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About Midsize Congregations

Members, lay leaders, and staff of midsize Unitarian Universalist (UU)congregations, welcome! The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) describes midsize congregations as being those with more than 150 and fewer than 550 adult members, or more than 125 and less than 400 attending worship. Midsize congregations with more than 350 members can often benefit from resources for large congregations and also can benefit from consultation with the large congregations office.

Midsize congregations can be dynamic places to engage in faith development, community-building, and ministry. Midsize congregations are by nature often complex organizations and therefore can be demanding of staff and volunteers. Healthy constructive communication and an inclusive culture within the congregation are vital. Good Communication can be difficult to carry out thoroughly and well, as a high volume of activity means it is not easy for all to be informed of the sum total of the congregation's many ministries and programs. Use multiple means of communicating and repetition of important messages.

It can be key to establish a network of small groups to ensure that all attendees are involved, connected, and ministering to one another. Ensure that all voices can be heard in discussions, pay attention to who is "sitting at the table" and ensure that leadership is transparent. The UUA supplies resources that may be able to help midsize congregations to feel inspired and stay connected, among participants and with the wider community.

Resources

Contact your district staff for assistance and information on a wide range of topics and issues important to you and your congregation.

The online edition of The Congregational Handbook covers many topics of interest to staff, members, and leaders of midsize congregations. From religious education to safety topics, from how to run a meeting to how to find your collective vision for the future, these and more are covered.

Selected Resources for Church Staff and Volunteers, includes information on practical matters of developing and running congregations from the perspective of various church roles; links cover membership, staffing, benefits, religious education, music, worship, and much more.

Growth Resources List for Midsize Congregations, (PDF, 25 pages) an annotated list subdivided by topics.

Email lists for staff and volunteers, lay and ordained. There are email discussion lists for people in the roles of leader, finance, membership, religious education and faith development, antiracism, social justice, Green Sanctuary/environmental, governance, theology, worship, and more.

Educational and Networking Events

Midsize Congregations Conferences

 Planning for Growth and Vitality for the Smaller Midsize Congregation provides learning, support, know-how, and follow-up. This project is offered and coordinated by the district and Growth Services at the UUA. Teams from four to six congregations gather to learn and support one another with support from a growth consultant and district staff and mentor.

For more information contact growthresources @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

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