Ballou Channing District 2012 Spring Conference

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Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven

102 Green Street

Fairhaven, MA 02719

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Mission-Driven Congregations:
Living into the Community

"A passion for a mission can transformed people and can transform the world.
So a congregation's mission must be grounded in, and meaningfully connected to,
its theological self-understanding and all of its congregational life."

-- Tom Berlin, coauthor Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results

Saturday, May 5, 2012
8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven
102 Green Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719

Being a mission-driven congregation gives meaning to a congregation and can by a means for outreach and a way to for a congregation to make a real difference in their community. This conference will explore various aspects of being a mission-driven congregation from working with the economically disadvantaged in a community to determining one’s own spiritual outlook to be the foundation for justice work.

The keynote sermon by the Rev Ron Robinson with his sermon, “Reshaping the World: church in likeness to a different God” will start the conversation by having participants consider the questions, “Where in a hurting world should we be?” “How as progressives and liberationist can we create a different church that will bear different fruit than just maintain our religious organizations of like-minded souls?”

Rev. Robinson is the Executive Director of A Third Place Community Foundation, a non-profit formed by The Welcome Table, a missional, emerging congregation in the UUA located in Turley, OK. He is also the Executive Director of the UU Christian Fellowship and adjunct faculty of Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK. He has served on the board of the Southwestern UU Conference and is a recipient of the Von Stilli Award for his work in helping churches grow.

The afternoon will have four Conversations to further explore the theme by looking at various aspects of becoming mission-focused. There will also be an opportunity to engage in a Gathered Here exercise. Scroll down for full write up of each.

The BCD Annual Meeting will be held in the morning at 9:15 as part of the worship service.


Spring 2011, Vol.XXV No.1 cover

A Missional Progressive Guide to Changing A Neighborhood
Rev.Ron Robinson
A conversation on the Three R’s, the Four Paths, the Seven Acts that guide the work A Third Place does in Turley, OK and the lessons being learned as they have been engaged in renewing neighborhoods that are the lowest income and have the lowest life expectancy in the Turley area. Robinson's ministry in Turley, OK was featured in the Spring 2011 issue of UU World Magazine. Read article, "Cultivating an abandoned place." with Hot Topics
Rev. Amy Freedman
What if our congregations actually encouraged people to explore the very topics that seem too hot to handle? The Rev. Amy Freedman, who helped members of a congregation she served to openly discuss several controversial topics during her tenure will offer three strategies for encouraging robust engagement with controversial subjects. Facing controversial issues, including what kind of mission a congregation should have is important for a congregation to be healthy.

Spiritual autobiography Ken Read-Brown
Creating one's spiritual autobiography can deepen individual spiritual journeys to provide a foundation for doing missional work in a community while also fostering a richer experience among participants in our congregations. Rev. Ken Read-Brown, has led spiritual autobiography groups several times during his twenty-five years as minister of First Parish in Hingham (Old Ship Church).

Exploring "Congregations and Beyond"
Peter Bowden President Peter Morales' recent white paper, “Congregations and Beyond” offers a vision of the opportunities and challenges that face Unitarian Universalism if we are willing to push beyond pre-determined boundaries. Senior UUA staff recently has been in conversation with congregation and district leaders, including BCD Growth Consultant Peter Bowden (read more). Building on these conversations he will facilitate a discussion about this important topic and its impact on congregational mission.

Gathered Here Richardi & BCD Board members
Gathered Here is a UUA initiative using an appreciate inquiry model to let UUs share their experiences with and aspirations for Unitarian Universalism. The UUA Board and staff and District leaders will use the information assembled from these conversations taking place across the country to determine future course of the Association.


8:15 Registration, Mix & Mingle, Delegate Credentialing, UU Mall
9:00 Worship Service Opening
9:15 BCD Annual Meeting *
10:45 Hymn sing
11:00 Keynote sermon
11:45 Worship Service Closing
12:00 Picnic Lunch
1:00 Conversations & Gathered Here
2:30 Closing in Conversation Groups

* No fee to only attend the morning worship and District Annual Meeting

Other Information

* UU Network Mall: An assembly of informational displays and items for sale, Vendors, congregations, and organizations that wish to have a display should call the BCD office (508) 599-6650 to reserve a space.

* Questions: Call the District Office at 508-559-6650 or email

* Thank You! Your BCD Congregation Contributions helps provide staff support for the Conference.

Date and time


Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven

102 Green Street

Fairhaven, MA 02719

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