Healthy Congregations / Smart Church Trainings
These workshops are for congregational teams and most are offered in a cluster so clusters can share the experiences. The trainings are done in a variety of schedules tailored to the area and the congregations participating. Costs vary depending on the location and meeting structure. They can be done on 4 different meetings once a month, several weekend sessions, or a combination.
These workshops are designed precisely for a time of rapid changes in congregations. They are based in an understanding of the congregation functioning as an emotional system of interrelated parts. It is a new way of thinking about both the congregation and its leadership. You will view the congregation as a whole, as an organism, as a system. Instead of seeing separate parts, you will see interrelated parts and their interactions. No one part promotes health or illness in a system. Everything contributes for good or ill. The congregation is seen as a whole unit in need of care by the leadership. Therefore, these workshops center around the stewardship of the congregation: how leaders care for, respond to, and oversee the congregation's life together.
By participating in the Healthy Congregations training, team members will gain:
- increased knowledge about systems, health issues and how these affect their congregations.
- new understanding of their congregation as an interdependent system.
- a stronger view of themselves as part of a congregational team and as part of our larger faith.
- a deeper understanding of Unitarian Universalism and of leadership as a spiritual practice.
In addition, the foundations of cluster partnerships and networks will be strongly encouraged after completion of the course
A testimonial video from UU leaders can be seen here.
A workshop panel describing how the program helped their congregations can be seen here.
Both professional and lay leaders can benefit from attending these workshops. For the information to become embedded in the system, a team approach is used. The team can build up the health in the system by relying upon one another. It doesn’t matter what size the congregation is since the concept addresses the whole system and not individual parts.
To see the list of current offerings, please check the Related Items list in the left column.