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Karen Bellavance-Grace

Congregational Consultant

New England Region in Congregational Life

Email: kbellavancegrace@uua.org

Telephone: (617) 948-4258

The focus of Karen's work in New England is the support of small churches, those with under 100 - 120 or so members. More than half of all Unitarian Universalist churches in New England are small by this measure, but they are mighty in spirit, rich in history, and represent a great hope for the future of our faith. All of our congregations face a changing social and spiritual landscape in the 21st century. Small congregations can capitalize on thier ability to be nimble and flexible in order to respond creatively to these challenges and  experiment with innovative approaches that will provide vital lessons for our shared future.

Karen also focuses on congregational collaborations in New England. We have a blessing of geography across much of New England. It is quite likely that any UU church is within a short driving distance from one or more other UU churches. This blessing makes it possible for our churches to work together to magnify the impact of their ministries and thereby magnify the impact of our saving faith in their communities. Karen tracks congregations in collaborative ministries, and works with potential partners in collaboration to provide the architecture of their interdependence. Building collaborative relationships can be as simple and low risk as the governing board of one church attending a neighboring church to bear witness as they install a new settled minister. Or the relationship could be so deeply collaborative that two congregations call and share a single minister.  Karen provides support and coaching to congregational leaders who are ready to reach beyond their walls and build authentic connections with their neighbors.

Previously, Karen served as New England's Director of Faith Formation. Through a fellowship granted by the Fahs Collaborative at the Meadville Lombard Theological School, she authored a white paper, Full Week Faith, which proposes a new approach to our ministries of faith formation in response to the social, demographic, technological, and spiritual realities of  21st century America. Full Week Faith has taken on a life of its own, with a number of congregations across the country adapting their religious education and faith formation ministries, and several seminaries include Full Week Faith in their religious education classes for ministers in formation.  
 

 

 

 

From Karen Bellavance-Grace

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

LeaderLab

Stewardship: Leaps of Faith and Risky Business

Karen Bellavance-Grace

From LeaderLab
A hundred "what if's" can stop an idea before it starts
This Is Our Church — Being/Becoming a Lay Led Congregation (Webinar)

Karen Bellavance-Grace, New England Region of the UUA

From LeaderLab
Some congregations have reduced ministerial hours in recent years, some can no longer afford even a part-time minister, while others have never had ministerial leadership. Whichever category your...

WorshipWeb

On Veterans Day

Karen Bellavance-Grace

From WorshipWeb
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'Thank You,' it will be enough" —Meister Eckhart Today we have set aside time to publicly say...
In Praise of Technology & Social Media

Karen Bellavance-Grace

From WorshipWeb
In praise of computers and routers and servers and all the hardware and software that can help us build our connectedness; in praise of all the gremlins...
Veterans Day Invocation

Karen Bellavance-Grace

From WorshipWeb
Father God, Mother God, God of many names and of none, we invite your presence; be with us this morning. Be with us as we honor our veterans of wartime;...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

photograph of a woman, head and shoulders, against a lavender background

Karen Bellavance-Grace, Support of Small Congregations & Congregational Collaborations, New England Region

Read the Fahs Fellowship project here: Full Week Faith