Support Services from the New England Region
Your New England Region UUA staff team is committed to equipping and supporting religious professionals and lay leaders for healthy, vital Unitarian Universalist ministries. Our staff consultants are often first and primary source of support, counsel, and connection. We thank those congregations whose generous gifts enable us to offer services and learning opportunities to 234 congregations in New England and beyond. We offer:
- Conflict transformation. Conflict is a natural part of community life. Conflict itself is not an issue but how we respond to it can be. Ignoring or denying it can be problematic, as can engaging it in ways that are destructive to individuals and congregations. Regional staff supports congregations in engaging conflict in creative ways that build sustainable, healthy relationships. Congregational leaders who seek support for their efforts at navigating conflict in their congregation are encouraged to contact any one of the NER congregational consultants.
- Individual and group consultations and coaching. Contact anyone on our staff team or call Joy Blanchette (617) 948-6415, newengland [at] uua [dot] org to initiate a conversation about your needs.
- Board and leadership retreat facilitation. As your church year starts up or midyear, you may be planning a retreat with your leadership team. Visioning, goal-setting and covenanting are common leadership practices within vital congregations. We'll connect you with our team of skilled and experienced Peer Facilitators who can design and facilitate these sessions with you. Congregations are asked to pay a modest honorarium of $50 per onsite hour plus a preparation, travel and miscellaneous expense surcharge of $50 for facilitation services. Please make your request for facilitation at least six weeks before your proposed retreat date using the linked form, or contact us at (617) 948-6415, newengland [at] uua [dot] org.
- Support for ministers and congregations in ministerial transition. The ministerial search and settlement process is well-supported by our Unitarian Universalist Association. Contact Christine Purcell, (617) 948-6125, cpurcell [at] uua [dot] org to initiate the process for the settlement of a new minister in the New England Region.
- Search and settlement support for interim, part-time and consulting ministries. Our UUA’s Transitions Office is directly involved only in ¾ time or full-time ministries. For support in ministerial transitions for positions of less than ¾ time, contact Karen Bellavance-Grace, (617) 948-4258, kbellavancegrace [at] uua [dot] org.
- Consultation on congregation-based justice ministries. We support and coach leaders interested in making justice ministries a vibrant and vital part of congregational life. Specifically, we are happy to consult with congregational leaders to evaluate, initiate, revamp, restructure and/or revitalize your congregation's justice ministries. Congregations ready to take their next steps on a racial justice journey are encouraged to be in touch. Contact Meck Groot, (617) 948-6414, mgroot [at] uua [dot] org.
- Support for lifespan religious education and faith formation. We believe healthy lifespan faith development programs are essential to creating and sustaining vital congregations. We offer support and referrals for organizational assessment, vision and goal-setting, developing healthy systems for RE Committees and other groups, consultations on religious education curricula and programming, multigenerational worship planning, conflict management assessments and interventions, training, workshops, and retreats for religious education volunteers and leaders. For more information about how we can support the Faith Formation leaders and programs in your congregation, contact Karen Bellavance-Grace, (617) 948-4258, kbellavancegrace [at] uua [dot] org.
- Small congregations support and congregational collaborations. Small congregations (membership of under 120 or so) are the majority of of our New England Unitarian Universalist churches. Contact Karen Bellavance-Grace, (617) 948-4258, kbellavancegrace [at] uua [dot] org for support in helping your small congregation to be vital and healthy, or is entering discernment about its future.
- Stewardship support. Contact Joe Sullivan, (617) 948-4383, jsullivan [at] uua [dot] org for consultation and referrals on congregation-based stewardship best practices and resources.
Regional staff also designs and delivers in-person and online learning events. These programs are designed to broaden knowledge, develop leadership skills, spark ideas and connect members of sibling congregations with one another.