Metro NY Minute

Metro NY Minute – 
September 2015

News from the District  

News from the District  

OWL and Parents as Sexuality Educators Field Testers Needed  The UUA seeks field test sites for the revised Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Grades 4-6 curriculum this fall.  In addition, congregations may field test a new Parents as Sexuality Educators program. The parenting program doesn’t require facilitator training, although experience teaching adults would be helpful. For details, please contact OWL Program Associate Melanie Davis, PhD, at 617-948-6423 or

A Call to Covenant: Third Thursday Conversations – Metro NY Unitarian Universalist District 2015-16 In Care/In Covenant Program - The Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason, IC/IC Coordinator  During the 2015-2016 program year, our Metro New York UU District In Care/In Covenant discussion group will be devoted to better understanding the often numinous processes of vocational discernment and ministerial formation. Monthly meetings will provide us time for fellowship, conversation, and grounding in UU thought.  Our central texts will be Fulfilling the Call and With Purpose and Principle; both are available online through the UUA bookstore.  We’ll meet the third (3rd) Thursday of each month during the academic year, in the evenings from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, at the Community Church of NY, in midtown Manhattan.  Keep reading...

Worth Repeating 

More Good Stuff to Check Out!

Worship Service Providers available to District congregations

RE-Sources for religious education leaders

CERG Resources by Topic for congregation leaders

CERG On-Demand Webinars for congregation leaders


Job Opportunities around the District

InterConnections for lay leaders

Congregational Bulletin, UUA monthly email, the UUA online magazine


UU Service Committee news

Milestones and Transitions

John Morehouse will be installed on November 22 at the First Unitarian Church in Westport.  The congregation is located at 10 Lyons Plains Road in Westport, CT. 

Introduction from Rev. Megan Foley, Congregation Life Consultant for the Central East Region  “Hello Metro New York congregations!  I’m so happy to be serving you in the broader Central East Region.  I’m Rev. Megan Foley, and I live outside of Washington DC.  I’ve been serving an area congregation for the past six years, and come to the region hoping to work on issues of seminarian support, small church leadership, and emerging ministries. I hope to meet you soon!”  Megan brings specialties in congregational systems, seminarian In-Care, small congregational life, collaborative ministry and multiculturalism. Previously, she served as the parish minister of theSugarloaf UU Congregation of Germantown, Maryland. She also served as the In Care Program Coordinator for the Joseph Priestley District and on the Regional Sub-Committee on Candidacy.

Compassion and Restoration One Small Group at a Time: Please join Rev. LoraKim Joyner, UU Metro NY District Right Relations Consultant, for a new and exciting program that develops compassionate communication skills and experiences in a small group ministry format.  For more information, click here.

CERG Update  Click hereto view the September 2015 Central East Regional Group of the UUA update.

New scheduled webinars from CERG include:

A variety of on-demand webinars are also available from CERG.

News from the UUA 

Announcing the UUA 2015-16 Common Read  Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption is the UUA’s 2015-16 Common Read.  Author Bryan Stevenson advocates for those trapped by the U.S. criminal justice system - poor people, people of color, children, and women. The book speaks to justice, mercy, and compassion, timeless and important concerns of people of faith.  Begin reading now; a discussion guide will be ready in October.

News from Congregations 

Fourth U Vigil on the First Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death  Sunday, August 9, members and friends of Fourth U held a four and a half hour die-in vigil (as witness to the four and a half hours that Michael Brown’s body was left in the streets of Ferguson) to mark the anniversary of his death.  Keep reading...

Members of Central Unitarian Church in Paramus cleared land, plowed soil, built walkways, erected fencing, and planted vegetables for their new "Bountiful Harvest" garden this summer. The garden is located on church property adjacent to the Van Saun County Park. All produce is donated to the Center for Food Action, Englewood, which provides emergency food packages, rental and utility assistance, advocacy, and other essential services to those in need living in northern New Jersey. More than 125 pounds of produce have already been harvested and donated to hungry families. Photo: The congregation gathered earlier this summer to dedicate the Bountiful Harvest garden, an initiative of the Social Action Committee.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills in Kingston, NY, Rev. Erica Baron, Minister, is proud to announce that they have attained Welcoming Congregation status with the UUA.  They plan on continuing to study LGBTQ issues with yearly Sunday messages, quarterly workshops on LGBTQ issues, attendance at Pride events and showing support to their local LGBTQ community whenever needed.

The UU Congregation of Rockland in Pomona, NY has hired Terri Pahucki as their new Religious Education Director.  Terri has training in Spiritual Direction, and will be participating in a Clinical Pastoral Education program at Vassar Brothers Hospital in the coming year. She serves as the Vice-President of the UU Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM) and is a member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). She received her Master’s in English Education from New York University in 2001, and spent seven years teaching English, Drama, and ESOL throughout the country (including New York City; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; and the Washington, DC area). From 2008-15, she worked as an administrator and coordinator of education, wellness, and environmental programs at the Garrison Institute. She currently lives in Beacon, NY along with her husband Lance, daughters Camille (age 11) and Elisa (age 8), and two feisty cats. Terri finds her spiritual center in nature, and enjoys gardening, hiking, writing, and mindfulness meditation.

Other Noteworthy Items

LREDA would like to honor 2 DREs for completing five Renaissance Modules.  Starr Austin from UU Fellowship of Huntington (NY) and Tracy Breneman from the UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester (Mt. Kisco, NY) and First Unitarian Society (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY).

The AIM Program launches Facebook Page  Accessibility & Inclusion Ministries (AIM) has just launched its own Facebook page!  Please visit and like them!  The link is:

The New York State Convention of Universalists will hold its Annual Meeting October 23-24 at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, NY.  The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed.  Several workshops will be offered.  All Unitarian Universalists are cordially invited to attend.  See for details.

Save the Date: Interactive Peacebuilding Workshop and Sunday Service – October 3-4, 2015  On Saturday, Oct. 3, from 1:30-4:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington, an interactive workshop, World Politics in the Twenty-first Century – Is Peace Possible?, will be presented by Dr. Ann Kelleher, an author and senior researcher and educator for The Junction, a peace organization in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The workshop addresses these issues, including the mix of long-term trends and chronic issues impacting specific world regions, among them the legacies of colonialism, including arbitrarily drawing state borders without regard for local identities or interests; declining quality of life and standards of living; autocratic rule often accompanied by cronyism and denial of human rights; and an erosion of the natural environment's capacity.  For more information, click here.

Unitarian Universalist Leadership Institute (Leadership School in Your Pocket!)  UU Leadership Institute uses online technology to create a “flipped classroom” experience.  Presentations happen online so you can view them at your convenience.  You can meet with others in your cluster for the in-person “Communities of Practice” where you discuss what you have learned. 

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Dean and Beth Casebolt, Webmaster

Caring for the Dying and the People Who Love Them  The Stony Brook congregation is offering a workshop to help people learn about the dying process, and the wide range of feelings experienced when people grieve.  This workshop is for congregational Pastoral Care teams and anyone who wants to care for people who are dying and those who love them.  For more information and to register, click here.

Memorial Service for Laurie James on Sunday, September 13 at 1:30 pm at The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, 40 East 35th Street, NY, NY.  Laurie James offered her one woman shows on Margaret Fuller, and others for 30+ years throughout the district and beyond.  She was a member of Community Church, and Plandome prior to that.  Many will remember Laurie's gifts as an actress, playwright, and historian, as well as her warmth, creativity and caring presence.  Across the country, she offered her award-winning one-woman presentation about the life and influence of Margaret Fuller.  In April, she presented herdepiction of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's provocative and pioneering  Woman's Bible.  Laurie's most recent work " Bloodheart" was presented by the The Actor's Chapel at St. Malachy's church last month, with a fall production scheduled for London.

Worship Begins With Access  Members of the Unitarian Church of Barneveld, NY are seeking funds for a vertical lift to make their historic church accessible to all.  They are currently doing this through Faithify, a crowdfunding site where passionate people FOLLOW, SHARE & FUND Unitarian Universalist ministries.  Their journey to accessibility began in 2008. They built an access ramp to the basement bathroom and social area, at a cost of $21,000. A vast amount of sweat equity and talent –architecture, carpentry,  masonry and more–has been donated by the members on top of the money spent. Already, more than half of their aging congregation enters the building via the ramp. It makes entry so much safer, especially because it melts the ice, snow and freezing rain that are so much a part of our severe Upstate New York winters.  So now, people can listen to church services downstairs…  but they’re shut out of the sanctuary until the vertical lift is installed.  The Fix: The installation of a lift system to carry persons between the levels.  Members are seeking funds for a vertical lift, a $35,000 project.  That’s a lot for a church with an annual budget under $23,000 and a membership of 48.  They saved $25,000 to purchase the lift, but need $10,000 more to install it properly.  The lift will allow members, visitors and speakers who get into the lower level via the completed ramp, to finally enter the sanctuary and thus participate more fully in the life of the church. The lift will also make the Church compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), celebrating its 25th year in 2015. Next June (2016), Unitarian Universalists from local, regional, and even national UU churches will participate in the annual pilgrimage to our Barneveld Church.  Learn more at

Youth Events

Visit the MetroYouth website for more information and other events.

Activate: Transformative Social Justice Training for Youth: Open to all high-school-aged youth interested in justice, UU College of Social Justice’s (UUCSJ) Activate programs offer you the chance to gain hands-on skills to help organize, transcend boundaries, and engage in justice work grounded in UU theology.  Working with local partners, you’ll create community across differences and leave with a deeper understanding of yourself and the work of social justice.  Youth who attended high school during the 2014-2015 school year are invited to participate.  Find out more and apply today here.

CONdike Bar - Social Con - October 23-25, 2015 - First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, Plainfield, NJ.  For a flyer, click here  Registration opens Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 8:00 pm.  To register, click here.  For Day Pass, click here.  For Waiting List, click here.

Upcoming Meetings and Workshops

Visit the District Calendar and the District Events page for these and other events. You may also want to visit the CERG Events page.

PA Universalist Convention Fall Meeting – October 2-4, 2015 – UU Congregation of Smithton, PA.  For more information, click here.

Building Healthy Congregations training series – October 3, 2015 as well as January 9, March 5, and May 14, 2016 – First Unitarian Society of Westchester, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  For complete details and to register, click here.

Dawning Future formerly known as “Defying Gravity” – November 14, 2015 – UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY.  Registration will be open September 20th – watch your email for the announcement!

The morning will be filled with TED-like talks on innovation with longer opportunities to engage with the speakers in the afternoon.


·       Moderator – Rev. Tom Schade of “the lively tradition”

·       Emerging Congregations and Beyond – Rev. Tandi Rogers

·       Crowd Funding – Rev. Sue Phillips

·       Online Ministry – Rev. Meg Riley

·       Thematic Ministry – Staff team of the Washington Ethical Society - Rev. Amanda Poppei, Melissa Sinclair, Educator and Bailey Whiteman, Musician

·       Black Lives Matter – Kenny Wiley and Rev. Barbara Gadon

·       And more in the works!