The Log In Our Eye

by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere Ohio-Meadville District Executive When Is a Unitarian Universalist most like Rush Limbaugh? Mr. Limbaugh has lately been notorious for his remarks about Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke. He has a long history of vilifying those he does not agree with. but this recent incident seems remarkably hateful and vicious even […]

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Why Is Everyone Talking About Mission?

by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, Ohio-Meadville Dist. Executive Ohio-Meadville District staff have never worked with so many congregations at one time all focused on the same issue – mission.  Why are so many of our congregations involved in renewing, re-articulating, revising or rediscovering their mission and sense of purpose right now? What’s going on here? […]

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Heretical Thoughts While Waiting for a Plane In Columbus OH

by Rev. Joan VanBecelaere, Ohio-Meadville District Executive Heretical Thought #1 Why do congregations that spend most of their time worrying about survival rarely ever thrive? While congregations that intentionally work to live out their collective sense of calling and mission never (or hardly ever)  talk about survival? Heretical Thought #2 What if our congregations were […]

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Striving for Competence

Is is OK to be just competent? Sure, it’s better than being called incompetent, but what if you’re not really good at something? This topic surfaced at a recent summer program as participants struggled with language and experience around multiculturalism. Unlike my husband and children I will never excel in Math, but I’m competent enough […]

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Team Work

by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere Ohio-Meadville District Executive A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of presenting the “Charge to the Congregation” during the installation of a colleague as the new minister of a congregation in the district. Installations are big-time “whoop-de-do’s” – with all of the pomp and circumstance (and some say […]

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Belong-Behave-Believe: Love, Universalism and Church Membership

by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere District Executive Ohio-Meadville District of the UUA I’m spending March 17-20 in a hotel in Minneapolis attending the UUA’s Large Church Conference. This event, held once every 3 years, brings together clergy and leaders from the largest Unitarian Universalist congregations in North America. This year, the central speaker is Dan […]

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The Parable of Jenny – A Faith For All Ages

By Rev. Joan Van Becelaere District Executive Jenny had just moved to town to start her freshman year at the state university there. After the first few weeks of orientation and getting used to her new classes, she felt pretty comfortable on campus and started to look around at what was going on in town. […]

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Rowing It Alone: Creativity in Times of Scarcity

By Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, District Executive, Ohio-Meadville District of the UUA “…war, famine, abuse, societal collapse, ecological devastation—human beings can get through anything as long as we’re together.” Margaret Wheatley I was reading an article from the Alban Institute the other day that laid out the challenges congregational leaders face when serving struggling amd […]

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Hey You! Suggestions for Increasing Visibility

How many of you at some point in your life had a conversation like this? “Which church do you go to?” “XYZ Unitarian Universalist” “Where’s that?” “On 123 Street” “Hm, I never knew that there was a UU Church in our area.” Often one of our best kept secrets is the fact that our churches […]

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You Can’t be Creative If You Refuse to be Confused

by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere Ohio-Meadville District Executive Last week, I did something that I had been longing to do for some time. I saved my pennies (well…dimes and dollars) and spent a week at the Cape Cod Institute attending a class offered by Margaret Wheatley and Angela Blanchard, called “Leaders For The Storm: Wisdom […]

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