Inviting Hospitality

Let me share a story with you.  I visited a long-time friend in the hospital yesterday. This friend has a birthday coming up, and she will be 96 years young. I met this friend at a UU fellowship, and she has been a Unitarian Universalist for much of her adult life. We talked about her children who live in a different part of the US, and how neither of them attend a UU congregation, to her disappointment. She told me the following story, My daughter did visit the UU church in her area … Read More

Digging Deeper: Finding new voices to teach us about congregational systems

In my last blog, I outlined the historical and somewhat current application of family systems in the church setting. This application has served us well and has continued to center patriarchal white voices. Yet, there are so many others from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. These voices are emerging, shifting, and creative. Margaret Wheatly, an organization and leadership consultant, researcher and writer looks at organizational systems through the eyes of nature and science.  Her understanding of these systems brings a new lens to understanding how the people who make up congregations interact with… Read More

Going Beyond Family Systems Theory in the Interim Process

Interim ministers and religious educators are transitional specialists who commonly work with a congregation for a short period of time as the congregation navigates the complicated network of transition between clergy and professional lay leadership.  Interim ministry is built on the common understanding that church communities are complicated systems of people with different ideas, thoughts, and emotions.  It may seem like the departure of one religious leader and the entrance of another should be a simple process; but the multiple layers of human experience and emotion response make this process more complicated. … Read More

The Sense of Touch

person holding babys hand

Touch is the fourth sense among the twelve that Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education, developed and introduced about 100 years ago. The sense of touch is a lower sense, classified as physical, inner, or a sense of the will.  We are affected inwardly by touching outwardly.  This begins with birth and continues through our whole lives. We can help our children develop this sense with awareness of what they touch.  Providing a variety of experiences including temperature, texture, and location will strengthen this sense.  A strong sense of touch as a child will give way to… Read More

Polarity Awareness During Transition

By Amy Huntereece, PhD candidate, M. Ed., January 2021 Is your congregation in the midst of transition? Perhaps you are even experiencing transition on multiple levels.  Remodeling or building new facilities, ministerial leadership shifting to new energy, updating your religious education program, and careful scrutiny of the operating budget to make ends meet in the upcoming fiscal year all qualify as transitional work.  La Sonde Anastos (2017) encourages us to remember that we are “in a time of change, not a time of crisis” (p. 98). You may notice your response to… Read More