We are nearly 200 UU congregations in parts or all of: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.
We are seeking to covenant with each other to find new ways of partnering and standing together on the side of love for the flourishing of our world, our communities, our congregations and our members.
Oak Brook Marriott
Oak Brook Illinois (Chicago area)
April 28 - 30, 2017
PLAN TO ATTEND IN 2017
Congregations are invited to participate!
Congregational Life Staff are here to help.
Write us: email@example.com
Call us: 312-636-9724
Leona Handler Light (1915-1992) is an impressive and puzzling figure in the history of twentieth-century Unitarian Universalism. She capably served the Western Unitarian Conference in Chicago from the mid-1930s to the early1940s and then did hazardous duty in Hungary and Transylvania before and during the outbreak of World War II. In Lawrence, Kansas, she revitalized the historic Unitarian society. She then abruptly dropped out of sight for over two decades and apparently re-emerged to take a prominent role in the Black Empowerment Controversy in the late 1960s.
And with raised eyebrow you ask, “Apparently re-emerged?” Ministry candidate and research sleuth Jon Jasper Coffee is almost certain that the “Leona H. Light” of the 1960s was the Leona Handler active in the 1930s and 1940s, but recognizes that more digging needs to be done. All the same, he has uncovered enough information, most of it from primary sources, to sketch a fascinating portrait of someone whose career should pique the curiosity of anyone interested in the history of women—or anyone—who capably served liberal religion. The following condenses his findings.
Probably born to a Baltimore family, Leona Handler studied at Tufts College, Tufts Theological School, Boston University, Northwestern University, and the Unitarian Collegium in Kolozsvar, Transylvania. Before becoming office secretary for the Western Conference of the American Unitarian Association (AUA) in Chicago, she worked as an assistant in Massachusetts congregations.
Black Lives of UU has put out a call to action to UU congregations to support Black-led organizing around the country. So far at least 70 congregations have responded.
Formed in the wake of several conversations among Black UUs at the July 2015 Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, OH - the BLUU Organizing Collective works to provide support, information & resources for Black Unitarian Universalists. We also work to expand the role & visibility of Black UUs within our faith.
We are proud to announce that the Rev. Sharon Dittmar will be joining our MidAmerica Regional staff team, come August 2016! She will be filling the opening left when Nancy Heege retired this past December.
During the search process, we received over 25 applications for this position, and it became a difficult job to pare them down to a reasonable number to interview. Many would have brought incredible gifts and skills to MidAmerica, and although we knew that we could only offer the position to one person, we wish that we were in a position to offer it to several of those we interviewed. Eventually, Sharon was offered the position—we believe that her gifts and skills will enhance our work as a staff team, and that the “fit” is just right.
The Rev. Sharon Dittmar is currently the minister at First Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, a position that she has held since 1998. During her tenure there, Sharon has helped develop leadership in the congregation so that they can work toward understanding their mission and vision, articulate their values and goals, and develop a strategic plan to help them become a more vibrant congregation. First has increased their membership more than 20% during Sharon’s tenure. In the role of Good Officer she has become a respected source of perspective and advice to her ministerial colleagues. When asked about her successes in ministry, Sharon emphasized the important of developing emotional intelligence and of focusing on developing long-term strategies with partners.