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 TopClara Barton &
Massachusetts Bay Districts
of Unitarian Universalist Congregations

NEWSLETTER: December 2013
In & Around the Districts
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Upcoming Programs

The following programs can also all be found on the 
CBD-MBD Calendar.

Learning Congregation Workshops

January 11: Growing Better Religion with Rev. Tandi Rogers

February 1: Unitarian Universalist Spirituality: A Wellspring for Lay Leaders with Rev. Jen Crow  
March 1: Building a Vocal Community with Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

March 22: Speaking of Class with Meck Groot 


May 17: Sermon Writing for Lay Preachers with Rev. Sue Phillips    


May 31 and June 7: New Board Member Orientations with Douglas Zelinski   


Lifespan Faith Formation and Religious Education
Our Whole Lives Facilitator Trainings

Grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12
Grades K to 1 and 4 to 6
For Religious Professionals
Annual Events: Hold Dates!

April 26: Freely Gathered - Third Annual Combined Districts Assembly

May 10: Renewing Our Commitment to Multicultural Ministries - Annual G.R.A.C.E. Team Summit
Awake! Awake!
Rev. Sue Phillipsby Rev. Sue Phillips,
District Executive

The next Great Awakening has already begun.


Unitarian Universalist leaders are calling for our congregations to work together to "create the next great awakening of liberal religion" in New England. And the wild part is they mean it!


I was in the room with a group of our region's most invested religious leaders when this call to pursue a new Great Awakening was birthed. Those present felt a palpable upsurge of energy. We knew we were onto something powerful that evoked the religious history of New England, called for personal transformation, and hinted at a region-wide movement of people called to the same purpose.


For some good people, perhaps those who actually did their high school history homework, "great awakening" conjures the image of human sinners strung like spiders by an angry god over Jonathan Edwards' fiery pits of hell. To others come images of hillside camps full of revival tents and altar calls. Some believe that the three "Great Awakenings" in the United States were inherently conservative, and therefore are dangerous ground for religious liberals to stand on.


I'm no historian, but I know that these widespread religious revivals were radical. They grappled with the angsty zeitgeist of the day and helped seekers make meaning in the midst of it. They sought to counteract something in community life that disturbed them, and they sensed that new ways of understanding Spirit were essential to bringing about the world they dreamed of.  


Our vision of a Great Awakening is indeed being born from this parent!


We envision justice-seeking people joining hands across traditional demographic silos and institutional boundaries.


We envision people seeking out religious communities to help them live happier, healthier, more purposeful lives.


We envision exuberant, joyful communities that worship boldly and prophesy loudly.


We envision extending Unitarian Universalism's welcoming theological embrace wide and deep in communities throughout New England.


This is the Great Awakening we seek. So you're going to keep hearing people talk about this brand of emergent faith. And if our vision is indeed worthy, some bit of your heart will look for the tents on the hill, and answer the call.


                                         In Faith,

Growing Better Religion

January 11, 8:30-12:30 

Worcester, MA  


You can continue your journey toward the next Great Awakening by joining other UUs on January 11, when Rev. Tandi Rogers comes to Worcester for a half-day program. Rev. Tandi is widely recognized as one of our movement's most dynamic evangelists. [Details

                  REGISTER NOW! 


Additional Resources

For a UU take on the emerging Great Awakening, see Rev. Tom Schade's blog post "A Great Awakening of the Liberal Spirit." 


For a review of American religious history, you can find excellent summaries of the first, second, and third Great Awakenings at these links:
For details on what might be seen as a fourth Great Awakening that occurred in the first decade of the new millennium, go to this description in "A New Great Awakening?" by Jay Tolson, U.S. News & World Report, (January 25, 2008).