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February 2024 Newsletter
On Spiritual Leadership from the NER team . . .
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Love Is...

by wren bellavance-grace

Love is the doctrine of this church….
Love is the spirit of this place….
We Side with Love…

If you’ve been in a UU congregation for any length of time, chances are good that you’ve heard one of these phrases. A fair number of our congregations regularly recite some version of “Love is the doctrine of this church…” during Sunday services. It is good to be reminded, to remember, that we come from Love, and to Love we will return. It is healing to affirm that ours is a community rooted in Love. It is gratifying to assert that Love is the spirit of our faith, of our communities of faith, and yet - it can be a challenge to live and think and act from Love in the in-between days.

On Sunday morning in your church, Love is present in the liturgy, in the care with which your worship leaders have crafted and curated an experience that uplifts, challenges, and reminds us that we are not alone. It is reflected in the eyes of children listening closely to stories for all ages. It is in the embrace of old friends at coffee hour. It is in the smiling eyes above N-95 masks many continue to wear to protect their beloveds. It is in the trust with which we offer our deepest sorrows to the care of our community, knowing they will be well held.

But what does Love is the Doctrine of this Church look like Monday through Saturday? . . . . .
Continue reading!
NER News and Events
What practices move us toward liberation in our congregations? What practices deepen our collective commitment to beloved community within the congregation and in the world around us? No individual person or single congregation has all the answers to these questions, but when we explore them together we can deepen and enrich our knowledge, skills, and practices.
Our gathering this month will be on Thursday February 22, 7:00-8:30pm ET. Sign up here to receive information about the theme, items for reflection before the meeting, and the registration form. 
Our next NER congregational leadership quarterly gathering will be on Tuesday February 20, 7:00-8:30pm. Join with your peers to share ideas, strategies, questions, concerns, and support. These gatherings are open to current board members and those who will be on the board within the next several months.

Registration coming soon, please stay tuned to your inbox for the invitation.
UUA News and Events
Don't delay! Time to certify your congregation and update your congregation's personnel information!
 All congregations must file by the Monday February 5 at 11:59pm HST to be certified for General Assembly (GA) 2024. Data Services cannot offer any extensions to this deadline. If you have already filed, thank you! In addition, kindly remember to also update your congregation's information. 
Only certified congregations may send voting delegates to GA. Credentials will be available for distribution in March. 
Thank you for being an integral part of this community! We look forward to working together through 2024 and beyond. 
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to data_services@uua.org with any
Canvass Clean Up Webinar March 14 & April 25
Join us at the Canvass Clean Up Webinar on Thursday March 14 and Thursday April 25, 7:30-9:00pm ET. The hardest part of the canvass is often the last quarter of the pledges. Join other Unitarian Universalists from around the country that are also attempting to finish the pledge drive with positive results. In this two-part webinar participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, commiserate, and celebrate as we make our way towards the finish line.

Registration is required and available for a sliding scale fee.
February is Benefits Tune-up Month:
Show Your Staff the Love
An important way to demonstrate care for your staff is to have good protocol in place for benefits administration. Every year, we update our Benefits Tune-up Workbook, one of the most popular resources offered by the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances. It helps congregational leaders understand our benefit plan rules – necessary documents, eligibility criteria, enrollment windows, and more. This year, to complement the Workbook, we’re creating a Benefits Tune-up one-pager for congregational staff. The one-pager will enable staff to double-check that their own benefits are being offered in compliance with the rules and requirements of our plans.
YEA Resources and Programs
New England UU Emerging Adult Con February 17 and 18 at First Parish Brookline.
Updates from Youth and Emerging Adults Ministries
  • The UUA has new web content specifically for emerging adults and/or for congregations seeking to better support their 18-24 year olds. There is information about pastoral care, worship, and about the National Emerging Adult Taskforce (NEAT). Check it out!
  • Congregations! Ever wondered what the best practices are for ministering with/for your recently bridged emerging adults? This support letter has a myriad of tips, tricks, and resources for doing just that! 
Congregational Happenings
Total Solar Eclipse in Burlington, VT
A total solar eclipse is coming on April 8 and First UU Society of Burlington, Vermont is hosting some fundraisers that might be of interest to you! All funds raised by these activities go to support ongoing congregational operations.

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