MidAmerica Regional Assembly Workshops

Session 1

A. Building Future Capacity Through Collaboration

The way we do church in small congregations is unsustainable for the future. Collaboration brings deeper relationship and greater capacity. Based on our experience in Kansas, we’ll share the whys and hows of collaboration among congregations, touching everything from worship to small group ministry to social action.

Presenters: Rev. Jonalu Johnstone, Developmental Minister UU Fellowship of Manhattan, KS, and Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, Minister UU Fellowship of Topeka, KS

B. Tending our Spirits: Seeking Justice and Inclusion in Youth and Young Adult Ministries

In our efforts to dismantle white supremacy and effect change, there is a need for group spiritual practices in our congregations. We will explore a "Community of Care model," and demonstrate ways that youth and young adults can tend their spirits while seeking justice and inclusion.

Presenters: Colleen Lee and Nyana Harper, Spiritual Directors of our Youth Midwest Leadership School, and Nancy Combs-Morgan, Congregational Life Consultant.

C. Intersectionality As A Way of Being

Through spoken word poetry performance art and through a lens of community activism, this workshop will take a deep look at the intersectionality framework, and how we Unitarian Universalists can use it as a tool to change ourselves, our congregations, and our communities. Attendees will be encouraged to share their knowledge, experiences, and ideas about how we can use all of this to empower Unitarian Universalism as we deal with social justice issues in our nation, and beyond.

Presenter: Christopher Sims, poet

D. Cancelled - if you chose this workshop you can choose another when you arrive.

E. The Social Justice-Rooted Congregation: An Assessment Model

Using a rigorous practice of self-assessment and several tools for visioning new ways of being, we will look at what a truly justice-centered congregational culture could be like, and build skills for moving our congregations toward embodying a justice practice in all areas of congregational life.

Presenters: Rev. Ashley Horan and Pastor Danny Givens, Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance

F. Cancelled - if you chose this workshop you can choose another when you arrive.

G. Spiritual Care in Difficult Times

This will be a follow-up workshop to the presentation Karen is giving. Presenter: the Rev. Karen Hutt (this workshop will be presented twice)

H. Stewardship: Building a Sustainable Future

This workshop will address four elements of good stewardship practice: year-round education, how to cultivate generosity as a spiritual practice, ways to include a diverse range of ages and identities, and sustainable financial strategies. Case studies will be presented for discussion and there will be time for your questions!

Presenter: Patricia Infante, Congregational Life Consultant for the Central East Region

I. Why Addressing Systemic Racism Matters

Why does the work of the Commission on Institutional Change matter to your UU community? Come and learn about the work of the Commission and engage in a dialogue about the ways that systemic bias and racism is hindering our ability to adapt our living tradition to the demands of today. A presentation on the work of the Commission, including an exciting glimpse of what more inclusive UU spaces could look like will be given, with discussion and an information on how you can add your perspectives to this work.

Presenters: Members of the Commission on Institutional Change

Session 2

J. Celebrating Diversity with Equitable Stewardship

Many of our congregations want to engage current and potential congregants who are demographically diverse in many different ways – economically, ethnically, in age, and culturally. Is your stewardship ready for this? This workshop will provide guidance and strategies to make your program more equitable.

Presenter: Mark Ewart, Stewardship For Us, UUA stewardship consultant

K. Dying: To Know

This workshop will have two components: 1) exploring the spiritual, emotional, and physical elements of death through various cultural lens, and 2) sharing successes and failures of the UU Congregation of Bloomington, Indiana, in creating programming around end-of-life issues, including their VALE (Vigiling at Life’s End) ministry which includes thirty volunteers.

Presenters: Rev. Mary Ann Macklin, UU Congregation of Bloomington, IN, and Frank Seisho Diaz, Open Mind Zen Bloomington Center

L. How International U/U Engagement Impacts Justice Work at Home

Engaging with Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists abroad is complex. In some places such as the Philippines, the ongoing history of US colonialism/imperialism continues to impact our engagement in ways we are called to understand and deconstruct. And this ongoing history impacts elsewhere such as Transylvania in significant yet less obvious ways. Working through these complexities can help us spiritually and in our justice work where we live.

Presenter: Rev. Roger Bertschausen, UU Partner Church Council

M. It’s All About Power: Using an Intersectional Framework to Dismantle White Supremacy

What does Intersectionality mean in a racial justice context? What does it have to do with Power? Why does it matter? Using multimedia and experiential activities, Allies for Racial Equity and Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries provide space to explore Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality in our current context.

Presenters: Rev. Karen Armina, Allies for Racial Equity; with Ben Gabel and Kim Warman.

N. Listen & Act: Sociocracy for Just and Democratic Decision Making

How do UUs ensure all voices are heard in a democratic way? Sociocracy is a non-hierarchical decision-making model that ensures different identities, needs and concerns are honored. Learn about how the UU Ministry for Earth uses this process for climate justice, and practice skills you can bring to your community.

Presenters: Amelia Diehl and Elizabeth Mount, UU Young Adults for Climate Justice/UU Ministry for Earth

O. Risking Generosity: Stewardship in These Times

This is no time for a casual commitment to our faith. Money empowers your congregation to live its values. This workshop will encourage and enable you to unlock that power. As we risk generosity, we can meet the challenges of our time.

Presenters: Vail Weller, Congregational Giving Director, UUA and Cheri Taylor, Major Gift Officer, UUA

P. The Spectrum of Belonging: From Curious to Leader

Step 1: Get people in your doors. Step 2: Help them connect to others, Unitarian Universalism and their own spiritual path. Step 3: Help them engage deeply into the life of the congregation and our faith. Step 4: Create avenues for leadership development that is valuable for all involved.

Presenter: Marie Luna, UU Membership Professionals

Q. Spiritual Care in Difficult Times

This will be a follow-up workshop to the presentation Karen is giving.

Presenter: the Rev. Karen Hutt (this workshop will be presented twice)

R. Trans Inclusion Now: Why LGBTQ Welcome Is Failing Trans People in UUism

The majority of trans people who come into Unitarian Universalist spaces do not experience full affirmation or get their spiritual needs met, despite our faith's decades of work in LGBTQ welcome and advocacy. Come learn why intersectional, radical welcome is required, and how your congregation can embrace transformation!

Presenter: Alex Kapitan, Transforming Hearts Collective

S. FOR PERSONS OF COLOR ONLY: DRUUMM 2.0, Envisioning the Power of Our Communities of Color

Members of DRUUMM Steering Committee will give a brief overview of the history and current vision for the future. Through interactive community building activities, small group discussions, and artistic projects, we hope to foster relationships with and between attendees, support the renewal and new growth of DRUUMM chapters, and encourage participation to help DRUUMM 2.0 become a reality. Bring an open mind, loving heart, ready hands, and your vision for growing the DRUUMM community.
Presenters: Ben Gabel and Janell Hill, members of DRUUMM Steering Committee