a continuous presence in Orange County since 1868, voted overwhelmingly in the fall to call him as its next settled minister.  The ceremony included: an invocation by the Rev. Sam Trumbore,  minister of the First Unitarian Universalist  Society of Albany; a “charge to the minister” by  Edward Tick, author, therapist and co-founder and director of Soldier’s Heart; a “charge to the congregation” by the Rev. Sarah Lammert, director of ministerial development and ecclesiastical endorser for the Unitarian Universalist Association; and the act of installation performed by UUCRT President Mike McGinn and Committee on Shared Ministry members Terri Pahucki, Alison Fornes and Keith Jordan.  The Rev. Lammert noted that the congregation, under the leadership of Rev. Antal, has been examining three questions: Who are we? Who is our neighbor? What are we called to do?  “We are not here to be comfortable but to disturb our comfort” when it needs to be disturbed, she said. “And we all need practices that keep us in touch with the transcendent nature of life.”  The service also included  music by the uuUkes, a group from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills,  and original songs from congregants Adrian Sicam and Jackie and Keith Jordan.

Other Noteworthy Items

UUCSH Building Dedication – May 3, 2015 – Almost five years after purchasing its church building in Somerville, the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills will be dedicating its building with a worship service on May 3, 2015.  The congregation deliberately held off on having a dedication ceremony until the building was handicapped-accessible.  The accessibility renovations are slated to be completed this month.  Continue Reading...

Long Island Area Council Annual Spring Dinner – Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Social Hall, 48 Shelter Rock Road, Manhasset, NY.  Guest speaker Elaine Gross, will give a speak titled “Heading in the Wrong Direction: Growing School Segregation on Long Island”.  Cocktail hour begins at 6pm, with dinner at 6:30pm.  For complete details click here.

Gender Spectrums: On Becoming a Twenty-Something “Out” Trans* Advocate – Sunday, April 19, 2015 at the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, 724 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ. Cameron Mazzeo, an “out” trans* advocate and board member of the Gender Spectrums Support Network (GSSN), will be speaking during the 10:00 service and the 11:30 panel discussion. Margo Saltzman, GSSN founder/exec director and mother of a trans* youth, and Melissa LaBonnie, a self-identified trans* person, parent of two children and Unitarian Universalist, will be joining Cameron for the 11:30 panel discussion.  Click here for details.

UU Fellowship of the Poconos can’t wait to share their new home with everyone.  Their building dedication is slated for Sunday, May 31st, 2015, at1pm.  The congregation is located at 118 Knight Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360.

Come to UUMAC! The UU Mid-Atlantic Community is gathering from July 12-18 on the campus of DeSales University outside of Allentown, PA.  Intergenerational worship, stimulating conversation and lots of fun.  Religious education for kids, workshops for kids, workshops for Young Adults and Adults, afternoon & evenings filled with group activities.  UUMAC creates a greater sense of community among UUs in our region.  Find out more and register at

The 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the civil rights act for people with disabilities, will be celebrated on July 26, 2015.  In observance of this milestone, the ADA National Network has prepared an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit, which includes publications, events, videos and other resources.  They are calling for individuals, organizations and faith communities, including individual congregations, to sign a proclamation to recommit to full implementation of the ADA.  The UUA is one of the faith communities that has signed this proclamation.  All of this information is available on their website at

Meadville Lombard Theological School is offering layfolk 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.

Youth Events

Visit the MetroYouth website for more information and other events.

CONyeWest: April 17-19, 2015, Unitarian Church in Summer, Summit, NJ.  For more information, click here. 

Goldmine Youth Leadership School West: July 5-11, 2015, East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Kirtland, OH.  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.

Looking for Summer OWL Training?  Check hereto learn about upcoming trainings.