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The 2020 Annual Conference in Ann Arbor, MI

Saturday, January 25, 2020   (7 Comments)
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It is with heavy hearts that we must share with you that the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries Annual Conference in Ann Arbor has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the statement here.


The Conference Planning Committee (CPC) recently spent a day engaged in deep conversations about the goals and structure of the 2020 conference, the work we are called to do as music leaders, and the ways in which the conference can best support the mission of the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries.

To support the Board's dedication to being an anti-racist, anti-oppressive organization, the CPC has identified the conference theme of "Amplifying Voices from the Margins." 

The core values of the conference are:

  • accessibility/inclusivity;
  • technology as an important and valuable tool; and
  • theology/spirituality.

The core curriculum for 2020 focuses on: 

  • developing a common language around the cultural shifts we are facing both within the AUUMM and the broader UU denomination; 
  • developing a more practical & responsible understanding of non-Eurocentric music; and
  • exploring the absence of “God” in many of our congregations, more specifically, resistance to the liturgy and language of our Christian roots. 

Present a Workshop in Ann Arbor

We are grateful to all who submit a workshop proposal and appreciate the time and care taken in offering your ideas. Our conference is only as strong as our members and those who share their expertise and passion with our colleagues. 
We are looking for workshops that describe forward thinking, innovative work and that speak to the aforementioned core values and/or curriculum. Selected workshops will appeal to a wide variety of music leaders: composers, instrumentalists, vocalists, song leaders, children’s music leaders and music directors. 
Submit your workshop idea
Other opportunities to share include:

Join a Program Team

Program teams work to create an overarching vision for the Association and the conference in the areas of Repertoire, Education, and the Songleaders Convergence.
Learn more and apply

Offer a Worship Station

Every morning, attendees have the option to choose from a number of worship stations. These are half hour sessions to awaken the mind and body. Appropriate areas to consider include guided meditation or prayer, yoga or stretching, and massage, to name a few. Attendees are free to participate in any of these programs.

Submit your worship station proposal

Conference Planning Committee

Each year, a group of dedicated volunteers come together to plan the annual conference. We are truly grateful for their time and energies. This year's Conference Planning Committee is:

Bea Ann Phillips, Program Manager and Planner
Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI (Host)
Sarah Billerbeck, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Lakewood, CO
David Glasgow, UU's of the Cumberland Valley, Boiling Springs, PA
Nancy Holland, UU Church of Studio City, Altadena, CA
John Hubert, First Universalist Church of Denver, CO
Matt Meyer, Sanctuary Boston, Boston, MA
Susan Peck, First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, NM

The Conference Planning Committee would like to thank CPC member and our host, Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Director of Worship and Music at First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.


Susan Schneider says...
Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Is there info yet on the hotel and its cost? Is the organization considering canceling due to COVID-19?
Stephen Finner says...
Posted Monday, February 3, 2020
(continued) come to feel that the labels are divisive and serve little purpose in our collective theology or liturgy. As I have written in the past, "When I sing, I touch the face of the God (or higher power) I do not know or understand." Another way I have put it is "When I hear the word, I know God is dead. When I hear the song, I know God lives. So if you would make of me a believer, sing to me" Allison King has set this latter quote, but that's a story for another time and place. May love and light shine on your road today. Steve Finner
Stephen Finner says...
Posted Monday, February 3, 2020
My last post should have read "May I commend" not May I can Mend. Google speak rides again (grin). The following is not necessarily a suggestion for a workshop, but a caution given the theme of the conference. My experience has been that the origins of music that is not Euro-centered nor "published" in the conventional sense of that word is often unclear or obscure. Similarly music from the "oral" (or "aural") tradition. How this issue can comfortable be handled within the framework of the conference, workshop or otherwise, I will leave to this most impressive Conference Planning Committee. I regret that I will not be attending the conference, but retirement and attendance at this year's GA does not make it doable financially. I am heartened to see that one element of the theme is "...exploring the absence of “God” in many of our congregations,..."Although I have labelled myself an "athiest" or "agnostic" in the classic sense of those terms,...
Stephen Finner says...
Posted Saturday, February 1, 2020
May I can mend the people's attention, Voices From The Margin, edited by Jackie James and the Reverend Mark Morrison Reed. (Skinner) Also all of Rev Mark's four books, which are also published by Skinner Books.
Stephen Finner says...
Posted Saturday, February 1, 2020
That's a very high powered planning committee. Thanks for your service.
Linda Clark says...
Posted Saturday, February 1, 2020
I hope there is clarity about balancing "developing a more practical & responsible understanding of non-Eurocentric music;" and concerns about cultural appropriation.
Jan Gartner says...
Posted Saturday, February 1, 2020
Planning to make it back this year! When are workshop proposals due?

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