Metro NY Minute – October 2014
News from the District
The Rev. LoraKim Joyner, District Right Relations Consultant, offers workshops on how to build restorative practices in your congregation and how to engage one another with compassionate communication. Read more to find out more about restorative practices and upcoming workshops.
Faith entrepreneurs, both those working within a congregation and those working beyond congregational walls, may now submit program proposals for the 2015 General Assembly in Portland OR June 24-28, 2015, that address the theme "Building a New Way." What are your stories of engaged religious community? What are your efforts to build an inclusive community that supports justice and lives compassionately? How are you building a new way? All proposals must be submitted by November 3.
Mark your calendars! The UU United Nations Office Intergenerational Spring Seminar will be in New York City April 9-11 with youth and advisors arriving on April 8 for an evening orientation. If you are interested in being involved in the planning committee please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Lanoka Harbor NJ will host a celebration on October 25 from 3:00-5:00 pm to dedicate its upgraded buildings. Those who would like to attend should RSVP by emailing email@example.com or calling 609-693-5558. Note: The September issue of the Metro NY Minute mistakenly reported this event as October 5.
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
Defying Gravity, the Ninth Annual Leadership Day, is November 15 at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (Manhasset NY), This year’s theme is Habits of the Heart: Growing Beyond Our Divisions. The all day event features keynote speakers the Revs. Anya and Scott Sammler-Michael, ministers of the Sterling and Accotink UU congregations in Virginia, 2013-14 General Assembly music leader David Glascow, and Mark Bernstein, CERG Growth Development Consultant. Ten workshops are offered, tailored to exploring the joys and challenges of specific leadership roles. For a flyer, click here . For track descriptions, click here . To register, click here.
Work is underway to establish a UU campus ministry at Rutgers University. Is your congregation also near acollege or university in need of a UU presence? Consider some ways you might bring UU values and beliefs to college students near you. Read more from Chris Buja, District Growth and Vitality Consultant.
The September 2014 edition of the CERG Superstorm Sandy Volunteer News is now available, featuring UUs continuing to help in the recovery efforts organized by the Rev. Susan Karlson, CERG Disaster Response Coordinator.
New scheduled webinars from CERG include Communicating Across Differences: Oct 29 at 10 am and 7 pm; Membership Myopia: November 6 at 8 pm; Small Congregation Religious Education Strategies: November 20 at 10 am and 7 pm; Religious Educator Spiritual Practice and Self Care: December 18 at 10 am and 7 pm; Unitarian Universalist Identity in the Classroom: January 22 at 10 am and 7 pm; Creating a Safe Religious Education Program: February 1 at 10 am and 7 pm A variety of on-demand webinars are also available from CERG.
News from the UUA
An estimated 1500 UUswere among 400,000 participants in the People's Climate March on September 21 in New York City. The Rev. Peter Morales (pictured), UUA President, who was among the marchers, has announced that the UUA and the UU Service Committee are joining with the UU Ministry for Earth, the UU College of Social Justice, and the UU Ministers Association in Commit2Respond, a religious response to the crisis of climate change. The night before the march, the Unitarian Church of All Souls (Manhattan) hosted a panel discussion moderated by Brian Lehre of WNYC radio with an open speech by Sen. Bernie Sanders. View a video. One hundred members of the Unitarian Church in Summit (NJ) and 26 members and friends of the UU Congregation of Monmouth County (Lincroft NJ) participated in the march. Read more about Summit; read more about Lincroft. The Rev. Peggy Clarke, minister at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester (Hastings-on-Hudson NY) and District Racial and Social Just Consultant, writes about the march in the Huffington Post. "More than 1500 Unitarian Universalists, nearly 1 percent of our entire membership, were on NYC streets that day. We stood alongside the Evangelicals and Pentecostals, between the Buddhists and the Quakers. We could hear the Jews blowing their Shofars and the Pagans banging their drums and we all cheered and chanted, calling all of Earth's people to Wake Up! We are in a climate crisis, an almost incomprehensible emergency and it's time to wake up!" Read more from the Rev. Clarke. Read more about the march in the UUWorld.
FAITHIFY is a new crowdfunding website originally developed by the Massachusetts Bay District and recently gifted to the larger UU movement. FAITHIFY works in a way similar to other crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and FoFundMe, where people post creative projects, the "crowd" makes pledges towards those ideas, and if projects reach their target goal amount the project is funded. Projects range from everything from youth work to justice, service, buildings, or staff positions to emerging ministries. What makes FAITHIFY unique is that project sponsors describe how they claim and how are they claimed by Unitarian Universalism. This allows FAITHIFY users to be sure that their follows, shares, and funds are in keeping with our UU values. So far, over $100,000 has been pledged on FAITHIFY towards ministries across the country. Read more.
Milestones and Transitions
Rev. Donna Renfro was ordained by the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, Harrisburg PA, on October 5.
Daniel Gregoire will be ordained by the Community Church of New York UU (Manhattan) on November 9 at 4:00 pm.
Kimberly Rossiter now serves the Unitarian Church in Summit (NJ) as Membership and Youth Coordinator,
The UU Fellowship of Sussex County (Newton NJ) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding on three Sundays in September. On theSeptember 14, long-time member Brian Doherty presented a program on the history of the Fellowship. On September 21, member and historian Peter Osborne presented a program on the history of the building. On September 28 was a pot-luck lunch and a concert. Read more .
The UU Congregation of the Palisades (Englewood NJ) celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding on September 19 at The Clinton Inn in Tenafly NJ. The Anniversary Gala included dinner, slide shows and photos depicting the congregation's history, comedy routines, and brief talks followed by music and dancing.
The UU Congregation of Somerset Hills (UUCSH) (Somerville NJ) has broken ground on renovations to make the building handicapped-accessible, just over four years after purchasing its first building. The renovation is fund in part by donations of $13,000 through the District’s Chalice Lighters program. Read more .
The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood (NJ) held a service on September 21 to rededicate the congregation as a Peace Site and were awarded a certificate by Madelyn Hoffman, Director of NJ Peace Action, and Judith Arnold, Peace Site Coordinator. A peace pole was planted with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” 12 languages including Braille. The service was intergenerational and the children joined the unveiling of the pole carrying flags they made of various countries. Pictured are the Rev. Kathleen Green (left) and Laura Beth Brown, Director of Religious Education.
The Upper Delaware UU Fellowship (Beach Lake PA) (UDUUF) will host its annual Bud Rue Walk for Social Justice on October 19. Started in 1993 by the late Bud Rue, the walk has now raised $66,000, which has been distributed to local organizations that work for social justice. All funds raised will be shared equally among Sullivan and Wayne Habitat for Humanity, Wayne County’s Victims Intervention Program, and Sullivan County’s Rape Intervention Services & Education. Read more.
Other Noteworthy Items
The UU Service Committee has updated its shopping site, The Good Buy, where products sold promote living wages for workers and open supply chains for ethical producers, while championing all-natural organics, sustainable farming, and minimal or zero impact on the environment. Each purchase directly funds human rights and social justice programs administered by the UU Service Committee.
Upcoming Meetings and Workshops
Youth CONstume Party: October 31-November 2, Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, Ridgewood NJ. For a flyer, click here . To register, click here. To register for a day pass, click here. For the wait list, click here.