Reaching out to the nones

The Rev. Renee Ruchotzke has a three-part essay titled “Could the Nones Become Unitarian Universalists?” on the UUA blog Growing Vital Leaders. She notes, “Young adult ministry has been a challenge for congregations of all liberal protestant denominations for decades but the game is changing in ways we couldn’t have imagined back in the post WWII church-building boom.”

Many young adults find conservative churches too restrictive, she says in Part 1. And liberal ones have not articulated a compelling theology. In Part 2 she ticks off reasons why young adults leave churches. The reasons include not developing a close friendship with anyone, and not getting help with discovering their own mission in the world.

In Part 3 she highlights congregations like First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY which have created small group programs that lead to deeper engagement and spiritual development.

Growing Vital Leaders is a good blog for congregational leaders to bookmark. Other recent topics have been on cohesive leadership and making members and the larger community aware of your congregation’s outreach ministries.

Ruchotzke is Leadership Development Consultant for the Central East Regional Group (CERG), of the UUA.

Archived webinars new source of information for leaders

Ever need advice on a congregational issue at 11 p.m.? Or 4 a.m.? Or on a weekend? That’s when the Central Midwest District’s archive of webinars on common issues that confront congregations can come in handy (as well as in the middle of the day).

These are webinars that were held in the past several years, then archived for posterity. Most feature a UUA staff member or lay leader making a presentation which is followed by a period of discussion including the people who participated in the live presentation of the webinar. Topics include: running board meetings, committees on ministry, digital-spiritual literacy, tips for new youth advisors, religious education curricula, volunteer practices, and much more. Around 30 presentations are in the archive.

The UUA’s Central East Regional Group (CERG) also has a collection of on-demand webinars. Check the website of your own district, as well. Registration is required to view the CERG webinars.

UPDATE 2.20.13 – There is a third collection of archived webinars on the UUA’s Vital Leaders blog edited by the Rev. Renee Ruchotzke. In addition, there is a list of upcoming webinars on Growing Unitarian Universalism’s Facebook page. Click on the Webinars icon at the top of the page.


Congregational leadership resources, including videos and webinars

The UUA’s Congregational Life Facebook page is highlighting several issues that are timely for congregational leaders as the new church year begins.

Leadership Retreats – Resources include team-building exercises, videos, and curriculum segments.

Assembling Leadership Teams – What to look for in team members, how creativity works, why teams are more innovative than individuals.

Leadership videos – The UUA’s Central East Regional Group has assembled an online library of videos on topics including leadership development, growth, vitality, and history.

Leadership webinars – Includes free on-demand and scheduled webinars on issues including congregational growth, safety (disruptive behavior and right relations policies), and faith development.

Add the UUA Congregational Life page to your list of websites to check frequently for updated information about congregational issues.