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  • Levels of Conflict

    Not all conflict is alike. Different kinds of conflict require different kinds of responses. This is an overview of a model of conflict by Alban Institute consultant Speed Leas.
    By Renee Ruchotzke, UU Leadership Institute | 6/14/2019
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  • Experiencing Conflict? Start with Covenant

    Living in a committed, covenantal community is a great way to avoid destructive conflict.
    By Kathy McGowan | 6/14/2019
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  • Developing a Behavioral Covenant

    Does your congregation suffer from constant, divisive conflict? Is your congregation looking to develop its first covenant to help members with healthier behavior? Here is a quick guide:
    By Connie Goodbread | 6/13/2019
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  • Watch Out for Triangulation!

    Avoiding triangulation will not eliminate conflict in a congregation but it will help keep it in the constructive and creative zone.
    By Kathy McGowan | 6/11/2019
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  • The Unitarian Fellowship Movement

    The History of the Unitarian Fellowship Movement
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 5/14/2019
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  • Systems Theory: The Basics

    Systems theory is extremely helpful in understanding how people work in groups and why change is sometimes so difficult.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 5/10/2019
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  • Phishing: Don't Take the Bait!

    Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day. The best defense is to encourage your employees, volunteers and congregation members to pause and look for warning signs before responding to any unsolicited email.
    By UUA Information Technology Service Staff Group | 5/10/2019
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  • Driving on Ice: A System in Times of Crisis

    What can the congregation do in a crisis to avoid a crash during conflict? The solution mostly falls to the work of the driver of the car or the congregational leaders.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 5/8/2019
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  • The Unity Consulting Approach to Congregational Governance

    Unity offers deep questions and commitments for governance within a progressive religious, covenantal context: Whose Are We? What Do We Value? What Are Our Commitments?
    By Laura Park | 5/2/2019
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  • Governance in Small Congregations

    Small congregations need a governance system that is "right sized" for the unique needs and challenges generated by their size. ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/22/2019
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  • Ends and Means in Carter Policy Governance

    Nurturing the relationship between a congregation and its governing body.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/22/2019
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  • Carver Policy Governance in a Nutshell

    Leadership is an important, yet elusive concept. It takes on different forms in different settings. The intent of Policy Governance® is to give operational definition to "leadership" as it applies in the specific context of a governing Board. It addresses the questions: "How can...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/22/2019
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  • Carver Model of Policy Governance

    Policy Governance is a fundamental redesign of the role of a Board, emphasizing values, vision and the empowerment of both Board and staff through policies, limitations and monitoring reports.
    By Margaret A Keip | 4/22/2019
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  • Dan Hotchkiss's Governance and Ministry Model

    A congregation has to organize to make its big decisions in its best and deepest frame of mind: that’s governance. It needs to organize to focus limited resources on its most important goals: that’s ministry.
    By Dan Hotchkiss | 4/22/2019
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  • Thinking About Congregational Procedures

    Procedures should have the flexibility to change as the organization changes size, staff, technologies and other situational factors.
    By Kathy McGowan, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/19/2019
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  • Initial Adoption of Bylaws

    If you are proposing bylaws for a new congregation, you may wish to include a provision dealing with their initial adoption.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/18/2019
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  • Dissolution Clause for Bylaws

    The Bylaws of the UUA require that to be affiliated with the UUA all congregations must have a dissolution clause in their bylaws.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/18/2019
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  • Dismissal of a Minister in Bylaws

    Congregations should include bylaws provisions that enable the congregation to terminate the covenantal relationship when the trust and confidence in the minister has been compromised or eroded.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/18/2019
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  • Calling a Minister in Bylaws

    Very few things that a congregation does affect it as greatly, or are as important, as the choice of a minister. Wonderful ministerial-congregational matches provide new life and purpose to an institution and help lead both parties well into the future. Therefore, congregations...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/18/2019
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  • Role of the Minister in Bylaws

    Defining the role of the minister is one of the most unique aspects of congregational bylaws. Ministry being a covenantal relationship between called minister and congregation, the details are organic and evolving.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/18/2019
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  • Ministerial Relations Committees

    Many congregations have a committee to assist and work with the professional minister or ministers. An older model is the Ministerial Relations Committee.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/18/2019
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  • Committees (of the Congregation) in Bylaws

    The only committees that need to be articulated in the bylaws are committees that are accountable to the congregation as a whole. These are usually limited to nominating committees, sometimes endowment committees, and the Settled Minister Search Committee.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/17/2019
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  • Meetings of the Governing Board for Bylaws

    Transparency and communication are essential for board meetings. Determine quorum, voting provisions and how to communicate decisions.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/17/2019
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  • Election and Composition of the Governing Board for Bylaws

    The governing board is the fiduciary agent for the congregation, operating as a single unit in service of the congregation's mission.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/16/2019
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  • Conducting Congregational Meetings in Bylaws

    How meetings are conducted--quorum, voting percentages, and model of group deliberation--reflects your theology, expectations of membership, and commitment to welcome and inclusion.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/12/2019
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  • Removal from Membership in Bylaws

    Bylaws should include two different provisions for removing people from membership. One is for people who have drifted away. The other is for removing a member for cause.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/11/2019
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  • Categories of Membership in Bylaws

    Some congregations want more flexibility in how they approach membership. For the purpose of the bylaws, it's important to clarify who has voting rights.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/11/2019
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  • Membership Requirements for Bylaws

    The minimum requirements for congregational membership should be included in the bylaws. Specific details about these requirements can be articulated in policies and updated as needed.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/11/2019
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  • Statement of UUA Membership in Bylaws

    Spelling out membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in a congregation's bylaws clearly defines the congregation as a Unitarian Universalist congregation.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/11/2019
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  • Statement of Purpose for Bylaws

    The purpose provision of the bylaws distinguishes the congregation from other institutions in the community and sets out the basic parameters for all the activity of the congregation.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/11/2019
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  • Deciding A Congregation's Name for the Bylaws

    Choosing or changing the name of the congregation is an important decision, for it will help shape the congregation's vision and image.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/11/2019
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  • A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Congregational Bylaws

    Bylaws exist to support and enhance the functioning of the congregation. Good bylaws provide good process.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/10/2019
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  • Amending Bylaws

    All bylaws need to be amended from time to time. Ideas and thoughts change, and new situations arise that need to be addressed in the bylaws. Bylaws should include provisions on how they can be amended.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/10/2019
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  • Bylaws Task Forces

    Working on Bylaws means learning together, designing a transparent process with input, and building consent before congregational voting.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/10/2019
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  • Writing Effective Bylaws: Emerging Practices

    The Bylaws provide the formal structure of your congregation and allow for maintaining and changing that structure. Bylaws hold the highest level of authority of congregational guiding documents and are the hardest to change.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/10/2019
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  • Sample Core Values Exercise: The Experience of the Holy

    This exercise helps the governing body of religious institutions answer the question: What timeless, transcendent qualities of our religious community will we embody in all we do?
    By Robert L. Eller-Isaacs, Laura Park | 4/4/2019
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  • Stewardship: Leaps of Faith and Risky Business

    aking a leap of faith can be a risky business. A hundred "what if's" can stop an idea before it starts. But if we aren't finding ways to make leaps of faith together, we will not grow, we cannot thrive. To leap may not feel safe at first, but the status quo is often less safe,...
    By Karen Bellavance-Grace | 4/2/2019
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  • Writing the History of Your Congregation

    A shared history is a powerful bond and an awareness of history can foster a sense of pride and a feeling of connectedness. The telling of this history, whether in oral or written form, is one of the most important ways that newer members of a family are welcomed into the group...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/24/2019
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  • Church Office Basics

    An efficient office requires creative management and close adherence to deadlines. It also requires close cooperation between staffs and volunteers.
    By UUA General Assembly and Conference Services | 3/24/2019
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  • Let’s You and They Fight: Triangulation

    Whenever two parts of a system become uncomfortable with one another, they will turn their focus to a third person or issue as a way to stabilize their own relationship with one another.
    By Kenneth Hurto | 3/22/2019
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  • A Comprehensive Guide for Adding a Second Worship Service

    Making the decision to add an additional worship service, or even considering such a thing, is a major undertaking in congregational life. As institutions (and even as members of institutions), we don’t always embrace even the smallest changes easily, and alterations in our...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Strategies for Adding a Service

    Adding services can provide a wonderful, invigorating climate for growth of all sorts, both individual and institutional. But large-scale change without adequate planning not only may doom the change but also may create additional problems. Therefore, ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Growing Pains When Adding a Service

    Some useful points to consider and remember as the congregation faces the addition of a service and the consequent growth.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Considering Your Staff When Adding a Service

    Adding a worship service inevitably means more work for the congregation’s staff, both professional and support.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Considering Religious Education When Adding a Service

    One of the key challenges in adding an additional service is providing religious education for children. What is needed, what will be offered, and how it will be done are large questions that need and deserve special consideration.
    3/22/2019
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  • Reasons for Adding a Second Service

    A congregation might choose to add an additional worship service for many different reasons: Some are from the needs of the congregation, and and others are driven by needs of individuals not yet within the congregational walls.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Sample Surveys for Adding a Second Service

    Three sample surveys that can be modified easily for your specific situation.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Common Concerns about Adding a Second Service

    Any change is difficult for an organization, but the change in number of worship services seems to prompt some particular fears and feelings. They need to be articulated, recognized, affirmed, and responded to so the change can move forward effectively. The following are some...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Logistical Questions for Adding a Second Service

    Adding an additional service will have a real impact on congregational life. Once the decision to add a service is made, the designing and implementation stages begin. Here are a list of questions to help guide your planning:
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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  • Shared Wisdom on Adding a Second Service

    Some tips from congregations who have added a second service.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/22/2019
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