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TopClara Barton &
Massachusetts Bay Districts
of Unitarian Universalist Congregations

NEWSLETTER: March 2012
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Districts Assembly
DA TeamApril 28: 1 to 5 pm

Everyone is welcome: congregants, district annual meeting delegates, lay leaders, religious professionals, UUs at large. No charge.

  • virtual banner parade
  • phenomenal worship
  • dialogue about the future of our faith
  • great music
  • brief annual meetings
  • good food, fellowship and fun
  • the fabulous company of fellow Unitarian Universalists 

Help us spread the word. Click below for flyers to distribute:
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Upcoming Programs 
March, 2012

Immigrant Rights: From Massachusetts to Arizona

April, 2012

  • 13th to 15th: OWL training (7 to 12) - full

May, 2012

District Calendar
Check out the wealth of  events in around the district.


Consider Coming to Justice G.A.

Beyond First Parish-itis   

by Justine Sullivan, CBD President
and John Laurenson, MBD President

JLaurensonJSullivanThere's a gently humorous, slightly reproving joke about our New England congregations that many suffer from "First Parish-itis." The joke is that in a region virtually brimming with UU churches, congregations act like tiny fiefdoms with seemingly little direct connection or collaboration amongst them.


We Unitarian Universalists, particularly those in New England, claim a special connection to our religious forebears, the Puritans and the Pilgrims, who came to New England to establish autonomous churches, free from the potentially corrupting influences of the hierarchical structures of the Church of England, Scotland, and the Roman Catholic Church. Today, we cling with great pride to the free, independent aspects of our congregational polity. We often fail to take note, however, of the other aspects of congregational polity that we are meant to live out: to be a community of gathered communities, to offer each other support and guidance, and to be neighbors to each other. [More


You're Invited to Participate   

Gathered HereGathered Here is a joint initiative of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees and the UUA Administration in which all Unitarian Universalists (UUs) are invited to discover our common aspirations and unleash the power of our faith. Across the continent one-on-one, small group, and larger group structured interviews will take place over a 16-month period that ends in October.

Participants are invited to think about their lives as UUs, their experiences in congregations or communities, meaningful moments, times of growth and positive developments, and reflect on how those positive experiences are relevant to our larger faith and how they might be applied to our collective future.

The goals of the Gathered Here Initiative are to:

  • Name our collective values and aspirations
  • Identify a vision to unleash the power of our faith
  • Help leaders at all levels to shape our future

Ways you can take part:

  • participate by sharing your story and vision
  • volunteer as a local interviewer or regional facilitator
  • together with your church, host a Congregational Conversation 

For more information and volunteer applications, click here or contact Karen Bellavance-Grace, Director of Faith Formation.  


FeatureBeyond First Parish-itis (continued from top)

Fortunately, this situation seems to be shifting. Over the past several years, it has become quite apparent that there is a tremendous yearning for deeper relationship amongst fellow UU's. We want to celebrate our common heritage. Congregations, wishing to be less isolated from each other, have asked for ways to develop more direct collaborative relationships with each other, to share resources and ideas, to learn how the neighbors are "doing UU." Our districts' staff have responded by offering a wide range of capacity-building programs such as the Learning Congregations series of workshops that focus on topics of healthy practices and procedures. These programs have attracted a wide range of leaders from all over the region, all eager to learn and work together.  


The Clara Barton and Mass Bay Boards have also responded by committing to visit the congregations of Clara Barton and Mass Bay. A couple of Board Directors will attend Sunday worship, then participate in informal discussion with church leaders to hear the stories of success and challenges. (Are you interested in a visit? Please do contact us at: and to arrange it.)


And, here's another way we can mix it up together:


On Saturday, April 28th, from 1 to 5 pm, we Unitarian Universalists of the Clara Barton and Massachusetts Bay Districts have a unique opportunity to come together as neighbors at Freely Gathered: a Districts Assembly at First Unitarian Worcester at 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA. We will share in exciting and spiritually fulfilling worship led by Reverend Tom Schade, Reverend Kim Crawford Harvie, and Music Director Beth Norton. We will also conduct the necessary annual business of our districts and gather for important conversations about how we move our congregations and our Association forward and beyond.


We bid you welcome, who come with hope in your heart.

We bid you welcome, who are seekers of a new faith.


Please plan to attend this wonderful event! We hope to see you there.    

Justine and John