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Metro NY Minute --
News From the
Women’s Association (UUWA) Margaret Fuller 2010 Bicentennial
presented a commemorative plaque to the Hotel Roma as one of
innumerable memorable events during the October “Follow the
Footsteps of Margaret Fuller to Rome,
Rieti, and Florence”
tour. Pictured are: First row:
Reena Kondo, Community Church of New York UU (Manhattan),
and Lynn James Gross,
South Nassau UU Congregation (Freeport NY); Back row:
Community Church of New York UU; Cicely Sullivan, Atkinson Memorial
Church in Oregon City, Oregon; Mario Banonni, from Rome, Italian
Representative; Laurie James,
Community Church of New York UU;
Bonny Levinsen, South
Nassau UU Congregation.
District congregations in Connecticut and Northern New York State
(does not include Long Island and New York City) are invited to
participate in a
Growing Together: A
Day of Learning and Sharing on
January 22, 2011, hosted by the UU Congregation of Danbury (CT).
Mark Bernstein, Regional Growth Development Consultant, will
facilitate the workshop designed for networking and collaborative
discussion about best practices and working together in spreading
the word of Unitarian Universalism. There is no fee, and child care
will be available.
Registration is required so that materials and lunch can be
adult UUs are invited to spend Presidents Day Weekend
-- February 18-21, 2011 -- at Frost Valley YMCA Camp in Claryville
NY for the 2011 Young Adult Winter Retreat. Stay three nights (meals
included) in a beautiful, 40-person, environmentally friendly lodge
with a wood-burning fireplace. Meet new friends, re-connect with old
ones, and just relax in the Catskill mountains
and enjoy a striking view of the stars. Participate in making arts
and crafts, hiking, or snow tubing -- to name a few -- or take some
time for personal reflection, followed by a nightly worship service.
The cost of the retreat will start at $225 for early registrations,
and will increase to $285 in mid-December.
Does your congregation have a young adult group?
Is your congregation connected with a UU campus
ministry? Don't forget to add or update your
ConnectUU! ConnectUU is an online database of UU
young adult individuals, groups, and events. It is a
great resource for newcomers to our congregations,
our district, and colleges/universities in the area
to find out what is happening.
2010 Chalice Lighters Call
supports three congregations: the
UU Congregation of
Monmouth County (Lincroft
UU Fellowship of
Northern Westchester (Mount
NY), and the
A UU Congregation (East
Lincroft and East Brunswick
will use the funds to engage professional assistance
in creating programs on gratitude and generosity.
will use the funds to help achieve sustainable
growth, including updating their physical space and
developing community outreach for sustainable food
programs. Twelve congregations have contributed
$4,371 as of December 5.
Webinars offered by staff of the Central East
(CERG) are open to all UUs in the Metro NY District.
Consider these upcoming webinars:
From Nominating Committees to Leadership Development
Teams by Rev. Renee
Ruchotzke on December 13 at 7 pm.
Youth Ministry 102
by Andrew Mertz on December 15 at 7:30 pm.
Basic Safety Policies and Tips
by Beth Casebolt on January 6, 2011, at 7:00 pm.
Youth Ministry 102
by Andrew Mertz on January 19, 2011, at 7:30 pm.
To Dwell Together in Peace: Behavioral Covenants
by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke on January 27, 2011, at 7:00 pm.
Youth Ministry 102
by Andrew Mertz on February 16, 2011, at 7:30 pm.
Basic Safety with Children and Youth
by Pat Infante on February 17, 2011, at 7:00 pm.
Other events offered
by CERG districts are also open to all Metro NY District UUs.
For the CERG calendar,
Play: Scripts to Inspire Seasonal Celebrations
are now available in the District library. “The play scripts
contained in Winter
are based on a broad understanding of the
human need to celebrate the time of winter. They offer a
centerpiece for such celebrations, and their variety allows
congregations to choose those texts that best fit their
needs. Each play is created to allow easy participation by
even very young children, but roles of varied complexity
offer opportunities that span the ages, allowing for
multiage religious education experiences or
intergenerational productions.” Contact
to borrow a copy, or to download,
News From the
2011 Congregational Certification of Membership has now
Each year, congregations certify their membership number and
submit other statistical information to the UUA. Doing so
allows a congregation to send delegates to General Assembly
and to the District Annual Meeting. Membership numbers are
used to calculate the coming fiscal year's Fair Share and
Full Share amounts. Through the certification process,
congregations can vote on whether the Draft Statement of
Conscience on Ethical Eating will appear on the final agenda
for General Assembly 2011.
The deadline for certifying
is February 1, 2011, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.
A Six-Week Introductory Curriculum on Immigration as a Moral
the Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) for 2010-14
chosen by delegates to the 2010 General Assembly, is now
available. Topics include understanding the causes of
migration, the history of immigration in the
U.S., the economics of
immigration, security and enforcement, and building a
theology of migrant justice. Also available are a collection
of additional resources for further study and
worship materials on immigration.
Read the text of the CSAI.
recognition of the 12th Annual International Transgender Day
of Remembrance on November 20,
President Rev. Peter Morales issued a statement in which he
said, “As long as anyone is harassed or ridiculed, we must
demand an end to the bullying. As long as anyone is judged
because of their gender identification or presentation, we
must insist on a higher moral standard. And if, God forbid,
anyone is ever again physically harmed or murdered because
of his or her gender identity or expression, we must rise up
and seek justice.
The UUA board of trustees voted in November to launch a
two-year Appreciative Inquiry Linkage Project
to engage congregations and other “stakeholders” in
developing a shared vision for the UUA. The goals of the
project are to deepen the UUA’s understanding of
congregations’ values and aspirations and to develop a
“compelling shared vision for the denomination’s future,
which will shape and direct strategic and operation
decisions going forward,” according to a proposal submitted
by Amanda Trosten-Bloom, a consultant from the Corporation
for Positive Change, an expert on Appreciative Inquiry, and
a member of the Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden CO.
New episodes in the video series
A Religion For Our Time
are now available.
Episode Eleven titled Connect,
Respect, Protect features the outdoor education program
for 9-12-year-olds at
in Golden, Colorado.
View the video. Episode Twelve titled
Worship That Rocks!
explains how First Unitarian in
Albuquerque, New Mexico,
attracts a diverse group of worshippers through a contemporary
service on Sunday afternoons.
View the video.
Heading the Call: Qualities of a Justicemaker
Tapestry of Faith program for junior high-aged youth,
is ready for congregations to field test in spring 2011.
Heeding the Call offers
12 sessions to complete between January and June 2011, including
introductory material to prepare and support leaders effectively;
core stories that teach UU values, principles, and religious
concepts; clear goals and learning objectives; activities based on a
variety of learning styles, alternate activity choices to help
tailor each session to individual needs; activities and resources to
share with families and friends; and activities to engage youth in
living their faith in or outside the congregation. The format is
online, free, searchable, and adaptable. For more information or to
apply, contact Alicia LeBlanc.
The Fair Share per member rate for Fiscal Year 2011-12, which begins
July 1, 2011, and ends June 30, 2012, will be $58,
compared with the current rate of $56. This is the first rate
increase in three years. In a letter to congregations, UUA President
Peter Morales wrote “Our Association does essential work that can
only be done when all our congregations join forces. None of this
critical work is possible without your support. The economic crisis
has affected us all. The staff of the Association is doing all its
work with fewer people. After several years of holding the line, we
are asking for a modest $2 per member increase in the suggested Fair
The Annual Program Fund Quarterly Newsletter fall issue
now available. Included are a story about radical hospitality and
generosity for all ages; resources for establishing Stewardship
Development Teams; an announcement of the 2011 Stewardship Sermon
Award; and articles by Laurel Amabile, Annual Program Fund Director,
and Jim Sanders,
Annual Program Fund Committee Chair and member of the
UU Church at Washington Crossing
Teams of youth/adults are invited to apply for free training in
interfaith youth leadership
on February 18-21, 2011 in
GA. This training
will be similar to the training in January 2010. Both trainings are
made possible through a grant from the
UU Congregation at Shelter Rock
NY). Transportation, room and board, and
conference costs will be paid for all participants. Teams of one
adult with one or two high school youth will receive preference, but
individual youth may also apply. People with disabilities, people of
color, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, and B/G/L/T/I/Q/Q candidates are
encouraged to apply. The application deadline is December 20.
Participants will be notified by January 15. For a flyer,
For more information, contact
Jessica York, Youth Programs Director.
The Office of Congregational Stewardship Services has developed a
fair-share giving guide
The new guide replaces the 1997 version found
in Fundraising with a Vision.
As in the old guide, the financial commitment levels are still
suggestions, but the new guide is different in several respects. The
new suggested fair-share giving guide reflects higher expectations.
It suggests a minimum financial commitment of 2 percent of income
for congregants earning up to $10,000. At the other end of the
spectrum, the guide suggests a full tithe of 10 percent of income,
regardless of a congregant’s income level.
Skinner House Books
assembles free resource materials, such as bonus chapters,
discussion questions, small group sessions, and webinars to help
readers and congregations get more out of Skinner House publications
and books. For a listing of the resources by topic,
News From Congregations
NJ) raised more than $41,000 on
November 13 at the church’s Outreach Auction, benefiting nine
charities. The church’s youth group donated $500 to match another
donation to Holley Childcare and
More than 200 people attended the auction, an annual event first
held in 2000. Pictured are members of the church’s Outreach Auction
Read more on Facebook.
|Milestones and Transitions
Rev. Matt Tittle
was installed by the
November 14. The ParamusPatch has posted a
video report of the installation.
Fellowship at Stony Brook (NY) (UUFSB)
participates in Welcome INN, an interfaith, nonprofit, nonsectarian,
volunteer-based organization addressing the problem of hunger in the
local area by providing meals in a safe, clean, caring environment
with no questions asked. UUFSB members run the program on the second
Sunday of each month at St. Paul's
in Port Jefferson, preparing, serving, and providing cleanup.
The UU Fellowship of
(NY) has a new website,
thanks to the congregation’s Interim Minister, the
Rev. Orlanda Brugnola,
and the website service
which creates website templates. No technical expertise is required.
Brugnola if you have questions about the service.
Church at Washington
NJ) held its first transgender remembrance
service on November 21 following the regular service. About 35
people gathered to read the names of those who had died, ringing a
chime for every name and lighting a candle for every ten names. “We
felt that this was an important thing to do,” said the
Rev. Charles Stephens.
“It was unbelievably powerful to hear the names.”
First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of
NJ) hosted the annual interfaith
Thanksgiving service of the Delaware Valley Interfaith Fellowship (DVIF)
on November 24 with nearly 80 people in attendance. The goal of the
service was to share in giving thanks for the past year and to build
connections among faith communities. Participants included Imam
Yaser ElMenshawy from the Islamic Center of Hunterdon County,
Methodist minister the Rev. Doris Haley, Presbyterian minister and
DVIF President the Rev. John Potter, Methodist minister the Rev.
Christine Day, United Church of Christ minister the Rev. Dale
Sattizahn, the Rev. Bob
Janis-Dillon, minister at FUUFHC, and others. There was a
combined choir with voices from area congregations and a performance
Daughters. “Thanksgiving began as an interfaith ceremony all those
years ago. What a wonderful opportunity this holiday is for us to
come together, celebrate our common humanity and be grateful for our
blessings,” said Rev. Janis-Dillon.
Congregation of Princeton
(NJ) (UUCP) began four years ago a fledgling partnership with the
Trenton Area Habitat for Humanity with a desire was to build
community as much as to build houses. With that goal, the
congregation organized a Halloween party for residents of
East Trenton. The first year, attendance was light, but
gradually over the next few years, the event grew into a truly
anticipated event for the community. This year 15 to 20 youth and
adult volunteers from UUCP threw a party for over 50 community
members in costumes and high spirits. One of the highlights was the
"Harry Potter Haunted House" created by members of the
congregation’s youth group. In one section, they taught children to
work with wands and “cast spells.” Said
Nancy Garden, UUCP board
member, “The look of awe and glee on their faces was priceless when
their ‘wands’ caused items across the room to rise (with the help of
some unseen fishing line). It was a joy to see this friendship and
community building dream come true.”
Congregation at Montclair (NJ) minister the Rev. Charles Ortman
was interviewed recently by the Montclair Patch. When asked “How is
this congregation different from others in
Montclair, Rev. Ortman replied,
“Theologically this is a very different congregation . . . We do not
have a creed but a covenant . . . If there are 400 members there are
600 definitions of spirituality.”
NJ) and the
Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
(NJ) are featured in a UUWorld.org article describing their work
hosting political asylum seekers as part of the Bergen County
Sanctuary Committee, an interfaith group that offers housing and
humanitarian aid. “All of them were dazed by the time they came to
me,” said Mary Fran Raynault,
a member of the
Church, who has hosted five clients.
Other Noteworthy Items
newly formed Metro NY UU Christian Fellowship (MNY-UUCF),
a local chapter of the national
Fellowship (UUFC), will hold its first meeting on February 2,
2011. Led by the Rev. Kelly Murphy Mason
(pictured), a community minister and former Vice-President of the
UUCF, the chapter will meet the first Wednesday of every month at
the Community Church of New York UU (Manhattan)
for fellowship and discussion, religious education, and spiritual
deepening. All UUs in the District are invited to participate.
Building Small Group Ministries that Work, a
four-part online training with Peter Bowden, is now open for
registration. Sessions will be from 7:30-9:00pm on January 4, 11,
18, and 25, 2011. Peter Bowden is a parish consultant specializing
in congregational growth, outreach, and media. Peter was one of the
founders of the UU Small Group Ministry Network, now a non-profit
dedicated to supporting small group ministries within the UUA. He
has been consulting with congregations on group based ministry for
nearly ten years. For complete details or to register,
click here. For further information, contact
Historical Society is accepting submissions for the
UU Heritage and History Prizes to be presented
in 2011-13: The Youth Heritage Prize, Seminarian History Prize,
Religious Education Prize, Heritage Project Prize, and
Congregational History Prize. Each prize is $500. The deadline for
submissions is June 1. For more information, contact
a UU camp and conference center located in the
Adirondack Mountains, is accepting applications
to be part of the summer staff of counselors, kitchen staff, and
maintenance crew. “If you are eager to work in a close-knit
community whose mission is to broaden and enrich the lives of young
people, Unirondack might be the place for you. Staff members must be
at least 18 years old to be counselors. We consider responsible and
experiences people who are 16 or older to be on kitchen or
for Jewish Awareness (UUJA) is sponsoring the fourth annual
Jerry Davidoff Sermon Award for the sermon
delivered in 2010 that best illustrates or exemplifies the
contributions of Jewish theology, thought, or culture to UU
tradition. The first place award is a $500 honorarium and an
opportunity to present the sermon at the 2011 General Assembly.
Sermons are to submitted in Word or compatible word processing
format, together with the date and location they were delivered, to
Arthur Thexton, UUJA
Vice President. Submissions will be accepted until March 15, 2011.
|Upcoming Workshops and Meeting
Visit the District
Calendar and the District Events
page for these and other events. You may also want to visit the
Spirituality Development Con:
January 7-9, 2011, Fourth Universalist Society,
Manhattan. For a flyer,
click here. For more information, contact
Growing Together: A Day of Learning and Sharing
January 22, 2011, UU Congregation of
(CT). For congregations in Connecticut
and northern New York
(does not include
Long Island and New
). For a flyer,
. For more information, contact
Island Leadership Institute Session 1:
January 22, 2011, UU Fellowship at Stony Brook (NY). For more
information, contact Andrea Lerner.
District Chapter Retreat:
January 30-February 2, 2011, Murray Grove Retreat and
Lanoka Harbor NJ.
For more information, contact
Social Con: Obi-Wan CONobi:
February 4-6, 2011, First Unitarian Society of
(NJ). For more information, contact
Sara Neiss. 5
Island Leadership Institute Session 2:
February 12, 2011, South Nassau UU Congregation (Freeport
NY). For more
Youth Social Con:
March 4-6, 2011, Unitarian Church
(NJ). For more information, contact
Long Island Leadership Institute Session 3:
March 5, 2011, UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY). For more
information, contact Andrea
Long Island Leadership Institute Session 4:
March 26, 2011, UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (Manhasset
NY). For more
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