Are you marching in the Peoples Climate March this weekend? Share your photos of UUs in action via this national Unitarian Universalist shared Google Photo Album!
The UU Commit2Respond climate justice campaign which includes (UU Ministry for Earth, UUA, UUSC and other UU climate organizations and programs) is inviting people to share their photos from this weekends climate march and related activities via this shared Google Photo album:
To share photos, click URL above and join the album, then use the Google Photos app to share photos during the march via your smartphone!
If you can’t find the album in the Google Photo smartphone app, click “Albums” and then “Shared”. If it’s not there, chances are you haven’t joined the album yet. Join it via URL above and then it should show up.
If you don’t manage to share your pix during the march, make sure to share them when you get home.
In addition to sharing via this album, if you are on Twitter, make sure to tweet your top photos! If you tag the tweet or photo with @UUPLANET I’ll see it and will retweet your photo.
Videos of the Spring 2017 Minns Lectures on “Historical and Future Trajectories of Black Lives Matter and Unitarian Universalism” are now available.
Lecture 1: Friday, March 31
Presented by the Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed, Affiliated Member, Meadville-Lombard Theological School. The Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, Executive Director and Senior Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (UUUM) acted as respondent. Lecture held at First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston, MA
Lecture 2: Saturday, April 1
Presented by the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, President, Professor of Unitarian Universalist Ministry and Heritage, Starr King School for the Ministry. DiDi Delgado, writer, activist, organizer, and freelance journalist, acted as respondent. Lecture held First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church St., Cambridge, MA
UU Talks events are modeled after the popular TED Talk format, but in this case feature talks inspired by Unitarian Universalist values.
Tickets fund the media production and distribution online. When you attend, you are making it possible for Unitarian Universalists (and friends) to share their ideas, stories, values and convictions with a wider online audience.
Congregations interested in hosting a UU Talks event should contact project founder and director, Twinkle Marie Manning, via her UU Talks website.
A lot of people have been trying to contact me to get involved. Though I have been promoting the project, I am just a project advisor and consultant. This is Twinkle’s project and she should receive all inquiries.
Speakers in the featured image at the top of this page are Unitarian Universalists offering talks at the TEDx Walden event which inspired this project.
Want to learn more about the project? Twinkle and I joined the VUU to discuss UU Talks, the model, and how congregations can get involved. You may also learn more via the UU Talks website and Facebook Page.
This coming UUA General Assembly conference is the 10 year anniversary of the “You’re a Uni-What?!” video. You heard me. Ten years…
The Rev. Amy Freedman and I filmed the interviews at General Assembly 2007. Our segments were filmed in our living room in front of a projector screen.
That was BEFORE social media. BEFORE smartphones. And Youtube was just a baby….
What amazes me most is that despite the video’s age and lower resolution, people are still learning from it.
When I am guest preaching and meet first time visitors, they often ask, “Have we met? You look familiar.” And almost every time it is because the night before they were checking out UU videos on Youtube! I’ve come to deeply appreciate the potential of video to work for us online 24/7.
What might your congregation do with video? There are so many possibilities!
You can find a list of ideas on my video making tips page. Thanks to smartphones, you don’t need to hire a professional. You just need to make a commitment to experimenting with sharing your message.
Friends, I’m excited share some more details about the new UU Talks project and to get you excited to:
participate as a host congregation
brainstorming ideas for speakers
and if able, to help crowdfund our Fall launch event
Next week we’ll be sharing a form you can use to express your interest. Now for an overview and details. The second video below “Turning Unitarian Universalism inside out with UU Talks” goes into quite a bit of detail for those who are ready for that.
UU Talks Overview
Working with our congregations and Twinkle Marie Manning, a Unitarian Universalist who is an award winning TV producer, event planner and seasoned TED Talk organizer, we are going to create our own Unitarian Universalist version of TEDTalks — UU Talks!
How It Works
Step 1: We help you hold amazing local UU Talk events With how-to resources and coaching from the UU Talks team, local congregations host events where amazing UU inspired talks are delivered and filmed. Using our model, the event will generate revenue to cover the filming of the talks.
Step 2. We share and promote videos of the UU Talks Videos from local UU Talks are then given to our team to distribute through the UU Talks website and social media channels. We’ll be growing and investing in these channels. Once distributed via our channels, they can be shared everywhere!
Step 3. UU Talks support funded by our success After we launch the project and have our first batch of talks produced and initial support resources created — funded by this Faithify campaign — we’ll be move on to the long term funding strategy which will be via the Patreon crowdfunding.
Patreon, a crowdfunding site for creators, will let us identify UUs and friends who will fund each video we publish through the UU Talks platform. That way the cost of our support to congregations comes from the successful publication of videos.
Did you catch that? We’re going to have the cost of our time supporting congregations funded not up front, but after we successfully help you create amazing events and videos. And we’re going to do that via a larger creator based crowdfunding strategy.
If we reach our $3,000 goal now[now funded] we’ll move forward with our startup. Then it will be UUs pledging $1+ for each video we distribute which supports this project long term.
What I Love
What I’m most excited about is the outreach potential. Eventually we can have enough patrons that we’ll have an advertising budget generated for each video. Imagine if every time we published a video, UU Talks had the budget to do paid advertising promoting that video to the larger world! A video related to a specific justice issue could be shared and promoted via Facebook with an interest in that justice issue. This would invite people to engage with content they care about, and through it, discover UU Talks and Unitarian Universalism. I see this as a way of turning Unitarian Universalism inside out. Instead of asking people to join a church, we’re inviting them to engage with something we are passionate about.
Also amazing is the potential for this project to build the media skill and capacity of our congregations, strengthen their local partnerships. And all of that using a model that pays for itself — local events are self funding and UU Talks is funded by helping congregations and successfully producing new videos!
Collaborate with Us!
Interested in collaborating with us on this project? Please use this form to share your interest. We’re seeking host congregations, speakers, sponsors and other collaborators. http://goo.gl/forms/Chqb8XETXXdkplma2
Do you love this idea? Do you want to see more high quality media produced sharing UU ideas, values and making the best of Unitarian Universalism with the world? If yes, please tell us! We want to hear your feedback and ideas. Contact us via the project’s social media channels, or comment on this post below.
The following list of tips for attending the General Assembly conference of the Unitarian Universalist Association was first made collaboratively by the UU Growth Lab in 2011. I have been updating based on your comments. Have a tip? Add it as a comment on this post. UUA’s 2016 General Assembly takes place June 22-26 in Columbus, OH.
Plan your GA life assuming you will not be able to access wi-fi in the convention center. Internet access is always and issue. Bring critical information and contact numbers with you. If access is good, enjoy! Otherwise, be prepared.
Convention centers, especially the main halls, are usually freezing! Bring a layer you can easily take on and off so you’re okay going from outside to hallways to the general session/plenary ice box…
Hydrate! Bring a water bottle. If you’re flying, bring an empty one to fill at a water fountain after you go through security. You can usually buy a reusable bottle in the Exhibit Hall.
If you’re representing your congregation and they have a budget, you might be able to get some good discounts on curricula, books, and marketing materials (banners, postcards, etc.) but remember you’ll have to have a way to get them back.
If you are a delegate, READ related business materials before you come. You are deciding our future. Everything delegates need to review is available here.
GA is amazing for network and learning. Bring business or personal cards so that you can give your information to others.
Be sure that someone from your congregation is bringing the banner.
The UUA GA Mobile App is amazing! If you have a smartphone, make installing it a priority. It will significantly improve your GA experience.
You downloaded the Mobile App, now make sure you play with it before you arrive. There are a lot of features. You can choose to follow posts by other attendees, share your own posts tagging which event you’re at, and much more. The week leading up to GA, try opening the app each day. People will already be posting. Give it a try!
Plan out what workshops you want to go to, but don’t be wedded to the idea. Pick a few you certainly want to go to, but be open because you’ll change your mind at least once while there.
Pick a 2nd workshop for each time slot. You may find that when you arrive at your first choice it’s not what you expected and it will be good to know exactly where to go to find your 2nd choice. (Also, at some GAs, the rooms were too small and you could find yourself unable to attend your 1st choice because it was full.)
Pack comfy shoes.
Bring a bag you can carry comfortably with you at all times, like a shoulder bag or light backpack.
“Last year I had a binder where on the back cover I had a map of the area in the plastic cover thing, the front with my delegate card and other really important info, and inside my travel info, the program book, the business resolutions, etc. It really helped me stay organized throughout. Put in paper to take notes on, bring pens, etc. I had that with me in my laptop bag and it was great.”
Talk to people in your congregation to find out about resources you can scout out and bring home and questions they might have, especially if your congregation has a very limited budget and will be under-represented by delegates. It is even nicer when you reach out to area congregations if your cluster is composed of smaller, less financially able congregations, and see how you can help.
If you can’t walk more than a mile easily, you will want to rent a scooter through GA Accessibility Services. If you often use hearing assistive devices in crowded settings, you will want to use GA Accessibility Services. Better to reserve equipment you turn out not to need than arrive & be blocked from participating because no extra equipment is available. GA Accessibility Services.
If you have special dietary requirements, scout out the food vendors before departure and plan well ahead. Make reservations at places that will accept them. Pack extra food if you have really specific needs. It isn’t uncommon to have to wait at GA area restaurants for a long time, or to have relatively few places that can accommodate vegans, folk who need to eat gluten-free, or even offer acceptable fast alternatives for diabetics.
Plan a check-in breakfast/lunch/dinner with some people you know at some point. Even if you’re the independent/introverted type, GA is really kinda overwhelming in the sheer mass of people and having a drink with some familiar faces can be really nice
If you are the only one you know going to GA, start making connecting with people via the GA app, on Twitter using the official #UUAGA hashtag, on the official GA event page.
If you really want to hang out with your former minister that you haven’t seen in ten years, email them now and ask them to breakfast. They will either say “yes” or “I’d love to talk to you for a minute at some point, but my schedule is totally booked.” If you wait until GA to ask, the answer will almost certainly be the second one. Ministers are really busy during GA. I’ve found that breakfast is the meal they are most likely to be free.
Prepare your elevator speech about what Unitarian Universalism is and why you are one. Local folks ask questions; be prepared to answer.
While you’re there:
Now that you’ve arrived, remember to HYDRATE! And take time to eat and pace yourself. GA is a marathon.
You don’t have to go to everything. And that’s ok. I ended up skipping things last year, including the Ware Lecture, because I needed a breather. And dinner. Besides it will be online.
You do still need to eat. You’ll need to schedule that in.
Attend the orientations, from GA for First Timers to your regional/district ones. They help.
If you’re on a budget, check out the map for what part of the Exhibit Hall you need to avoid
Avoid picking up paper – use digital notes whenever possible (they’re tending toward less paper now any way)
Say “hi” to people & don’t be shy to tell them that you’re a first timer.
Having a meal with other UUs from across the country can sometimes be more valuable than going to a workshop
I was told this by my congregation and it really made a difference for me. During a general session (previously called plenary) , if you aren’t sure what you’re about to vote on, don’t hesitate to ask for a point of clarification from the procedure microphone. Because if you don’t know what you’re voting on, at least 100 other people there don’t know either.
There’s this GA tradition that I don’t fully get – getting as many possible ribbons from booths to hang from the bottom of your nametags. When you check in, at least last year, you even got some “coupons” to take to certain booths to get certain ribbons. I just followed the crowd on that one.
Wear comfy shoes.
GA volunteers are often wearing specific shirts or pinnies that identify them easily. They’re there to help you. GA is really possible because of the kindness and support our volunteers give.
If you are in need of emotional or spiritual assistance, if you experience any kind of harassment, grab any shirted GA volunteer and ask them to help you be connected with either the Right Relations Team or the chaplains.
You are an ambassador of our faith. Many people in and around the convention center and downtown area will be meeting their first Unitarian Universalists. This is another chance to make a good impression, invite folks to check us out, and show what great community members we can be. Pick up trash. Be kind. Be generous. You are not a tourist. You are not a business conventioneer. You are an ambassador of and for our faith
Joining the GA Choir
If you love to sing, GA Choir is your cup of tea. Rarely do we belong to congregations that can boast so many great voices or musicians.
You need to register to sing in the choir. Plan to be there for registration as soon as possible, every year it is different but it does fill up.
Get on Twitter!
GA is a great time to get on Twitter. You’ll be surrounded by people to give you advice and amazing content to Tweet about, including the public witness event.
Official Video Description A cute little song celebrating the UU Meeting House of Chatham, MA, at the “elbow” of Cape Cod, with performances by the Sunday School kids, the adults, the minister, members of the All Worn Out Jug Band, drone aerials of the building and scenes from vibrant church life.”
At the UU Meeting House
by Edmond Robinson
There’s little place in Chatham,
It’s where we like to meet
On a hill, by the village market on Main Street
We question all our answers, we cherish all our doubts
We look for good in everyone and try to work things out
At the UU Meeting House (2x)
We welcome you, as we do your friends, your kids, your spouse
At the UU Meeting House (2x)
We share our hearts, our souls, our minds
At the UU Meeting House.
On old Cape Cod, some search for God while some are humanist
At the Meeting House, we all learn that we must coexist,
We tackle life’s big questions, what’s true and what is just
What we’d do to get out of this stew if it were up to us.Salvation’s not in heaven, or some far-distant place
But in the here and now we try to help the human race,
we’re all interconnected, soul answering to soul,
Loving the good things of this world, that’s just how we roll.
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s UUA General Assembly 2016 conference is coming up fast! I’m excited to be leading the morning professional day program for the UU Association of Membership Professionals. We’ll be exploring social media, storytelling, building relationships, membership growth and social media planning. I don’t know if my talk is being live streamed or filmed, but I’ll keep you posted.
Connect with UUAMP
If your congregation has a volunteer or staff membership coordinator, make sure to checkout the http://www.uuamp.org website. They have a growing collection of resources available, including archived webinars, and a newsletter. Here’s the May – June 2016 issue (PDF).
Regional Facebook Groups
There are also regional UU Membership Professional Facebook groups. See individual groups for requirements to join.
Behold the awesome! It is the LREDA Fall Conference with a focus that all Unitarian Universalist congregations and their religious leaders need to wrap their minds and ministry around:
Social Media and Technology
Theme Based Ministry
Full Week Faith
Yes, we’re talking Religious Education Without Walls and our keynotes, workshops and other programming will be covering critical building blocks for ministry, religious education, and faith development in today’s digitally connected world.
This event not to be missed.
And I’m not just saying that because I’m leading part of the programming. It is because I care too much about you to let you be left behind, struggling with 19th and 20th century ministry models. The horror! We have to move forward.
You know we have to change the way we transmit our faith and values as the world changes. Yes? Good! So let’s all convene at the LREDA Fall Conference, and learn, experiment, and move forward together.
I will be offering the Friday keynote, two workshops and serving as the conference social media / digital ministry coach.
Trust me. This is one of the events where you’ll hear about it after the fact and wish you had been there.
If you want to go, you need to reserve your hotel room now as space for this event will go fast. Why? Because it is covering so much critical information our religious leaders know they need. The reserved LREDA rooms are going to go fast. Oh, and Emma’s Revolution will be there too.
If you don’t have the professional development budget for this, tell your leadership that this is critical education and ask them to help you find the funding. You’ll be glad you did, and so will they… I don’t know what scholarships are available via LREDA or your region, but make sure to check. You might be able to get some support.