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  • Showing Films in Congregations

    Planning to Show a Film? You are legally and ethically required to follow public performance laws.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Spiritual Grounding for Leadership Developement

    As religious leaders, it's important to have a "center" and a regular spiritual practice that helps us maintain that center. This not only avoids burnout, it also helps keep us focused on mission .
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA | 4/19/2018
  • Happiness as a Spiritual Practice

    Are we having fun yet? Surprisingly, many UU congregations aren't. The stress of church work, interpersonal conflict, and lack of resources, to name a few, result in congregational members worrying more and enjoying less. Based on the Shawn Achor book, The Happiness Advantage,...
    By Mark Bernstein | 12/17/2017
  • Money, Spirit, and Life: The Wi$dom Path

    How can our relationships with earning, spending, investing, and giving be spiritually healthy and grounded in our deepest values? How would our congregations and communities benefit from spiritually healthy money conversations? This experiential workshop introduces interactive...
    By Patricia Infante, Wayne B. Clark, David H. Messner | 12/17/2017
  • UU Parenting 101

    Topics we will touch on include: the spiritual needs of children, creating rituals at home, how Unitarian Universalism fits into identity development, and how parents can prepare themselves for the role as primary religious educator. 2013
    By Patricia Infante | 12/14/2017
  • Planning Teacher Training and Development

    Every RE program should provide annual training and guidance for their volunteer staff before heading back to the classroom in the fall. We'll look at sample agendas, suggested content, and ways to make important event fun and engaging day for all. 2014
    By Patricia Infante | 12/14/2017
  • Developing and Sustaining Adult RE Programs

    Topics we will touch on include: a short introduction to faith development, models for adult faith development, 10 building blocks, and creating a plan. 2013
    By Patricia Infante, Central East Region of the UUA | 12/14/2017
  • 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
  • Covenantal Faith in a Transactional World

    Because our congregations run on money, it's tempting to bring--along with it--assumptions about how money operates in other parts of our lives. We go to work and we get a paycheck. We pay the electric bill and the power company keeps our lights on. We pay at the first window...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 9/1/2015
  • Want to Develop Church Leaders? Stop Training Them!

    Let me share a fable of two congregations. ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/12/2015
  • …And That’s Where the Magic Happens

    It usually starts with one person with the beginning of an audacious idea. It has enough form so that others can visualize the possibilities. It also has enough open possibilities that others can see where they can bring their creativity and energy to help co-create it. And...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/4/2015
  • Putting on the Membership Apron

    What does it mean to be a member in a congregation? How much can we ask of members? I believe that membership should signify a commitment to the congregation and it's mission as expressed by the Rev. Michael Piazza. ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 2/19/2015
  • Art Doesn't Happen by Committee - Part 1

    Once upon a time there was a congregation that wanted a mission statement. They appointed a committee that worked hard. They held cottage meetings, World Café conversations, and got a real sense of the identity of the congregation, who they were as a "whole"—or their "center."...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/7/2014
  • Do you have "Committee Alphabet Soup?"

    I often use General Motors as an example of the top-down model of organization and leadership that is the opposite of what our congregations need to be nimble and vital (and I might add, attractive to Gen-Xers and Millennials). A story from Bloomberg "GM Recalls Stalled in 10...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/13/2014
  • Could the "Nones" become Unitarian Universalists? Part 1

    Young Adult ministry has been a challenge for congregations of all liberal protestant denominations for decades but the game is changing in ways we couldn't have imagined back in the post WWII church building boom. There has been a lively conversation on the UU-Leaders email...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/16/2013
  • "Cruel Summer" Services

    Has something like this ever happened to you when you're travelling during the summer and decide to check out the local UU congregation? You check their website, find out the service time and see that the topic is "The Secret Life of Bees," the title of one of your favorite...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/12/2013
  • Making Space for the Quiet Voices

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    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/23/2012
  • All the world's a game....

    All the world's a game....and we are just players... This paraphrase of the line from Shakespeare's As You Like It comes to mind as I am reading Jane McGonigal's book...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/23/2012
  • Leadership "Cairns" for Next Generation

    I spent several days hiking in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for my vacation. (It was a good opportunity to get away from the technology that is my constant companion during the rest of the year, since there are few cell phone towers in those mountains.) Many...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/6/2012
  • Shadows and Light

    One of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs (YouTube) begins: Every picture has its shadows And it has some source of light Blindness, blindness and sight… When I talk about leadership qualities, I find that many of the qualities can be either strengths or weaknesses—or somewhere on...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/21/2012
  • Walking Away from "No Energy" Programs

    How many of our congregations offer programming that isn't working, or has only a very small group of the "usual suspects" participating? In a recent article in The Christian Century, LeeAnne Watkins. Titled This Just Isn't Working: When People Don't Show Up, the article...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/5/2012
  • Mental Models in a Changing World

    The world around us is changing at an exponential rate, so it is often difficult to respond to the new reality. What is true for individuals is even more true for institutions, including our “living tradition” Unitarian Universalist congregations. I’m not saying this to scold or...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/31/2012
  • For Nominating Committees: Leadership Development 2.0

    What is the future of Unitarian Universalist congregations? Are we slowly declining, as hinted at in the article UUA membership and attendance declined in 2011 in the UU World? Or are we at the cusp of societal changes where we can be A Religion for Our Time ? I believe that...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/21/2012

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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