Small Congregations at GA 2022

The General Assembly logo, featuring the red UUA chalice to the left. The GA theme “Meet the moment: Reimagining radical faith community” is arranged in a circle. Pink letters GA are in the center, with a white web decoration to represent the World Wide Web connecting our multi platform event. In front of the letters GA, there is a purple silhouette of eight people holding hands. The persons depicted are of of varying shapes and sizes.

The list of workshops at General Assembly is long and often it's hard to find things that work for small congregations. Where are the programs and ideas that can help your congregation thrive? The Congregational Life Small Congregation Task Force has curated a list of recommended workshops at this year's General Assembly to help small congregations consider what might be the most help to them. Workshops are divided into two types - on demand and scheduling programming.

On Demand programming will be available in the Whova app before General Assembly officially begins and will continue to be available after General Assembly ends. In this category we recommend:

  • Antidotes to Conflict Poisons: Learning to Engage Lovingly - In UU congregations, conflict avoidance, a sense of urgency, and either/or thinking can make it difficult to engage conflicts well. Tema Okun identifies these as characteristics of white supremacy culture. Using her antidotes, we will learn to engage conflicts of various kinds in ways that lead toward Beloved Community. Led by UUA Congregational Life Staff.
  • Dirt Road Organizing: How to Rebuild Rural Politics - Join us for an inspiring, empowering journey down the divided backroads of America featuring campaign trail stories, a short film, hands-on training and practice in deep canvassing. This program offers actionable skills and a hopeful glimpse of the path forward to reconnect with rural voters through listening, compassion, and respect. Led by Dirt Road Organizing and Beacon Press.
  • Giving and Values: Stewardship as Family Spiritual Practice - Explore how Stewardship and Religious Education committees and staff can create a dynamic and engaging stewardship element in a family's spiritual life. This workshop includes specific activities to inspire multigenerational family conversations about pledging, values, and our UU faith. The workshop will emphasize collaboration among multiple congregational committees and leaders. Led by Stewardship For Us.
  • Our Vision for a Radical Mental Health Community - We will present our vision of a faith-based mental health movement that honors each person's unique journey to wellness. We will share our plans to develop ministries that support mental health in congregations, a liaison to the recovery movement, and UU-led justice activities in the larger world. Led by the UU Mental Health Network.
  • Planning for Financial Sustainability in Changing Times - Let’s talk about money and financial sustainability. Many congregations are at a financial crossroads, but are our annual budgeting and financial planning processes up to the challenge? Hear stories about strategic financial planning in small, medium and large congregations. Build your congregation’s roadmap for a sustainable –- thriving --financial future. Led by Stewardship For Us.
  • Power Teams: Creative Staffing and Volunteer Management - Now is the time to leverage creativity to improve staff diversity and morale. However, our communities don’t run on paid staff alone. The ability to recruit, develop, and retain volunteers directly impacts our ability to thrive into the future. Let's explore low-cost strategies and apply them to nurturing Power Teams. Led by Ebony Peace.
  • Cancelled - Smaller Than Small: Churches on the Margin - Many UU Churches are smaller than small, having less than thirty members. Protecting these churches on the margin, Smaller Than Small seeks to bring together these congregations, to envision sustainable future for ourselves and to answer a simple question: What would help look like? Led by Dr. Arthur Ogawa and CJ Marbutt.
  • Sociocracy: Governing with Equivalence, Effectiveness and Transparency - How we make decisions in our congregations can lead to vitality when we listen deeply, discern thoughtfully, and all consent to the way forward as we move to action. Learn how Sociocracy can use the wisdom of the circle to help our congregations thrive by decentering unhelpful power structures. Led by UUA Congregational Life Staff and Sociocracy for All.
  • Cancelled - Sustaining Activism: The Work that Reconnects - This highly interactive program is a set of practices from Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects meant to connect participants to to the earth, themselves, and each other. We move through gratitude, pain, seeing with new eyes, and going forth in small groups to renew ourselves and build our networks. Led by Kendra Ford.
  • Cancelled - The Theology of Article II - Join us and explore the spiritual underpinnings of Article II. We’ll briefly survey the history of Article II and then talk about what theological concerns it emphasizes in its current form. The session will close with a conversation about the theology we need from Article II in the future. Led by members of the Article II Study Commission.

Workshops that are offered live-stream or are webinars with an in-person session in Portland. These will also be recorded and posted after the event for access. In this category we recommend:

  • Not Recorded - Speaking Justice in the Language of Our Faith - Speaking Justice in the Language of our Faith invites UUs to deepen their understanding of the Seven Principles as it connects to their personal beliefs, then practice speaking about justice in way that is deeply rooted in UU values. Sponsored by the UU Service Committee. Saturday, June 25 at 1:45 pm.
  • Reimagining Stewardship and Engagement in a MultiPlatform World - Let's learn from each other, in this new multiplatform world for all of us! Stewardship seems to be a particularly challenging aspect of adaptation. We'll be presenting stories of successful stewardship engagement. Bring your experience and your questions. Expect to share your challenges and successes in this collaborative workshop. Led by Stewardship For Us. Saturday, June 25 at 1:45 pm.

If you are already registered for General Assembly as a participant in person or virtually, you have access to these workshops and resources. If you are not yet registered, it's not too late! You can still register to attend virtually or in person at the UUA website.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to the Small Congregations specialist in your region: