Tops Picks for Growth at General Assembly
Are you looking for new ideas to grow your congregation? General Assembly is just around the corner, and there are a dozen workshops on growth to choose from.
Here’s a list, sorted by topic for you to mark in your Program Book or Mobile App.
- LEGACY OR RENAISSANCE: SMALL CONGREGATIONS ON THE EDGE
#210 Thursday, 10:45am – 12:00pm E160
Some small congregations are realizing that the way they’ve been operating is no longer sustainable. What’s next? Is it time to move towards a holy death? Or are you ready to make a vibrant new start with radical re-envisioning? How can you decide which choice is your congregation’s? This workshop will provide a framework and examples for both paths.
Megan Foley & Rev. Mary Grigolia
- SUCCESS IN SMALL CHURCHES: HOPE IN UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM’S HEARTLAND
#410 Saturday 3:00pm – 4:15pm CC C226
Small churches, the heartbeat of our faith, are uniquely positioned to innovate and experiment with new ways of being healthy, vibrant, and relevant – if they put mission and covenant first. Learn to identify your small congregation’s gifts and plan strategically for innovations to grow new possibilities for our faith.
Rev. Megan Foley & Karen Bellavance-Grace
- THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF WELCOMING ALL
#228 Thursday 1:15pm – 2:30pm CC E162
Many congregations have mastered the process involved in opening their doors for newcomers but are they opening their hearts? What would that welcome look like in our greeting, programs, and emerging ministries? We will consider together how our spiritual baggage could be preventing us from truly being welcoming to all.
Marie Blohowiak, Rev. Tandi Rogers & Tina Lewis
- BRINGING ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSION MINISTRY TO YOUR CONGREGATION
#330 Friday 3:00pm – 4:15pm CC C223-225
Heard the buzz about the Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program for congregations? Wondering how to bring this new ministry to your congregation? Learn how to form an AIM Team to widen the welcome to people with disabilities. Become an AIM Congregation – moving ever closer to the beloved community.
Michelle Avery Ferguson, Rev. Barbara Meyers, Michael Sallwasser & Suzanne Fast
- WE MET ONLINE! GREAT VISITOR EXPERIENCES START WITH GOOGLE
#432 Saturday 4:45pm – 6:00pm CC Union Station Ballroom A
From the first online search to an in-person visit, emotions are a key part of what makes a visitor stay or go. User Experience (UX) approaches uncover the emotions we’re evoking to create positive and integrated experiences. Learn how to apply UX to your congregation to improve the visitor experience.
Sarah Gibb Millspaugh & Carey McDonald
- OUTREACH 101: JOIN OUR CAUSE, NOT OUR CLUB
#317 Friday 1:15pm – 2:30pm CC C223-225
Religion is changing, and just preaching to the choir ain’t gonna cut it. Learn how to reach out to your community as an extension of your congregation’s mission, get the tools you need to move forward, and hear inspiring outreach stories from congregations like yours.
- INNOVATING IN COVENANT: EMERGING MINISTRIES REACH OUT
#422 4:45pm – 6:00pm CC E161
Emerging ministries are new endeavors that are grounded in our faith and formed by covenant.
How do some of these innovative ministries fulfill our UU mission in the world? Come learn
from the stories of a new campus ministry, a network of interdependent communities and a forming congregation.
Kevin Lowry, Rev. Nathan Hollister &Lori Stone Sirtosky
- UU MODELS OF PARTNERSHIP AND MULTI-SITE MINISTRIES
#328 Friday 3:00pm – 4:15pm HR Union E
We’ve featured various models of congregational Partnership & Multi-site over the years: branches, yoked, mergers, etc. This year we’re highlighting Clusters and Partnerships just starting their covenantal relationships, at the beginning of the continuum of collaboration. Especially useful for lay leaders discerning deeply partnering with other UU communities.
Joan Van Becelaere & Rev. David Pyle
- LIVING THE PRINCIPLES: THEME-BASED PROGRAMMING FOR ALL AGES
#352 Friday 4:45pm – 6:00pm CC Hall E
Many of us are seeking new ways to support multigenerational faith formation in our congregations. Living the Principles is an engaging full-year, theme-based program for congregation-wide exploration of the Unitarian Universalist Principles. This workshop equips professional and lay leaders to use this program, with free online materials, in your congregation.
Ellen Quaadgras, Ann Kadlecek & Halcyon Westall
- INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION FOR UU STEWARDSHIP
#358 Friday 4:45pm – 6:00pm HR Delaware CD
This workshop will equip lay and ordained leadership for effective stewardship in our congregations and our Association. This will be a “flash” presentation of the most innovative and successful fundraising ideas. We will close with an inspiring word from Peter Morales.
Mary Katherine Morn
- ANNUAL GIVING: THE BACKBONE OF CONGREGATIONAL STEWARDSHIP
#420 Saturday 3:00pm – 4:15pm HR Delaware CD
This workshop will equip lay and ordained leadership for effective stewardship in our congregations and our Association. This panel of on-the-ground congregational staff and volunteers will discuss their greatest successes in annual fundraising.
Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Rev. Trisha Hart & Rev. Peter Friedrichs
Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. As program manager for Leadership Development, she is responsible for providing consultation, programming and training material (including webinars and videos) on various aspects of congregational growth, leadership and congregational dynamics. She writes for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Blog Growing Vital Leaders and tweets at @Vitalleaders.