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This spring we posted a notice about some changes coming to the UUA Retirement Plan. Well, the changes are almost here.

The UUA has not made any changes to the basic design of the Retirement Plan in nearly fifteen years. The rest of the retirement world has changed and the UUA wants to catch up. PNWD Compensation Consultant, Peter Henrickson, has compiled a synopsis of what congregations are required to do in order to comply with the new plan. If you manage the staff benefits for your congregation or you are a church staff member, please take a look at Peter’s summary.

In October we shared with you details about completing the required forms for the Affordable Care Act. Peter has recently compiled information regarding the legal and ethical issues for churches regarding health care. In this current article he also explains about setting up a Health Reimbursement Account for staff members.

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A new Tapestry of Faith adult curriculum initiated by the UUA President’s Council offers twelve 90-minute workshops to explore our money-related stories, attitudes, and actions in the context of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Written by Patricia Hall Infante and Rev. David H. Messner, The Wi$dom Path is designed as a sequential adult religious education program, adaptable to a variety of contexts and formats in congregations and groups. Nearly 50 congregations have already arranged to field-test the curriculum—an unprecedented number of field test sites for a Tapestry of Faith adult program. While the field test is now closed, The Wi$dom Path is available online for religious professionals and lay leaders to browse, download, and use with any UU congregation, region, district, or cluster, at no charge.

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25 Beacon StEighty-six years ago, the American Unitarian Association moved into its new headquarters, and took its old address, 25 Beacon Street, along. It’s true – the address was originally located on the other side of the Massachusetts State House. The Unitarians had grown so attached to it since taking up residence in 1886 (and they had such sway in Boston) that the State legislature passed a bill to allow the address to be moved, too, even though it would result in an out-of-sequence placement.

In March 2013, the UUA announced plans to sell its historic Beacon Hill properties and move to a modern building less than two miles away, in Boston’s “Innovation District.” We won’t be taking the address with us this time!

News and views on the move are available on the “Join the Move” Blog, offered by the UUA’s Office of Stewardship and Development. You can get the background on the decision to move, post a favorite memory of 25 Beacon Street, see photos and concept sketches of our destination at 24 Farnsworth Street, and share your vision of the future of Unitarian Universalism and its new home.

Recognizing that a new UUA headquarters is about more than just a physical move, the Stewardship and Development Office has created an opportunity for congregations and individual supporters to join in imagining and helping fund (1) innovative space that will launch the UUA into a future that better serves the world today, and (2) a Unitarian Universalist Heritage Center that will help preserve and portray our Boston history for youth groups and others who will continue to visit. The new building will honor our past, vastly improve effectiveness and efficiencies for our current organization, and help position Unitarian Universalism for a vibrant future.

Unitarian Universalism is on the move, and the “Join the Move” Campaign invites you and your congregation to partner with UUs from around the Association as we step forward together into a new era of commitment and covenant, to strengthen Unitarian Universalism in the world.

  • NewBldgAspirationWe dream of creating a pilgrimage destination that invites ministers, youth groups, and visitors into a space that inspires them.
  • We dream of founding a spiritual center that weaves our history and our future together in meaningful ways.
  • We dream of sharing a building that encourages connection and collaboration and that is technologically outfitted to support all of our congregations in their work.

The sale of the UUA’s Beacon Hill properties will provide enough to both buy the space and put money in the UUA’s endowment fund, which helps support the vital UUA programs that congregations and all UUs rely on. However, if we are going to build the new, inspiring spiritual home that we dream of and position our programs and resources to have the biggest impact, we will need to raise additional funds.

To help kick off this visionary campaign, we invite all UUA congregations to take up a special collection to celebrate and help advance our shared future, on a Join the Move Sunday.

The official date for “Join the Move Sunday” is October 6, 2013, but congregations can designate any day that works with their calendars. The UUA Office of 24_FarnsworthStewardship and Development will send out resources throughout the summer to provide worship ideas and information on how to make this special offering a meaningful celebration of Unitarian Universalism on the move.

Every congregation that participates will become a member of the UUA’s 24 Farnsworth Society. Members will be recognized at the groundbreaking of 24 Farnsworth Street, and with a special ribbon at GA 2014. You’ll even have the chance to win prizes!

For more information on “Join the Move Sunday,” details related to the new building, and materials related to the campaign, visit the Join the Move blog.

 

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At “Justice GA” last summer, congregational delegates selected Reproductive Justice as the UUA’s current four-year Congregational Study-Action Issue. Now, a six-week Reproductive Justice Curriculum has been released to support your educational process.

Rooting UUs in our religious history and theological callings, the curriculum outlines the distinctions between reproductive “health,” “rights,” and “justice”; opens awareness of reproductive oppressions; offers opportunities to learn about ourselves and each other as sexual and reproductive beings; and equips us to move forward, out into the world, with integrity and vision.

The curriculum is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the UUA website. It was written to be used by a multigenerational group. Encourage young adults, older adults, and youth to participate in your congregation’s course and share the one-page curriculum brief (PDF).

An earlier News article also highlighted resources for congregations related to this Study-Action Issue. It can be found here.

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REMINDER TO UUA MEMBER CONGREGATIONS and related UU organizations, from the UUA Office of Church Staff Finance and Peter Henrickson, PNWD Compensation Consultant:

Open Enrollment for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Heath Plan began November 1 for all eligible staff and will continue through November 30. Eligible staff may join the plan effective January 1, 2013, even if they have not taken advantage of past enrollment opportunities.

For currently participating employees of Subscribing Employers or for Subscribing Individuals, there is nothing to do to continue coverage for 2013. Current participants will be carried over and be billed the 2013 rates. Participants are free to change plans (from High Deductible to Standard PPO, for example) by notifying the UUA Health Plan office.

For more information, see the UUA website. This page offers details on 2013 Rate and Benefit Changes, including impacts of the Affordable Health Care Act and other specific changes being made in 2013.

If your congregation is not currently participating in the UUA Health Plan, please consider enrolling your staff in your denominational health plan with outstanding benefits, consistent with Unitarian Universalist (UU) values, managed by Unitarian Universalists, and benefiting UUA-related participants and not the insurance industry.

The Affordable Care Act is adding a lot of uncertainty for all employers—uncertainty about benefits, about rates, about state-based insurance exchanges. The UUA Health Plan is committed to the long haul, however the ACA plays out. As we enter our seventh year, membership continues to grow, and our reserves are strong. Over the 2012 and 2013 policy years, out net rate change has been zero. During our first six years, rates have increased only 21%, at least 30% less than the small group market average. Unlike commercial health insurance, the UUA Health Plan is here to serve ONLY the interests of our participants and their UUA-related employers.

Please consider joining the more than 300 congregations that have become part of the UUA Health Plan movement Health care with UU values managed by the UUA and benefiting UU congregations and their staff.

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PNWD Congregations may have recently been contacted with requests to submit nomination forms for candidates running for UUA President or Moderator. Candidates for these elected positions are required by the UUA bylaws to submit a minimum number of nomination forms by February 1, 2013.

Peter Morales, UUA President

Please note that by submitting this form, congregations are not bound to endorse a candidate – they have indicated only support for a candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot for the GA 2013 elections. Multiple candidates may be nominated by any one congregation.

 

The Rev. Peter Morales is running for re-election to a second 4-year term as UUA President. You may wish to review his Candidate’s media kit.

 

 

The UUA Board of Trustees has nominated two persons to consider for a six-year term for the UUA Moderator position according to bylaw section 9.5(a):

Jim Key

 

Jim Key – You may wish to review the UUWorld profile
 or the Candidate’s Website.

Tamara Payne-Alex

Tamara Payne-Alex - You may wish to review the UUWorld profile or the Candidate’s Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several other positions will also be determined by vote of congregational delegates to GA 2013 in Louisville, KY, this summer. You may wish to review information on the UUA Website related to these elections. In addition to President and Moderator, these positions include:

      • Financial Advisor
      • Seven Trustees-at-Large
      • Presidential Nominating Committee for 2017
      • Commission on Appraisal
      • Commission on Social Witness
      • General Assembly Planning Committee
      • Nominating Committee
      • Board of Review

The Nominating Committee is nominating one or more persons for these elective offices and this information will be made public by December 10th.

Additionally, any qualified person may choose to run by petition.  For those planning on running by petition for one of the Board of Trustee positions, the petition must be specified: 1) a term of office – either one year or three years for elections in 2013, and 2) a nominated candidate to run against.

Our elections of people to serve the members and congregations of the Association are at the heart of our fifth principle of our faith and our trust in the democratic process. Please take the opportunity to learn more about the positions available and the process for running by petition.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact  Tom Loughrey, Secretary, at secretary@uua.org.

 

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The UUA is pleased to announce that audio versions of six articles of the UU World Winter issue are available for online listening or downloading. 

UU World is a quarterly publication of the Unitarian Universalist Association that is provided free as a benefit to voting members of congregations. The magazine descends from a long line of Unitarian and Universalist publications going back almost two centuries: Universalist Magazine was founded in 1819 and the Unitarian Christian Register in 1821.

If you are not receiving UU World, check with your congregation. Updates to the UU World subscription list can be made directly by your congregation’s administrator (find out how by clicking here). If you are not a voting member of a UUA congregation but would like to receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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Section Banner: Skinner House Books: an imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Skinner House Books, the imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association, invites members of UU congregations to submit original poems, prayers, or short prose pieces for consideration for a collection of meditations for congregational leaders. The anthology will be edited by Kay Montgomery, UUA Executive Vice President.

This collection is intended to foster the understanding of congregational leadership as an avenue for spiritual growth rather than an administrative chore. The ideal meditations would be both inspirational for and affirming of the work of all kinds of leaders—both professional and volunteer, lay and ordained. They would help support UU leaders through a kind of “literary ministry,” addressing issues common to many in leadership positions, and acknowledging some of the challenges as well. Overall, this collection will hold up the role of church leader as vital to healthy congregational life and honor those who serve in this capacity.

Kay Montgomery, UUA Executive Vice-President

Pieces may be serious or funny, tender or frank. They should be suitable for both private reflection and public worship. Prose meditations should be between 200 and 650 words. Poems should be no longer than 54 lines.

In your cover letter, please identify your affiliation with Unitarian Universalism. If your work has been published, please give details.

Submit your submission electronically, no later than November 15, 2012to:

Betsy Martin, Skinner House Books
bmartin@uua.org

Please include the meditations in a single, attached document.

Please type “meditations for leaders” in the subject line, and be sure to include your contact information in the body of the message.

If your work is accepted, you will be notified after January 7, 2013. Please address any questions to Marshall Hawkins, Editor, Skinner House Books, at mhawkins@uua.org.

 

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The GA Program Development Group is now accepting program proposals for the 2013 General Assembly.

Congregations, UU leaders and related groups are invited to apply for one or more of approximately 80 available 75-minute program slots available for the 2013 General Assembly.

Building on the experience of Justice GA, the General Assembly Planning Committee, the UUA Board of Trustees and the Administration seek to create a General Assembly in 2013 that moves our Association “From Promise to Commitment.”

Promises call us into relationship. The experience of making, breaking and remaking promises is the reality of our lived faith. We will gather in Louisville to examine and renew our covenant to our faith, one another, our congregations and the larger world.

To merit consideration, program proposals submitted for the 2013 GA should explore the kinds of promises our religious communities are called to make as we seek to live out our UU values; how we make them, with whom, and how we hold ourselves and each other accountable.

Equally important is the question of how might we move from the act of promise-making into the journey of long-term commitment. For example, how are we fulfilling the promises made or implied by participating in Justice GA in Phoenix last year? What new promises do we want to make? Submissions that focus on local or regional concerns and that include Louisville or Appalachia area partners are encouraged.  More detailed selection criteria can be found at http://www.uua.org/ga/programming/12741.shtml.

All submitted proposals will be reviewed by the Program Development Group (PDG). The PDG is a diverse team of UUA staff and GA Planning Committee members committed to provide excellent General Assembly programs aligned with the vision and mission of the UUA and its member congregations.

All proposals must be submitted by Thursday, November 1, 2012. Though the form is short, it still requires the clear description of a fully designed 75-minute event (workshop, worship, etc.). You also have the option to propose a 150-minute event that would occur during two workshop slots scheduled back-to-back. Proposers must assume that there will be participation of people of all abilities and of all generations in all General Assembly activities.

GA 2013 Program Proposal Form

recommended before completing proposal: GA 2013 Program Proposal Worksheet

PLEASE NOTE: All presenters at General Assembly MUST be registered – this cost is the presenter’s responsibility. Standard AV each workshop is provided (podium and microphone, an audience microphone, a projection screen, and an AV cart with an extension cord). You may bring your own additional equipment (such as projectors) or indicate on the proposal that you want to rent additional equipment at your own expense.

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UU World is a quarterly publication of the Unitarian Universalist Association that is provided free as a benefit to voting members of congregations. The magazine descends from a long line of Unitarian and Universalist publications going back almost two centuries: Universalist Magazine was founded in 1819 and the Unitarian Christian Register in 1821.

UU World‘s mission is to help its readers build their faith and act on it more effectively in their personal lives, their congregations, their communities, and the world. To this end, it strives to be not only informative but also useful, provocative, and even prophetic.

The UUA is pleased to announce that audio recordings of selected UU World articles are now available for online listening or downloading.

UU World‘s current issue and archives can be read on the award-winning online companion site, uuworld.org: liberal religion and life, which is updated with news and original content each week.

If you are not receiving UU World, check with your congregation. Updates to the UU World subscription list can be made directly by your congregation’s administrator (find out how by clicking here). If you are not a voting member of a UUA congregation but would like to receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

The Fall 2012 issue of UU World (pictured above) features a story about the religious upbringing of U.S. President Barack Obama. His grandparents and mother attended East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, WA, and when the young Barack lived with his grandparents in Hawaii, he attended religious education classes at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.

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