Ballou Channing District Fall Conference
“Getting Things Done”
Session A Session B
|A1. Healthy Congregation (Part I): an anxious congregation environment||B1. Healthy Congregation (Part II): getting to a non-anxious environment|
|A look at the problems caused when people act out or are anxious over an issue||A look at how issue can be addressed and problems solved in a less anxious environment|
|A2. Appreciative Inquiry – a new way to do visioning and planning||B2. Engaging with Hot Topics|
|Three strategies for inviting robust engagement with the issues of our times among people with diverse perspectives|
|AI techniques and how looking at attributes rather than problems can give planning a different slant|
|A3. Difficult Compassion||B3. Stewardship: canvass is important, but there is much more|
|Strategies congregations can used when faced with challenging people who raise anxiety or who actually may be destructive.|
|Techniques for conducting a canvass and for making stewardship bigger than just the canvass|
|A4. Bringing Justice Ministry into the Heart of a Congregation||B4. Justice GA Reunion: a gathering for people who went to GA 2012|
|A look at how social justice work is often now done in churches and alternatively how it could become a vital congregationally-based ministry||A gathering for individuals to share reflections & ideas for next steps on immigration justice in the BCD|
|A5. Reach Out – Bring Them In: setting out a stunning weclome mat||B5. Beyond Traditional RE: thinking about our future needs|
|The why behind welcoming & techniques to enhance welcoming activities along with ideas to reach people who may not come to church||Cultural and demographic change and ways they will affect our understanding and approach to religious education|
Saturday, October 20, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
[8:30 a.m. -- registration]
First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Canton
1508 Washington St, Canton, MA
Registration On line at http://fall2012bcd.eventbrite.com/
(close 12:00 noon October 18, 2012)
Pre-event: $30 adults / $10 youth At door: $40 adults/ $10 youth (includes a breakfast)
Each year when I present the New Leader Orientation Workshop I will get at least one person say something like, “this is my first time as a president. Any tips for me about what to do?” Just by chance, a short while ago, while doing some on-line research about volunteer management I came across a list of ‘tips” put together by Volunteers in Action, a Denver organization the provides opportunities for churches to get involved in the community. Here’s their suggested actions to be a great leader.
1. Reflect on and identify your goals. Have a clear ideas of what you want to accomplished during your tenure
2. Get organized for your term. Create a notebook and/or set up a filing system; prepare a list of phone numbers and e-mail address for board/committee members staff and other individuals who will be involved with your work to keep in an easily accessible place.
3. Develop plans. Lead the board in planning for the year (or longer) and design a way to keep track of progress throughout the year. Without a plan and tracking system the board can get bogged down or off track responding to minutia or reacting rather than being proactive.
4. Involve all members. Spread the workload among members. Also do not allow board/committee members to shirk their duties when they agree to a project.
5. Encourage dialogue and listening. Develop listening skills. Let people present their ideas without interruption. Ask clarification questions. Only after the proposal is clear and people have had time to think about it do an evaluation.
6. Clarify expectations. Make expectations about roles, responsibilities, job assignments clear to members and hold them accountable for work they agree to do
7. Conduct effective meetings. Have an agenda and stick to it; begin and end on time; be sure all materials needed for the meeting are in place and room is set up; listen to people giving them time to present their ideas, but do not draw out meeting – get to a decision. Don’t waste time on “administrivia.” Assign work to subcommittees or task force to study and report back if a topic becomes too complicated for quick discussion and decision
8. Communicate. Keep members and individuals who need to know informed about meetings, decisions, and actions taken. Think about who needs to be in the information loop. Call or send e-mail. Do not rely only on newsletter articles to tell congregation about work, make oral reports.
9. Learn from mistakes. Accept that a mistake has been made. Address problems as they arise. Do not engage in dysfunctional behaviors such as blaming, temper displays, passive aggressive actions. Make changes in policies and procedures if needed
10. Evaluate. Stop occasionally during year to evaluate where the board/committee is and what it is doing. Give feedback to the committee and adjust plans and programs as needed.
The attached video is a screencast of a presentation by Terasa Cooley, UUA Director of Congregational Life, describing a new strategic vision of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This follows conversations initiated by UUA President Peter Morales’ paper, Congregations and Beyond.
- Vision for Unitarian Universalism: Congregations and Beyond
Homepage for the “Congregations and Beyond” initiative.
- “Congregations and Beyond: Consultation” post by UUA President Morales about February consultation in Florida.
- UU World Article: UUA looking beyond traditional congregations
The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, the UUA’s director of Congregational Life, is encouraging congregations to connect with people in unconventional ways.
- UU World Storifying this conversation.
- Congregations and Beyond Wiki
- Official UUA Congregations and Beyond Facebook group
- Tweet using the #CongBeyond hashtag. This will allow anyone to pull up a list of all of our #CongBeyond tweets regardless of whether or not they are following you. It makes a unified conversation
All Souls Unitarian Universal Church in Braintree invites all Ballou Channing District congregations to march with them in the Boston Pride Parade on June 9, 2012. The contingent will march under the District banner along with a Standing on the Side of Love banner. A chartered bus to the assembly site will depart from All Souls at 9:15 and return from Boston at 3:00. Cost — $5 per person round-trip, payable by checks or cash on the 9th at the bus. For bus reservations call All Souls at 781 843-1388. Leave a message for All Souls Pride Event Coordinators, Joe Maloney and Mal Marvill. Alternatively, meet up with the group at the parade staging area in the vicinity of Copley Square.
Get those yellow shirts ready, invite the youth groups, governing board members, social justice committee, the Women’s Alliance and all congregation members to be a visible powerful presence in support of equal rights for all.
Originally posted via our e-newsletter.
Related resources from the UUA
Download and share “Illuminations,” the new Unitarian Universalist app for mobile devices developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Presently available via iTunes for Apple devices including iPad, iPhone and iTouch, this app features a library of inspirational words, the seven principles, and a digital chalice with a dynamic realistic flame. Android version coming soon.
Below is a quick product demonstration by Peter Bowden.
The summer is an excellent time to renew ourselves professionally as well as spiritually. There are two opportunities within New England that can provide professional opportunities for religious educators to meet with colleagues, glean new ideas and reinvigorate ourselves for the up coming year: Star Island and Ferry Beach.
Below please find further information about both conferences. Last year I attended both conferences and they were amazing. Each has their own unique location, style and culture. I hope you will consider attending and discovering the benefits that await you and your congregation.
Ferry Beach - The Web: Interdependent/World Wide
7/7/2012 – 7/13/2012
R U connected? Explore your connections: self-awareness, relationship in beloved community, presence on the world-wide web, and reaching across the divide of oppression — all through a week of multigenerational fun.
Star Island Lifespan Religious Education Week
7/14/2012 – 7/21/2012
The Star Island Lifespan Religious Education conference is an inspirational week-long experience combining professional development, spiritual renewal, UU faith community, and Star Island magic. We offer programming to meet both the professional and personal needs of those new to and experienced in UU lifespan faith development.
While primarily a “working” conference, this week provides ample opportunities for personal rejuvenation: a chance to model and experience the joys of UU faith community, time to relax in solitude, and also time to share the company of new and old friends and colleagues.
I just stumbled across the classic story of Gandhi and a little boy who wanted to eat sugar. Do you know it? On this read it made me think of our congregations and our stewardship…
Once upon a time a mother came to Gandhi with her little boy. She told Gandhi her son ate too much sugar. “Please, tell my son to stop eating sugar.” To this Ghandi asks her to come back in three days. Three days later the mother and son return. Ghandi then proceeds to tell the son to stop eating sugar, that it isn’t good for him.The mother looks at Ghandi shocked and asks why he couldn’t have said this three days earlier. “Because three days ago, I too was eating sugar.”
It is very common for our congregations to dedicate time in every worship service asking, if not begging, for money. I’ve found these collections can undermine the success of the larger stewardship drive as people feel like they’ve been giving all year. And when they are unsuccessful, the fund-raising is followed by multiple appeals to cover the shortfall, bigger begging. In short, we ask people to be inspiring in their personal stewardship while the congregation is modeling a “me first” survival mindset.
Here’s my adaptation of the sugar story for congregations…
The Needy Church
by Peter Bowden
Once upon a time a church struggling to meet its budget brought its members to the most respected church in the community. “Please! Tell my members they need to give away more of their money. They aren’t very generous and the congregation suffers as a result.” The big church said to come back in a year. One year later they returned. The big church said, “People, giving away a significant portion of your income to others will not only help transform our community, you will be transformed as well.” To this the other church asked why the wait. “Because when you first came, our congregation was keeping all of our pledge income to support our own institutional survival. We weren’t giving any away ourselves. But now we’ve approved an experiment for next year to give away all Sunday collections and 10% of all pledges to charitable causes.”
What if your congregation approached its worship offerings, budget and larger stewardship as if it was Ghandi needing to tell members and friends about generosity? What would new behaviors would be required?
I think something like this:
- ALL of the worship offerings are given away to support charities outside of the congregation.
- Budgets intentionally drafted as moral documents including giving percentage of total pledges.
- Stewardship process calls people to participate in outward focused work of the congregation.
What would the impact be?
- Each week we feel good about helping a charity. People give more and it feels better!
- Modeling stewardship as an institution raises the bar for everyone. The church reclaims its moral (budgeting) authority.
- When people are asked to pledge, it is a simpler calculation and an easier decision.
- What would happen if your congregation modeled the generosity you wanted to see in your members?
- Does your congregation ever give away a portion of its offering or annual budget?
- Share related ideas, stories, learning in comments below.