Renee Ruchotzke

Full name: Rev. Renee Zimelis Ruchotzke

Congregational Life Staff

Central East Region in Congregational Life


Telephone: (330) 554-0828

LeaderLab Design Team

Congregational Life

Renee Ruchotzke presents a Visioning Workshop at UU Congregation of Binghamton.

Renee Ruchotzke working with the UU Congregation of Binghamton, NY

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a UUA Congregational Life Consultant since 2010.

She spends half of her time expanding the UUA Congregational Life Team's LeaderLab, UU Leadership Institute, and other online UUA resources for leadership development, organizational development, governance, growth, conflict transformation, congregational dynamics and other aspects of congregational life.

The other half of her time is with the Central East Region. She serves about 30 congregations (Greater Cleveland, OH, Western NY, and the Southern Tier of NY) as UUA Primary Contact.

Renee lives in Kent, Ohio and is a local community organizer and activist. She serves on the boards of the Kent Environmental Council, Edible Kent, the Kent League of Women Voters, the Portage County NAACP, and the Allies for Racial Justice of Portage County. She also chairs the City of Kent's Sustainability Commission.

She and her spouse Randy practice sustainable living with solar panels, an electric car, a backyard permaculture food forest, and a front yard pollinator garden on their city lot. She has also served as president of Kent Natural Foods Coop (helping them transform their governance) and was the convener of the PAC "Build a Better Kent" (organized to repel an attempt to recall half of the city council by the anti-government group that became the local Tea Party).

Renee is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and is in Full Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Renee was the Consulting Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Canton, Ohio for two years, where she actively participated in the district's small church growth project. She served her internship at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before that she served East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland, Ohio for two years as their interim Director of Religious Education. She co-authored the Tapestry of Faith curriculum, "A Chorus of Faiths." She was ordained in 2010 by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, Ohio where she has been a member since 1996. There she served in a variety of leadership roles before being called to ministry. She is now their affiliated community minister and teaches middle school religious education.

She served as the chair of the Ohio Meadville District Commissioned Lay Leader Committee from 2011-2015 and co-chair of the Program Development Group for the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly from 2012-2015. She was the 2007 recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Seminarian Award for Excellence in Social Justice, and the 2010 recipient of the Commission on Social Witness sermon award. Before being called to ministry, she was a mechanical design engineer and project manager, and was awarded a patent for one of her designs.

From Renee Ruchotzke

Displaying 1 - 10 of 184

Leadership Development Programs in Your Congregation

UUA Congregational Life Staff Group, Renee Ruchotzke

We offer affordable leadership development courses so you can spend your energy on relationships and connecting individuals to meaningful service.

A Chorus of Faiths | Tapestry of Faith

A Chorus of Faiths, High School Youth: Unitarian Universalists as Interfaith Leaders

Hannah McConnaughay, Renee Ruchotzke

From A Chorus of Faiths
Youth explore values of service to our community and religious pluralism through stories from our Sources and personal storytelling.

Better Together | Central East Region

Rethinking Terrariums

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
When I was a child, I was fascinated by terrariums.
There can be something alluring about creating miniature worlds.
The Magic of Cross-Congregation Conversations

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
Creativity is exponential. When people play off one another’s ideas and create new programs, they experience the joy of interconnection and purpose.
Nature as Beloved

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
As we move into the new normal, we have a chance to find models of community and connection that reflect our vision of who we are.
What’s In a Phrase?

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
Lately I’ve been noticing how many common idioms use the language of extraction, exploitation, coercion or hierarchy.
LeaderLab Offers Resources, Classes and More for Congregational Leaders

Kathy McGowan, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
As Susan Frederick-Gray mentioned during her president’s report at General Assembly in June, LeaderLab is a tremendous resource for congregational leaders.
Lead with Courage and Confidence

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
Our church needed a new roof and we didn’t have the money to pay for it. We had a member who yelled at people during coffee hour. New members weren’t stepping up to volunteer, let alone be...
A Traditional Ethics for a Sustainable Future

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
We are living in a time of great change, where the forces of greed, selfishness, and fear have been unleashed and the future is unclear.
Relentlessly Useful Resources for Leadership Development

Renee Ruchotzke

From Better Together
What would Unitarian Universalism look like if we trained our lay leaders as highly as we train other religious professionals such as ministers and religious educators? We would no longer be able to...

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