Membership pros create email list

A new Unitarian Universalist Association-sponsored email list has been created specifically for paid membership professionals in congregations, such as membership directors, coordinators, or similar personnel. This closed discussion group, called Memb-Pros, is just one of more than 300 email lists available through the UUA.

Sign up for the Memb-Pros email list.

Starting a Coming of Age program for middle-schoolers

Q. Our congregation would like to start a Coming of Age program for our middle-schoolers. We understand there’s a new COA curriculum from the Unitarian Universalist Association. Where can I find it?

A. That’s the Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations, a comprehensive guide for religious educators working with adolescents. It offers tools such as workshops for youth, small group ministry sessions for parents, social action projects, and rites of passage to help participants explore theology, spirituality, and history.

The handbook was published in 2008 and written by the Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, former adult programs director for the UUA and now cominister of the Winchester, Mass., Unitarian Society. It is available in paperback for $30. Learn more and order it at the UUA Bookstore.

Send us your questions for InterConnections at interconnections @ uua.org.

CLF organizes online ministry for military, defense personnel

The Church of the Larger Fellowship has organized an online ministry for military personnel and their families. A website for the ministry debuted in February. It is open to service people, family members, veterans, Department of Defense employees, defense contractors, and others who want to support military families. According to the Church of the Larger Fellowship website, the CLF was founded in 1944 to help isolated religious liberals—including Unitarian soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines serving overseas—connect to their faith.

UUA offers new video, discussion guide on LGBTQ issues

The Unitarian Universalist Association is offering two new resources related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer rights:

• A video supporting marriage equality, featuring images of UUs gathered from across North America and celebrating the role of UU clergy in this effort. Watch the video on YouTube.

• A discussion guide for Milk, the video biography of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in the United States. The guide includes a list of resources and steps for congregational conversations and for taking action on issues of equality. It was prepared by the Rev. Mark Belletini, senior minister of the First UU Church of Columbus, Ohio. Find out more about the new study guide and access versions in Word and PDF at the UUA’s website.

UU World offers useful articles for congregational leaders

Check out uuworld.org each Monday for articles relevant to congregational leaders, and other topics. You can also sign up to receive a weekly email notifying you of new articles. Here are several recent uuworld.org articles of special interest to lay leaders of congregations:

‘Harvest the Power’ Curriculum Strengthens Congregational Leaders

Harvest the Power, a new UUA curriculum created to strengthen the skills and confidence of congregational leaders, is available now as part of the Tapestry of Faith series of programs from the Lifespan Faith Development staff group.

Adult Programs Director Gail Forsyth-Vail says Harvest the Power will be useful for summer leadership retreats and other types of gatherings of leaders. “It also offers an intentional pathway for making leadership an opportunity for spiritual growth,” she says.

Harvest the Power is composed of 12 workshops structured in three units of four workshops each. Each unit explores progressively deeper aspects of leadership, beginning with helping leaders explore their own identities, then moving into the purposes of leadership, including how leaders can care for themselves, and finally focusing on learning skills and new ways of thinking which are helpful in leading congregations.

Forsyth-Vail adds, “Harvest the Power is not a program about the mechanics of leadership. It rather invites lay leaders to grow in spirit, in skill, and in confidence as they help congregations navigate changing circumstances. It is designed for maximum flexibility, so that leadership groups might do the entire program, or one of several combinations of three or four workshops, or even a single workshop.”

Harvest the Power, and other Tapestry of Faith curricula, can be found, free of charge, at uua.org/tapestryoffaith.

Swine Flu Resources for Churches

The Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry has collected information on what congregations can do if precautions should become necessary for the swine influenza. Resources, available here, include a Congregational Preparedness Checklist, a Swine Flu Fact Sheet, and a Flu Care Booklet. The UUA’s website has additional resources, including information from the federal Centers for Disease Control.