Wren Bellavance-Grace

Congregational Consultant

New England Region in Congregational Life

Email: wbellavancegrace@uua.org

Telephone: (617) 948-4258

The focus of Wren'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 their 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.

Wren 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. Wren 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. Wren provides support and coaching to congregational leaders who are ready to reach beyond their walls and build authentic connections with their neighbors.

Previously, Wren 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 Wren Bellavance-Grace

Displaying 1 - 10 of 14

LeaderLab

Dual Platform Future - Considering Trauma and Faith Formation
From LeaderLab
This video is a portion of the Conversations with Leaders: Dual Platform Future for All Ages webinar that was offered in April. In this video, Wren...
Stewardship: Leaps of Faith and Risky Business
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)
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...

New England Region

Right, Left, and Center!
From New England Region
Recently, I gathered around our dining room table with my daughter and her 7-year-old to play a game of Right, Left, and Center. It’s a portable game...
Of Starfish and Transformation
From New England Region
Maybe you’ve heard the inspirational story about the starfish. It’s often told as a celebration of a young child’s hope triumphing over a...
Who Are We?
From New England Region
“Hello, who are you?” “I don’t know; I’ve never met me before!” This dialogue is from a comedy skit a friend and I wrote for an elementary...
Holy Slowly
From New England Region
Opening words from Artist and Vibe Curator Eso Tolson: I don’t know who needs to hear this but rest is not a reward. You don’t have to earn rest. You...
Of Rollercoasters and Tilt-A-Whirls
From New England Region
September is County Fair season in much of New England. In our UU congregations, September is also Ingathering time; water communion time;...
A Beautiful Complicated Story
From New England Region
after I joined my congregation, I found a religious home—not just in the denominational sense, but in the radical, down-to-the-roots sense...

For more information contact .

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

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

Read the Fahs Fellowship project here: Full Week Faith