Innovative Ministries and Programs Highlighted in Dawning Future Conference
Having a keynote speaker share an idea increases its influence and impact. Having a dozen speakers has a multiplying effect. Video-recording those speakers and sharing the presentations widely can have an exponential effect. That’s what happened at the Dawning Future Conference hosted by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock and the Central East Region and you can help the impact be exponential.
The morning was filled with short TED-talk style presentations. The afternoon featured workshops with each of the presenters so that participants could go more deeply into the topic.
The program was moderated by the Rev. Tom Schade, author of The Lively Tradition, a blog about the intersection of UU Theology and the current historical moment. He started out the morning with his talk The Gravity of the Situation: What Holds UUism Down and Prevents Us from Rising (YouTube 15:18)
The Opening Worship (YouTube 33:26) and the talk Connection, Depth, Efficiency: Being a Themed Congregation (YouTube 14:08) was presented by the staff of the Washington Ethical Society: Rev. Amanda Poppei (minister), Robyn Kravitz (Coming of Age and Teen Coordinator) , Melissa Sinclair (Director of Lifelong Learning) and Bailey Whiteman (Chorus Director). They shared the story of how they moved from Theme-based worship to using themes throughout the life of the church. (They shared more of their model in their afternoon workshop: Part 1 (55:28) & Part 2 (40:11).)
Rev. Meg Riley, the minister of our largest congregation – the Church of the Larger Fellowship – shared how her ministry is reaching places that no other UU church can, in her talk Authentic Connections in a Virtual World (YouTube: 20:04)
Nationally-known stewardship consultant Bill Clontz used humor and wisdom in his talk Let’s Talk about UUs, Money, Power and Secrecy: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (YouTube 15:33). Bill helps to bring the FUN back to FUNdraising. (He shared more of his wisdom in Part 1 (41:38) and Part 2 (48:10) in his afternoon workshop.)
Rev. Renee Ruchotzke shared her big hairy audacious goal for offering wide, deep and affordable training for church planters as well as leaders of existing congregations in her talk Lay Seminary in Your Pocket (YouTube 12:48) where she describes the online UU Leadership Institute.
The conference then moved toward justice concerns with a two part talk Hope, Anger and Empty Chairs: A Black Lives Matter Conversation. The conversation started with the Rev. Barbara Gadon, the Lead Minister of Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, MO, whose congregation has been on the front lines of the protests over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. (YouTube 13:06). She was followed by Kenny Wiley, #BlackLivesMatter activist and UU World Editor. (YouTube 13:43).
The morning talks were capped off by the Rev. Sue Phillips sharing the power of Faithify in her talk Cool Things Crowdfunding Can Teach Us About Church (YouTube 22:10), followed by a Q&A Session (YouTube 4:31)
The Central East Staff and the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock hopes you find ways to share these presentations and use them to inspire your own creativity!