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TopClara Barton &
Massachusetts Bay Districts
of Unitarian Universalist Congregations

NEWSLETTER: October 2010
In This Issue
Got Purpose! a Congregation's Clarion Call to Leadership Development
Resources for Leadership Development
New Books in District Library
Join Our Mailing List!
Upcoming Programs
  • Administration (November 2 and 3)
  • Multiculturalism (to be scheduled for the spring)
For Grades 7 to 12
For Elementary Grades (November 5 to 7)

Got Purpose? It Does a Congregation Good
with Doug Zelinkski
(Come to one, two or all!)
Lay Pastoral Care Teams
with Rev. Sue Phillips
Who is in Charge Here?
with Larry Peers (February 12)

Creating and Leading Dynamic Lay Led Worship
with Rev. Sue Phillips (June 11)

Governance and Ministry in UU Congregations
with Dan Hotchkiss (May 7)
Got Purpose! a Congregation's Clarion Call to Leadership Development
Doug Zelinskiby Doug Zelinski
Director of Leadership Development
"Congregations need structured ways to talk about their identity, purpose, and future, and they need a path to develop consensus and a commitment to act."
From Holy Conversations
by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann
Leadership Development is the hottest topic in most congregations these days. It may not be named explicitly, but it often surfaces as the solution to waning volunteerism, membership attrition, and the struggle to recruit leaders for our Boards and Parish Committees. Many people aren't clear about what "Leadership Development" would look like in their congregation, yet they believe it to be a panacea for congregational problems.
So let's clear up a few things.
First, I am willing to declare that Leadership Development is the remedy for a great many congregational problems. The very presence of good and faithful leaders, lay and clergy, has an enormous influence on congregational health and resilience.
Second, there need be nothing vague about what is meant by the words "Leadership Development." As described in the Rendle/Mann quote above, Leadership Development is the process of identifying and strengthening the voices of those who can provide congregations with structured ways to talk about their identity, purpose and future. Leaders can offer a path to congregational consensus. They can inspire a commitment to action.
Third, and most significantly, our developing leaders need to ally themselves with the enormous power of a clear and strong Unitarian Universalist identity. There are particular aspects of our UU legacy that helped power some of the most profound changes in American culture and we can make this happen again.
In October, the three-part Learning Congregations series "Got Purpose? It Does a Congregation Good" begins. This series is the Clara Barton and Massachusetts Bay Districts' clarion call to create a community of leaders who are confident in their skills, clear about their purpose, and empowered by their Unitarian Universalist identity. (Click here for more details.)

You can come to one, two or all three parts in the series. The coupon below offers a special price for teams attending all three. [more]
Resources for Leadership Development

Minns LogoThe Lay and Liberal Doctrine of the Church: The Spirit and Promise of Our Covenant
A compelling examination of the covenant at the center of Unitarian Universalism by UU minister and historian Alice Blair Wesley.  Originally offered as part of the prestigious Minns Lecture series.

Holy Conversations, the flagship book by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann concerning congregational purpose, identity, goals and planning.

Discerning Your Congregation's Future: A Strategic and Spiritual Approach by Alban Institute consultants Roy Oswald and Robert Friedrich.  A good overview of planning and visioning that places spiritual discernment at the center.

New Books in the District Library
You are welcome to borrow books from the District Office. Please visit this link for more information about our holdings and terms of use.

The following books are new to our collection:
Got Purpose - continued from above
FeatureWe begin the series by "Rooting Ourselves in Certainty." During this session, offered once in each district, we will entertain definitive answers to the questions "What is the purpose of our congregation?" and "What do Unitarian Universalists believe?" Quite simply, your congregation's future is entirely dependent on how its leaders do or do not deal with these two questions.
The second session, offered twice in December, asks us all if this time and place - in the United States and in our own communities - are calling Unitarian Universalists to play a special role, one that can "turn a congregation inside out" and unite it in a shared sense of purpose and mission. This session will help leaders identify ways a congregation discerns its unique calling and mission.
The final session, offered twice in March 2011, provides the nuts and bolts leaders need to make the mission visible in all aspects of congregational life. Leaders will learn how to get the mission "into the very DNA of the congregation."
We hope you will send as many current and emerging leaders as you can muster to these Learning Congregation events so they can be part of the new community of leaders about to change New England history - again!
As we begin this new church year, I want to lift up the profound role our leaders play, usually behind the scenes, in making ours a living faith. They have chosen to drink from the wellspring of commitment and, quite literally, changed their lives in order to serve us and the world. Not only is their presence among us a cause for gratitude but a reminder of the living legacy of a faith freely chosen. Thanks to all of you. I hope to meet many of you at one or more of the Got Purpose workshops.

Save $150
CouponCongregational teams that come for all three sessions of the Got Purpose workshop series, can come for the reduced prepaid price of $750 instead of $900. Contact Meck Groot at 617-393-4216 or to make arrangements.