A positive path for spiritual living

Regional Relationships Task Team Report 2015 ~ by Greg Coles

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Wed, 07/01/2015 - 9:00pm -- tschneider


Convention 2015 Report

RRTT MEMBERS: Karen Tudor (chair), Margie Brach (WC), Rich Broderhausen (NW), Greg Coles (GL), Donna Corbett (E), Margee Ground (SW), April May (E), Jean De Barbieris Owen (SE), Paul John Roach (SC), Donna Johnson, Carl Osier, Cathy Christy (Central Office)

Task Team Charge: 

  • To identify, enhance and strengthen the structure of relationships within our organization;
  • To recommend structures to provide better flow of communication, training, consulting and resource sharing among all levels of the organization as well as collaboration in problem solving and program development.

Task Team Activity since Formation at June 2014 Convention

  • Presented the History of the Formation of the Association and Regions at Summit Meetings in February 2015
  • Collected concerns and suggestions for improving regional relationships among regions, with the Central Office and with local ministries and leadership from small group discussions at Summit Meetings.
  • Dialogue calls were held with the 7 domestic regional boards to identify what the regional leadership see as regional responsibilities, central office/UWM board responsibilities and what suggestions for change they recommend.

The following were general themes that came out of the Summit Meetings in February and the Dialogue calls with the regional boards:

Evolution of Unity’s Central Office and Regions

  • Many of us have presumed that the Regions grew up and serve as extensions of the Association of Unity Churches (AUCI now UWM), while the reality is that Regions self-evolved as separate organizations, and it is the home office that operates on behalf of Unity Worldwide Ministries
  • Regions and UWM share common members and mission with separate governance.

Formation of a Regional Council

  • Consensus with recommendation of Winter Meetings about benefits of creating a Regional Council, made up of members from each regional board, to collaborate with one another and UWM Board ongoing, to solve problems and share ideas with once or twice a year face-to-face meetings and regular conference calls.
  • Council could help regional board members connect and share best practices with other regions, to develop relationships and accountability with the larger movement and be able to convey that feeling at regional conferences.
  • Regional Council would inform UWM Board deliberations and understanding of field concerns and the impact of decisions and policies upon the field.

Centralized Standards with Regional Implementation, mutually accountable to one another

  • UWM as a central resource and trainer of the trainers (youth education and curriculum, adult ministry skills, standards for judicatory & regional reps), such as we do now for Peacemaking (Ministry skills) Training, with regions responsible for implementation of services
  • Regions should recruit and select qualified people to be trained (using centralized standards and programs) to implement programs regionally

Expansion & Distribution of Standards and Skills Training

  • Suggest UWM consider enhancing distribution of training for more local availability of credentialed training outside the central office; as a way to improve local implementation to reduce costs, build relationships; and determine how we manage/maintain standardization of quality training beyond Central Office

Relationship with Ministers

  • While it feels Central Office support focuses on ministries, the Region is better at connecting with and supporting ministers (locations, similarities, relationships in common in the region)

Central Role – What regions would like from the home office

  • National Marketing Campaign
  • Centralized meetings, training and opportunities for LUTs
  • Consider a UWM Board Liaison to each region
    • Non-voting member; attend some regional board calls or in person meetings by invitation
    • May attend regional conferences
    • Advocate for proposals and requests to UWM Board from region
    • Enhance personal connections among regional and UWM Board members and greater understanding of the issues faced at both levels of the organization

Central Role - what Central Office does well and can do more of

  • Standards, Training, Programming, Credentialing
  • Programs to assist ministries with growth & expansion, made available at regional & field level
  • Provide continuing education to ministers and key leaders to build growth and consistency
  • Training template for ministers to share/teach congregation about UWM membership and organization of the Unity movement

Region Role – what regions do well and can do more of

  • Intraregional relationships and encouraging more relationships at sub-regional level
  • Implementation of services based on centralized standards; this includes selection of individuals to become credentialed to implement standards, training, and programing
  • Regional Conferences are less expensive, more convenient to attend, and create sense of connection in the field that cannot be done at national level
  • Youth ministry education and events
  • Regions focus more on ministers and connecting, while central focus is more on ministries and functional relationships

Region Role – redefining the region

  • Determine an optimal size for a Region to have better support for each ministry from the Regional staff/board; i.e., geographically and number of ministries.
  • Sense of Community: find ways to help people feel that they are a part of something “BIGGER”

What’s Next for the Task Team

  • Continue Dialogue calls with regional boards throughout summer and fall 2015 focused on these themes, to develop ideas and plans for recommendation
  • Support discussions along these themes at regional conferences and Winter Summit 2016
  • Present recommendations to UWM Board in Spring, 2016 for approval
  • Report out to 2016 June Convention