Workshop Sampler

A Paradigm for Transition

Stuck in transition? Has this stuckness become an institutional lifestyle? Want to move into a different future? Then, this workshop is for you.  It is designed for the entire congregation because only the whole can empower a movement beyond stuckness.

Based on the book, Moving on From Church Folly Lane, this workshop distinguishes between the dynamic characteristics of the four major attendance size cultures in congregational life from the peculiar perspective of Unitarian Universalists.  It empowers participants to see where they have been, where they are, where they need to go and what they need to do to transition into a new future.

Those attending are given the opportunity to identify the major areas that need to be addressed in order to complete the transition and maximize a positive future for the congregation.  The intention is for the Staff and Board to take this information and create a game-plan of action with criteria that measures results.

The Mything Link

The workshop enables participants to arrive at a consensus about common beliefs and empowers the possibility of faith witness. It is predicated on three assertions.  The first is that what Unitarian Universalists hold in common is what unites them as a community of faith.  The second is that the power to create social change is found in commonality rather than in diversity.  And the third is that the mission of religion is to offer a compelling mythic message that provokes toward individual and social transformation.  This workshop is a dynamic interactive process that provides the foundation for arriving at such a message.

Motivating Myself and Others

How we can use the diversity of life style that exists in our congregations to motivate energy investment in our mission and ministry while, at the same time, raising appreciation for this diversity?  This workshop uses the Strength Deployment Inventory to identify the four basic motivational lifestyles common to membership and assesses their respective strengths and weaknesses.  It empowers recognitions that enable volunteer recruitment.

Unlike personality profiles, this paradigm is easily retained in the mind and referenced when desirable.  It is the ground of new perceptions of reality and tends to alter attitudes and behaviors in a profitable manner.  Many participants testify that its usage has not only significantly empowered their congregational relationships but also their personal and vocational ones as well.

Rev. Latham is a certified trainer in the use of the SDI.

Creating a Mission-Covenant

Nothing has been more confusing for Unitarian Universalists over the past forty years than the role of mission in congregational life.  This workshop addresses the “whys” of this confusion and invites participants to begin formulating a statement of clarity and power.

This workshop is the kick-off event of a process that enables a congregation to achieve a consensus statement about its reason for being.  It uses an approach that places all participants on the same dialogue page, thus avoiding the common pitfall of trying to work from a cacophony of individual agendas.  It re-energizes the congregation’s commitment to a mission that serves as a beacon for action and a gage for success.

What Makes Policy Governance Work?

The ostensible purpose of PG is to liberate a board from what it is generally unskilled for and least prepared to do with any expectation of success, namely, micro-managing the ministry of the congregation.  Instead, for the religious institution, it primarily shifts board responsibility to the congregation’s mission and to being a visionary body of spiritual leadership.

However, since PG’s original design was to empower corporate boards, to work effectively in a voluntary institution it must be adapted.  This workshop gives focus to PG’s purpose, its primary tenets, its benefits and pitfalls, its organization, the role of policy and the role of the minister.

It can be utilized for a small group of leadership or for the education of all who might be interested.

The Committee on Ministry

The Committee on Ministry’s function is radically different from that of a Ministerial Relations Committee.  Unfortunately, the MRC has often been relabeled as a COM by those who are ignorant of this difference.  Thus, the failure rate of both COMs and MRCs has often been high to the surprise of those instituting them.

This workshop explores the difference between the two and defines the role of the COM in congregational life.  It looks at its necessary purpose, organization, composition, policies and relationships to the congregation and other bodies of leadership.

It is a model that began developing in the late 1970s and was applied and refined in congregational life over a nine year period in the 1980s and 1990s. The reason it is a model is because in its refined mode it fulfilled its intended purpose.  This model will be the focus of