News and updates from the Central East Region to keep your congregation informed.
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News and updates from the Central East Region of the UUA to keep your congregation informed.
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Opportunities for Connection
CER Update
~ May 2024
Quick Links
Featured Resource: General Assembly 2024
In a world filled with division and challenges, the theme for this year's General Assembly is a powerful reminder of the core principles that unite us as Unitarian Universalists. "Love Unites, Stories Ignite" celebrates the profound impact of love as a binding force that transcends boundaries and fosters connections within our faith community and beyond.

Our faith has always been rooted in the power of storytelling, and this year we'll explore how our stories can ignite change, inspire compassion, and help us build a more just and equitable world. Through storytelling, we share our experiences, our dreams, our struggles, and our triumphs. It is through these stories that we can find common ground, deepening our understanding of one another and the world around us.

The 63rd General Assembly will take place virtually Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23, 2024.

More GA details:

CER Leadership Skill Ups - May is The Seeds That Have Sprouted: A Celebration of What Is Growing
May 7 - The Seeds That Have Sprouted: A Celebration of What Is Growing. Please join us. Led by the CER Staff Team.

In order to capture the surprising and beautiful new ways we’re finding of doing church, we need skills like ongoing assessment, appreciative inquiry and reflective leadership. We started this skill up series telling stories about the new ground we’ve found ourselves on and the many ways that we can foster the little sprouts of beautiful things unexpected and faithful. Now we conclude our year with stories to tell each other: What has your congregation grown this year? What has surprised and taught you? Come share what you’ve accomplished, learn how to incorporate it, and hear the learnings of others.

The Central East Region Leadership Skill Ups for Changing Times are drop-in calls for all congregational leaders where you can learn a new skill - or fine tune an old one - with CER staff and other leaders doing similar work in other congregations. May is our last call for the 2023-24 church year.

Link: Join the Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 996 0084 2058, Passcode: 493257

Join us for Unlikely Superheroes at CERSI 2024
We invite you to join us at CER Summer Institute for a week long UU mulitgenerational family camp in western Pennsylvania July 7-13. UUMAC (UU MidAtlantic Community) will also join us for this year's gathering!

Our theme Speaker is Rev. Julian Soto, a UU minister and activist, presenting “Unlikely Superheroes: Skills for Practicing Faith and Ethics in Tough Times.” Rev. Soto brings a remarkably loving presence and a depth of spiritual leadership. Prior to being a minister, they were also a teacher and a lawyer. Each of these has been a way for them to engage with people, with transformation, and with the goal of making the world a better place.

Learn more at the CERSI webpage. Note that the deadline for scholarships from the CERSI scholarship fund is May 31, 2023.
Pittsburgh Cluster Spring Virtual Gathering
Please join the Pittsburgh Cluster on Saturday May 11, 2024, from 10am to Noon, for a two hour discussion about local environmental groups and the work they do in regard to environmental issues. There will be a Q&A to allow for some discussion. Register today!

Speakers include Adam Haas, Phipps Conservatory Interpretive Programs Manager; Gabrielle Marshall, Phipps Conservatory Sustainability Manager;  Annie Regan, Penn Future; Tom Doughtery; Allegheny Land Trust and Paul Scanlon, Slippery Rock U Climate Science Dept.
How to Have Difficult Conversations Webinar Series
Join us for a series of empowering conversations tailored for congregational leaders: "How to Have Difficult Conversations." In today's challenging landscape, congregations often find themselves grappling with complex issues and sensitive topics. Whether it's navigating Article II to the eighth principle or addressing difficult scenarios within your congregation, having the right tools for facilitation is essential. Are you striving to foster open dialogue within your congregation? Are you seeking support and insights from fellow leaders? These 90-minute Zoom discussions offer a collaborative space to share experiences, exchange tools, and gain valuable support.

Choose the date that suits you best: May 20 at 7:30 pm ET, or June 3 at 9:30 pm ET. Led by UUA staff leaders, each session will provide practical skills and strategies to navigate tough conversations effectively.

Details and registration at the UUA website.
Liberation and Joyful Resistance from MOSAIC
Mosaic National Learning and Practice Gatherings support organizations and congregations’ long-term commitment to carry out AR/AO/MC transformation. These 90-minute virtual gatherings include a mix of facilitated learning from trusted voices in the movement for AR/AO/MC transformation and opportunities to be in conversation with fellow UUs.

Join us for the next Mosaic National Learning and Practice Community: Liberation and Joyful Resistance. Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, Congregational Justice Organizer with UUA Organizing Strategy Team, is our special guest. Sunday, May 5th 6pm ET. Register today.

For questions and/or more information contact Dr. Melissa James at
To learn more about The Mosaic, visit their webpage.
Religious Educators Get Connected
Tuesday, May 7, 12-1:30 ET / 11-12:30 CT / 10-11:30 MT / 9-10:30 PT
Resonance: A communal exploration of what’s alive in UU faith formation
Religious Education Professionals (REPs) are invited to join us on Tuesday, May 7th for a collective deep listening experience called Acoustic Resonance. Here we will share stories about what is alive, vital, or promising in our work in congregations.  

This Resonance exercise is both a spiritual practice and organizing strategy developed by Movimiento Cosecha (, inspired by the work of Paulo Freire, where storytelling and deep listening combine to establish deeper connections -- connections upon which movement building can take place. Let's build something together!

Religious Education Professionals (REPs) are warmly welcomed into this quarterly collegial gathering hosted by your UUA’s Faith Development Co-Lab, a joint working group of the Lifespan Faith Engagement and Congregational Life offices. Learn more and register.
Faith Development as Culture Change is the latest JUUst Breathe episode!
Join Rev Tyler Coles and Rev Dayna Edwards as they explore the critical importance of faith development and its role in driving forward paradigmatic shifts for congregations toward greater equity, health, and vibrancy.   Download this monthly podcast offering from the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office at the UUA. 

Lifespan Faith Engagement Office creates new Emerging Adult Resources
The National Emerging Adult Taskforce (NEAT) has been connecting  Emerging Adults to one another and to their UU faith since 2018.   NEAT has just created a new resource for Emerging Adults and those who work with them.   Visit the new Emerging Adult Resource Hub for free-to-use curated EA resources!  Have a resource you would like to share? We would love to hear from you,  please submit your resources using the form linked in the Hub.
Visit the Resource Hub
UU Climate Justice Revival September 28–29, 2024
Register Your Congregation Now! Join with hundreds of sibling congregations across the continent for our national UU Climate Revival, offering inspiring collective worship, creative learning, and new frameworks at the intersection of climate and justice. The UU Climate Revival will equip UU congregations to enter into a new era of climate action—one that intentionally and faithfully breaks down silos and cultivates relationships that lead to flourishing collaborations that transform our congregations through climate justice. Open to every UU congregation of every size and budget, we will provide facilitation toolkits, training, music, projects, coordinated justice action and more!

UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt invites all Unitarian Universalists to our first-ever UU Climate Justice Revival in this short video.   Because of her training as an environmental ethicist, this work - this calling for climate justice - is central to President Betancourt's hopes and dreams for all Unitarian Universalists.

Learn more and sign your congregation up to participate at
Youth Gatherings in the Region
There are two youth "Cons" scheduled for May and June in the region:

UU Youth CONcert, May 11-12, UU Montclair, NJ.
This is a high school age youth con. Come as your favorite musician, band member, brand groupie, or performer. Showcase your talent - music, spoken word, etc. Activities include music, discussion based programming, games, music, art, general fun and silliness and music. Cost is $30 for youth. Learn more and register.

ChUUse Your CON adventure, June 7-8, 2024, UU Society of Schenectady, NY
Pick what you want to do! Activities include crafts, music, D&D, games, coffee house, meditation/yoga, trivia, cooking/baking. Cost is $30 for youth, sliding scale is available. Check out how to register and the con details.

Side with Love May Events - Gatherings and Groundings
Each month the Side with Love team offers a wide range of events on a variety of topics. Here is what is scheduled for May.

UPLIFT Transgender/Nonbinary+ Pastoral Small Group
May 10 at 8pm ET
What is pastoral care, exactly? Pastoral care is support with navigating life—big and small things, joys and hardships and all those mixed together. It’s not therapy, but a way for us to be in community together, supporting each other. This is a space to share the hard stuff and to hold the hard stuff that others are navigating in their lives.  It's a supportive, judgment-free place to connect with other trans/nonbinary+ people. This year, the pastoral space is for adults only. If you’re a child or a youth and you’d like to have a space to talk about the hard stuff, let us know by registering for the pastoral space and putting a note in the registration form comments. Register Today.

Faithful Grounding
May 23 at 7:30pm ETJoin our Side with Love Fun & Spiritual Nourishment Squad for an hour of spiritual sustenance and grounding with others organizing on the side of love. Come drink in the music, meditation, play, and prayer. We end with a Connection Cafe for those who wish to talk together. Show up as you are, whatever is in your heart, and with your camera on or off as you need. This gathering happens monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month at 4:30 PT, 5:30 MT, 6:30 CT, 7:30 ET. Learn more

UPLIFT Transgender/Nonbinary+ Monthly Gathering
May 28 at 8pm ET
Join the UPLIFT monthly gatherings for trans, nonbinary, and other not-entirely-or-at-all-cis UUs and friends of UUism. Join us to connect with other trans/nonbinary+ UUs and co-create support and community across our faith. All you need to bring is yourself (and other trans/nonbinary friends, if you’d like)! These gatherings are a cozy community space where we connect with each other with games and breakout groups, share ideas and stories on all kinds of topics, listen to music and poetry (often by trans/nonbinary+ creators), and much more! This is a drop-in space, where folks can come and go as it works best for them, and where people can join us at any time. Registration is open
Better Together Blog: Unexpected Joy in Our Communities Part 2
by Beth Casebolt

When I meet with congregational leaders, as we talk about the challenges the congregation is facing, and resources or trainings they might need, at some point I usually ask the question, Where are you finding unexpected joy in your congregation this year? This question usually causes a pause for everyone to think before the answers come. Sometimes everyone has things to contribute. Sometimes only one or two folx do. But I've never had a meeting where someone didn't have an unexpected joy to share.

Would you like to receive this weekly blog in your inbox? You can! Sign up!
CER Events at a Glance
The following events sponsored by CER are upcoming in the region. For full details and a complete list visit the CER Calendar Page. Also, please note, if you are mailing a check to the regional office to pay for your registration, you must write the name and date of the event in the memo line. Otherwise we may not get it properly credited.

If you are looking for Renaissance Modules for Religious Educators or Our Whole Lives Trainings, check the full calendar on the UUA website.
If your congregation or cluster has an exciting project that could use funding from our Chalice Lighter Program, our next Intent to Apply deadline is August 1 for grants to be awarded in October 2024.
News from the UUA
Camp Unirondack announces New Adult Programs this Spring! Announcing a whole season of new camping trips, just for adult campers! From canoe camping and backpacking intro trips to wilderness leadership and wilderness art programs, we’re so excited to have you join us! Meet and find belonging in the forever-wild Adirondacks alongside other adventurous folks. All trips are fully guided, with no camping experience necessary, just bring your clothes and a sleeping bag. Learn more at their website.

Renaissance and Music Leadership Professional Development Programs provide Unitarian Universalist Religious Professionals learning communities within which they can easily access applicable skills and tools for religious leadership. Courses are also open to interested lay leaders.

The UUA has a Disaster Relief Fund for those who want to make a donation to help congregations who have faced losses due to tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and more. Please donate if you can. To learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund visit their webpage. If your congregation needs assistance, you can apply for a grant on that webpage. We are Better Together.

Virtual Guest in Your Pulpit! The UUMA has a list of virtual speakers, check it out to see who is available! Visit the UUMA website to read the list. Also, don't forget to check out the CER Guest in Your Pulpit program, which includes both lay and professional worship leaders.

New publications from the UUA
- Now available for pre-order is Searching for Solid Ground: A Memoir by Reggie Harris with Linda Hansel. Check out the UUA bookstore for all Beacon Press and Skinner House books.

The UUA is hiring for several positions, including several positions in other regions. Find job descriptions and application information at their Job Openings webpage.

Congregation, Cluster and Affiliate Groups News and Events
Our congregations and clusters in the region have many exciting activities and announcements going on. For a complete listing of events, visit the CER Congregations and Clusters Calendar Page. For news from congregations, please visit our News Blog. For job listings from congregations check the UUA Job Board.

If your congregation or cluster has news or events to share, please send it to us at
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.
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Central East Region of the UUA, PO Box 425, St. Clairsville, OH 43950, United States

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Central East Region of the UUA
PO Box 425
St. Clairsville, OH 43950
United States