Register by September 1, 2016
In this session, participants will be engaged in self-reflection on their leadership style as we explore our personality type and the personalities of others. We will begin the Lay Leadership Skills cycle of Lay Academy with reflections on our past and present leadership history, our personality types and the types of others, and our goals for the program. Utilizing individual and group exercises—private time and group time—we will be “led” to gain greater insight into our leadership strengths and the areas where we would like to enhance our leadership skills.
Rev. Dr. Timothy R. Perkins is a student of personality type as it relates to church leadership. He is not an expert in Myers Briggs or any personality assessment tool; however, he does bring extensive reading and reflection on the subject enhanced by over 30 years of practical experience. As an ENFJ (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging type) he is very interested in empowering people to lead fulfilling lives as we utilize our God-given gifts in partnership with others to accomplish our personal and congregational mission.
Since 1985, Tim has served as the Pastor of Bethel-Bethany United Church of Christ in a culturally and racially diverse neighborhood of Milwaukee. In 2001, he completed a doctor of ministry through the Twin Cities Consortium and United Theological seminary on the role of music in the development of a multicultural/multiracial church. He has a strong commitment to servant leadership and engaging people in living into the call to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Tim is married to Bonnie Andrews, who—until recently—was the Director of the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee. Bonnie continues to teach volunteer engagement in and around Wisconsin and has been involved in various leadership roles in the Southeast Association and Conference including facilitating churches in the “Five Practices” process.
Tim and Bonnie have volunteered to walk with the Lay Leadership Skills group through all five sessions as we seek to grow effective leaders in the Wisconsin Conference.
Register by October 27, 2016
This session will apply the principles of grassroots community organizing to strengthening community life within congregations and provide participants with tools for engaging their local communities.
Wendy Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Beloit College, a MSSW from UW-Madison, and an M.Div from Chicago Theological Seminary. Professionally, Wendy has experience in policy, politics, community development and organizing. From 2000 to 2010 she served as the Coordinator of Social Justice Programs for First Unitarian Society of Madison, one of the largest UU congregations in the world. Her leadership experience extends from her local PTO to local and statewide social service and health care agencies, to an NGO at the United Nations. She currently works as a Family Court Counselor with the Dane County Circuit Court. Wendy is also currently seeking ordination with the “post-denominational” Progressive Christian Alliance.
Register by January 12, 2017
This session will engage participants in a discussion of Family Systems Theory and how it is helpful for understanding the way the local church functions. Participants will explore how a basic understanding of family systems theory helps them be more effective leaders. This session will include discussion about managing anxiety, noticing and dealing with triangles, paying attention to self-differentiation, addressing conflict and how each individual’s family system intersects with the system of their local congregation.
Cathy Wille has extensive experience as a Counselor, Consultant, Workshop Leader, Presenter and Trainer. She completed the first three years of Lay Academy and has degrees in Biology, Human Development, and Counseling. She was trained by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center to utilize her knowledge of Family Systems Theory in the context of congregations. She is a lifelong member of the UCC and currently attends First Congregational Church, Oshkosh, where she is serving as Moderator, teaching Sunday School and singing in the Choir. Cathy’s insights on Family Systems Theory and congregational life will help you understand your congregation in new ways.
Register by February 23, 2017
Using ideas spearheaded by Parker Palmer, we will explore how to live and minister from our birthright, or God given gifts. In the midst of life’s stresses, how do we stay connected to the voice of the Spirit within us? Through journaling, guided exercises, and group work we will explore the difference between ego stories and soul stories, the power of listening to ourselves and others, and the resiliency needed to live in life’s “tragic gaps.” This will be a weekend of heart work, alone and in community.
Winton Boyd has served as Senior Pastor at Orchard Ridge UCC in Madison since 1999. He’s also been a facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal since 2007. In that capacity, he’s led retreats for clergy and other professionals around the Midwest and in Canada. At church and on retreat, Winton’s hope is to help others engage with their God given gifts for ministry and for service to the world. He’s led youth mission trips, adult immersion trips in Milwaukee and at the US-Mexican border. He’s facilitated contemplative retreats and leadership retreats. He also led a Lay Academy Alumni day in the summer of 2015.
Register by April 20, 2017
Frequently overlooked, sometimes declared boring, church governance and administration often gets pushed aside for more “exciting” ministries in the church. When one sees church governance and administration as a form of ministry with God at the core, it can become fulfilling and, yes, even fun! What is a consent/discussion agenda? What is a narrative budget? What exactly should the governing board be doing? Do we need constitutions? How do we engage and nurture our volunteers? These are just a few of the topics covered in this class.
Melinda Feller is a graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and has served as a local church pastor for the past 25 years, predominately in the Northeast Association. This is her fourth time teaching Lay Academy (the third time for this component). She loves church governance and administration and the structure and support it provides for the mission and ministry of the church. She lives in Chilton, Wis., with her Siamese cat Callee and currently serves St. John’s UCC (Schwarzwald) in rural Howards Grove.