Supportive Ministries Resources for Congregations

With this Pandemic, a renewed racial justice reckoning and other uncertainties, our world and our culture are changing.  So is our church.  As we move into this new reality, we want to bring the best of the past into a future of transformation.  Some of the Supportive Ministries of the Conference have adapted to help congregations move into that future.  Consider participating in one of these strategies to support your work.

The purpose of Supportive Ministries is to identify and develop resources to support clergy and congregations during this liminal time.      

Appreciative Inquiry – Better ways of leading change are spreading throughout the world. Appreciative Inquiry is a positive approach to a process of Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny for engaging people at any or all levels to produce effective, positive change.  Contact Art and Cathy Wille.

Coaching – Trained coaches work one-on-one with clergy to equip them to thrive in ministry by building on their strengths, identifying priorities, and working toward ministry goals.  The Catalyst Team is currently offering six coaching sessions without cost to Conference Clergy.  Coaching is offered in partnership with Catalyst grants (9 in progress).   20 Clergy have been coached to date.  For information contact Tim Perkins.

Communities of Practice (COP) – Clergy groups meet with a trained facilitator to help them “do better what they do.” Clergy interact and gather wisdom from the perspectives and practices of others in the group.  The Wisconsin Conference has 18 Clergy COPs and 3 Christian Educator COPs.  For information contact Jane Anderson.

Conflict Transformation – A trained team of UCC clergy and lay members is available to improve communication, the pattern of interaction within a congregation, or to help a congregation with strained or negative relationships.  Contact your Associate Conference Minister.

Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leader Support – A weekly Zoom gathering of faith formation and youth ministry leaders (clergy and lay) who share ideas and resources, ask questions, and receive support from one other.  Participants join this drop-in group every week or whenever they are able.  Resources and ideas are emailed weekly to everyone on the invitation list.  To find out more, contact Lisa Hart.

Five Practices for Fruitful Congregations – Provides congregations a laser focus on their hospitality, worship, mission and service, stewardship and faith development.  Since 2006, 41 of our congregations have participated and developed plans to enhance their fruitfulness.  While this may not be the time to begin a major effort, there are ways Five Practices (5P) can currently assist a congregation as they move forward.  For information contact Cathy Wille (NE and NW Associations) or Bonnie Andrews (SE and SW Associations).

Readiness 360 – A congregation-wide online survey measuring perceptions of spiritual intensity, dynamic relationships, mission alignment and cultural openness.  A follow-up process helps congregations identify where members may be ready to start a new ministry or program, how to get unstuck, build on strengths and shift focus from maintenance to mission.  To date 7 congregations have participated in this assessment and planning process.  For information contact Bob Ullman.


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