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

What a GIRE consultant is able to do for your congregation

In the early days of the twenty-first century, a group of Unitarian Universalist religious educators looked at the changing landscape of lifespan religious education and discerned the need for intentional transitional leadership. Change happens quickly and often in congregations and many of these changes focus on the lifespan religious education program. This changes may center on religious education leadership transitions. It may also center on the fact that a congregation’s religious education mission and vision shift to meet a modern community’s needs. No matter the reason, interim religious educators work with congregations… Read More