OCTOBER 29-31, 2024

renewed and strengthened

Equipping and Supporting Leaders in Times of Transition


Thursday, October 31
12:45 to 2:00 pm Eastern

Circles of Trust: Transitioning Ministry Outreach, Personal Spiritual Practice - Rev. Dr. Barbara Coeyman

“Circles of Trust” is a small group ministry which explores the inner teacher in each of us and builds compassionate relationships with others. Through personal reflection, deep listening, open and honest questions, and clearness committees, we build trust in our authentic selves and in one another. “Circles of Trust” draws from the spiritual writing of Quaker Parker Palmer.

This workshop is an introduction to some “Circle of Trust” practices, including exploration of the Touchstones, the covenantal foundation of the program; developing habits of deep listening; and discernment of readings which explore the theme of “transitioning.” The practice expands our toolbox for transitional leadership while also building interpersonal connections among participants in the Circle. For more about “Circles of Trust,” see Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life.

Rev. Dr. Barbara Coeyman is an Accredited Interim Minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is also a credentialed Facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal (CCR), the sponsoring institution of “Circles of Trust.” A member of IMN for the past decades, she has led several workshops during annual IMN conferences. She is completing a two-year interim at the UU Church of Muncie Indiana, her eighth transitioning ministry position. For more on CCR, see www.couragerenewal.org.  revbarbarac@comcast.net


Reframing Competing Needs as Complementary: Using Polarities in Transitional Ministry - Jan Gartner

Polarity Thinking TM, developed by Barry Johnson, is a powerful framework for addressing thorny problems and transforming conflict. A polarity is an interdependent pair of needs or values. Although the poles seem to be in tension with each other, both are good and true – and they need each other over time. Polarity Thinking can be applied to congregational life, as well as to our own personal and professional lives. We’ll explore this model together, with a focus on polarities that often present themselves during transitional times. Once you learn the basics, you’ll see polarities everywhere, giving you new insights into how to work through practical and philosophical dilemmas. (A note about language: “polarities” are anything but polarizing!)

Jan Gartner (she/her) serves as Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager at the Unitarian Universalist Association, equipping congregations for excellence as employers in accordance with UU values. Jan oversees the UUA’s congregational compensation program and helps leaders with a variety of personnel-related matters; she works closely with the UUA Transitions Office. Special interests include robust staff teams, staffing sustainably, and emerging staffing models. A former Director of Religious Education, Jan strives to bring all of the skills and sensibilities of an educator to her role. Jan lives near Rochester, NY, with her husband. She is an avid walker, a lover of word and number puzzles, and an enthusiastic soprano in the First Unitarian Church of Rochester choir.  jgartner@uua.org

Finding Courage to Deal with Conflict NOW - Rev. Dr. John Beck

Research is clear that the lag time between when a difficulty is noticed and when it is addressed (in a way that helps a conversation move forward) is the key dynamic in healthy organizations. For over 30 years Joseph Grenny and the team at Crucial Learning have been documenting and offering approaches to this significant communication challenge when there are differing opinions, high stakes, and high emotionality.  Crucial Conversations (3rd ed) is the newest iteration of their work. In this workshop we will drill down into their conceptual framework and the practicalities of the steps they have identified that make all the difference.

John Beck is a student of congregational and leadership dynamics and an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor. He works to strengthen relational and spiritual vitality, especially when conflict has disrupted mission. In addition to 30-plus years of parish experience, John has served as a chaplain, counselor, and seminary professor. He is an Associate of the Kaleidoscope Institute and is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). His MA in journalism strengthens his communication skills; his PhD in Marital and Family Therapy helps his understanding of family systems; his experiences teaching in several seminaries broadens his appreciation for a diversity of theological perspectives. He is finishing his certification as a trainer with the Stanford Forgiveness Project and is currently an apprentice member of IMN’s faculty.  jhbech@msn.com


Faithful Endings: Leading Congregational Closure or Consolidation - Rev. Diane Kenaston

Is your congregation approaching closure or consolidation? Move from crisis to calling. Learn how you can lead faithful endings for a whole congregation – a challenge that increasingly falls to interim/transitional ministers. This workshop will focus on planning and leading final ministry, including logistics (e.g., assets, physical space, legal procedures, etc), programming (i.e., ending each ministry well), pastoral care, and worship. You can face the future with courage and clarity. Your congregation can experience spiritual growth even as they conclude existing ministry.

Workshop leader Rev. Diane Kenaston (she/her) co-founded the Good Friday Collaborative to support congregations concluding ministry. Together we can change the story of church closure from failure to faithfulness.

Rev. Diane Kenaston (she/her) is a United Methodist elder with ten years of experience pastoring churches in West Virginia and Missouri in the United States. She is now a clergy coach based out of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and a founding member of the Good Friday Collaborative, a ministry supporting congregational leaders whose churches are faithfully concluding existing ministry. rev.diane.kenaston@gmail.com