About this Page
Here you will find brief descriptions of some of the ways UURMaPA seeks to help you stay connected with other UURMaPAns and information about membership. You may also want to check our Publications page to download useful documents, including our Retirement Guide and our Elderberries newsletters.
Purposes of UURMaPA
Our purpose is stated in the bylaws: In faithfulness to the Unitarian Universalist tradition and to the guidelines and code of conduct of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, the purpose of this organization shall be to serve the interests and enhance the well-being of retired Unitarian Universalist ministers and their life partners through informational communication, periodic membership gatherings, and other supportive programs and activities.
UURMaPA works with the leadership of the UUA and the UUMA to represent the interests of our membership, and to offer creative input to the process of making decisions that affect our movement and its future. UURMaPA is recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization so all donations are tax-deductible. We have no paid staff and all our work is entirely accomplished by volunteers like you! Thank you.
UURMaPA is managed by an elected nine-person Board, which meets monthly, usually by video conference, and at least once a year in person. See our Governance page for more information. The President is always eager to hear directly from members about concerns.
Local Area Connections
UURMaPA has about 40 volunteers who serve as Area Connections Coordinators across the continent and overseas. Click here to find out who they are. They stay in touch with members in each geographic area to keep up on changes in their lives. Some hold local luncheons and other activities. They also help members in financial distress to get assistance.
To find out which Connections Area you belong to, consult the Connections Area Directory or just email or call the Area Connections Coordinator closest to you. You can download the current Connections Area Directory from our Publications page.
Consider joining the UURMaPA Connections Team and becoming an Area Connections Coordinator yourself. Contact the Connections Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the Governance page for the current incumbent’s contact information. Consult the Area Connections Coordinator Notes for more information.
Our Membership Directory lists UURMaPA members (retired ministers and partners) and gives contact information as well as indicating their Connections Area. The Membership Directory is updated monthly. The most recent one can be downloaded as a PDF file from the Publications page.
The Directory includes information about UURMaPA’s leadership and incorporates the Area Connections Directory. The Area Connections Directory shows the connections areas and who is in each one. It can be downloaded separately from the Publications page.
Our Newsletter (Elderberries)
Our quarterly newsletter, Elderberries, is published at the beginning of February, May, August and October. All UURMaPA member households receive it; it is not necessary to subscribe. While the specific content will vary from one issue to the next and one editor to the next, it generally contains news of members, news of the UUA, articles of interest written by UURMaPA members, and brief obituaries. (Longer versions of these obituaries are archived on our web site on the Obituaries page). By default, it is mailed to each household, and a notice goes out on UURMaPA-announce when it is posted on our web site. You may opt out of receiving it by mail if you prefer to read it on line; send a message to notify our membership coordinator of this preference.
You can download the most recent issue of Elderberries as well as archived issues from our Publications page.
UURMaPA has several facilitated support groups that meet electronically, comprised of six to eight members who have covenanted to meet together regularly. These are somewhat like Small Group Ministry or Chalice Circles. A session typically opens with a brief check-in, a reading related to the announced topic for the session, an opportunity for each member to speak from their heart to the topic, a closing reading, and a brief checkout including choosing a topic for the next session.
Support Groups meet using Zoom technology that provides both audio and video so participants can see and interact with each other. Zoom is relatively easy to use and the facilitators provide assistance to get started and use the system. Most groups meet monthly and commit to a year of meeting, but details may be negotiated among the group.
To learn more and request to be part of a forming group, contact email@example.com.
Our e-mail list (UURMaPA-announce) is used to send you occasional and timely information from UURMaPA, including news, notices of member deaths, and opportunities to connect. The list is open only to members and is used only for UURMaPA business, and is not shared with anyone. This is a one-way list to post announcements to all UURMaPA members. It is not for discussion (for that, see Speak-Up, below). If you would like to receive messages sent to the list, send a request with your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. After your membership is verified, your address will be added to the list.
UURMaPA on Facebook
We have a Facebook page (UURMaPA) where announcements are posted. This is an open (public) page. You can check it out here and “Like” the page to see postings in your Facebook feed.
There is also a “secret” Facebook group for UU Ministers in Fellowship who are thinking about retirement, in the process of retiring, or who have retired, and are interested in conversation about the experience, planning, execution, and how life is from the “other side” of active ministry. Called “UU Ministers Retiring,” the list is open by invitation only, and is not maintained by UURMaPA. A Facebook “Secret” group means that no one who is not part of the group can find it, view postings, or see who else is in the group. To learn more and request membership, send an e-mail message to Diane Miller, who created and administers the group or reach out to her on Facebook.
Speak-Up is a conversation and discussion group by e-mail for UURMaPA members. Use the list to begin or continue a conversation of interest to our members. It’s sort of an electronic coffee hour where you can chat or request information from the dozens of others who are hanging out ready to bid you welcome. The list is hosted by the UUA and is only open to UURMaPA members. To learn more and view guidelines for use of the list or to sign up, click here. You’ll be taken to the UUA list management site.
We hold two multi-day annual conferences at retreat centers. Designed to keep costs relatively low, they include lodging, meals, and programming and plenty of time to hang out and chat with other members. Usually these have 40 to 60 participants. One is held in October in Attleboro, MA. The other is held in the winter, either in California or Florida. To learn more about planned and past conferences and to register, go to our Activities page.
Local gatherings are organized by local members, typically within one of the Connections Areas. We may gather for lunch, a holiday party, or an excursion. Whatever you can imagine that might be of interest to members nearby is welcome, but you’ll need to provide the organization power to make it happen. We’ll coach you if you like and help you let others know about it through the Area Connections Coordinator and social media. If you want to explore making one of these happen, check out our Conference Planning Guide, which can be downloaded from our Activities page and reach out to the Conferences Liaison on the the Board.
UURMaPA hosts an annual luncheon during the UUA General Assembly to honor and welcome newly retired ministers and their partners. Our annual Creative Sageing Award is presented and there is a brief business meeting and announcement. New retirees who are honored in the annual Service of the Living Tradition will receive an invitation and we’ll buy lunch for you and your partner. Other members are encouraged to attend. Watch the UURMaPA-announce e-mail list (see above) for information about cost and reservations.
If you need financial assistance (or know of another member who does), there are several funds available through the UUA to support needs of retired ministers, partners, and surviving partners. Please do not hesitate to contact the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances or your Area Connections Coordinator to talk about the need and explore possible sources of aid.
A lifetime membership in UURMaPA is automatically extended to all ministers in fellowship with the UUA when they formally announce their retirement. At the same time a lifetime membership is extended to their life partners. It is not necessary to apply.
Our membership as of late 2015 includes 578 retired ministers, 367 life partners (23 of whom are also ministers), and 154 surviving life partners of deceased ministers. Together they represent 736 households. Since half of UU ministers are now age 52 or older, we know UURMaPA’s numbers will grow considerably in the next decade.
When is a UU minister considered retired?
Ministers in fellowship with the UUA are considered retired when they announce their retirement formally to the Ministries and Faith Development Staff Group of the UUA. Their years of service are subsequently recognized at a Service of the Living Tradition, which is held in conjunction with the UUA General Assembly. UURMaPA hosts a luncheon at each GA for new retirees so that UURMaPA members at GA can honor and welcome them into our association.
Many ministers opt for retirement when their settled ministry with a congregation, or their professional relationship with another employer-organization, ends. Many retired ministers continue to work as interim or contract ministers with UU congregations for several years during retirement. Some retired ministers seek ways to earn money in secular fields. So while many ministers remain employed in some way, they still can be “retired” for purposes of ministerial standing. Partners may or may not be concurrently retired.
Some ministers are designated as Minister Emeritus/a by a congregation they previously served. Only a minority of retirees have this status, and these individuals have voting rights at the UUA General Assembly.
Further information on official retirement may be found on the UUA website.