The 6 Symposium Streams

All streams below will take place on Saturday May 19. Please select your preferred stream on your registration form.

Self as Source 

Rev. Shana Lynngood, Kelly McDowell,
Angela Klassen

An exploration of ‘self’ as a profound source of spiritual leadership, inviting reflection, deepening awareness, and clarity on how to more fully express authentic self in leading.

“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks — we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.”

— Parker L. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

What would it take to create a more integrated view of our sense of ourselves as leaders—allowing us to bring our full potential to the world? This stream is an exploration of ‘self’ and how we may authentically express ourselves as spiritual leaders. We will embark on a contemplative, reflective inquiry into the meaning and source of spiritual leadership. The stream will generate the clarity of a strong personal foundation. Then we will explore how to be fully available to the emergent future, guided by our deepest personal longings and aspirations.

Spiritual Leadership in Social Justice Work: Joys and Challenges

Leslie Kemp, Rev. Frances Deverell,
Helen Armstrong, Lynn Sabourin

Exploration through stories of joys, challenges and successful practice: how social justice work can be effective, sustain energy and commitment that feeds the soul.

“In my vision, ideally, every UU congregation serves as: a place to cultivate spiritual deepening, a place to coordinate social action efforts; and a place to explore and deepen the sense of connection between the two.”

— Rev. Melora Lynngood

How can social justice work be effective, sustain energy and commitment, and feed the soul? Through sharing stories of success and struggle as spiritual experience, the group will identify practices and strategies for increasing effectiveness and for nurturing the soul. Small groups will work with one of the several modalities: conversation, visual art, dance, music, writing, and poetry. Together we’ll reflect: What are we learning? What is the connection to spiritual leadership?

Growing Community: Spiritual Leadership in Daily Life

Ariel Hunt-Brondwin, Kaleb McNeil,
Nicky Duenkel

An active, adventuresome exploration about the connection of spirit and active engagement in leading in organizations and communities.

“If spirituality is anything, it is everything. Those who think about their spiritual lives as somehow separate and distinct from the rest of their lives don’t yet understand that spirituality is about wholeness. There is no separate spiritual sphere…”

— Erik Walker Wikstrom, Serving with Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice

This stream explores the link between spirit and active engagement in the world. Beginning with an exploration of what matters most to people, the group will engage body, mind, and heart to affirm their perspectives on spirit in action in the world. How can we bring our whole selves to daily leadership of organizations and communities? We will share stories, then engage with practices for expression of our whole selves, whatever the context.

Anyone’s Ministry: Spiritual Leadership in Shared Ministry

Linda Thomson, Rev. Millie Rochester,
Caroline Balderson Parry

An inquiry into everyone’s role in sharing ‘ministry’ as an expression of spiritual leadership.

“Whenever there is a meeting that summons us to our better selves, wherever our lostness is found, our fragments are united, our wounds begin healing, our spines stiffen and our muscles grow strong for the task, there is ministry.”

— Gordon B. McKeeman, Anyone’s Ministry

Everyone can ‘do ministry’ at any age, as an expression of our personal passion theology. This stream focuses on exploring the creative tension between ‘leadership’ and ‘ministry’. Provocateurs will be designated to stimulate and expand various perspectives.

Using Power and Authority Effectively, Ethically and Spiritually

Rev. Stephen Atkinson, Rev. Antonia Won,
Sean Barron, Rupert Gomery,
Mary Anne Parker, Keith Wilkinson

Focus on an exploration of power and authority in relation to spiritual leadership, decision making practices and culture within congregations.

“Show me the patterns of your church organization, and I’ll show you what the people of the church find worthiest of their loyalty. Organization and theology are not two different things. Our organization is a function of our actual theology.”

— Alice Blair Wesley

In this stream, individuals focus on congregational leadership, examining distinctions between responsibility, accountability, and authority from a spiritual perspective. The facilitated sessions explore power from many perspectives, including our ambivalence, and the dynamics of power in decision-making and leadership. The group will explore impact and influence, sharing power and building a culture of trust. With all this in mind, we will explore approaches for getting things done in congregations.

Open Space: The Quest for Spiritual Leadership

Diana Smith, Rev. Brian Kiely, Ben Wolfe, Liz James, and others who choose to step up

The Open Space session is a self-organizing means of exploring the future possibilities in the quest for spiritual leadership for church, our movement and its values.

What are you passionate about and willing to be responsible for exploring?

Open space technology is a process that consolidates the wisdom of the group to create the focus and range of dialogue that individuals desire. This alternative stream is designed for those who have a particular passion and perspective that the other streams may not address. It is a self-organizing process that is flexible, while being facilitated and structured to allow range and depth of conversations to occur. The process will continue throughout the day as a parallel stream, or streams.

The Open Space Session will focus on the future. In the quest for spiritual leadership, what do we need to be paying attention to? What matters most? What’s shifting? What’s emerging? What does the ‘church’, faith and movement of the future look like? How do we connect? Create and nurture spiritual community (ies)? How do we encourage the ‘whole’? How is technology shaping our beliefs, practices? Join this session if you have a perspective, some insights, queries and/or knowledge about which you want to be in dialogue and inquiry.