Volume 5 Issue 10 | May 2018
The MidAmerica Region is where UUs visibly live our faith, create connections, grow our membership, and welcome all persons who share our UU values.
Phil Lund, Congregational Life Consultant
This issue of the MidAmerica Messenger features a reminder (our Regional Business Meeting will be held in Kansas City right before General Assembly) and an invitation (to participate in the Promise and Practice of Our Faith Campaign). You'll also find out about preparing for General Assembly, some information for UUs in the Chicago area, and news about a report from the UUA's Commission on Institutional Change entitled "Findings Related to the Southern Regional Lead Hiring Decision, Spring 2017."
Eric Huffer, MidAmerica Region Board President
This is the Official Call for the 2018 MidAmerica Region Ingathering and Annual Business Meeting:
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Kansas City Convention Center - Room To Be Announced
301 W 13th St, Kansas City, MO 64105
Business Meeting begins at 4:30 PM Central Daylight Time
This year's Annual Business Meeting will be help in conjunction with the UUA's 2018 General Assembly. You can find complete details on the Annual Meeting here.
Speaking of General Assembly, Susan Lawrence, Managing Editor for the UUA Faith Development Office, has put together an excellent resource to help folks who are going to General Assembly prepare for the experience. Just go to uua.org/ga/prep (https://www.uua.org/ga/prep) for a wide selection of pre-GA activities to get the most out of worship, witness, and learning in Kansas City.
Do at least one activity in each of these five categories...
- Prepare to be together
- Prepare your spirit
- Prepare to worship
- Prepare your inner activist, and
- Prepare to encounter Kansas City
...and claim a "GA READY" badge ribbon in KC.
You can either bring the GA Prep booklet (PDF) and record your activities on the back cover, then bring the booklet to the UUA Expressway in the GA exhibit hall to claim a “GA Ready” badge ribbon; or, use this online GA prep form to report how you have prepared. At the UUA Expressway, staff will have your name. There’s also a great Things to Do in KC at uua.org/ga/prep, so check it out!
Support Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism with Promise and Practice Sunday
Dear Congregational Leaders,
I am writing to ask you to participate in the Promise and Practice of our Faith Campaign.
If you have not already held a Promise and Practice Sunday and made a pledge or gift to support Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU), we hope you will do so before General Assembly in June 2018. You can enter your pledge and congregation’s campaign online at UUA.org/bluu-campaign (https://www.uua.org/giving/areas-support/funds/promise-and-practice) .
Your contributions will be matched dollar for dollar if you make a gift or pledge of at least $10 per member. Please do not miss this wonderful opportunity.
Back in September 2017, I sent out a special ask for all congregations and fellowships to participate in The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith Campaign.
This campaign calls us to align our financial resources with our theological values of justice and equity by honoring our Board of Trustees’ commitment of $5.3 million to Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism.
This congregational phase of the campaign is your opportunity to invest in Black lives, Black leadership, and the uplifting of Black voices within our faith.
Since the 2017 New Orleans General Assembly, over 170 of your sibling UU congregations, fellowships, and organizations have participated in this special campaign!
They have held services and utilized the incredible worship resources for the campaign, which were written by UU Religious Professionals of Color.
They have reflected on the history of Black Empowerment within our faith, and have held special fundraisers and collections in honor of Black Lives of UU.
We ask you now to join in this movement.
Now, more than ever, we are being called to a deeper practice of the promise of our faith. In this country, we see systemic racism and discrimination being embolded in rhetoric and in policy. And in this moment, we are called to do more to invest in Black lives, Black leadership and resources to move forward the vision of a radically inclusive, justice centered faithful practice of the beloved community within and beyond our faith.
This call means investing more fully financially, spiritually, faithfully, and collectively in support of Black Lives.
In the next few weeks, your Board of Trustees along with UUA staff members will be reaching out to congregations to thank you for your support in this special call and to ask you for your support if you have not already pledge to the campaign.
Now is the time to lead and become the change we want to see in our communities across the world.
Thank you for all you do for our faith,
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
Above photo: 2017 BLUU Convening. Photo credit: Aja Gildersleve
First ever cross-congregation calendar coordination to find areas to collaborate and replicate.
Share and learn Best Practices and network with UU peers across the greater Chicago area.
WHEN: May 12, 2018 9:00am - 2:00pm Workshop & 2:15-3:15pm Annual Meeting
WHERE: Countryside Church UU, 1025 N Smith St., Palatine, IL (google map)
COST: A donation of $8 is requested for covering snack and lunch items
REGISTRATION: Register online at uuChicagoArea.org/workshop
Every one of our area congregations has successes and best practices that could be leveraged by other congregations, if they only knew. We create and hold events, programs, and classes that could enjoy greater levels of participation and success by thinking beyond our own congregational walls. Many of us strive to make a real impact on our community and the world, but many of our scarce resources go into organizing leaving little for “doing”. And some great ideas never come to light because congregations have to prioritize and focus resources.
The Chicago Area UU Council has organized a day of coordination, collaboration, communication, and celebration for congregational leaders, staff, and clergy. Given the limited volunteer, professional, clergy, and financial resources, the spring workshop is aimed at finding ways to leverage best practices, partner, and limit “re-inventing the wheel”. We are looking to create ways for people across the greater Chicago area that shares common interests to find each other so they can work together in community.
Please join us!
About Chicago Area Unitarian Universalist Council (CAUUC)
The Chicago Area Unitarian Universalist Council is comprised of 16 UU congregations located in the greater Chicago Area. Our mission is to support member congregations by working together to achieve a common goal of promoting Unitarian Universalist principles. Our work involves:
- increasing the visibility of the UU community to the greater Chicago community such as through radio advertising, social media work, and the web;
- promoting advocacy of social justice;
- strengthening our congregations through sharing of programs, particularly for leadership development; and
- entering into appropriate coalitions with other faith traditions which share our core values.
For more information about CAUUC, the spring workshop, or to get involved, contact Mike Gilley at ChicagoAreaUU@gmail.com
Our Regional website has a place for job openings at UU congregations in our Region. Make sure you check out our jobs page to see the latest job openings. Currently, there are several Religious Education openings in the Region.
If you would like to advertise for a job in your congregation, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can now support the MidAmerica Region through AmazonSmile. What is AmazonSmile? Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases back to the MidAmerica Region. Sign in through AmazonSmile.
Last year the UUA Board appointed the Commission on Institutional Change (COIC) and charged them with analyzing structural racism and white supremacy with the UUA.
On April 9, 2018, the Commission released its first report entitled “Findings Related to the Southern Regional Lead Hiring Decision, Spring 2017.”
We encourage every congregation to read and consider this worthy report. What lessons does it have for your congregation and ministry?
We are seeking to covenant with each other to find new ways of partnering and standing together on the side of love for the flourishing of our world, our communities, our congregations and our members.