In recent years we have found our most successful educational events have been those hosted by our local congregations on topics of their choosing, and opened to neighboring congregations. This gives congregations both the opportunity to do leadership development on some crucial subject like growth, communication, finances, healthy handling of conflict--and to network with other lUU leaders in their areas.
One example of this was when a group of congregations in Kansas invited Lisa Presley to come to lead a workshop for congregational finance people, or when congregations in Carbondale, IL, and Michigan invited Dori Thexton to lead Generosity Workshops. Nancy Heege was similarly asked to lead an event on new directions in strategic planning (strategic planning without dots). Congregations in a number of areas, including Chicago, Louisville, St Louis, and Indiana have hosted events focused on Multicultural issues and have opening their door to their neighbors while we have provided the content.