|2014-2015 CENTER Presenters|
"Getting Smarter about Systems, Stressors, and Conflict in the Church” ~ Barbara Child
Ministries are more likely to thrive when ministers have deep understanding of congregational systems, how stress and anxiety affect them, how to manage inevitable conflicts, and how to distinguish between problems to solve and polarities to manage. Rev. Barbara Child will tailor a program focused to suit your chapter's needs on any combination of the following:
Barbara Child has 11 years experience serving as an interim minister, 7 of them as an Accredited Interim Minister. She served 4 years as a called minister. Trained by Speed Leas of the Alban Institute in intervention in highly conflicted churches, she served as a member of the Florida District Conflict Management Team. She has offered courses at the congregational, district and denominational level. She holds a Certificate of Achievement from the Corporation for Positive Change.
Torn Between Fuzzy Aspirations and Hard Realities: The Perversity of Embracing Diversity ~ Mark Morrison-Reed
There is a surprising, and painful, truth behind Unitarian Universalist efforts to become more racially and culturally diverse. To understand, we must take an honest look at who we are and why we are who we are. It is an exploration that ends in a conundrum… but not without hope. If UUs really want to change, accepting the truth is the only place to start. Torn between our reality and our aspirations, what are we to do? This workshop explores why achieving diversity is challenging, but moves on to examine how some congregations have become successfully diverse. It provides an opportunity to rethink our assumptions about diversity.
Returning to Ritual ~ Mark Morrison-Reed
Inspired by his experience with ritual in India, at the Tsubaki Grand Shire in Japan and with Swiss farmers Mark Morrison-Reed asks "What is ritual? And what role does it play in your life?" The participants’ answers to these questions lead to others: How has ritual evolved within Unitarian Universalism over the past 75 years? What are current UU practices in your congregation and elsewhere? Why and how have those practices changed? Why are those changes transforming what it means to be UU and religious? And what might our next step be?
Raised in the First Unitarian Society of Chicago, the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed is a historian of the African-American experience in Unitarian Universalism. He is an Affiliated Faculty member at Meadville Lombard and Coordinator of the Sankofa Archive. For 26 years he co-ministered, with his wife Donna, congregations in Rochester N.Y. and Toronto Canada. He has served as vice-chair of the MFC and Commission on Appraisal and President of the Canadian Unitarian Council; written or edited eight books including Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism; and spoken in Europe, Japan and nearly 200 congregations across North America. In Rochester, he was a member of the Monroe County Human Relations Commission. In Toronto, he was the first person of color to serve as president of the Family Service Association of Metropolitan Toronto, the largest such agency in Canada. He is a Patron of Child Haven International.
Love Beyond Belief ~ Thandeka
A theological program that helps ministers and seminarians enhance their personal theologies and strengthened their liturgical skills.
Session 1: (2 ½ hours) ~ Our Religion and Our Emotions – Personal Lost and Found Stories
Session 2: Part I (3 ½ hours) ~ Seeing Beyond Belief
Session 2: Part II (4 hours) ~ Music Matters
Thandeka is a Unitarian Universalist Minister and author of ‘What Moves Us’ (UUA Tapestry Theology Series). She has taught at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Harvard Divinity School, Brandeis University, Lancaster Theological School, and Williams College and has presented workshops and plenary presentations at General Assembly, District Meetings and in several hundred UU congregations as well as presented papers and led workshops at two ICUU conferences.
She is the founder of Affect Theology – the study of the human emotions and affective states that guide, direct, and prioritize religious beliefs, liturgical structures, religious education programs, and pastoral practices by members and leaders of a religious community (see revthandeka.org for details). She is the author of The Embodied Self and Learning to be White as well as essays in the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, the International Journal of Practical Theology, Harvard Theological Review, Process Studies, Tikkun, and other publications.
Preaching by Heart: The Art of Preaching without a Script ~ Dr. M'ellen Kennedy & Stephen Shick
This workshop provides a supportive and inspirational space for learning the basic elements of preaching without a script. We incorporate worship, short lectures, discussion, exercises and small group work. Extemporaneous preaching offers rich opportunities for deepening ministry and connecting with the hearts and mind of our people. Once highly valued in our tradition, this art, having nearly vanished, is making a comeback. Learning to be authentic in a variety of settings has long been a goal of educating ministers. The recovery of this art can help ministers come alive to their true self when delivering sermons or presenting in a variety of traditional and newly emerging electronic settings. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Rev. Shick has preached extemporaneously as parish minister for over sixteen years and led workshops and retreats on this subject. Stephen’s love of the spoken word began with hosting a nationally syndicated radio program for 12 years. As a principle founder of Community Ministry, the founding Director of UU Peace Network and UUSC’s U.S. Programs, Stephen has used this style of preaching nationally in theme talks and worship at GA, District Meetings, and in over a hundred UU congregations. As an Urban Fellow at Harvard Divinity School he began researching the UU history of this art. He is author of two Skinner House books, Be the Change and Consider the Lilies.
The Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy has preached extemporaneously for six years and began teaching this approach two years ago. She serves as consulting minister for the Washington Unitarian Universalist Church in Washington, Vermont. M’ellen is Co-Founder of the UU Small Group Ministry Network and founding Editor of the Small Group Ministry Quarterly. M’ellen has presented numerous educational workshops including at CENTER, GA, regional gatherings and at Ferry Beach. She is founding Director of Peace and Unity Bridge, a pro- gram for cultivating friendship and understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims.
Preaching & Worship in a Multi-Media Context ~ Rev. Scott W. Alexander, Rev. Dr. Randy Becker, and Rev. Kathy Schmitz
This highly interactive -- yet content-orientated -- workshop is designed to give participants wide-ranging familiarity with the many unfolding possibilities, promises, and technologies of multi-media worship and preaching, regardless of how much or how little experience they have had with these technologies to date. This includes (but is not limited to) learning how to create Power-point presentations (pictures, text, videos) for both the entire worship service and sermons, “getting out of the hymnal” by use of Sanctuary projection, making and using video and audio clips in worship, and generally making the entire worship experience rich in multi-media enhancements -- while avoiding multi-media detractions. The faculty will teach specific multi-media technologies and skills, and the participants will have time to both share multi-media presentations they have already created, and try their hand at creating some during the course of the workshop experience.
These skills and technologies are fiercely relevant to UU clergy and seminarians because the future of worship in the 21st Century is clearly moving in a multi-media direction, most especially because the younger generations expect and seek the engagement only multi-media presentations can provide.
Scott Alexander - Rev. Scott W. Alexander has been a UU parish minister for the last 41 years, serving in small, medium-sized, and large congregations, and ten years at CLF and UUA headquarters. He has taught preaching and homiletics within our movement for the last 30 years – both at seminaries and at UUMA and UUA sponsored workshops, and is the author of The Relational Pulpit: Closing the Gap Between Pulpit and Pew. He is the editor of four Skinner Press books on various aspects of Unitarian Universalist practice, and travels widely as a guest speaker and workshop leader. He is presently the Senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach which has state of the art audio visual capabilities which Rev. Alexander and the congregation utilize every Sunday.
Randy Becker - Randy Becker has been a UU minister for 42 years with Fellowship in Parish and Religious Education ministries. A significant portion of his ministry has been as a consultant to congregations at the Area Council, District, and Continental levels. He was the first religious podcaster when rss feeds were first developed; was a member of the UUA Off-site Delegate Development Team; uses multi-media weekly in worship; is now a member of the UUA's Religious Education Credentialing Committee. Randy had taught at Andover-Newton, Meadville/Lombard, and William and Mary; he is currently teaching World Religions at Florida Keys Community College.
Planning Now for the Future of Our Faith:
Creating and Sustaining a Planned Giving Program ~ Don Southworth & Laura Randall
Sustaining the Call, the UUMA’s first endowment campaign, has three goals: to raise money; to honor and remember those who came before us; and to teach skills for our personal and professional lives. These skills include improving our knowledge and awareness of the options we have to practice generosity when we are gone. In this workshop you will learn how you can support your congregation, the UUMA, and other UU organizations now and in the future while inspiring others to do the same. Planned giving is an important, though sometimes overlooked, tool in our stewardship toolbox and it’s simpler than you might think! Come see the potential planned giving has to grow our faith and keep it strong for generations to come. Join your colleagues, UUMA Executive Director, Don Southworth, and UUA Legacy Gifts Manager, Laura Randall for a day of practical and spiritually important work. This workshop will be 2-4 hours in length.
Don Southworth - Don is the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. He has served congregations in San Francisco, Atlanta and Durham, NC since his graduation from Starr King School for the Ministry in 2000. He has led workshops on stewardship and growth in the United States and England. Before he entered the ministry he worked in sales, marketing, training and various management positions in the corporate world. He and his wife Kathleen have two grown sons, Justin and Lucas and two cats, Blizzard and Quincy.
Mentor Training ~ Lead Mentor Team
Are you a mentor to colleagues in preliminary fellowship and would like to deepen your mentoring skills? Are you new to mentoring and want to learn ways to better support your mentee? Do you wish you had a cohort of other mentors to check-in with about your experiences, to give you advice and feedback? Serving as mentors is one of the most effective ways that we support and strengthen the ministries of our colleagues who are just starting out in their ministry careers. Having a mentor can mean the difference between burning out in one’s first few years of ministry, or having the resilience to grow, learn, and eventually thrive in service to one’s community. However, until now there has not been any formal training available to the ministers who provide this valuable service to new ministers.
This year, 25 experienced colleagues have been trained as “Lead Mentors.” Their intensive training covered the art of mentoring, led by Rev. Larry Peers, and intercultural competency skills for mentoring, led by Phyllis Braxton of PINK Consulting. Starting in fall of 2014, these Lead Mentors will be available to facilitate mentor training workshops in UUMA chapters and clusters. The basic workshop is 4 hours in length, with optional follow-up modules (an additional 4 hours) that can take place in-person or online. Anyone who participates in these trainings will have the opportunity to join a “Community of Practice” group to continue deepening their mentoring skills. For questions or to schedule a mentor training in your chapter, contact Allison Palm (firstname.lastname@example.org).