DISTRICT ASSEMBLY 2015
The SLD Annual Report is now available for download. You can also download the Meeting Packet and the District Assembly Brochure.
Please note the following:
- Deadline for childcare requests and scholarship requests is March 1.
- Workshops are capped at 50 participants and some are close to being full. Register early to ensure you are able to get the workshops you want.
- Deadline for advance registration is March 15th. After this date, you must register on site and the sliding scale is no longer an option. The onsite registration fee is $95.
This year's District Assembly is a joint effort with the Ohio-Meadville District and the St. Lawrence District. District Assembly will take place March 27-28, 2015 at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY.
The Rev. Scott Tayler is the keynote speaker. His keynote address is titled The Space Between: Building a new day by strengthening the ties that bind. Gould Lecturer is Rev. Thomas Chulak, speaking on The Sum of the Parts.
Eleven workshops will be offered in two time slots covering an array of topics important to congregational life. CERG (Central East Regional Group) staff are attending as workshop presenters and to answer questions by members about CERG services and resources. There is time allotted for conversations about regionalization and what it means to our congregations, clusters and districts.
Learn more at the District Assembly Page.
CONNECTING WITH THE UUA
As we move closer to formalizing our region, the Central East Regional Group (CERG), and dissolving our districts, a significant issue is how we communicate with our Unitarian Universalist Association. How do our congregations in St. Lawrence have a good connection with our UUA?
One major step to resolving this is the formation of Congregational Life Advisory Councils. There will be one council for each of the five regions across this country and we are currently forming the council for CERG.
Our Congregational Life Advisory Council will serve two major functions: 1) provide the Director of Congregational Life at the UUA with the needs, desires, questions and concerns of our congregations, and 2) hear from the Director of Congregational Life on what’s happening at the UUA – their needs, desires, questions and concerns.
In the fall will be meetings of our Council with a select group of CERG congregations to have in depth discussions of issues. In the spring will be communications with all our CERG congregations on a broader level, not as deep as the other meetings. Twice a year the Council will meet with the director in Boston for in depth discussions.
Frankly, this will provide stronger connections with our UUA than ever before. It gives all of us, whether we are in a congregation of 40 or 1,000, a voice with our UUA.
To begin, CERG’s advisory council will have two members from each of our four districts, plus the Director of Congregational Life, Rev. Scott Tayler. Our council should be in place by the end of this winter.
I love how this gives us the opportunity to create stronger connections between our sister congregations and our national association. Everyone has the opportunity to learn from fellow Unitarian Universalist and make this a better world.
ALTERNATIVES TO PRINT BOOKS SURVEY
Equual Access and the UUA are sponsoring a survey to ascertain interest and information regarding alternatives to traditional printed books for people with blindness, impaired vision, dyslexia, the after-effects of stroke, difficulty holding a book, or other reasons.
You can access this brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HGFFJZG
DISTRICT TEAMWORK SERVES CONGREGATIONS
Sometimes a challenge can offer an opportunity to try something new.
In the Ohio Meadville and St. Lawrence Districts of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the sudden illness and extended medical leave of St. Lawrence Congregational Life Consultant, the Rev. Chris Neilson, resulted in an all-hands-on-deck response from the district boards and from district, regional and national UUA staff.
The governing boards of the four districts that make up the Central East Regional Group have been in discussion about moving to a "Primary Contact" model where each congregation has a "go-to" person who partners with the congregation's leaders to find the right resources and specialists from the UUA and region and to strengthen relationships within clusters. The model provides an improved Primary Contact staff-to-congregation ration in OMD and SLD (1 to 25-30 congregations). Staff will also continue to offer depth with their own portfolio "specialties" for the four districts in the region.
The Rev. Joan VanBecelaere (lead of the Central East Regional Group) and the Rev. Scott Tayler (director of Congregational Life for the UUA) saw the challenge of the medical leave as an opportunity to pilot this primary contact program. They devised a plan to redeploy existing staff from the districts and region for the duration of the medical leave.
Beginning July 1, there will be three staff persons in OMD and SLD taking on the role of Primary Contact for different clusters of congregations:
||Rev. Joan Van Becelaere email@example.com, 303-641-5896 (OMD Congregational Life Consultant and CERG regional lead)
||Evin Carvill-Ziemer firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-281-3306 (Program Coordinator for OMD and SLD and Acting Congregational Life Consultant)
||Rev. Renee Ruchotzke email@example.com, 330-554-0828 (Regional Congregational Life Consultant in Leadership Development)
For a quick reference on who will be serving your congregation, please check this map (above) or visit this easy to use form.
Of course, the entire CERG staff is ready to respond when needed and to support our congregations as we strengthen our Unitarian Universalist faith within and beyond our walls.
The staff and district boards will be assessing this program and its effectiveness on an on-going basis. Please share your observations and questions with our regional lead, the Rev. Joan VanBecelaere. Joan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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