Seaway Gathering April 13-14

Headshot of Rev. Megan Foley

You Can’t Spell Church without J – O – Y 

2018 Seaway Spring Gathering

Come join UUs from across New York for a day of worshipping, learning and connecting!

 Friday, April 13

7:00 Gould Lecture with Sheila Schuh

8:30-11:00  Reception & “UUs Got Talent”

Saturday, April 14

8:00 Registration

9:00 Banner Parade and Opening Worship

9:30 Keynote with Rev. Megan Foley

10:45 Workshop Session 1

12:00 Lunch with Affinity Groups

1:15 Meet Your Neighboring Congregations

2:00 Open Space Conversations

3:00 Workshop Session 2

4:30 Closing Worship and Youth Bridging

5:00 Safe Travels



Restorative Practices 101 – Sheila Schuh, 1st Unitarian Rochester

When relationships break down in our community, what tools and wisdom do we have for rebuilding and reconciliation? We will cover basic kinds of restorative practices, how they differ, and resources for next steps.

We also will consider larger questions about the role of such practices in building more inclusive environments.

Understanding Micro-aggressions- Rev. Sunshine Wolfe, May Memorial

A 101 workshop on understanding oppression.  Discusses basic definitions including differences between oppression and prejudice and then explores microaggressions in detail.  I focus on sexism and racism, but other oppressions are covered as well including genderism, sexual orientation prejudice, and ablism.

Helping Smaller Congregations Connect with the Next Church-Going Generation – Rev. Megan Foley, Regional Lead, Central East Region

Join together with other small congregation members to hear from Rev. Megan about some simple ways to welcome and connect with the next generation of your church. There will be plenty of time to talk and compare notes with the experts – other small church members!

Sticky Membership – Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Congregational Life Staff, Central East Region

UU Congregations tend to see lots of visitors, and spend a lot of energy helping them learn about UUism and how to become a member. This workshop focuses on the next step: Helping new members develop connections and become integrated into the life of the congregation.

Help! How Do I…? Where Can I Find…?? Music resources from the UUA and other sources- Sara Jo Brandt-Doelle, First UU Church of Syracuse

What does the UU Musicians Network (UUMN) offer? How do I know if a hymn is easy to sing? Where can I find the history of a song? Can theme-based worship help our music program? What if we don’t have an accompanist? Are there new pieces out there which are good for UUs? Answers to these questions and more will be shared at this workshop concerning resources available to help congregations with their music programs.

2:00 Open Space Conversations

“Hear Here!” – Peter Diachun and others, First UU Church of Niagara

We will explain, demonstrate, and show participants how to establish an inductive loop in their own auditoriums to provide the best hearing to members who use hearing aids. Please read the following link from our Church website:

Time with Central East Regional Lead  – Rev. Megan Foley

Song-Leading without a Pianist – Rev. Kimberly DeBus

Making Coffee Hours Gluten-Free  – Tina and Melissa Lesley-Fox

There will be an opportunity to offer additional conversations on the day of the event.

3:00 Workshop Session 2

Growing Up UU – YAC Youth

Come join members of the Upstate Youth Adult Committee in a discussion based workshop about what it means to grow up UU. Participants will get a chance to listen to and share their experiences growing up in a UU community, or what it was like to not grow up UU.

Commissioned Lay Ministers: The Story – Jeff Donahue and other CLMs

Commissioned Lay Ministers (CLM) are trained lay leaders who help with a specialized ministry in your congregation.  That ministry is agreed upon my the CLM, her/his minister, and the congregation’s board.  CLMs are lay leaders who have served in many capacities and want to take their leadership and service to a higher level.  Come here stories from CLMs in upstate NY on their preparation and service.

Trends in Family Mistry – Looking beyond the classroom to foster faith development – Leah Purcell

We’ll take a look at the new initiatives Think Orange; Death of Sunday School and Full Week Faith.  What might work for your congregation – large, small or in between? How does Family Ministry fit in Religious Education? What would be the first step to bring change in your congregation? Bring the mission statements of your congregation and RE program, if you have one.

“UU White Supremacy Culture” Curiosity Circle – Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

Many UU congregations have participated in #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn, organized by the #BlackLivesOfUU. This is an opportunity to learn together so you can find their own theological center and voice in this important time. Wherever you stand or however you feel, we will meet and walk with you.

Leading and Building a Music Program in a Small Congregation – Jody Brown

You don’t need to be a large church to have great music! Come learn how the Auburn UU Society (32 members) does it!