Be That Spark

Recently we highlighted the Central East Region (CER) Chalice Lighter Program, sharing the HOW of applying for growth focused grants, and now we want to focus on WHY you as an individual should support this grant program.

Think for a minute, and recall a time when you helped a new dream into reality. What an amazing feeling of joy, love, even power – To know that the part you played made a difference! Maybe you rang doorbells for a candidate for public office, sharing your passion for positive change with your neighbors. Maybe you donated time and energy to a building program for low income housing. Maybe you were part of a circle of people that formed a new congregation, built that sanctuary or RE wing, called your first settled minister.  Congregations don’t get there on their own, of course.  A much larger community helps them on their way through sharing space, loan programs, producing curricula and hymnals, and support for ministerial formation, to name just a few of the myriad ways our Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations works to grow our faith.  Together, we all are the UUA, congregations and individuals, dreaming of a better society.  It’s work that we must do over and over, together.  As the poet Adrienne Rich says, we “cast (our) lot with those, who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”

In our busy lives, we have only so much time and energy for large projects.  Most of us do, however, find time to contribute every day in small loving ways to build for the future.  We conserve energy, recycle, follow the news, support organizations whose actions move our values out into the world.  The Central East Region Chalice Lighter Program is one way we can do this! Individuals and couples as Chalice Lighter subscribers contribute three times a year to fund UU dreams.  We issue the “calls”  in September, January and May, though some prefer to donate a larger amount once per year. Every gift is appreciated, and together those gifts have amounted to $180,000 in grants in the past year alone!  We want to build on this success, and we are inviting you to be part of the spark that lights the way to a brighter future.

The CER Chalice Lighter Program was formed from the separate Chalice Lighter Programs of four Districts of the UUA – Ohio-Meadville, St. Lawrence, Metro New York and Joseph Priestley.  Representatives of these four geographic areas meetthree times a year to consider growth-minded project applications from congregations or clusters of congregations seeking to share our faith more effectively.  The program partners with congregations to expand/improve buildings, plant new congregations, create new or expanded staff positions, and realize innovative initiatives that attract/retain members and promote justice, compassion and spirituality.

We’ve recently partnered with congregations funding accessibility projects like ramps and elevators, restoring a steeple, increasing religious education and membership staff from half to full time, and in our long history in the districts, provided new start congregations five $20.000 grants over time at different stages of their growth for a total of $100,000. We are touched by the thank you notes from the congregations, including this one that said, “Hot Dog!!!  Thank you so much!  This will really enhance our ability to grow and serve our NE Ohio community.”

Some readers here are already part of the Chalice Lighter subscriber community, mainly those who participated in the district programs, and we know we have not yet realized our potential to fund congregational dreams.  In October, you will receive a personal invitation to subscribe to CER Chalice Lighters, via email with the subject line “Be That Spark.”  Be watching for it!

Of course, there’s no need to wait – we invite you to subscribe here!  Need more information? Check the FAQ page on the CER website.

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Falling Off the Log

Rev. Sunshine Wolfe

“You promised Sunshine. You go first.”

I looked at the telephone pole 30 feet in the air on a mountain where we were 5,000 feet above sea level. She was right, I had promised that if asked any of the Coming of Age youth to do something, I would do it too. At that time, the ropes course was months away and barely worth my notice. Now, here it was. Very real and very high.

Did I mention I’m afraid of falling? It’s not heights. I can be high- it’s falling.

Our task, while harnessed for safety, was to climb up, walk across the phone pole that narrowed to six inches on the other side and then walk to the middle. All of that seemed reasonable and doable. The next part, so much not. We were to stand on the middle of the beam, lean backward, keeping the rope on the harness tight, until we were very nearly upside down and then to “swing” safely to the ground. All the while, looking upside down at the desert valley below.

For the record, I survived. And the teen who insisted I go first did it and survived.

Why do I share this story in a blog post introducing myself as the newest Congregational Field Staff in the Central East Region? First, because this job feels as big as that moment. Intense, terrifying, exciting, and totally worth it. Second, because I make the same promise to you. I will not ask you to do anything I am not willing to do. Of course, I won’t be asking you to fall off a rope’s course willingly, but I am aware that much of what we are asked to do in our congregations can feel just as intense.

I come to this work because I believe that our congregations have the potential to heal and energize our world. Finding the healthiest path is sometimes amazing and easy and everything we want it to be. More often, it is messy, hard, and a challenge to our very core.

I came to this denomination in my 20s. As a child, I was raised by my atheist father, my eastern Cherokee and Seminole mother, and Catholic grandparents. My mother kept religious texts and symbols from many different religious traditions and paths around the house. In many ways, I was raised a U.U. without every seeing a church. Within two years of joining my first congregation in Tucson, AZ I was hired as the Spiritual Development Director (Coming of Age, high school, and adult religious education). In this job, I discovered the call to interim ministry.

I went to Starr King School for the Ministry to become an interim ministry. In the last six years, I’ve served congregations in Montgomery, AL, Alton, IL, and Syracuse, NY as interim minister. I have completed the certification training for The Interim Ministry Network. It is work that I love and yet…

I have watched regionalization roll out across the denomination and seen the great health and connection it has brought to congregation after congregation. I have been impressed and supported by regional staff. When this position opened, I jumped at the opportunity.

I want our congregations to be the healthiest places they can be so that they can do their good work in the world. As Congregational Field Staff, I think I am especially well placed to do this with you and your leaders in concert with an amazing team of Regional Staff dedicated to work with you.

I will be working with 30 congregations across Ohio and western Pennsylvania. In addition, I will be the primary Regional Staff Lead for the Summer Institute, supporting the Commissioned Lay Ministry Program (Hope Johnson will be lead), and collaborating with regional staff to form a conflict resolution team responding to incidents of conflict with religious professionals and leaders of color. All of this helps build connection and healing and growth for our members and our movement.

I bring to this work, experience of attending and/or working with Unitarian Universalist congregations in nine states and four regions, experience as a religious educator and a minister, and experience working on particular programs as well as systemic process. I simply love systems theory even with its challenges and complexities. I’ve taught and created curriculum around anti-oppression and anti-racism work. I have specialties in governance/board work, after-pastor congregations (where professional misconduct has occurred), countering oppression work, religious education, creative worship, and collaborative leadership. Working with this region’s congregations, I look forward to expanding my knowledge, experience, and skill.

I am based in Columbus, OH and will be traveling quite a lot. That said, I am available for phone, Zoom, and in-person meetings when needed. If you have questions about how I can support you and your congregation, please feel free to reach out.

In the meantime:

“Cause trouble and comfort in equal measure.”

With blessings on the journey,

Rev. Sunshine J. Wolfe

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Lead with Courage and Confidence

Our church needed a new roof and we didn’t have the money to pay for it. We had a member who yelled at people during coffee hour. New members weren’t stepping up to volunteer, let alone be leaders. When new people did step up, their ideas were ignored.

These were the kinds of challenges that I faced when I first stepped into a leadership position. I went to every local workshop offered by the UUA, and read every book in the church’s small library, but I kept making mistakes. Other leaders suggested I attend EAGLES, the Eastern Great Lakes Leadership School, but I didn’t have the money nor the vacation time.

That was over 20 years ago.

Since then, I felt a call to the ministry of Leadership Development, with the vision of having EAGLES-caliber leadership development available to all leaders, not just the ones with the money and vacation time.

The result? The UU Leadership Institute.

Your national UUA Congregational Life staff now offers a series of core leadership courses to equip your leaders with tools and wisdom so they can lead with courage and confidence.

  • Centered Leadership Part 1 focuses on what it means to be a part of a faith community grounded in covenant, both practically and theologically.
  • Centered Leadership Part 2 helps to widen leaders’ understanding through thinking systemically about the interconnected web of relationships that makes a congregation. It also helps leaders understand how their functioning in the congregation can impact the health and vitality of the congregation.
  • Strategic Leadership describes how good governance, strategic planning and feedback loops can enable the congregation to develop habits that reinforce health and vitality.
  • Adaptive Leadership provides a more nuanced understanding of systems thinking which is essential in the ever-changing world of the 21stcentury.

Each 8-module course is offered at a low cost of $30 each. Registered participants receive notifications every two weeks as each new module opens. Participants who register later can access “released” modules and catch up with the rest of the class.

In faith and service,
Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

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UU Fellowship of Newark Receives Get Out The Vote Grant

Catriona, Dounya, one of the involved youth, and Karen working on their Instagram outreach.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark in Newark, Delaware, led by members Karen Barker and Catriona Binder-Macleod, recently applied for and received a $500 grant from the Fund for UU Social Responsibility to collaborate with the Delaware League of Women Voters in working with youth to Get Out the Vote in 2018. They will be educating and empowering not only their own yoUth groUp to help the public get information they need and register to vote, but also students from Newark High School, Newark Charter School and the University of Delaware.

The youth participating in the program will be trained to register voters and will be spreading the word about VOTE411, the League of Women Voters’ fantastic new website (http://www.vote411.org). In October the congregation will also be working with youth on getting out the vote.

Grants like this are available to any congregation. The Fund for UU Social Responsibility is awarding grants of up to $500 are available for congregational 2018 Get Out The Vote projects! Unitarian Universalist congregations frequently support the democratic process in a nonpartisan manner by participating in voter registration drives, providing nonpartisan educational materials or forums for voters, or by volunteering to help registered voters get to the polls on election day. The deadline is rolling and you can apply between March 15 and November 1, 2018. Grants will be available until the fund is depleted. Applications and more information are available online. You can also contact them at [email protected] or (617) 971-9600.

Congratulations to Karen and Catriona and the UU Fellowship of Newark for successfully completing their grant request and for this great project.
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New online course: Transgender Inclusion in Congregations

Is your congregation ready to take your welcome to the next level?

Our movement has come a long way with regards to LGBTQ inclusion, but there’s a long way left to go. A recent survey of trans UUs found that only 28% feel that their current or most recent congregation is completely inclusive of them as trans people. The average UU congregation was recognized as a Welcoming Congregation in 2004, almost 15 years ago, and has not done any deep, intentional work since to challenge assumptions and unintentionally unwelcoming aspects of congregational life when it comes to the full diversity of LGBTQ communities.

My dear friend Rev. Mykal Slack and I, both of us trans faith leaders, have personal, painful experiences of this. I was raised within Unitarian Universalism, and yet I have never found a congregation where it felt like I could get my spiritual needs met. Mykal found Unitarian Universalism later in life and has similarly struggled to feel like there is a place within this religion for all of who he is.

So we are issuing an invitation to congregations that are serious about changing this narrative: we’ve released an online course that we hope congregations will engage with as whole communities: “Transgender Inclusion in Congregations.” This is not limited to “trans 101”—rather, it’s a comprehensive, six-session online course for individuals, groups, and congregational teams that are committed to transformation.

Each of the course’s six sessions includes a 45- to 60-minute pre-recorded lecture by me and Mykal, reflection questions, and resources that take the conversation deeper. In addition, we will be holding regular live video chats for all current or past course participants.

The course is offered on a sliding scale to both individuals and whole congregations. There are lots of ways that congregations can engage in it holistically and we encourage you to get in touch with us if you have any questions or want to strategize. Once a congregation purchases the course, all of its members get access to it for as long as we run it (which will likely be several years), so the course can be taken by multiple groups over time.

I hope you’ll join me and Mykal in working to transform the experience of trans people within Unitarian Universalism. In the process, I guarantee that all of us will be transformed. Find out more and sign up here.

In faith,
Zr. Alex Kapitan
Transforming Hearts Collective

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A Traditional Ethics for a Sustainable Future

Photo: Blue Sky Permaculture Farm, Montague, MI
Photo copyright Renee Ruchotzke/UUA

We are living in a time of great change, where the forces of greed, selfishness, and fear have been unleashed and the future is unclear. We religious liberals can play an important role in influencing the conversation in a way that can shape the future with the counterforces of generosity, mutuality, and love. Unitarian Universalists have many partners in shaping our future, and we can learn a lot from one another to amplify our shared values and voices.

During my recent sabbatical (thanks to the generosity of our UUA and your Annual Program Fund gifts) I spent time doing a deep dive into Permaculture, which Mike Feingold described as “revolution disguised as gardening.” As part of that study I completed a two-week Permaculture Design Course with Peter Bane, Rhonda Baird and Keith Johnson at Blue Sky Farm. I’ll share more in future blogs but for now I want to talk about ethics.

We currently live in an a society based on ethics that condone exploitation of people and extraction from nature. Most aboriginal cultures and other traditional societies have ethics that are based on values that are in alignment with our notion of Beloved Community. Permaculture has adapted them into three (plus one) central ethical principles:

1. Earth Care

This principle aligns with the UU seventh principle: Reverence for the interdependent web of all existence. In practice this means:

  • Being good stewards of the earth, from micro-organisms in the soil to the biodiversity of species, each one having intrinsic value.
  • Increasing biodiversity is an imperative
  • Humans, as part of the community of beings, should limit our impacts by doing no further harm, conserving and restoring what is left, and consuming without waste.

2. People Care

This principle aligns with the UU first principle: Respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people. In practice this means:

  • Our institutions should be human-centered, encouraging material and non-material well-being for all.
  • Power should be decentralized and localized (such as in our congregational polity).
  • Individuals in communities should be encouraged to take personal responsibility, initiative and practice self-reliance.

3. Fair Share

This is the principle that is the key to the future, and is where the revolution shows up.

  • We need to live in the spirit of mutuality, generosity and trust in one another and in nature’s abundance.
  • We need to articulate and address the limits to growth, consumption and population.
  • This will require a commitment to living simply and scaling back to sustainable economic principles based on the notion of the common good.

Transition-Aware (the plus one)

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

In the past, many permaculture practitioners did so outside of the mainstream culture. But this way of being in the world offers hope and a workable model for how humans can address climate change. But even if we have a workable solution, we can’t implement it until we know how to foster a paradigm shift among fellow humans.

One critique I have of Permaculture is that—although it’s based on principles that align with traditional societies—almost all of the leaders, authors and teachers have been white men born before 1955.  There is a recognition among the rising leaders (as well as many of the elders themselves) that this grounding in “The Patrix” (White Male Supremacy culture) is something they need to address.

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke
CER Congregational Life Staff

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Need Some Skills as a Board Member?

Do you have new board members joining your leadership team this year? Do you have returning board members?

Board leadership in a UU congregation calls on a unique set of skills and attitudes. Not every person elected (no matter how enthusiastic they are!) comes to the work with a full sense of what is means to serve and the skills needed to serve well. Do all your board members have the skills they need to be a strong board member and not become frustrated? Not sure? We have resources to help!

Every year our staff offer Board Basics trainings in clusters around the region. These trainings are designed for both the newbie who has never served on a congregational board and your returning board members. Topics we cover include what makes congregational boards different from other kinds of non-profits or corporate boards, a governance overview, the role of the board member, how to manage dissent, and attributes of good board members. One other perk of the in person trainings is that you get an opportunity to learn with your fellow board members and to network with those from neighboring congregations. You can find the currently scheduled trainings on our calendar.

If you were unable to attend a training in your area, never fear, we do have other options for you.

The UUA LeaderLab has a 12 part training for board members that your board can do as a team or new members can do on their own. Each section contains a video or reading to illustrate the topic. There are many ways you could cover this as part of your normal board operations. You could assign a section for each meeting, then spend time talking about what you learned as a board during your meetings. If that sounds like it would add to a packed agenda, remember that some of the skills learned, such as consent agendas, are things that could shorten your agenda, allowing the room for this team learning process.

Last year we offered an online version of this training for those who were not able to attend one of our in person trainings. The videos from this three-part presentation are available on the CER YouTube Channel and embedded below.

Your regional staff wants your congregation’s board members to have the best experience they can while serving on your board. So we encourage you to explore one or more of these training methods to get your board up to date with today’s practices and procedures. Please reach out to your primary contact if you need help!

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Thank You to Our Honor Congregations

Each year congregations as asked to give to the Central East Region and the UUA to support us in providing services to all our congregations. Congregations that give the recommended amount are called Honor Congregations. Do remember that the UUA year runs from July 1 through June 30th so this report is for July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

This year we say thank you to all the congregations in our region who are Honor Congregations for 2017-18. If your congregation is not on the list and you think it should be please contact Katie Jacobsen, Congregational Giving Assistant ([email protected]).

For 2018-19 the Annual Program Fund is changing! The calculation will be based on your operating budget instead of your membership. Congregational presidents and treasurers received notification about this back in the spring and should be prepared. If you are interested in learning more about the Annual Program Fund, please visit the UUA website. And view this message from the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President, on the importance of the Annual Program Fund.

Note that congregations are listed alphabetically by state and city.

Delaware

Lewes – UUs of Southern Delaware
Newark – UU Society of Mill Creek
Wilmington – First Unitarian Church of Wilmington Delaware

Washington DC

Washington Ethical Society

Maryland

Annapolis – UU Church of Annapolis
Baltimore – The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore
Barstow – UU Congregation of the Chesapeake
Bethesda – Cedar Lane UU Church
Bethesda – River Road UU Congregation
Bowie – Goodloe Memorial UU Congregation
Camp Springs – Davies Memorial UU Church
CHestertown – UUs of the Chester River
Churchville – UU Fellowship of Harford County
Cumberland – UU Fellowship of Greater Cumberland
Easton – UU Fellowship at Easton
Ellicott City – Channing Memorial Church, UU
Finksburg – Cedarhurst UUs
Frederick – UU Congregation of Frederick
Germantown – Sugarloaf Congregation of UU
Hagerstown – UU Church of Hagerstown
Leonardtown – UU Fellowship of Southern Maryland
Salisbury – UU Fellowship at Salisbury

New Jersey

Baptistown – First UU Fellowship of Hunterdon County
Cherry Hill – UU Church in Cherry Hill
East Brunswick – The Unitarian Society, A UU Congregation
Lanoka Harbor – UU Ocean County Congregation
Lincroft – UU Congregation of Monmouth County
Montclair – The UU Congregation at Montclair
Morristown – Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
Newton – UU Fellowship of Sussex County
Orange – First UU Church of Essex County
Paramus – Central Unitarian Church
Plainfield – First Unitarian Society of Plainfield
Pomona – UU Congregation of the South Jersey Shore
Princeton – UU Congregation of Princeton
Ridgewood – The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood NJ
Somerville – UU Congregation of Somerset Hills
Summit – Beacon UU Congregation in Summit
Titusville – UU Church at Washington Crossing
Waye – Lakeland UU Fellowship

New York

Bay Shore – UU Society of South Suffolk
Big Flats – UU Fellowship of Big Flats
Binghamton – UU Congregation of Binghamton
Bridgehampton – UU Congregation of The South Fork Inc.
Brockport – Brockport UU Fellowship
Brooklyn – All Souls Bethlehem Church
Buffalo – UU Church of Buffalo
Canandaigua – UU Church of Canandaigua
Canton – UU Church of Canton
Chautauqua – UU Fellowship of Chautauqua
East Aurora – UU Church of East Aurora
Fredonia – UU Congregation of Northern Chautauqua
Freeport – South Nassau UU Congregation
Garden City – UU Congregation of Central Nassau
Greenport – North Fork UU Fellowship
Hamburg – UU Church of Hamburg
Huntington – UU Fellowship of Huntington
Jamestown – UU Congregation of Jamestown NY
Kingston – UU Congregation of the Catskills
Little Falls – St Paul Universalist Church
Manhasset – UU Congregation at Shelter Rock
Mt. Kisco – UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester
New York – The Community Church of New York UU
New York – Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York
Plattsburgh – UU Fellowship of Plattsburgh NY
Pomona – UU Congregation of Rockland County
Poughkeepsie – UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie
Rochester – The First Universalist Church of Rochester
Schenectady – UU Society of Schenectady
Southold – The First Universalist Church of Southold
Staten Island – Unitarian Church of Staten Island
Soney Brook – UU Fellowship at Stony Brook
Washingtonville – UU Congregation at Rock Tavern
Watertown – All Souls UU Church
White Plains – Community UU Congregation at White Plains

Ohio

Athens – UU Fellowship of Athens (Ohio)
Bellaire – UU Congregation of the Ohio Valley
Cleveland Heights – UU Society of Cleveland
Delaware – Delaware UU Fellowship
Findlay – UU Church of Blanchard Valley
Kent – UU Church of Kent
Lewis Center – North UU Congregation
Marietta – First UU Society of Marietta
North Royalton – Southwest UU Church
Rocky River – West Shore UU Church
Sandusky – UU Fellowship of the Firelands
Wooster – UU Fellowship of Wayne County Ohio

Pennsylvania

Athens – UU Church of Athens and Sheshequin
Beach Lake – Upper Delaware UU Fellowship
Boiling Springs – UUs of the Cumberland Valley
Devon – Main Line Unitarian Church
Erie – UU Congregation of Erie
Gettysburg – UUs of Gettysburg
Girard – First UU Church of Girard
Kingsley – First Universalist Church
Langhorne – UU Fellowship of Lower Bucks
Ligonier – UU Fellowship Ligonier Valley
Media – UU Church of Delaware County
Murrysville – East Suburban UU Church
Northumberland – UU Congregation of Susquehanna Valley
Philadelphia – Unitarian Society of Germantown
Pittsburgh – Allegheny UU Church
Pittsburgh – First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh – UU Church of the North Hills
Pottstown – UU Fellowship of Pottstown
Reading – First UU Church Berks County
Slippery Rock – Ginger Hill UU Congregation
Smithton – UU Congregation of Smithton
State College – UU Fellowship of Centre County
Stroudsburg – UU Fellowship of the Poconos
West Chester – Unitarian Congregation of West Chester
Wilkes-Barre – UU Congregation of Wyoming Valley
York – The UU Congregation of York

Virginia

Alexandria – Mt Vernon Unitarian Church
Burke – Accotink UU Church
Leesburg – UU Church of Loudoun
Manassas – Bull Run UUs
Reston – UU Church in Reston
Stephens City – UU Church of Shenandoah Valley
Sterling – Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling
Washington – UUs of the Blue Ridge

West Virginia

Morgantown – UU Fellowship of Morgantown

We thank you for helping us help each other.
Your Central East Region Staff

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Rev. David Pyle To Join New England Region Team for One Year

Rev. David Pyle

As sometimes happens within the Army Reserve, Rev. David Pyle informed the UUA this week that mission changes have led to his unit not taking a Chaplain overseas on their upcoming mission, and as such he would not be going on leave from the UUA as planned. Since Central East had already made a commitment to Paula Cole Jones for the year, we inquired into other staff groups to see where David might best serve our congregations in the coming year. The New England Region had an opening, and we’re delighted to announce that David will serve there for the year, and then plans to return to CER in August 2019 as planned.  The UUA is pleased that we were able to work together to maintain our commitments to staff while also honoring our commitment to military chaplaincy, as David will continue to serve as an Army Reserve Chaplain at Fort Dix, NJ. A special thank you to the New England Region for their flexibility.

This announcement was posted by the New England Region:

Join Us in Welcoming Regional Colleague, Rev. David Pyle

New England Region Congregational Life staff is committed to supporting the health and vitality of Unitarian Universalist congregations in New England. Since joining the team, my focus has been to build on the high level of service currently provided by team members to congregations. One way of doing that is to increase effectiveness and efficiency by enhancing capacity and capability. With that in mind we will be partnering with cross-regional colleagues over the coming church year to fortify our services and program offerings, while assessing operational needs.

I am pleased to announce that we will enjoy the partnership of Central East Regional colleague, Rev. David Pyle for one year beginning August 15. David brings a strong portfolio of skills and a wealth of experience to our Congregational Life staff, specializing in congregational governance, the arts of ministry (worship and pastoral care), church staffing, large church support, and professional staff misconduct response and recovery. David is a current member of the UUA Disaster Response Committee. He also serves as a U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain at Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Before joining UUA staff, David served as a minister for congregations in California, Michigan, and Illinois, and as a Church Administrator for a congregation in Texas.

Please join us in welcoming Rev. David Pyle. We look forward to his contributions and spiritual leadership as we strengthen support for New England Region congregations.

In faith,
Woullard Lett
Acting Regional Lead

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Grow Your Skills In Battling White Supremacy Culture This Summer!

One of the things I love about summer is the way you can let concepts and ideas seep into you in a new way, swim around in your heart and gut, forming their own new paths of meaning and inspiring more active steps when the time is right. In that vein, the Central East Region would like to offer a couple of short learning opportunities for your contemplation over the summer.

These might introduce concepts that are new to you – or ones that are familiar, but could be helpful to your congregation. Feel free to share broadly!

Microaggressions: Say what?! Small slights … big impact! (video, 5 min).

How Microaggressions Are Like Mosquito Bites (animated video, 2 min, some vulgar language)

White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement, by Dr. Robin Diangelo (article, 3 pages). (And check out her new New York Times bestselling book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, published by our own Beacon Press!)

Hope your summer is filled with time for new ideas and the space to soak them in!

Love, the Central East Region staff

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