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Leadership is always important, but these days, there are extra elements that make being a leader even more challenging. We live in anxious times: with the novel coronavirus changing the way we do things, we need to be more open to flexibility, and live in the midst of ambiguity. We live in a world that is more clearly taking on the challenge of dismantling the systems of oppression that have held all of us captive, but more particularly people from marginalized communities: Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color, Trans, Non-Binary Gender Queer folks, People with disabilities.

We will be focusing on what it takes and means to be a leader as we also recognize the two challenges of physical distancing and dismantling systemic white supremacy culture. We will meet four Saturdays, 10am-1:30pm Eastern, 9am-12:30pm Central. There will be homework before each session. There will also be a lecture each week from Rev. Connie Simon, on the history and theology of UUism—in other words, how we got to where we are.

The Saturday Sessions will focus on the following themes:

  • Session 1, MARCH 6: Identity: Creating the Beloved Community, focusing on questions such as who is “us,” what covenants bind us together, widening our circle of inclusion
  • Session 2, MARCH 27: Mission Vision: Why Do We Bother, exploring the reasons your congregation exists, what your purpose in the world is
  • Session 3, APRIL 17: Systems: How Does It All Fit Together, focusing on congregational DNA, how things work, how to lead from a systemic position
  • Session 4, MAY 8: Conflict: Being Together Across Differences, exploring how congregations resolve issues, and how to be together while disagreeing

We encourage teams from congregations to sign up together: we will be having lots of conversation, sometimes with your team, and other times in cross-congregation groups. We have found that having a team attend helps you implement the material in your congregations. Every person attending must provide a letter of recommendation from either their minister or president or vice president of their governing body.

Cost: $150 per person, payable at the time of registration. People who are Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color, Trans, Non-Binary, or a Young Adult will be eligible for a 50% reduction of the registration fee. This reduction can be claimed at the time of registration.

If you have questions, please direct them to Lisa Presley (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

REGISTRATION WILL BE OPEN IN JANUARY!

How to get to VMWLS Course Materials after you have registered (PDF).

Student Registration

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