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  • Tools and Methods to Keep Meetings Fresh and Effective

    A wide assortment of tools and methods can enhance a meeting’s productivity and enjoyment. (Yes, most meetings can be fun!) Below are a few suggestions. ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
  • Handling Difficult Behavior in Meetings

    Learn about some common difficult meeting behaviors and a few strategies to cope with them.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
  • Dealing with Conflict in Meetings

    Learn about how to prevent destructive conflict in meetings by nurturing a culture that promotes respectful communication and creative interchange.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
  • Tips for Holding a Meeting

    Learn how to better prepare for a meeting with tips on setting up space and meeting flow.
    11/3/2017
  • Meeting Preparation

    Planning well in advance enables leaders to relax and be more present at the actual event, in addition to creating a comfortable environment for participants. The following are nine key areas to consider in preparing meetings. ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
  • Maximizing Participation in Meetings

    If meetings are to be truly meaningful and transformational, it is crucial to involve participants fully. Read eleven ways to maximize participation.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
  • Congregational Meetings

    The practice of congregational polity dictates that the business of our congregations take place at congregational meetings. Learn how to hold an annual meeting and how to hear reports, elect new positions and approve the annual budget.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/2/2017
  • Meetings 101

    Learn more about the some of the basic components and concepts pertaining to meetings, together with the definitions of these terms.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/2/2017
  • Engaging Head, Heart, and Hand: Beyond Task-Only Meetings

    Meetings are a central activity in the life of any congregation, and in large measure the successes and failures of a congregation hinge upon the effectiveness of these meetings. As religious liberals, we meet because we are committed to the democratic process and want to draw...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/2/2017
  • Meetings: The Good, The Bad and the…Zzzzz

    Congregations should be good stewards of their members’ time as well as their financial gifts. Learn how to make the most of your in-person time together.
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA | 11/1/2017
  • Whole Congregation Discernment

    There are times when the congregation needs to engage in a process that will enable the congregation to reflect on its future in an organic, open and creative way—as a system. (Traditional congregational meetings do not lend themselves to such a process—they are better suited to...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/31/2017
  • Characteristics of Decentralized Governance

    How to create a congregation where people are equipped and empowered to live out the mission through ministry.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 10/31/2017
  • Membership in the Small Church

    Small congregations offer intimacy and inclusion, but can sometimes feel exclusive to newcomers. How might you bridge that divide?
    By Megan Foley | 10/30/2017
  • Committees on Shared Ministry

    This webinar was created for new and reforming Committees on Ministry.
    By Kathy McGowan | 10/8/2017
  • How to Turn ANY Disagreement into a Nasty Fight at Your Congregation

    With unfortunate regularity, we hear heart-breaking stories of how honest and important debates in congregational life descend into nasty fights. Often, those in congregations where this happens express bewilderment that a fight could erupt. I too am bewildered, but my...
    By Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 9/25/2017
  • Board Basics

    This 3-part webinar is a primer in what it means to serve on a Congregational Board, how healthy Boards function, and what are ways your congregation can function better.
    By Central East Region of the UUA, David Pyle, Beth Casebolt | 9/21/2017
  • Spiritual Practices Create Spiritual Homes

    How often do you introduce spiritual practice when your youth gather? If you are a religious educator or volunteer, make every effort to ensure that each gathering of your young ones taps into the spirit. That by the time these limitless spirits bridge from your program, they...
    By Eric Bliss | 9/18/2017
    Filed in: Youth Ministry
  • Duties of a Board—3 Key Concepts

    Larry Ladd shares his wisdom from years of consulting with not-for-profit boards.
    By Larry Ladd, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/15/2017
  • Duties of a Board

    Congregational boards hold the authority and responsibility for the congregation as an institution, as designated in the bylaws. Though comprised of individuals, the board must operate as a single entity in service of the mission of the congregation. In other words, individual...
    By Renee Ruchotzke, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/15/2017
  • Being a Learning Community

    Congregational leaders today are facing challenges that have no easy answers or quick fixes. Developing practices that enable the congregation to use its collective wisdom to experiment with different ideas and approaches. Understand Your Congregation as a System Systems theory...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group, Renee Ruchotzke | 9/13/2017
  • Congregational Policies and Procedures - An Overview

    Congregational bylaws, which lay the foundation for the congregation as a legal entity, are augmented by other documents that guide the day-to-day operations and decisions of the leaders and members of the congregation. Policies Policies are voted on by the board of trustees...
    9/12/2017
  • Congregational Bylaws - An Overview

    Bylaws are important in laying the groundwork for any organization. Although written in legal language to satisfy governmental requirements, bylaws also tell the story of a congregation. They encapsulate the vision, hopes, and dreams of the congregation and are also a last...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/12/2017
  • Creative Inclusion

    Become more informed about and more comfortable with neuro-diversity (autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc) so that we can more fully live into a practice of radical welcome. With Linette Lowe(2015).
    By MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 9/1/2017
  • From New Member to Committed Leader

    Learn how to provide paths to leadership in your congregation,to identify potential leaders and to equip them for service in your congregation. (2016).
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA | 9/1/2017
  • From Visitor to Engaged Member

    Faith traditions are all in a time of transition and the UU faith is no exception. As we struggle to consider what our faith will look like in the world of congregations and beyond, let us come together to consider some new perspectives on the traditional ideas of membership. In...
    By Marie Luna, Tandi Rogers | 9/1/2017
  • Channeling Your Success Through Good Communication

    The opportunity is great in our congregations for rumors, miscommunication, gossip and, of course, conflict. Examine the barriers to open communication processes and will explore ways in which lay and ministerial leaders can open up channels of communication and create...
    By Mark Bernstein, Central East Region of the UUA | 8/31/2017
  • Justice Ministry Matters

    Presenters: Meck Groot and Cora McCold, New England Region UUA on June 8, 2017 ...
    By New England Region of the UUA | 6/8/2017
  • Effective Meetings: Tips and Techniques

    Smooth and efficient meetings require planning, structure, transparency and practice! It takes a lot of practice to be a good facilitator. Even more importantly, good facilitators don't go it alone--they ask other leaders to take on different roles to keep the meeting on...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/7/2017
  • Creating Meetings that Matter

    In many congregations, meetings are considered a necessary evil. It doesn't have to be that way. Learn spiritual and practical ideas for running efficient, effective and faith-based meetings
    By Mark Bernstein, Central East Region of the UUA | 6/7/2017
  • Storytelling for All Ages!

    Learn how to tell a story that a multigenerational audience will enjoy and remember! Learn storytelling structures and techniques, basic mime skills, memorization tips, and how to project.
    By Central East Region of the UUA | 6/7/2017
  • Understanding Ministerial Compensation

    A brief overview of how to budget for ministry. For more detailed information visit the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances or download Ministerial Compensation 101: A Basic Primer (PDF) .
    By Renee Ruchotzke, UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 6/2/2017
  • Untangling Triangles

    Learn how triangulated communication increases unhealthy conflict in congregations, and how to avoid and untangle triangulated conversations. Pacific Western Region (2016).
    By James Kubal-Komoto, Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 6/2/2017
  • How to Be a Great Congregational President

    An opportunity for new presidents to learn the basics, share some resources, and network with those moving into the role. Featuring Amy L. Nelson, former president of the UU Congregation of Rochester, MN. (May, 2015)
    By Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 4/14/2017
  • Before Disaster Strikes

    Learn from Rev. Julie Taylor, a member of the UU Trauma Response Ministry, and Rev. Lisa Presley, MidAmerica Staff person and responder, as they discuss what a congregation can, and should do, to prepare themselves for disasters, whether natural or human caused.
    By Lisa Presley, Julie Taylor, MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 4/14/2017
  • Green Eyeshades and Rose Colored Glasses

    Congregational budget-makers frequently divide into two camps that approach the task in different ways. The first camp is likely to include children of the Great Depression, experts in finance, elementary school teachers, and persons anxious about their own money situation....
    By Dan Hotchkiss, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/20/2017
  • 3 Parts of Effective Governance

    When you understand the purpose of governance and what it needs to be effective, your work as a board becomes much clearer.
    By Dan Hotchkiss, UU Leadership Institute | 3/16/2017
  • May Day! Budget Crisis! What To Do

    One of your top donors moves to be closer to their grandchildren. Another major donor gets a new job two states away. And then two or three of your oldest members pass away. When your annual stewardship drive comes along, your finance folks discover that--in spite of an overall...
    By Patricia Infante | 3/14/2017
  • Ministerial Compensation: Unraveling the Complexities for Lay Leaders

    Jan Gartner and Rev. Richard Nugent explain ministerial compensation, including tax provisions, paycheck components, and benefits. They also share good practices for contracts.
    By Jan Gartner, Richard Nugent | 3/9/2017
  • Don't Leave Money on the Pew!

    Today, it's becoming less and less likely that people carry cash or checkbooks. Yet, the ritual of the offering plate continues, and it is less likely to be filled with spontaneous gifts. Some congregations have been paying attention to this trend, but has yours? Here are some...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/7/2017
  • We Are Communities of Care

    One congregation's way of re-imagining Joys and Concerns.
    By UU Church of Akron, Fairlawn, OH, Renee Ruchotzke | 2/28/2017
  • Serving as Leader: Effective Leadership in Small Congregations

    In this webinar, we will explore the role of leaders in a Unitarian Universalist congregation. We will offer some useful tools to help your leaders and your congregation to thrive.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 2/25/2017
  • Just a Few Kids: Creative Strategies for Congregational Engagement

    How do you create a meaningful congregational experience when you've got a small number of kids in your congregation, few of whom are the same age?
    By Sarah Movius Schurr, Sarah Gibb Millspaugh | 2/25/2017
  • Need More Volunteers? Maybe Your Bylaws Are The Problem...

    Consider making your governance committees leaner, so that more members are available to serve the ministries of the congregation.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 2/16/2017
  • Compassionate Communication

    Discover ways we can engage with one another even when we disagree through compassionate communication. This tool can be applied in any meeting or in 1-1 relationships.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 1/10/2017
  • Re-Invigorating Social Justice Ministries

    I've been hearing stories from different congregations where the Social Justice Ministries are re-inventing and re-invigorating themselves by finding out the potential sweet spot where the congregation's mission, capacity and will meets the needs and potential impact of the...
    By Lisa Bovee-Kemper, Renee Ruchotzke | 12/6/2016
  • We are the Infrastructure of the Revolution

    Abridged Excerpt from “The Future of Justice Ministries” by Rev. David Pyle The Keynote for the UU Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network Annual Meeting 2016 I always default to hope. It is the most constant aspect of my personality. And yet, hope has seemed more difficult...
    By David Pyle | 11/12/2016
  • Welcoming in an Unwelcoming World

    Following recent political changes and the social turmoil it has precipitated, UU Churches are experiencing an influx of first-time visitors and returning old friends. On social media, people are looking for community and are being pointed to our congregations. Gone are the days...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 11/11/2016
  • The Bubble of Beloved Community

    Sometimes, living in a bubble can be a good thing. It can create a barrier between harmful things on the outside and precious things on the inside. In some ways, our congregational covenants operate in this way. They articulate that "in this community, this is how we will be...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/10/2016
  • Stewardship Transitions for Small Congregations

    How can small congregations become aware of and adopt successful stewardship concepts and practices as they grow?
    By Jan Christian, Kay Crider | 10/1/2016
  • Innovation and Inspiration for UU Stewardship

    Part of the Wi$dom and Generosity Track at the 2016 General Assembly, this workshop equips lay and ordained leadership for effective stewardship in our congregations. It is a "flash” presentation of the most innovative and successful fundraising ideas.
    By Mary Katherine Morn, Vail Weller, Amy Shaw, Darcy Roake, Eric Kaminetzky, Laura Randall, UUA Stewardship and Development Staff Group | 6/24/2016

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