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Massachusetts Bay Districts
of Unitarian Universalist Congregations

 
NEWSLETTER: January 2011
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In This Issue
"Administry"
Resources to Explore Our Administrative Connections
Admin Resource in District Library
Weaving the Interdependent Web Online

UPCOMING PROGRAMS
Learning Congregation Workshops
Who is in Charge Here?
with Larry Peers (February 12)

Got Purpose? It Does a Congregation Good  - Part III: Getting it into our DNA

with Doug Zelinkski
(Participation in Part III is not dependent on attendance at Parts I or II. All are welcome!)Creating and Leading Dynamic Lay Led Worship
with Rev. Sue Phillips (June 11)

Religious Education
  • April 1 to 3 - FULL
     
Renaissance Module

Youth Ministry Training - Advanced with Barb Greve and Joe Gayeski 

  • April 2, 2011 (details and registration coming soon) - note change from original date
     
Collegial Conversation with DREs and Ministers
  • May 19 (details coming soon)
     
Spring Conference
Governance and Ministry in UU Congregations
with Dan Hotchkiss
May 7, 2011 - details coming very soon

Annual Meetings
HOLD THE DATES:
  • Clara Barton District: April 9, 2011 - Brunch meeting
     
  • Massachusetts Bay District: April 10, 2011 - Dinner meeting
     
"Administry"
Judy Murrayby Judy Murray
District Administrator


There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-7)


 
As District Administrator, each year, I set my sights on February 1. In the UUA realm, February 1 is the deadline to certify congregational membership with the UUA, but the date means a whole lot more to me as I look both to the past and to the future. New Year's Day may seem like a more obvious day for introspection, but I'm usually still involved in the whirl of holiday celebrations with family and friends.

 

Following that, like retail stores, I spend January taking inventory and wrapping up the previous calendar year's business. District budgets need a checkup and fair share statements need to be sent out. The IRS sets January 31 as the last day for mailing out W-2s and 1099-MISCs.  Meanwhile, the district's workshops and OWL trainings need to go off as planned, despite all the snow. January offers little rest in the life of a district administrator with so many details to tend to and negligible time for expansive thinking. 

 

This collection of tasks is my ministry - to member churches, to individuals, and to the larger association. Collecting, storing, managing and dispensing information is a complex set of activities that many would not classify as ministry. From where I sit, however, handling information becomes ministry when:

  • it is purposeful. That is, we know why we are doing it and how it fits into a larger framework of the work we all do together.
  • we are able to clearly communicate that purpose.

Resources to Explore our Administrative Connections
AUUA LogoThe Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators' website at www.auua.org contains information for congregational and district administrators on topics relevant to their unique roles within their organizations. One of the benefits of membership is enrollment in the administrator's email listserv which connects admins throughout the UUA. Members can post questions to their peers on issues that are common to the job and receive advice and support in return. Contact Chuck Rosene, AUUA President, for more information.

MBD has a local chapter of the AUUA with monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. CBD administrators are welcome to attend. Contact Lyssa Andersson, congregational administrator in Marblehead, MA, for schedule and details.
Admin Resource in the District Library
Consider borrowing the AUUA Guidebook available on CD from the district library.  Contact Judy Murray to have it mailed to you. Visit this link for more about the district library.
Weaving the Interdependent Web Online

UUA LogoCongregations have been bombarded since last November with reminders to certify membership using my.UUA.org by February 1. CBD and MBD use these same membership numbers to calculate district fair share amounts for Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012).

The districts also have viewing access to contact information for staff and lay leadership. This eliminates the need for districts to poll congregations for the same data for construction of a separate district directory. Thus, your efforts to keep data up-to-date are vital!!!

Click the following links for

Feature "Administry" (continued from top)
  • we know when to keep information confidential and when to share it. District administrators, as well as congregational administrators, walk a fine line between pestering folks for vital information and withholding information, as confidentiality requires.
  • we use information for the purpose of building and maintaining relationships that strengthen our common purpose.
  • this work aligns with our gifts - that is, we're good at it and we enjoy it.
  • doing our work allows others to exercise their gifts. If we do what we are good at and enjoy, that leaves others to do something they're good at without having to chase down an email address, for example, or hunt for a report.

Unitarian Universalists say that all ministry is shared. Admin ministry or "administry" plays a vital role in making shared ministries possible. This is true for district administrators as well as for congregational administrators. We are doing our ministry well when the flow of information between groups and individuals allows each to do their ministry effectively.  We strive to keep data accurate and reliable while, conversely, we need input from lay people and staff to help us keep our records fresh.  A case in point is the www.myuua.org system. Its structure and accessibility allow for up-to-the-minute accurate information on every person and entity in our UU world - every individual member, lay leader, minister, RE director, music director, congregation, district, church staffer, district staffer, and UUA staffer.  Our individual efforts in this "data ministry" are small yet have an awesome collective power.

 

Back at my desk, when I turn the calendar to February, I feel proud of past accomplishments, I can understand or at least accept the past year's failures, and I am ready to truly embrace the new year. The cycles of an administrator's ministry vary somewhat from that of other ministries, yet each year brings opportunity for reflection.This February 1 invites my recommitment to administry with all of you.
 

Faithfully,

Judy
 

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