bridgeCongratulations to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon (Bend, OR), for being the newest UUA Breakthrough Congregation! Each year the UUA’s Congregational Life Office recognizes a handful of congregations that have “broken through” barriers to achieve exemplary goals.

UUFCO is highlighted in the current edition of the UUWorld, as well as the 2016 summer print edition. The following study guide is intended to accompany the article about the  congregation. We hope that this enables lively discussions for your congregational leaders.


Questions for Discussion and Deeper Study


UUFCO has identified identified some rituals that they will continue observing as they grow, because the rituals are central to their core identity.

Questions for Discussion 

  • What rituals are core to your congregation’s identity?
  • How else do people learn what it means to be a member of your religious community?

Bend foyer

The article identifies ways in which the town of Bend, OR and the congergation are similar.  Bend, OR is one of the fastest growing areas metropolitan areas in the country and the congregation has more than tripled in size in twelve years.  Bend, OR is an “oasis of natural splendor” and the congregation’s new building is an awarer-winning “green” design. Both are laid back and small in culture. Both are liberal beacons.

Questions for Discussion 

  • How does your congregation compare to the area it serves? What is similar? What is different?
  • How does this effect your mission?  How does this effect how your congregation is organized?


UUFCO was named a Breakthrough, not only because of it’s remarkable growth, but because the creative, adaptive way they used technology to overcome the work visa challenge that kept their new developmental minister from being able to travel to them. 

Questions for Discussion Bend announcment island

  • What are ways you could use technology creatively to meet an adaptive challenge?
  • What are ways you could use technology to communicate, both among your religious community and throughout the wider community?


They were also named a Breakthrough because of the spiritual way they deigned their building. The building was designed to fulfill their mission.  Their mission is not the building itself.

Questions for Discussion 

  • How does your space serve your mission?
  • How does your space reflect your values?


About the Author
Tandi Rogers

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply