The prophetic liberal church is the church where persons think and work together to interpret the signs of the times in the light of their faith. — James Luther Adams, 20th-century Unitarian theologian

We are the inheritors of a free faith—a faith in which we freely choose our beliefs, our values and in whom or what we trust. We decide how we will act on our faith in our lives and work. This workshop explores a congregational leader's opportunities and responsibilities to choose, in faith, their actions and their responses to situations.

The first in Harvest the Power's second unit, Purpose, this workshop guides the congregational leader to ask, "What ends do we serve?" Activities invite participants to consider the explicit values, judgments and personal preferences that underlie even the simplest decisions. The workshop builds participants' capacity to choose well as they navigate the challenges of leadership.

To strengthen your leadership skills and confidence, explore the leadership development resources recommended at the end of the workshop, as well as Workshop 1, Leader Resource 1, Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters.


This workshop will:

  • Highlight the Unitarian Universalist theological understanding that we each have the freedom and the responsibility to make choices about what we trust, what we believe and how we will act
  • Deepen understanding of the connection between a leader's faith and the choices they make in leading a congregation
  • Invite leaders to be intentional in bringing their faith to their leadership
  • Provide meditative and creative time for participants to internalize and deepen their embrace of the freedom and responsibility of choosing.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify what they trust and believe
  • Recognize how complex some choices can be
  • Through an incident from the life of James Luther Adams, examine a leader's role in encouraging turning points/moments of grace in congregational life
  • Identify some of the many decisions congregational leaders make
  • Use poetry, myth and art to contemplate the freedom and responsibility inherent in being a human being with the power to choose.

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