CERG UU Disaster Relief Fund

As you know, Hurricane Sandy has caused wide spread devastation along the Mid Atlantic coast in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and as far as eastern Ohio in early November.  Many people are still without basic necessities such as warm clothes, blankets, shoes, food (perishables and non-perishables), cleaning supplies, batteries/flashlights and lanterns, demolition tools (pry bars, sledge hammers, garbage bags), etc.  Several of our Central East Regional Group churches are serving as supply or meal centers, people are dealing with personal property losses due to wind and water, and it looks like this will be the costliest disaster in American history.

To aid our UU congregations and members who have been affected by this tragedy, the CERG leadership has set up the CERG UU Disaster Relief Fund to collect donations to assist fellow Unitarian Universalists with storm damage clean up and members’ immediate needs and in the rebuilding efforts.  We will work with the congregations affected to channel the money raised where it can make an impact in people’s lives.  The initial efforts will be to provide the basics needed for people who have been displaced or in need of emergency support to cope with the aftermath of the storm.  Additional funds will be used to assist congregations in rebuilding damage when their insurance is not adequate to cover the repairs.  After all needs are met, if there are funds left over, it will be maintained for future CERG regional relief efforts.

Read more here and to find the mailing instructions for checks....

Currently there are no specific UU organized plans for volunteer help, as our UU congregations are working to support their members and communities. The states of NY and NJ have set up ways to volunteer with them. Details are here.

People can also donate using PayPal through the link below.  We ask that you increase your donation to cover the 3% processing fee that we pay for each transaction.

Interested in volunteering? Click here.

Want to see where your money is going? Visit our CERG UU Sandy Relief Facebook Page to see photos and read stories. Or read the story here.



Are you part of a Unitarian Universalist group meeting regularly but not large enough to qualify for congregation status?

CERG is happy to announce the COMING HOME Forum Series, an online learning community for emerging Unitarian Universalist groups in the Central East Region. Its purpose is to provide information, inspiration and support to those groups in the region who are currently meeting on an informal basis and wish to grow in size and strength in order to experience Unitarian Universalism on a deeper level and spread the faith to a greater number of people.

The initial forum will be held in January 2012. Applications are being accepted by Mark Bernstein. To learn more about this new program click here.




Interested in Healthy Congregations but don't know what is all about? This video with interviews from members who just completed the training will help you learn more.

To learn more about Healthy Congregations/Smart Church in CERG visit our Healthy Congregations Page.


Are you a new or continuing leader but want some more training and help in your role?

Is your congregation looking at starting a new program such as a Leadership Development Team, a Safety Policy, a Membership Outreach program?

Is it really hard for you to attend trainings in your district due to work or family scheduled?

Check out our Webinars and On-Demand Learning Center

Webinars are 1-2 hour classes done via a web browser and phone line. Most occur on week nights, a few occur on Saturdays. Some repeat if there is enough demand. Webinars can be stand alone trainings or a series on a particular topic. To view the current list of webinars being offered, please visit the webinar page.

The On Demand Learning Center contains workshops created by the CERG staff on a variety of areas of congregational life. These classes can be done on your time schedule and at your speed. Most have different sections which you can do all at once or spread out over a period of time. New classes are being add each month, so you need to check the site often. You can find the On-Demand Learning Center here. You must create an account and login to access the classes.

New this month is a blended Webinar and On-Demand Class Series on Passing the Torch: Creating Leadership Development Teams.   This class will have four webinars for participants to discuss concepts as well as advance work on the On-Demand Learning Center. There are two offerings of this series currently scheduled. Learn more about this exciting opportunity.


Are you a new leader?
Are you a current leader?
Are you someone who would like to be a leader in the future?
Would you like to improve your leadership skills?
Do you want to go deeper into your faith?
Do you want to help your congregation or cluster go further?


UULTI (UU Leadership Team Institute) is the answer for you!

Registration deadlines have been extended - Hurry! Register today!

Three different events in three different locations allow you the flexibility to find the one that fits your schedule and your location the best. Deadlines are fast approaching, so you want to register soon! Learn more ...



  • Youth - Current and emerging congregational youth leaders, district youth leaders and all members of the Unitarian Universalist youth community in the Joseph Priestley, Metro NY, Ohio Meadville and St Lawrence districts are eligible to apply. Minimum requirement: You must be a current High School student (Freshman-Senior, Fall 2011).  Parent permission required.
  • Young Adults - Current and emerging congregational young adult leaders, district young adult leaders and all members of the Unitarian Universalist young adult community in the Joseph Priestley, Metro NY, Ohio Meadville and St Lawrence districts are eligible to apply. Minimum requirement: You must be a young adult between the ages of 19-34. High school students who meet the age requirement must apply for the Youth Scholarship

WHAT: UULTI is an intensive leadership institute that offers daily learning "tracks" on topics such as adaptive leadership, mission based growth, and practical theology. Track themes are further enhanced with focused "lens" topics such as systems thinking, transformative multicultural sensibility, faith development, and multigenerational perspectives. Other activities include worship, vespers, covenant groups, and evening fun. Young adult leaders will generally attend as part of a congregational team of leaders.


  • July 7-10, 2011: UULTI on the Hill at Kenyon College, Gambier OH - scholarship application deadline Monday, June 20, 2011
  • July 24-27, 2011: UULTI by the Lake at Notre Dame Retreat House, Canandaiga NY - scholarship application deadline Monday, June 20, 2011
  • Aug. 18-21, 2011: UULTI by the Sea at Ocean Grove Retreat Ctr, Ocean Grove NJ - scholarship application deadline Friday, July 15, 2011

COST: The full cost of registration for UULTI 2011 ranges from $280 to $400. This scholarship will reduce your cost of attendance by half making the cost for a 3-4 day, residential program only $140 to $200. Meals and room and board are included, travel is on your own. Up to six scholarships will be awarded for the Summer 2011 institute. Young Adults who have already registered and paid can still be considered for scholarship.

FORMS: Download the Young Adult form (word) (pdf) or Youth Form (word) (pdf)

Electronic Applications STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!

ga2012logoDo you want to be part of history and attend Justice General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ but need help to get there?

The four districts of the Central East Regional Group are all working on ways to help our congregants, especially youth and young adults, attend Justice GA. Donations for funds and scholarship applications have already been created or are in process. Each district has its own system they are currently working with.

To learn more about what your district is doing and find links to the appropriate forms and web pages, please visit our GA Assistance Page.

To learn more about what is planned for Justice General Assembly, visit our GA2012 page.

Webinars - specialized, interactive trainings that you can access from the comfort of your own home or church. Visit the webinar page for workshop descriptions and registration links.

Committees on Ministry

  • Right Relationship and Behavioral Covenants by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke ~ January 27, 2011, 7:00 pm, April 2, 2011, 10:00 am

Faith Development

  • Youth Ministry 102~ by Andrew Mertz, ~ third Thursday of each month, 7:30 pm  (Series with new topics monthly)

Safe Congregations Series

  • Right Relationship and Behavioral Covenantsby Rev. Renee Ruchotzke ~ January 27, 2011, 7:00 pm or April 2, 2011, 10:00 am
  • Basic Safety for Children and Youth Celebrations  by Patricia Infante ~ February 17, 2011, 7:00 pm
  • Disruptive Persons Policies and Practices by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke ~ March 10, 2011, 7:00 pm
  • What to do When the Unthinkable Happens: Disaster and Crisis Management by Beth Casebolt ~ March 31, 2011, 7:00 pm
  • Creating Healthy Sexual Boundaries in Congregations by Patricia Infante & Sandra Greenfield ~ (tentatively scheduled for April 21, 2011, 7:00 pm)

Leadership Days - full-day of training for lay leaders, clergy and congregational staff

These events occurred earlier in the fall. Check with your district to see if podcasts or workshop materials are available.

Ohio Meadville – Saturday, September 25 at First UU Columbus, OH

Keynote: Rev. Susan Ritchie, Ph.D. “Yams on the Beach: A Theology of Unitarian Universalist Leadership.”
Workshops:· Healthy Leaders, Adaptive Leadership, Congregational Leadership 101, & Innovative Stewardship

Metro New York “Defying Gravity” – Saturday, October 2, 2010 at Shelter Rock

Keynote: Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh: “Adaptive Leadership:· Addressing Your Congregation’s Toughest Challenges”
Workshops: Your Congregation's Toughest Challenges, Stewardship as Transformational Ministry, Transforming Conflict, Evolution of Nominating Committees to Leadership , Membership and Growth , Lifespan Faith Development , Adult RE/Leadership Development ,· Standing on the Side of Social Justice, Music, Images and Music: Worship Arts

St. Lawrence - Saturday, October 2, 2010, at 1st UU Society of Syracuse

Keynote: Connie Goodbread “Leadership Workout”
Workshops: Fair Compensation, Multicultural Boosting Through Music, How to Run a Meeting, Basic Leadership Routines, Building on the Energy in Robert Latham’s Message, Youth Leadership Training, Integrating New Members Into Your Health Routine, Stewardship Muscle Building, Appreciative Inquiry as a Stress Reducer, Healthful Congregational Communications

Joseph Priestley South – Saturday, October 30 - Accotink UU Church, Burke, VA

Theme: Leadership as a Spiritual Practice
Workshops: Healthy Emotional Leadership, Different Cultures, Different Expectations: Why There Are So Few Lifelong UUs Among Us, The Evolution of the Nominating Committee: Cultivating Leaders Who Serve with Grace, Tips for Effective Leadership: From Leading Effective Meetings to Handling Conflict And More

Joseph Priestley North – Saturday, November 6 - UU Fellowship of Newark, DE

Theme: Leadership as a Spiritual Practice
Workshops: Healthy Emotional Leadership, Faith Development Program, Developing our Lay Leaders, Creating Meetings That Matter, Best Practices for the Annual Operating Budget Campaign

District Assemblies - a variety of quality workshops will be offered for leaders

  • Ohio Meadville District Assembly, March 25-26, St. Clairsville, OH. Keynote: Rev. Howard Dana
  • Joseph Priestley District Assembly, April 8-10, Harrisburg, PA. Keynote: TBA
  • St. Lawrence District Assembly, April 29-30, 2011, Ithaca, NY. Keynote: TBA
  • Metro New York District Annual Meeting, May 6-7, 2011, Hyatt Hotel, Morristown NJ. Keynote: TBA

UU Leadership Training Institute – “UULTI” – a long weekend of team-centered training with a variety of leadership tracks and interpretive lenses. Three opportunities at 3 beautiful locations.

  • July 8-10 – Gambier, OH at Kenyon College “UULTI on the Middle Path” (just before the Ohio Meadville Summer Institute)
  • July TBD – Canandaigua, NY – “UULTI by the Finger Lakes”
  • August TBD – Ocean Grove, NJ – “UULTI by the Sea”

In-Depth Trainings - specialized, in-person training opportunities on selected topics


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CERG promotes equality and full access for Unitarian Universalists with physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities.

For more information, visit the Equual Access website or the UUA Accessibilities Page

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