This Is Our Church — Being/Becoming a Lay Led Congregation (Webinar)

Unitarian Universalist building sign

A webinar for lay leaders in congregations with no minister or with a minister that has gone from full-time to part-time. Ideally, three or more lay and professional leaders will watch and discuss together as a team. 
PRESENTER: Karen Bellavance-Grace,
 New England Region UUA​, November 30, 2016 (1 hr, 27 min)

Some of our congregations have experienced a reduction of ministerial hours in recent years. Some have made the decision that they can no longer afford even a part-time minister. Others of our congregations grew from the Fellowship Movement in the last century and have never had ministerial leadership. Whichever category your congregation falls into, this workshop will affirm that this is indeed your church – which is both a joyous and sometimes daunting reality.

Sometimes it can feel like there’s an inverse relationship: the fewer religious professionals available to a congregation, the greater the responsibility on the shoulders of lay leaders to keep the church wheels turning. Come to this workshop to explore how to be more healthy, more relevant, and more invested in the joyful ownership of your Spirit’s home.

In the company of lay leaders with similar experiences, we will talk about:

  • Discernment: how do we decide what is ours to do – and, crucially, what is not
  • Healthy communication, governance, and infrastructure that creates on-ramps for new leaders
  • Preventing burnout, or How Not To Be The One Person Who Does All The Things
  • The stewardship challenge – assessing your gifts, sharing the wealth, creating a culture of giving

Additionally, we will talk about remaining relevant in your unique community. Whether your congregation is newly lay-led or has never been served by a minister, times have changed dramatically in the first decades of the 21st century. The role of the church in our communities is very different now. What people are looking for, and expecting from a church community are different today than they were even one generation ago. How do we adapt to meet the new reality? What’s the best way to welcome newcomers? What do we have to learn from each other's stories?

This webinar was offered as a shorter version of our 5-hour in-person workshop in the New England Region.

About the Authors

Wren Bellavance-Grace

Wren works with the New England Region team to support congregations across New England with particular experience in Safer Congregations, faith formation, and spiritual leadership.

New England Region of the UUA

For more information, see the page about the New England Region.

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