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.
A variation on this that has also worked well, is when we have been invited to participate in larger educational events hosted by area clusters of congregations, like Chicago Area UUs, and the Southeast Wisconsin UU Congregations. We are glad to help brainstorm in the planning for such events and provide pieces of the programming.
Our usual model is to charge a small fee per person which covers our costs, materials, and lunch.
If you have an idea for such an event that you might want to host, or if you want such an event for your congregation and would be willing to open it to your neighbors, please contact us. A core purpose of our region is to build interconnections among congregations. Often the evaluations these events say that, while participants learned a lot, the most and most regarding part of the time was building connections with neighbors and with other leaders who shared an interest in some crucial topic.
There are still a few spaces in our schedules for adding events this coming Fall (2015). It is not too early to put on the schedule events for Spring or Fall of 2016. And remember, while often congregations sometimes find hard to gather people in the midst of our sometimes very cold winters and very hot summers, we are here all year. And, always remember the possibility of connecting us virtually, as by Skype, to events you may want to organize.
For some possible workshop ideas, look here, but know that there are many other topics we can speak to: https://midamericauua.org/services/workshops