Congregational Life Facebook page supports leaders

The UUA Congregational Life Facebook page currently features links to articles on the following topics, written by staff and lay leaders of various UUA districts:

Communication: Keeping it Real—Taking steps to ensure that information is shared openly and as widely as possible. Using transparency to defeat rumors, gossip, secrets, and third-party complaints.

Another Bridge to Nowhere?—A call to action to make the transition from youth to young adulthood within Unitarian Universalism feel like a bridge to somewhere by coming up with innovative ways to keep young adults interested and involved.

Why is Everyone Talking About Mission?—Helping leaders define a congregation’s purpose and mission. The article notes that many people now no longer join congregations just for warm and friendly relationships, but rather they want to know that the congregation has a purpose and a mission in the larger community and that it can help them find meaning in their lives. Congregational leaders need to be able to define that meaning and purpose.

Check in with the UUA Congregational Life Facebook page frequently for articles about deep discussions taking place in UUA districts about a variety of topics important to congregational leaders.

Recommended articles on congregational life, religion

The following articles about congregational life or religion in general have been recommended by Unitarian Universalists and others on Facebook in recent weeks.

The Rev. Stefan Jonasson, the UUA’s director for Large Congregations, linked to an Alban Institute article by Alban senior consultant Susan Beaumont, “Determining Ideal Board Size.”  Beaumont notes:

Generally having more people in a group will increase the likelihood that someone will have the information needed to make the decision and someone will propose a correct choice or solution. However, more people produce more opinions that have to be communicated and discussed . . . Most of us cannot imagine reducing our governing bodies down to 5 individuals, but the closer we can get to that number, the more effective our problem solving will be.

The Rev. Ron Robinson, who has a community ministry in Turley, Okla., held up an article, “Loose Connections,” from Christian Century about thinking about membership as not a one-time joining, but an annual recommitment to mission and covenant, “making it more about membership in one another rather than an organization.”

Christian Schmidt, a candidate for the UU ministry and incoming intern minister at First Parish in Needham, Mass., posted a link in the Facebook UU Young Adult Growth Lab to “Young, like Jesus: Finding a liberal, 20-and-30-something community of faith,” by Episcopalian Julia Stroud, from thedaily.com.  The article describes how Stroud gave up one definition of what a young adult group could be and found another.

Heather Christensen, an Alaska UU, recommended  “The Church for the 21st Century,” an article by Presbyterian Carol Howard Merritt at TribalChurch.org, on the UU Facebook Growth Lab. The article asks that readers think about questions like “What sort of work do young adults do in our community?” “Do we ask people to give up their time for meaningful (church) work?” “Are we doing enough to change the world?”