Workshops A1 to A8 will be held at the conference hotel.
A1: Safe Congregations: Creating and Promoting a Safe Environment Based on Anti-Abuse Policy
Laura Shennum, Omaha NE: Second Unitarian Church
Safe Congregation Policy addresses why it is important for churches to be proactive in creating an anti-abuse environment. Discussion will cover responsibilities of the congregation, board members, ministers and religious education professionals. Information will be presented on how to educate your congregation to be proactive and resources will be handed out to help develop appropriate policy
A2: The Arc of Justice: Building UU State Networks
Ralph Wyman and Jo Haberman, Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA), and the PSD Social Justice Network state representatives: Sue Dailey (Northern MN), Deb McIntyre (SD), Allen Hays (IA), James Bennett (NE), Caron Wells (KA and MO), Vicki Pratt (Program Coordinator)
“The arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice….” These words by Unitarian Theodore Parker have often been quoted by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and UUA President Bill Sinkford. It can be tough sailing, doing this long and deeply meaningful work. What if we build a larger vessel, one that contains and supports the efforts of multiple UU congregations? We can bend our corner of the universe towards justice by working collectively, beyond individual UU congregations, to build energy, skills, power, camaraderie and results! Discover a major new resource – the UU State Advocacy Network’s Handbook for UU State Organizing. And hear about successes and experiences from an early adopter of the state organizing model – the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA). Other Prairie Star District Social Justice Network members, representing city, regional and cluster organizing will join MUUSJA for a brief panel and plenty of question and answer.
A3: UUA Governance Update
John Blevins, Kansas City MO: All Souls Unitarian Universalist and Unitarian Universalist Association Trustee representing PSD
The UUA Board is deep into a transition to Policy Governance. Trustee John Blevins will present an informal update on the process, and review the governance ENDS as drafted by the UUA Board, which are scheduled for formal adoption by the Board at their April 2009 meeting. John will also answer questions.
A4: What Can You Expect from Your Church Staff?
Nancy Heege, Prairie Star District Executive, and Rev. Phillip Lund, PSD Lifespan Program Director
When you hire someone to work for your congregation, what expectations are reasonable? Appropriate? How do personnel policies assist in setting expectations? From the employer’s point of view, how will you assure that you’re getting what you pay for? And just as important: what can your church staff expect in return?
A5: The Green Sanctuary
Barbara Akre and David Yount, Duluth MN: Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and Marcy Leussler and other Eco Minds members from Minneapolis MN: First Unitarian Society
The UUA recently adopted the rapidly expanding Green Sanctuary program. UU networks and interfaith groups are empowering these efforts. The Duluth Unitarian Universalist Congregation is the first PSD congregation to be “certified:” How do you obtain and maintain a “green approach” in a congregation? This networking workshop will support those just getting started and those further along in their process and provide an opportunity for all to share their success stories and their challenges. Specific projects and suggestions for engaging congregations will be presented. For example, saving energy is a quick way to reduce global warming pollution and it can bring substantial cost savings. A lighting audit is a useful tool to get your started. Building bridges among congregations can also lead to more effective advocacy efforts. Come find out what other congregations are doing and share what your congregation is doing!
A6: Group Think: The Relevance to UU Groups
Rebecca Rose, St. Paul MN: Unity Church–Unitarian
“Group Think” by I. L. Janis is the basis for this workshop. Janis used the analysis of group dynamics to examine the effectiveness of decisions made by the group. The book contains lessons for UUs as we make decisions in our groups. By attending to Janis’s recommendations, we can ensure that the decisions our groups make draw on the full intelligence of all involved.
Irving L. Janis. Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Second Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin. (1982)
A7: Grow Your Own Music
Bruce Van Bronkhorst, Fridley MN: Michael Servetus Unitarian Society
How can you help your music program grow? First, think outside the bar lines! What have you done that really got visitors and your own congregation excited and interested in your music program? What music groups from your church, besides the choir, do you have regularly performing special music? Bring copies of music — instrumental as well as vocal — to share with all the participants. Bring any computer programs you use in your music program. And bring musical ideas that have been fun and successful in your church. Make sure you have programs and music from your church labeled so you get them back!!
A8: Singing the Seventh Principle
Rev. Don Rollins, Bloomington MN: Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship
This workshop will combine performance, group singing and sharing musical resources in support of environmental justice. Come join the music for performance and sing along.
A9: Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken (A book to be read, digested, shared and discussed.)
Sam Wormley, Ames IA: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Tom LoGuidice, Church of the Larger Fellowship
Paul Hawken has spent over a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies and hidden history. The text will inspire and delight any and all who despair of the world’s fate, and its conclusions will surprise those within the movement itself.
Note: This workshop (A9) will be held at the UU Congregation of Duluth, not the Conference hotel. Carpools will be organized.
A10: The Cosmic Walk
Rev. Suzanne Wasilczuk, Duluth MN: Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and Dorothy Atchley, Rice Lake WI: Blue Hills UU Fellowship
The Cosmic Walk is a way of bringing our knowledge of the 13.7-billion-year Universe process from our heads to our hearts. A ritual of words, music, and movement helps us recreate and celebrate the story of our Earth: its beginnings in the Big Bang / Great Radiance / Cosmic Emergence, and our human place in it.
Children, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to this workshop.