OMD Headlines

The UUA is currently accepting proposals for programming for GA 2015. For details and a link to the proposal form visit the UUA website.

 

Does your committee or congregation have a great program you'd like to share with others in the OMD and St Lawerence districts? This year we have several workshop slots available at the Ohio-Meadville & St. Lawrence Joint District Assembly in the spring. Congregations, committees, organizations, and individuals wishing to present a 1 hour, 15 minute workshop at one District Assembly this year are welcome to do so. DA will be March 27-28, 2015 in Niagara Falls, NY.

Thie 2015 theme is Strong Roots, Broad Wings. Workshops that highlight or focus on ways that congregations can or have successfully worked together on projects are highly encouraged. Cluster work is another area we are interested in highlighting. Congregations with innovative programs who would like to share those programs and their success with others are also welcomed.

The deadline to apply a workshop slot is November 10. District Assembly workshops will be selected by December 15th. Fill out the online form to apply.

 

 

This quarter's chalice lighter call benefits the OMD Emergency Fund, used to assist congregations in true emergencies. Learn more about the call.

 

Sometimes a challenge can offer an opportunity to try something new.

In the Ohio Meadville and St. Lawrence Districts of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the sudden illness and extended medical leave of St. Lawrence Congregational Life Consultant, the Rev. Chris Neilson, resulted in an all-hands-on-deck response from the district boards and from district, regional and national UUA staff.

The governing boards of the four districts that make up the Central East Regional Group have been in discussion about moving to a "Primary Contact" model where each congregation has a "go-to" person. The Primary Contact partners with the congregations’ leaders to connect them to helpful resources within the UUA (and beyond) and to strengthen relationships within clusters. The model provides an improved Primary Contact staff-to-congregation ratio in OMD and SLD (1 to 25-30 congregations). Staff will also continue to offer depth with their own portfolio "specialties" for the four districts in the region and connect congregations to specialists as needed.

The Rev. Joan VanBecelaere (lead of the Central East Regional Group) and the Rev. Scott Tayler (director of Congregational Life for the UUA) saw the challenge of the medical leave as an opportunity to pilot this primary contact program. They devised a plan to redeploy existing staff from the districts and region for the duration of the medical leave.

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The geographic boundaries of our districts are shifting. New ways of district and regional collaborating are being explored. The District Administrators in St. Lawrence and Ohio-Meadville, Sue Tabone and Beth Casebolt, have been working together on our joint District Assembly preparation for the last two years. Karen LoBracco, Program Consultant for Lifespan Faith Development, has been jointly employed with both districts to assist all 79 congregations. St. Lawrence district's Congregational Life Consultant, Rev. Chris Neilson, also serves the four districts in our region, the Central East Regional Group (CERG), as Stewardship Consultant. And Rev. Joan Van Becelaere serves CERG as Regional Lead and Congregational Life Consultant in Ohio-Meadville.

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From the Rev. Susan Karlson, CERG Disaster Response Coordinator

As the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches on October 29th, many of us yearn for some way to commemorate what a difficult year this has been for many suffering after Hurricane Sandy hit our shores. Here are some worship resources I compiled with permission from each author to post them on the Central East Regional Group (CERG) Sandy Recovery facebook page and on the CERG website.  Here is a link to those materials (  https://www.facebook.com/CergUUSandyRelief/posts/607184235993847) or you can go directly to https://www.facebook.com/CergUUSandyRelief and check out the facebook site for Sandy Recovery information which is updated frequently.

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The North UU Congregation in Lewis Center, OH and the North Hills UU Church in Pittsburgh, PA are among the six congregations selected for the Central East Regional Group (CERG) Threshold Congregation program. They join the nine congregations selected last year and the nine congregations selected in 2011. Other OMD Congregations participating in the program include First Unitarian Church, Pittsburgh, PA (2011), UU Church of Akron, OH (2012) and UU Fellowship of Wayne County, Wooster, OH (2012). Read the full article on the CERG website; or learn more about the Threshold program.

 

The CERG UU Disaster Relief Fund has raised over $200,000 in the two months since Sandy hit the mid-atlantic coast. The CERG staff offer this video as a thank you for your support.

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Did you know that the UUA Bookstore has discounts and other ways to assist congregations have great booksales?

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The Central East Regional Group is now collecting for relief for those UU Congregations affected by Hurricane Sandy. Learn more...

 
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