Resources for Liberating Governance for Our Times

Liberating Gov. For Our Times resources

Below you will find all the resources and materials from the gatherings of the Liberating Governance for Our Times community of practice. This community is open to everyone who is involved in governance in congregations. You are welcome to join at any time by using our sign-up form. Those who join will receive invitations to future gatherings; registration is required for each gathering.

Please review the "Community Expectations and Covenanting Practice" before joining.

These blog posts may offer some grounding as you venture into this practice with us:

Gathering 6—October 2023 Theme: Experimenting and Adapting

We looked at the practice of experimenting, learning, and adapting as we move toward more liberatory governance models. We used the example of the UU Society of Amherst, MA and their experiments with the tools of Sociocracy.

Gathering 5—August 2023 Theme: The Constancy of Mission and Practice

When our congregations are in transition or experiencing change, how do we keep the ministries going? We explored mission and practice as foundations in tumultuous times, either for a particular congregation or for the larger context.

Gathering 4—June 2023 Theme: Leadership Transitions

Late spring is the time of year when most congregations have transitions in lay leadership: people leaving the board, people joining the board, other key leadership positions shifting. At our gathering we looked at practices to celebrate and thank leaders that are stepping down, to orient leaders who are stepping up, and how to keep momentum through leadership transitions.

  • Pre-work: Preparation for Gathering 4 (Google Doc)
  • Post-gathering materials:
    • Chat (Google Doc) - this lets you see who attended both sessions, their congregations, their roles, what sparked them and what step(s) they are considering to take next.
    • Information (Google Doc) regarding the New England Region's upcoming fall Joint Board Retreats.
    • Exercise (Google Doc) for finding a good style of discussion.

Gathering 3—April 2023 Theme: Liberating Time: Making Space for Purpose

When we think about liberating governance we often feel stymied by feeling we have too much on our plates already; that we haven’t the time to imagine, let alone implement, liberating changes. What if the path to liberating change is made of (or at least begins in) small steps? Before considering larger scale shifts to governance systems we explored some relatively simple ways to free up and/or affect the quality of time in board work – both within and outside of formal meetings – to create head and heart space for deeper reflection and discernment around missional goals and comprehensive, liberating change.

Gathering 2—February 2023 Theme: The Big Picture

As we begin our shared learning, we started with some imagining. What would governance feel like if it were as spiritually alive and as mission-aligned as it could be? What have we already experienced (in our congregations or elsewhere) that helps us imagine what liberating governance would include? And what more can we envision?

  • Pre-work: Preparation for Gathering 2 (Google Doc)
  • Post-gathering materials:
    • Chat - this lets you see who attended both sessions, their congregations, their roles, what sparked them and what step(s) they are considering to take next.

Gathering 1—January 2023 Theme: Reimagining Core Values and Identity

In January, we partnered with the Spiritual Leadership for Community Change gatherings and explored what we can learn from the mandated practice of regular review and reimagining of our core values and elements of our identity. What Spiritual Leadership practices does such reimagining invite? How does the charge to the Article II Study Commission inspire us to consider a similar reimagining at the congregational level and what would that take?