Sharon coverCongratulations to the Unitarian Church of Sharon, Massachusetts, for being the newest UUA Breakthrough Congregation! Each year the UUA’s Office of Growth Strategies recognizes a handful of congregations that have “broken through” barriers to achieve exemplary goals.

Unitarian Church of Sharon is highlighted in the spring edition of the UUWorld, which will be hitting Unitarian Universalist members’ mailboxes at any moment. The following study guide is intended to accompany the article about Unitarian Church of Sharon.  We hope that this enables lively discussions for your congregational leaders.

 

Questions for Discussion and Deeper Study

 

The “Aha” moment for the people of the Unitarian Church of Sharon came when they realized that they were focusing on the things they’re not instead of appreciating the wonderful community they are.

Questions for Discussion

  • In what ways does your congregation focus on what you are not?
  • How do you appreciate the wonderful things about your community?  How can you continue to do so?

 

The Unitarian Church of Sharon knew that they could not do it alone and began reaching out to the District and the UUA.

Questions for Discussion

  • In what ways does your congregation reach out to the District, Region and national association?
  • What might be preventing your congregation from reaching out beyond your walls and what steps can you take to overcome those obstacles?

 

Not content to be a small intimate church, the members of the congregation began a campaign to add new and accessible space.

Questions for Discussion

  • What issues around space are holding your congregation back?
  • How can your congregation grow, both physically and attitudinally, to imagine a growing future?

 

The Rev. Jim Robinson preached that the central reason for Sharon’s success is that it is a beloved community.

Questions for Discussion

  • What is Rev. Robinson’s definition of a beloved community?
  • What is your congregation’s definition of a beloved community?

 

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This Study Guide creator is Mark Bernstein, Regional Consultant for Growth Development with the Central Eastern Regional Group.  CERG offers many excellent growth resources. Please check them out! Thank you, Mark, for so generously serving our faith.

About the Author
Tandi Rogers