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 TopClara Barton &
Massachusetts Bay Districts
of Unitarian Universalist Congregations

NEWSLETTER: April 2014
Upcoming Programs

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

2014 Annual Meeting
Freely Gathered 2013
April 26:  
Framingham, MA   
Third Annual Combined Annual Meeting
Facebook CBD     Facebook MBD
Like Your District!
G.R.A.C.E. Summit
Learning Congregation Workshops
May 17:
Sermon Writing for Lay Preachers with Rev. Sue Phillips    


Boston Gay Pride 2014
Our Whole Lives Facilitator Trainings

Grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 

Grades K to 1 and 4 to 6

The Next Great Awakening, One Year Later
Justine Sullivan, CBD President and Laura Graham, MBD President


This is an exciting time for our beloved Districts. In September 2013, the Clara Barton and Mass Bay Districts met for our annual retreat. Uppermost on our agenda was the question "What next for Districts? What is the next step we need to take to foster and nurture the Next Great Awakening of Liberal Religion in New England?"   


A careful and thoughtful review of the history of Districts, their original purposes, their strengths, and their weaknesses was our first order of business. How could we hold onto all that was best about Districts and let go of those things that were not helping our Faith?  




District Annual Meeting: April 26, 2014
Join delegates, board members and Jim Key, the UUA Moderator as we begin a landmark conversation about the future of Districts.


Jim Key, UUA Moderator
Jim Key, UUA Moderator
Having jettisoned governance and supervision of district staff, we will explore questions related to how the Districts will best serve congregations.

The role of Districts has been inextricably mixed with the role of the UUA, so we are excited that Jim Key will participate in the conversation. Whether you are a congregational leader, seminarian, religious professional, youth leader, or are just interested in Unitarian Universalism outside of your own congregation, join us!


CBD Annual Meeting: For info/to register, click here.

MBD Annual Meeting: For info/to register, click here.   

OPENING: Director of Congregational Development

The New England Region seeks a Director of Congregational Development to build the capacity of Unitarian Universalist congregations in the Clara Barton and Massachusetts Bay Districts (CBD-MBD) to be healthy, covenantal, and purposeful in fulfilling their spiritual mission.



Application Deadline: April 22, 2014. READ MORE 

 The Great Awakening, One Year Later - continued from above
ContinuedBy the end of our retreat, we had come to the conclusion that our future, as Districts, lay in our capacity to create connection and serve our Faith at the most local levels. We shared the belief that our Faith is not best served by Districts acting as middle-agents in our UUA's organization. We believe we have a mission and a ministry that was ours and that we could claim for ourselves. By the end of our retreat we voted on the following:


In service of our goal of sparking a great awakening of liberal religion in New England, the Massachusetts Bay and Clara Barton district boards of the Unitarian Universalist Association move together with excitement toward repurposing our boards to steward associational connections among our congregations and beyond. To this end, we will entrust governance functions to our Unitarian Universalist Association Board while maintaining our fiduciary stewardship of District assets. Therefore we will not pursue a New England-wide regional governance structure, even as we enthusiastically affirm our UUA's vision of the unified regional field staff serving our congregations and beyond.


Now that we knew what we wanted to hold onto, the next step was to better understand the logistics of change. In the months that followed our boards' votes, we checked in with our UUA Chief Financial Officer (disentangling our system of paying dues into both Districts and our UUA will take some time to achieve), met with our UUA moderator (we needed to be certain that our UUA board was ready, willing, and able to govern our congregational life staff), and worked alongside our UUA staff as they developed their own regional management structure (assets, for example, that had once been administered by our District Staff would now need to be administered by our boards). As we dove deeper into the details, one thing became crystal clear: we need to engage every member of our Districts in this discernment process. The determination of what our new mission and ministry might be is not for our boards to determine on our own, but for our membership to discern. We board members are not "the District." Our members are the District and it will be up to all of us, working together, to set our new course.  


If we are no longer doing "governance for governance's sake" as former UUA Moderator Gini Courter has described it, what is our purpose? What is the gift that we, as Districts, are particularly poised to share? What is the ministry that is truly ours to do? This is the question for all of us as we move into our future. At our April 26 Annual meeting, we will engage these questions more deeply and kick off a year of discernment during which board members will meet with congregational leaders to discern how we might best serve our Faith.

In faith,

Justine and Laura