The Congregational Vitality and Development Team of the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations is focused on the well-being, development and revitalization of existing church congregations and communities, as well as the planting of new churches. The team has voluntary membership and is focused on providing guidance, resources, and training for congregational leadership, both ministers and laity.

From time to time we will share resources, which we deem to be helpful or informative on this site. We hope these resources will help you in your own planning, development and revitalization efforts. We may also share articles which may be if interest to you. Please know the information is shared for informational purposes only, and may not apply to your situation. The information provided is subjective and the opinion of the authors.

We hope you will share with us your needs and concerns, your joys and challenges.

Non-Violent Communication

The Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations of the Ohio Conference of the UCC and the Ohio Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) hosted a one hour webinar exploring Non-Violent Communication. This webinar was presented by Irene Bowers and Francois Beausoleil of the Blame Free State Institute.  We hope you will enjoy the information.

MissionInsite

missioninsiteMissionInsite is a tool that can provide you with local demographic data, information about religious views and concerns and so much more.

This is a vital tool for planning how to expand your contact with and support for your local community.

Coaches Available!

association-coaches-300x300Trained Association Coaches are available for pastors and congregations. Coaches are generally free for congregations.

A $50 per hour fee is charged for Transitions Coaches, who perform many of the interim and transitional tasks, in preparation for pastoral transitions.

Please submit the application form and a coach will be assigned.

Vision Statements

visioningHas your church vision statement become a picture framed on a wall? Do you wish your vision were a living, breathing document that everyone in your congregation knew and was committed to?

Trained members of the Congregational Vitality and Development Team will happily work with congregations interested in reviewing, re-writing, or developing a Vision Statement. Exploring core values, long term dreams and new possibilities can reinvigorate the congregation.

Please contact Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead at [email protected] or 330-940-2220 x103 for more information.

Constitutions & Bylaws

indexTrained members of the Congregational Vitality and Development Team will happily work with congregations interested in re-visioning their Constitutions and Bylaws utilizing the model created by Dan Hotchkiss.

Beginning with a three-hour workshop and continuing until the documents have been approved by your congregation, a Vitality Team member will train and coach your team.

If you are interested in having someone assist your congregation, contact Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead at [email protected] or 330-940-2220 x103.

Church Legacy

church-legacy-233x300Are you uncertain about your church’s future? Are you struggling with paying the bills, making payroll, or keeping up with building maintenance?

It may be time to explore your church’s legacy. Utilizing a UCC resource, a trained association coach can help your congregation explore whether or not creating a legacy, church closure or other options might be best for you.

This resource is to be used BEFORE a decision is made to help you envision your congregation’s capacity for redevelopment and re-invigoration. Please complete the Coaching Application if you are interested in exploring this option.

New Church Start

vk1i3hijAre you thinking about beginning a new worshiping community? Do you think you have the capacity to birth a new church? Does your congregation desire to “nest” a newly forming congregation? If so, please review the New Church Start Manual.

Once you have reviewed the materials, please be in touch with Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead at [email protected] or 330-940-2220 x103 who will schedule a time for you to talk with the Congregational Vitality and Development Team.

WRA Vitality Grants

vitality-grants-300x150Congregations sometimes need to revitalize, to learn how to move forward in a variety of ways. The Congregational Vitality and Development Team offers a variety of programs and resources to assist congregations.

These include congregational assessments and evaluations, revitalization programs and events, access to the New Beginnings program through the Hope Partnership, access to Readiness 360 a program developed by Paul Nixon, grant and coaching support.

For information about the WRA Vitality Grants, please complete the application. For other kinds of support please contact Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead at [email protected] or 330-940-2220 x103 who will schedule a time for you to talk with the Congregational Vitality and Development Team.

Resources for Self Learning

The Congregational Vitality and Development Team recommends the following resources for congregational and pastor self-study.

Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership

By Dan Hotchkiss

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This is an excellent resource for streamlining and simplifying the Governance and Ministry functions of a congregation.

Radical Welcome

By Stephanie Speller

radical

An excellent resource for learning how to be extravagantly welcoming. This book is a good congregational study and may be useful if a congregation is thinking about ways to become more inclusive.

Ending with Hope

By Beth Ann Gaede

ending

This is an excellent resource for congregations facing the prospect of closure. Used along with the UCC resource Church Legacy and Closure, this text can help a congregation move through the grief of letting go.

Church Renewal and Revitalization Resources

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