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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Tips for Engaging Controversial Issues

    Church leaders need to give serious consideration to whether a controversial issue should be acted on or not.
    By William E Gardner | 3/22/2019
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  • Policies on Public Witness, Actions and Statements

    Some of the most volatile disagreements in the life of the congregations have to do with who speaks for the congregation on controversial issues. How does a congregation decide?
    By William E Gardner | 3/22/2019
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  • Congregational Size Theory Resources for Growth

    More resources to help understand and lead congregation growth!
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/19/2019
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  • Embodying Beloved Community and Covenantal Relationship

    Beloved Community, Covenantal Relationships and Restoring Connection ...
    By Jan Christian, Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 3/18/2019
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  • Being a Mission-Centered Congregation

    A congregation’s mission is an answer to the question, “Why does this congregation exist in the world?” Congregational leaders are constantly faced with a barrage of decisions. Without a clear mission, how can they make those decisions?
    By James Kubal-Komoto, Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 3/18/2019
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  • A Theology for Leaders

    What do we need as a core theology to take down today's giants of racism, patriarchy, environmental destruction, and other ills of the 21st century?
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/1/2019
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  • Governance Manual for Congregational Boards

    What are the basic documents that every board member should have at their fingertips? Here is a handy list to construct your own board manual.
    By Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe, David Pyle, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 1/22/2019
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  • 20 Suggestions for a Welcoming Congregational Office

    An accessible, attractive and efficient office space makes staff, volunteers and visitors happy and productive!
    By Anne Odin Heller | 11/21/2018
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  • Job Descriptions for Board Officers

    What are typical job descriptions for the officers on a congregational board? Here is summary of typical roles and responsibilties.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/31/2018
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  • Keeping Your Church Building and People Safe

    Where to find information and links to UUA resources from out Safe Congregations team. It includes resources and sample policies to prevent and address violence, abuse, harassment, inappropriate behavior, and other threats to safety.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 10/31/2018
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  • October is Benefits Tune-Up Month!

    Is your congregation an employer? In other words do you pay folks to do work? Be it a minister, religious educator, custodian, musician, administrator or some other position? Are any of those folx participants in any of the UUA plans? Retirement, health insurance, etc?
    By Jan Gartner | 10/4/2018
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  • Who should be the Congregation's Executive in Policy Governance?

    Congregational Life Staff are often asked who performs executive functions in UU Congregations under policy governance. Here are some considerations.
    By David Pyle | 9/27/2018
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  • Institutionalizing a Ministry of Generosity - Homework

    Is your congregation seeking to become more intentional about nurturing generosity in every part of congregational life? Use these readings and reflections for a faith formation class or small group reflection.
    By Jan Christian | 8/21/2018
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  • Help Keep Your Board Out of the Weeds with "Dashboard" Financial Reports

    It's hard for boards to operate with a 30,000 foot view of the congregation's finances when they are given detailed spreadsheets of tracking the minutia of the budget. A much more useful tool is a "dashboard" report.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/16/2018
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  • Whole Congregation Decisions

    Which decisions should be made by the "congregation in meeting" via a congregational vote according to congregational polity, and which decisions can be made by the governing board?
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/4/2018
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  • Two Services - Considering, Doing, Thriving!

    Out of space? Good for you! Here are some things to think about and plan for. Going to two services offers advantages beyond solving space problems. It offers choices in service timing, for instance. This might seem like a small matter at this point, but congregations who shrink...
    By Christine C. Robinson, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/3/2018
    Filed in: LeaderLab
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