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The first in our suite of Leadership Development trainings, Centered Leadership Part 1: Tending Beloved Community is designed for people considering leadership, who are beginning to lead or who have leadership experience in contexts other than Unitarian Universalist faith communities.

We will cover:

  • how covenant is the center of UU faith
  • how our congregational polity works
  • how we can create strong, healthy communities
  • a deeper understanding of being a committed member of our congregations and the wider UUA
  • how being a member of a congregation is a “lab” for building Beloved Community

Training materials are divided into modules, available “on demand” as pre-recorded presentations with additional reading materials, discussion questions and other resources. The materials in each module take 60-90 minutes to complete. Additional time for discussion questions and activities can be managed by your learning team.

Leadership Development Teams!

Each module has discussion questions (and sometimes activities) that you can use in person so your leaders can learn together and build deeper relationships and trust. The Facilitators monitor and respond to the discussion threads.

Module 1: Being in Covenantal Community
• UU Leadership Institute Covenant
• What Do We Promise One Another as Unitarian Universalists?
• A Free Faith is a Covenantal Faith
• Congregational Covenants are Declarations of Interdependence
• Compassionate Communication (Rev. Carlton Elliot Smith)
• Restoring Covenant
• More Resources on Covenant
• Optional Activity for Teams: Practicing Compassionate Communication

Module 2: Being in Congregational Community: Making Decisions
• Congregation: A Specific Form of Faith Community
• Mission and Vision as Guides
• Where Decisions are Made
• Governance and Ministry: A Partnership
• Good Followership
• Ways to Participate: Healthy Boundaries
• Handling Disappointment
• Optional Activity for Team: Video Case Study

Module 3: Community as a Spiritual Practice, Part 1
• Holy Abrasion of the Spirit (excerpt) Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd’s sermon from the 2016 General Assembly Sunday Morning Worship: In All Thy Getting, Get Understanding

Module 4: Participating in a Faith Community
• Process Theology & Creative Interchange
• Connecting to Mission
• Sharing Our Gifts
• Gifts, Are You the Problem? Shift the Narrative (Peter Block)
• Questions for the Five Conversations of Belonging
• Know Thyself
• Friedman’s Theory of Differentiated Leadership
• Faithful Dissent
• Iceberg of UU Culture
• Optional Activity for Team: Map Your Congregation’s Iceberg of Culture

Module 5: The Meaning of Membership
• The Meaning of Membership
• Connection (Brené Brown)
• Finding Your Sweet Spot for Service
• Evangelism and Generosity
• Optional Activity for Team: The Accidental Diminisher

Module 6: Community as a Spiritual Practice, Part 2
• Open Source Faith (Rev. Christine Robinson)
• Church as Wikipedia (Landon Whitsett)

Module 7: The Interconnected Web: The UUA and Beyond
• What is the UUA?
• Other UU Organizations
• Congregational Polity is Our Heritage
• Congregational Polity 101 (Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie)
• Summary of Agreements from the Cambridge Platform, 1648
• Congregational Polity for Today
• Reimagining Congregational Polity (Rev. Sue Phillips)
• Optional Activity for Team: The Historical Parade of Membership

Module 8: The Congregation is the Curriculum: Faith Development
• The Congregation is the Curriculum
• Faith Development is All We Do (Connie Goodbread)
• Being in Community
• Healthy Communication
• Restoring Covenant
• Optional Activity for Team: Creating and Sharing Credos

This training is team-taught by various UUA Congregational Life Staff, and facilitated by members of the UUA Congregational Life Staff LeaderLab design team”


(Note: The Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong also helped to create this training.)

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