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Shared Leadership: The Staff/RE Committee Partnership Presented by Patricia Infante, Regional Faith Development Consultant, CERG Jan Gartner, Lifespan.

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Presentation on theme: "Shared Leadership: The Staff/RE Committee Partnership Presented by Patricia Infante, Regional Faith Development Consultant, CERG Jan Gartner, Lifespan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shared Leadership: The Staff/RE Committee Partnership Presented by Patricia Infante, Regional Faith Development Consultant, CERG Jan Gartner, Lifespan Faith Development & Youth Ministries Consultant, OMD

2 Webinar Basics Top Menu Bar: Emoticons Message Box Right side of screen: Attendees Message Box

3 Lighting Our Virtual Chalice The deep and abiding reality – the reality we do not invent, the reality we really have to cope with – is that we are interconnected beings born in and for community. If that is true, and surely it is, then leadership is everyone’s vocation, and it is an evasion to claim that it is not. When we live in the close-knit ecosystem called community, everyone follows and everyone leads. Leadership, I now understand, simply comes with the territory called being human. ~Parker Palmer

4 Overview Welcome & Introductions Healthy Relationships Communication Shared Leadership & Shared Responsibility Covenant

5 Introductions Please introduce yourself by sharing the following: Name Congregation Name Your role/job in the congregation Congregation Size & Approximate RE Enrollment

6 What does your DRE/RE committee relationship look like?

7 Healthy Relationships In healthy congregations, people respond graciously and truthfully (rather than judgmentally or secretively) In healthy congregations, people develop caring relationships (rather than willful transactions) In healthy congregations, people empower others (rather than dominate or cure them)

8 Essentials of Building Good Relationships Clarity in documents, Contract, Job Description, Program Assessment & Evaluation responsibilities Clarity in who does what task when Rotation System for volunteer Lay Leaders Financial and Public Support from Board Leadership Cooperation and interaction with other standing committees of the church Support of the minister

9 When Roles Overlap Religious Educator Lay Leaders Minister(s)

10 Healthy Communication Truth-telling Willingness to discuss difficult issues Staying connected through conflict Understanding boundaries Respecting Confidentiality

11 Problematic Communication Quandaries Rumors – misinformation Gossip – may be accurate but spread outside of established communication channels Exposure – revealing too much information that would be considered socially appropriate Leaking – information is released intentionally, without regard to covenants or established boundaries

12 The Elephant in the Room Every congregation has an issue that is difficult to talk about. Do you believe that people’s functioning will improve if they know the truth?

13 Shared Leadership No single right way to share leadership Partnership may change over time Clarity is important Blurriness, flexibility can be good; best if made explicit

14 A good partnership: Provides checks and balances Gives multiple perspectives Strengthens decisions Offers flexibility Distributes workload Is mutually supportive, synergetic

15 General function of Committee: (one or more may apply) Advisory to staff: sounding board, additional eyes and ears Decision-making: policy, vision, curriculum, etc. Program support and implementation: consider portfolios, sub- committees Other?

16 General function of staff member Provide expertise and leadership as an accountable religious professional Serve by carrying out the will of the congregation This is a polarity! Both are true. Acknowledge the tension, need to balance.

17 Authority of Leaders Leaders (paid and volunteer) should be given a level of authority consistent with their level of responsibility.

18 In thinking about how to share leadership, consider: Staff hours Staff interests and talents Committee interests and talents Congregational culture and systems Other?

19 Sharing Responsibilities How you might use the worksheet Remember that there is no right or wrong way. The right way is the way that works for you.

20 Alternatives to R.E. Committee Standing teams (safety, curriculum, special events) Ad hoc working groups (limited time, specific purpose) Class leaders (for class-specific help and/or program/church events) Other?

21 Unitarian Universalism is a Covenantal Faith We are a covenantal faith, not a creedal faith. We share a covenant of how we try to be together, not a creed of what we all must believe together. Rev. Thom Belote (adapted)

22 A Covenant … Is a statement of agreement about how we choose to be in relationship with each other. Comprises promises, not rules. Is a framework of expectations. Is about behavior, not personality. Offers an opportunity to explore and deepen our spirituality.

23 Keeping the Covenant Alive Keep it visible! Talk often about the covenant and its meaning. Put the covenant on agendas. Review the covenant when there are major changes in leadership.

24 Keys to Success Remember: Conflict and disappointment is inevitable! Clarity to Acknowledge and negotiate overlap between roles Communication Covenant to help articulate Mutual acccountability Processes for correction An ujncerstanding of forgiveness The possibility of reconciliation

25 Questions?

26 Resources R.E. Road Map: An Administrative Guidebook for Religious Educators; get order form from Cindy Leitner, “Congregational Freebies” on Connie Dunn’s website, including Religious Education Timeline and Religious Education 101: The Search for Religious Education Leadership: _leadershipguide.pdf _leadershipguide.pdf

27 A final word from Parker Palmer… So, what does it take to qualify as a leader? Being human and being here. As long as I am here, doing whatever I am doing, I am leading, for better or for worse. And, if I may say so, so are you. ~Parker Palmer, “Leading from Within”

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