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
~ April 2024
Quick Links
Featured Resource: CER Summer Institute and UUMAC
Have you thought about attending CERSI (Central East Region Summer Institute) July 7-13? Registration is open!

The 2024 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. UUMAC, the UU Mid-Atlantic Community will once again be joining CERSI at PennWest for the annual gathering.

Join us for a time of community, fellowship, networking, fun, music and so much more. There is programming for children, youth, young adults and adults - you will need to choose what you want to do (or not) each day! Learn more about this year's adult morning seminars and afternoon workshops at the CERSI website. You can still apply for a job at CERSI to underwrite part of the cost of attending and be part of the team that makes the magic happen. Scholarship applications are open with a deadline of May 31. Do note that registration rates go up June 1, so you want to register soon!

This once-a-year gathering of like-minded individuals can be life changing. CERSI has been described as an all-inclusive vacation for the family where children can grow, and everyone can be nurtured. Please join us.
CER Leadership Skill Ups - April is Resistance to Resilience: Managing Change in Changing Times
April 4 - From Resistance to Resilience: Managing Change in Changing Times. Please join us. Led by Rev. Sunshine Wolfe and Rev. Renee Ruchotzke.

We live in a world of great change while managing change in our congregations. This skill-up will focus on two areas of change work: response to the unexpected and creative problem-solving. Revs. Sunshine Wolfe and Renee Ruchtozke will provide some insights and wisdom from academic resources and in service to our congregations. Then we will have time for attendees to discuss current issues in our congregations and how they might respond with resilience.

The Central East Region team is excited to announce our monthly Leadership Skill Ups for Changing Times series next year! These 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. Calls alternate monthly between Tuesdays and Thursdays – mark these dates on your calendars and stay tuned for topics as they emerge – and let us know what topics would be helpful to you. All times are 7-9 pm ET.

  • Tuesday, May 7 - The Seeds That Have Sprouted: A Celebration of What We've Grown.

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

Scholarships for Youth Attending Summer Camps
The Central East Region has scholarship funds available for youth who are attending UUA/CER events in the summer of 2024. Our scholarship money can be used for registration and you can receive up to $500 to help fund your camp experience. Do note that most events have scholarship funds specific to that event and you should apply for those as well. Apply today!

What events can these scholarships be used for?

CER Summer Institute is a week long UU mulitgenerational family camp in western Pennsylvania July 7-13. Join us at PennWest in California, PA! Learn more at the CERSI webpage. Note that the deadline for scholarships from the CERSI scholarship fund is May 31, 2023.

Any other UU camp or conference in the Central East Region including at Murray Grove and Unirondack is eligible. Not sure if your camp is? Contact us at to see.

Article 2 Resources
If you are interested in talking to other UUs about Article 2 and the proposed amendments, the place to do that is at the UUA Forum at Join the conversation!

“Amplifying the Charge” Equips Congregations to Explore Article II Changes through Learning and Worship

Amplifying the Charge is the latest offering from the UUA to help congregations engage with the proposed Article II bylaws revision.

Amplifying the Charge is a four-week, small group ministry discussion series paired with resources for worship. The materials invite Unitarian Universalists to learn more about our theology, practice, and governance and to engage with our personal experiences of faith, spirit, and humanity.

In anticipation of the upcoming vote on the bylaws at General Assembly, Amplifying the Charge supports learning, reflection, and faithful conversations for individual and collective discernment. Its creation was led by QuianaDenae Perkins, a third-year seminarian at Starr King School for the Ministry and the Learning Resident for the UUA Mid-America Region.

Download Amplifying the Charge (PDF, 33 pages). Engage your congregation’s religious professionals, worship team, lay leaders, and others to integrate four weeks of worship resources and four weeks of small group ministry into your spring congregational calendar.
Tending Congregational Life Training: What Is It?
Guiding the membership journey in our congregations is a team effort! Come learn about our new training Tending Congregation Life and have your questions answered.

Are you already taking the training? You are also welcome to attend and share your experiences so far!

Join us April 17 at 8 pm ET. Register today!
Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary
Join us Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Beyond the Binary: Building Beloved Community Event. “A place to find community with transgender, nonbinary folx and our allies. A conference for us to gather, learn, and grow.”

Registration is open!

In-person sessions will be hosted at First UU Society of Syracuse, NY and there will be some online components.

Learn more at the CER website.
Reimagine Together: From An Extractive Age to a New Era  - the UU Climate Justice Revival
Register Your Congregation Now! Reimagine Together: From An Extractive Age to a New Era - The UU Climate Justice Revival, September 28-29.

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! Find out more at the event page.
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

For questions and/or more information contact Dr. Melissa James at
To learn more about The Mosaic, visit their webpage.
2024 Multi-Platform Regional Assemblies Have Something for Every UU Across the Country!
The MidAmerica and Pacific Western Regional Assemblies are April 19 & 20, 2024.  And YOU can catch the great worship, discussions, and workshops from your home!  New this year, both Regional Assemblies will be online via the Whova App.  (it’s the GA App, too).  Even if you live outside these two regions there will be an online community from all over the country and we want to invite YOU!

The highlight of regional assembly is Friday night’s Keynote, a conversation between Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ and the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. For the first time ever, these two presidents will jointly share their thoughts on The Future of Liberal Religion: A Quest for Justice and Liberation. You don’t want to miss it!

Can’t attend both days? You can register for the Keynote alone.

Some of the great on demand and live streaming workshops include:

  • A Zoom Transformation: Accessibility in the 21stCentury
  • Hope is a Discipline: Creating Narratives for Justice
  • Answering the 5 W’s about Article II
  • Moving Toward Transformation: Leading Anti-racism/Anti-oppression/Multicultural efforts in our congregations
  • Deeper Joy: Youth at the Center
  • Newsletter Editor’s Network
  • Congregations as Faithful Employers
Plus, chats connections and content all provided through WHOVA.  

But wait there’s more:  Online worship opportunities with First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI and First Universalist Church of Denver, CO.

Please join us online for our first-ever multi-platform dual Regional Assemblies. Register Today!
GA 2024: Love Unites, Stories Ignite
GA on-demand presenters have the benefit of recording their sessions live with YOU in the audience! That's right, you can be part of the action as these awesome sessions are captured to add to our on-demand library for GA 2024.

If you're registered for GA, you'll get an email early next week with special Zoom links to join these pre-GA workshops live. It's your chance to dive into some amazing content before the main event kicks off. But remember, you need to be registered for GA to join in live. Get ready for these confirmed webinars. More details about these programs can be found here (PDF).

More GA details:

In the DC Area? Save the Date for Voter Mobilization Organizing School
Voter Mobilization Organizing School
Saturday, April 27, 10:30 to 3:00 PM at All Souls Church

Whether your congregation has a long history of voter mobilization or you’re just starting to think about it, we hope you’ll join with other UUs from DC, MD, and VA for organizing school! We are all more effective when we gather together in our power.

April 27th is a chance to gather in person for spiritual grounding, relationship building, and concrete skills training–all toward the goal of engaging as many people as possible in the 2024 election. We strongly encourage congregations to send teams of at least 3 people to help build momentum. In general, now is an excellent time to gather your team, confirm commitments to engage, and start remembering and testing your team's muscle memory from prior elections or joint projects. This Organizing School will help feed and support this process. Congregations that start in the Spring are best positioned for success later in the year!

The event is jointly sponsored by the Reeb Project for Voting Rights of All Souls Church, UUs for Social Justice (UUSJ), and UU the Vote. Also, it just so happens that Saturday, April 27 is the 100th Anniversary of regular worship services being held in All Souls' current building, so refreshments and tours will be offered from 3:00-4:00 PM as part of our 100th Anniversary weekend. And if that’s not enough, from 4:00 - 5:30 PM there will be a free concert featuring choir members from all DMV-area congregations, following a day-long singing workshop! We’ll provide recommendations for area restaurants to visit afterwards, so you can make a day of it if you like! The registration system for individuals will be up and running shortly.  Details can be found on the CER website.
Side with Love April Events - Skill Up, Mixers, Webinars
Each month the Side with Love team offers a wide range of events on a variety of topics. Here is what is scheduled for April.

Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation
April 6 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
Get to know the new Green Sanctuary! Join the monthly orientation session to get a better understanding of the program and learn how your congregation can engage in ongoing climate action. Green Sanctuary 2030: Mobilizing for Climate Justice can transform your congregation through climate justice! Orientation meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 7ET Register.

Side With Love Monthly Mixer
April 15 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET
We know that these times ask a lot of us and that we need one another to stay in the work with hope, joy, impact, and accountability. Join us if you are doing the work on the ground, if you are showing up for and with Side with Love, and/or if you are just learning about Side with Love. Come connect with one another, build community across issues, and have some facetime with our staff. This gathering happens monthly on the 2nd Monday of the month at 8 ET. Registration is open.

Green Sanctuary 2030 Community Meeting: Nourishing Impactful Teams
April 17 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
As we work to transform our congregations and communities through climate justice, a strong and dynamic team is critical. Join Rev. Cathy Rion Starr, Side With Love Leadership Development Specialist, for tips on how to bring together and nourish a cohesive and impactful team!

Come together for shared learning and mutual support with other UUs working on congregational transformation through climate justice on the third Wednesday of the month at 4PT - 5MT - 6CT - 7ET. Each meeting includes a brief introduction to the Green Sanctuary 2030 process, and a presentation on a climate justice topic usually led by a Green Sanctuary 2030 Team, followed by an open discussion. Sign up.

Getting Started with UU the Vote: Community Gathering
April 18 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
Need some support with your UU the Vote work? Confused about what electoral work is “allowed” for non-profits? Want help finding a local partner to work with? Join us on Thursday, April 18 at 7-8pm ET as we talk through some of the first steps to making a plan. In the meantime, check out our UUTV 2024 Launch Guide to get started. Learn more.

Faithful Grounding
April 25 at 4:30pm PT / 7:30pm ET
Join 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 7:30 ET. Register now.
Summer Camp Panel
Join us for a 90-minute webinar on Wednesday, April 3 from 10:00 to 11:30 am ET to discover an important ministry to children and families: offering summer camps at UU congregations! Hear from experienced religious educators and volunteers as they share insights about camp activities, staffing, challenges, and tips for starting your own camp.

Bring your questions for a lively Q&A session with our panelists. For those unable to attend our live session, we will be recording the webinar and posting it to LeaderLab so that you don’t miss this opportunity to explore how summer camps can enrich your ministry to children and families. Please register whether you plan to attend live or watch the recording; you will receive all pertinent information and links as they are available.

Registration is free and required. You will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation email, and as a reminder before the event. Registration will be open through the day of the event - Wednesday, April 3. We look forward to you joining us!
From the Office of Staff Church Finances: Updated and Revised Webpages
We've been reviewing and revising some of our webpages. In our lead article below, we share what's new. Stay tuned for more new and improved pages in the months ahead.

Please let us know about changes to your staff and lay leadership all year long. For staff, this includes salary and hours changes, new home addresses, terminations, and retirements. Keep these links handy:

New and Improved webpages on LeaderLab:
  • Worker Classification - There are two types of worker classification: Employee versus Independent Contractor and Exempt versus Nonexempt (under the Fair Labor Standards Act). This guide helps you learn about both.
  • UUA Benefit Recommendations - We've republished our Benefit Recommendations page, with Benefits Process Guidance right at the top, followed by our Recommended Benefit Levels, which are unchanged for now.
  • Hiring Staff - This page contains valuable resources for bringing on new staff, including guidance on special topics such as hiring members and staffing for diversity.
  • Staff Development and Support - Performance evaluations, professional expenses, and compassionate terminations are just some of the topics you'll find here.
Better Together Blog: Leaning into Being Resilient and Emergent in Times of Unexpected Growth
by Rev. Alia Shinbrough

Rev. Shinbrough serves as Primary Contact for congregations in Long Island, Metro NY, New York City, New Jersey, Northern NY, Hudson-Mohawk, and South-Central NY. To learn more about our Primary Contact program and find out which CER staff member is your Primary Contact please visit our CER Primary Contact page.

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 that 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.

Seminary Scholarships available!
Are you, or is someone you know, a lay leader in Unitarian Universalism who will be entering the first year of seminary in 2024, or is undertaking undergraduate work to prepare for seminary?  The Rev. Chuck and Nancy Thomas Scholarship honors Rev. Chuck Thomas’s career and his family’s commitment to lay leadership in Unitarian Universalism by awarding this scholarship to one such student each year. Thomas Scholars qualify for this award by demonstrating their outstanding commitment to Unitarian Universalism as lay leaders. For more information and to apply for this and other ministerial scholarships available from the UUA, please visit the UUA website. Applications will be accepted beginning February 15, 2024 and must be submitted no later than April 15, 2024.

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 Seeds of a New Way: Nurturing Authentic & Diverse Religious Leadership edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Nancy McDonald Ladd and Searching for Solid Ground: A Memoir by Reggie Harris with Linda Hansel.

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