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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
  • 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
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Congregational Covenants

    Covenant is the silk that joins Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations, communities, and individuals together in a web of interconnection. The practice of promising to walk together is the precious core of our creedless faith.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/23/2019
  • Embodying Beloved Community and Covenantal Relationship

    Establishing and maintaining Beloved Community depends on establishing and maintaining covenantal relationships. The covenant is our sacred promise of meaningful relationship, which we mutually develop
    By Jan Christian, Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 3/18/2019
  • Creating Guiding Documents: Effective Practices

    Guiding documents like bylaws, covenants, mission statements, vision statements and strategic plans are developed in consultation with the congregation as a whole so that there is a general sense of trust and ownership. The documents can then serve as guides for the board,...
    By Renee Ruchotzke, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/15/2019
  • What Do We Promise One Another as Unitarian Universalists?

    What are our promises to each other, to our fellow congregants, to any Unitarian Universalist in the world? How do we show up for each other? To help us understand what this might mean, the UUA shared this beautiful video, created by a Unitarian Universalist and graphic designer...
    By Terasa Cooley | 1/22/2018
  • Committees on Shared Ministry

    This webinar was created for new and reforming Committees on Ministry.
    By Kathy McGowan | 10/8/2017
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Reflections on Right Relationship

    We often hear the question, "Is there a spiritual practice that is particularly Unitarian Universalist?" I believe that there is—living into our covenantal relationships. Being in community can be challenging. But being in a faith community can give us the opportunity to explore...
    By David A Miller | 11/4/2014
  • 5 Shades of Ministry

    I've spent most of my summer working with different programs and events that help to grow lay leaders in our faith. I have had the blessing of encountering dozens of earnest, committed and evangelical lay leaders wanting to spread the good news of our liberal faith. Ministry...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/6/2014
  • You are not the boss of me!

    My father-in-law was a no-nonsense businessman who worked a 600 acre farm. Fiercely independent, he liked to play by his own rules. When he bought a new piece of machinery, he would remove all of the pesky shields and other safety devices that slowed him down or got in the way...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/23/2014
  • The Dance of Shared Ministry

    I'm sharing my "charge to the congregation" for the installation of Rev. Meredith Garmon at the Community Unitarian Church of White Plains, NY on November 10, 2013. ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 11/14/2013
  • Committee on Shared Ministry

    How do Committees on Ministry function? Rev. Nancy Bowen shares an overview.
    By Nancy Bowen, Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 11/13/2013
  • Show and "Tells"

    "Your actions are speaking so loudly, I can hardly hear what you are saying." This is a quote from a webinar on the presence of leaders that I took recently. A leader's presence reflects their underlying values—it's how they wear their values. A leader with integrity embodies...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/31/2013
  • Radical Relationship II: The Theology of Covenant

    Our choice to organize around our promises among ourselves and with that which invokes our ultimate commitment is our greatest strength. Using Process Theology, we offer a framework as well as practical spiritual practices showing how living in covenant can create space for...
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Jeanelyse Doran Adams, Douglas Zelinski | 6/21/2013
  • Radical Relationship I: The Science of Covenant

    If Unitarian Universalism’s crux were reduced to a few points in space and time, they would be those potent moments just before and just after we keep promises, or break them. The power of those moments is simple, shocking, and science-based. Explore that power—its science,...
    By Douglas Zelinski, Jeanelyse Doran Adams, Renee Ruchotzke | 6/20/2013
  • Putting the "Shared" in Shared Ministry

    One of the most important factors in a vibrant congregation is a high level of covenantal trust between the minister and the lay leaders. When I say covenantal, I intentionally mean the promises made between the leaders and members and in service to that which is greater than...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/10/2013
  • The Data Trap

    Attempting to reconcile liberal religion to the scientific method has a long history among Unitarian Universalists. From the Biblical Criticism of the 19th century, to the Process Theologians of the 20th, to Thandeka's Affect Theology today, we yearn to quantify...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/26/2013
  • The Exceptional Moment of Our Unique Faith

    If the crux of Unitarian Universalism were reduced to a few points in space and time, they would be those potent moments just before and just after we keep a promise, or we break it. All that is exceptional about being human and becoming whole is crystallized in these decisive...
    By Douglas Zelinski, New England Region of the UUA | 1/29/2013
  • Return to Covenant: A Drive Time Essay

    No person is perfect. How do we ask each other to return to covenant when someone makes a mistake?
    By Karen Brammer | 2/15/2009
  • Suggestions for Team Retreats

    Teams who are just forming, or who have an important project, need to take the time to form as a team. A team retreat is a time for the members of the team to get to know one another and figure out how to work well together.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 6/15/2005
  • Mission, Vision & Covenant: The Historical Context

    What is the place of covenant in our religious history?
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 6/15/2005
  • Behavioral Covenants in Congregations

    Learning to practicie helpful and healthy behaviors allows us to act on our stated beliefs and values.
    By Qiyamah Rahman | 6/11/2005
  • An Exercise for Mission Discernment: Who are We?

    UU Communities can be very different from one another! Use this continuum exercise to see how your congregations understands itself.
    By Barbara Child | 3/18/2005
  • Sample Powerful Questions for Congregational Discernment

    As your congregation moves into times of discernment, such as doing vision, mission, or covenant work, powerful questions are ways to surface deep understandings and creative ideas.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/15/2005

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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