UUA halts sale of Spanish-language hymnal

Sales and distribution of the UUA’s new Spanish-language hymnal, Las Voces del Camino (Voices on the Journey), which was introduced at General Assembly in June, have been halted due to a number of serious errors.

The errors will be corrected and a new edition published, said new UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales. He also promised that there will be a review of the process that lead to publication of the flawed hymnal.

Anyone who has purchased the current edition will receive a replacement when a new edition is published.

For more details read “Sales of new UU Spanish hymnal halted” at uuworld.org.

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.

Youth and young adult ministries offices merged

The UUA’s Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministries, formerly part of Congregational Services, has been merged with the Youth Office to form the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries within the Lifespan Faith Development staff group. The office will implement a new program for supporting youth ministry, which grew out of a four-and-a-half-year examination of the denomination’s youth programs.

Contact the office at youth @ uua.org and youngadults @ uua.org and 617-948-4350. Erik Kesting is youth and young adult ministries director and can be reached at ekesting @ uua.org. The Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings is program associate for ministry to youth and young adults of color and can be reached at mcummings @ uua.org.

Other staff members are Nancy DiGiovanni, campus ministry and bridging associate, ndigiovanni @ uua.org; Jeremie Giacoia, leadership development associate, jgiacoia @ uua.org; and Sarah Prager, office administrator, sprager @ uua.org.

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.

UUA reorganizes staff groups

The Unitarian Universalist Association is making several staffing changes and reorganizing some staff groups because of the resignation of a key staff person and the implementation of a revised program of youth ministry.

The Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministries is being merged with the UUA Youth Office to form the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries within the Lifespan Faith Development Staff Group. A director for Youth and Young Adult Ministries will be named this summer. This realignment is the result of a multi-year examination of youth ministry and is an effort to reach more youth at the congregational level.

The resignation this spring of the Rev. Tracy Robinson-Harris, who has served as director of the Congregational Services Staff Group for eight years, has prompted additional staff changes. There will no longer be a Congregational Services Staff Group. Members of that group will work within other staff groups.

The District Services Staff Group will become the Congregational Growth and Vitality Staff Group. The following offices, currently in the Congregational Services group, will move to the Congregational Growth and Vitality Staff Group: Congregational Stewardship Services, Services to Large Congregations, and Growth Services. The Marketing Outreach office is being disbanded and will be replaced by a campaign that is still under development. That campaign will reside with the Advocacy and Witness Staff Group.

The office of Congregational Justice-Making, which is in the Congregational Services Group, will become part of the Identity-Based Ministries Staff Group. Congregational Justice-Making, directed by Diane Martin, is responsible for the JUUST Change and Journey Toward Wholeness programs as well as the Jubilee I and Jubilee II trainings. Congregational Justice-Making includes about 25 part-time consultants and trainers in antiracism, antioppression, and multicultural work.

The Rev. Harlan Limpert, director of the District Services Staff Group, will head the Congregational Growth and Vitality Staff Group. Robinson-Harris will continue to be responsible for congregational safety and ethics issues for one year, as a consultant. The realignment of staff groups was announced by Kathleen Montgomery, executive vice president of the UUA. All staff changes will take effect July 1, 2009.

‘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.