Renee Ruchotzke

Full name: Rev. Renee Zimelis Ruchotzke

Congregational Life Staff

Central East Region in Congregational Life


Telephone: (330) 554-0828

LeaderLab Co-Dean

Congregational Life


Telephone: (330) 554-0828

Headshot of Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

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 (including Sociocracy), 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 Portage County Parks District, Kent Environmental Council, Kelly's Working Well Farm, the Kent League of Women Voters, the Portage County NAACP, and the Allies for Racial Justice of Portage County.

She and her spouse Randy practice sustainable living with solar panels, two electric cars, 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). She is a former chair of the City of Kent's Sustainability Commission.

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 high 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 (US #4963071) for one of her designs.

From Renee Ruchotzke

Displaying 21 - 30 of 200

Are you already livestreaming and want to do more to integrate the online and in person participation? Here are some practical tips!

Book | By George Carvill, Evin Carvill Ziemer, Renee Ruchotzke | November 17, 2021 | From LeaderLab

How might our expectations about year-round berries impact our expectations around our church’s programming? Sometimes we see consumer expectations show up in our faith communities when it comes to Sunday services, religious exploration, and so on.

By Renee Ruchotzke | November 1, 2021 | From Better Together

Introduction and Overview of Camera Options video text Audio video text OBS video text Camera Mounting and Placement video text Lighting video text If You Need Help video text...

By Warren Brown, Renee Ruchotzke | October 29, 2021 | From LeaderLab

When people ask me, “What is a Jubilee training?” I try to describe an experience of a similar shift in thinking. The workshop shines a light on the ways cultural and institutional racism operate in American culture.

By Renee Ruchotzke | October 4, 2021 | From Better Together

Make it easy for people to give using online technology!

By Renee Ruchotzke | March 19, 2021 | From LeaderLab

This resource may be helpful in understanding and using different kinds of circles in your congregation, and the kind of practice and training that are needed for each.

By Renee Ruchotzke | March 19, 2021 | From LeaderLab

When I was a child, I was fascinated by terrariums. There can be something alluring about creating miniature worlds. It’s a chance to observe a world under glass.

By Renee Ruchotzke | March 8, 2021 | From Better Together

Improve the quality of your process by taking time to create a shared understanding of all of the things that should be taken into consideration.

By Renee Ruchotzke | March 6, 2021 | From LeaderLab

Learning to understand human communities (and in our case, congregations) as systems has been an ongoing learning process for the past several decades for family therapists, organizational development consultants and social scientists....

By Renee Ruchotzke | March 5, 2021 | From LeaderLab

Membership committees may feel the need for feedback if there seems to be a "revolving door" of members joining and then leaving. It may be helpful to track the reasons why some members decide to leave. 

By Renee Ruchotzke | February 11, 2021 | From LeaderLab

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