Assistant Director of Development and Communications
The Assistant Director has shared responsibility for carrying out the full range of development and communication tasks including coordinating creation of all print, online and other media communications for Meadville Lombard Theological School. As such s/he participates in the development of strategies for external and internal communications, facilitates/coordinates communication efforts by faculty and staff, and serves as a communications resource to faculty and staff. This position requires limited travel.
For more information click here.
Millennial Leaders Pilot Summer Project
Union Theological Seminary is inviting 25-30 young leaders to attend its Pilot Millennial Leaders Summer Conference this July 13th – 17th. Union will pay all expenses for those invited. Eligible participants are leaders between the ages of 21-35 who have a demonstrated record of sustained social justice activism in their respective communities. These leaders may hold any sort of leadership position ranging from formal positions–such as with a religious community or non-profit organization–to less official roles that still demonstrate progressive leadership. Formal affiliation with a specific religious tradition or community is not a prerequisite and people with no formal religious affiliation are encouraged to apply. The only formal requirement for consideration is an interest in the intersection between spirituality and activism.
About Millennial Leaders Pilot Summer Project
In the wake of what is now considered the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, issues of economic inequality in American society has crystallized powerfully, in both political activism and popular deliberations. A growing awareness of the stark inequality that exists between the rich and poor, between “elites” and “the masses,” captured the public’s imagination as a series of massive protests took form around the globe and were captured on television.
In the years since 2008, a number of grassroots efforts have mobilized with the aim of translating the energies of mass protests into ongoing organizing and activism in opposition to economic inequality and a host of attending issues. Significantly, such activism has attempted to advance a holistic program of progressive issues, as policies that maintain economic inequality have been tied to a broader conservative agenda that limits (and often rolls back) the rights and protections provided for women, racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQ persons and immigrants. The interlocking nature of these inequalities is clear and the need for an intersectional analysis and collaborative response, which takes account of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and religious difference, is urgent.
While there are a number of grass roots efforts underway to combat this matrix of inequalities, it is not clear that there is a space where young leaders invested in such work and others who hope to get involved can find a place that will allow them to examine the relationship between spiritual traditions and social activism. Moreover, within the context of theological education, It is not clear where young leaders can go to engage in theological reflection alongside of grappling with more practical concerns (i.e. activist and spiritual practices) as they endeavor to most effectively address these issues.
Union Theological Seminary in New York City is in a unique position to provide such a space. Union has a longstanding legacy of leadership in theological education, as well as a history of participating in progressive activism and public engagement. Here one thinks of the role liberal, black and feminist/womanist and queer theologies in various movements, but also the long history of Union faculty playing a prominent role in putting forward a progressive religious voice in the public square–from Reinhold Neibuhr and Paul Tillich to James Cone, Serene Jones and Cornel West.
Vote for Youth Observer to the UUA Board of Trustees
Your congregation’s youth group can vote for Youth Observer to the UUA Board of Trustees! The Youth Observer is a leading youth voice in Unitarian Universalist national discussions, and is the primary liaison between General Assembly Youth Caucus and the UUA Board.
Youth who vote for Youth Observer must be active in their religious community, and youth groups complete one ballot per congregation. Visit Voting Process for more information on how to vote, and your group can cast its vote online or by printed ballot.
Before voting, groups should download information on the Youth Observer candidates and/or watch the candidates’ videos on the webpage.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) relies upon energetic, committed, visionary Unitarian Universalist (UU) volunteers to serve the twenty-plus committees, panels, and task forces that work with staff and the UUA Board to carry out the mission of the Association. If volunteering at the Associational level is of interest to you, please consider a volunteer position. For more information click here.
New UUA logo part of outreach effort
A new logo for the Unitarian Universalist Association is only part of an initiative to help congregations reach out to the millennial generation and others who are unchurched.
The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, the UUA’s Program and Strategy Officer, said the new initiative developed out of a growing realization that the UUA and its congregations have been sending “inconsistent” messages about Unitarian Universalism into the larger world.
“We have not been very good about speaking to people who don’t know anything about Unitarian Universalism,” said Cooley. “We’ve never come up with a succinct way to share our faith.”
“We want congregations to think about the messages their congregations are sending out to the world that doesn’t know anything about them,” she added. “That includes thinking about how their building looks to guests, the structure of their services, their programs, whether they’re inward-oriented or serving the community, and what their online presence is like.”
A study guide will help congregations explore how they present themselves to the larger world. Cooley said individuals can use the study guide to think about their relationships to Unitarian Universalism and to become more fluent in explaining it.
This spring, the UUA is introducing its new logo, which congregations may also use. UUA.org is being redesigned to focus more on religious seekers. And the UUA is developing other resources for congregations, regional groups, and the national association to use. This effort is about much more than a new logo and a new look for the website, Cooley said. “We have to figure out how we live out this faith of ours, not just how to sell it. We need to get clearer about the ways the culture is changing and the ways we serve that culture.”
The UUA hired Proverb, a brand development company, last year. “We asked them not simply to design a new logo for us, but to help us look at ourselves differently,” Cooley said. The consultants, who researched the UUA’s image in the larger community, found that the UUA is known for progressive and inclusive behavior. At the same time, non-UUs found it hard to differentiate from other religions because of its Protestant-style worship, unclear messaging, aging membership, lack of clarity about beliefs, and a lack of consistency in congregations.
“We’re trying to reach a generation of people who are not coming out of religious backgrounds,” Cooley said. “They have no pattern of church and they have many other choices on Sunday morning besides church. We have to get really clear on what we have to offer.”
She emphasized that the UUA, while focusing on millennials, will not overlook others. “We’re not turning our backs on people already in congregations, or people over fifty. We’re speaking to everyone.”