LREDA/UUMA Professional Day October 12, 2018, White Plains, NY
LREDA/UUMA Professional Day 1018
2018-10-12 10:00:00
2018-10-12 21:00:00
Friday, October 12, 2018 - 10:00 am to 9:00 pm EDT

Type of event: Conference

Sponsor: Central East Region of the UUA, Community UU Congregation at White Plains, White Plains, NY

Collaborative Leadership During These Changing Times

LREDA and UUMA Professional Day, Friday October 12, 2018, Community UU Congregation at White Plains, NY.

Leaders Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson and Tracy Breneman, Director of Religious Education.

Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson is a member of the Central East and Southern Regional Teams for the UUA. She brings specialties in conflict resolution and multicultural congregational development. She is the former minister of UU Congregation of Central Nassau, NY, where she served for 15 years. Previously, she served as Minister of Spiritual Life at the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, New York and Director of Religious Education at the First Unitarian of Brooklyn, New York.  She also brings a wealth of experience from her years of wider UUA leadership, including the UUA Appointments Committee, the UUA Nominating Committee, the UUMA Continental Good Offices team, and a variety of UU College of Social Justice leadership position, just to name a few. 

Tracy Breneman, M.A., M.S., is the religious educator currently serving the Unitarian Universalist congregations in Mt. Kisco, NY and Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. She is also a Good Officer for the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). Previously, Tracy studied, taught and practiced in the area of conflict analysis and resolution/transformation. She developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses at George Mason University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY, and Columbia University. She has also applied reflective practice in community activism. She was halfway through her doctoral dissertation in that field when life intervened, later changing course. It is a source of joy for Tracy when she can share the tools of conflict analysis and resolution/transformation in congregational life, and continue learning through the wisdom and experience shared in community.

  • Goals for the day include naming challenges that can emerge during times of change in congregations and other settings in which we serve, learning new tools for understanding and addressing conflict before it becomes a crisis, getting comfortable with constructive conflict, and appreciating the richness of diverse perspectives and approaches.
  • We will discuss interpersonal and systemic challenges that often emerge during times of change, name dynamics on staff teams and in congregations that can lead to destructive conflict, and explore how staff teams can model collaborative leadership and shared ownership toward managing or transforming challenges.
  • We will discuss ways to identify the many layers of a situation, and then consider specific goals that can result in conflict transformation. We will offer some conflict mapping tools and suggest which might be appropriate in achieving one goal or another.
  • There will be time to discuss case studies and consider work needed on our staff teams and in our congregations, identifying a starting point, plan for moving forward, and differentiating the aspirational from the realistic.
  • We will lift up the importance of self-care as we aspire to bring our best selves to each interaction.
  • This is an opportunity to build community while reminding ourselves—and each other—that we’re all in this together!

Odyssey of Rev. Craig Hirshberg will follow dinner on your own.

Rev. Craig Hirshberg currently serves as a Central Regional Adjunct Consultant and as a Regional Transition Coach.  She is a retired UU minister having served the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills and the Executive Director of the UU New Jersey Legislative Ministry (UUFaithActionNJ).   She has twenty years of ministerial experience in the pulpit and in the community, with another 15 years of lay leadership experience in the Montclair Congregation. She has also worked in Not-For-Profits in either staff or lay leadership capacity and program development most of her life. She is Minister Emerita of the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills where she served as the founding minister.  

She brings to her ministry extensive non-profit experience including training, planning, community organizing and program development.  She is a spiritual director and hosts meditation classes, retreats, and other spiritual development activities.  She is a graduate of Kent State University, Drew Theological School, and a lifelong student at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. She received her spiritual direction training at Shalem in Washington DC and from the Rowe Spiritual Direction Program.  Rev. Hirshberg also serves on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Trauma Response, being deployed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

In her next chapter of ministry, Craig is dedicating herself to ways of healing the world, one person at a time. She is also expanding her capacity to play. She is seeking creative ways to help people connect, from SoulCollage to upholstery.

She currently lives in Easton, PA with her husband, Dominick DePinto, has three grown children, two grandchildren and a dog named Rozie.

Cost: $60 for full time ministers/educators, $40 for part time ministers/educators. To request a scholarship or childcare subsidy ministers should contact Linda Anderson at revlin23 [at] gmail [dot] com and educators should contact Sarah Aherns at mnylreda [at] gmail [dot] com

Register Now
Registration deadline is October 8, 2018. You may register after this date but lunch is not guaranteed.
Do note that this registration form will also allow you to register for the Leadership Day on October 13. Learn more about that event.

Housing: A block of rooms have been reserved at the Hyatt House at the rate of $169 per night. To take advantage of this rate, please visit their website or call their reservations line 1-800-517-8548 and provide them the group code G-UUAG. Room fees are the responsibility of the individual.


10:00 am Registration
10:30 am Program
12:30 pm Lunch (provided with registration fee)
1:30 pm Program
4:30 pm Dinner Break
7:00 pm Odyssey by Rev. Craig Hirshberg
8:30 pm Reception and Desserts


468 Rosedale Avenue
White Plains
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Community UU Congregation of White Plains
468 Rosedale Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
United States
Community Unitarian Church of White Plains468 Rosedale Ave, White Plains, NY 10605, United States

For more information contact

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