Challenging Faith in Action Workshop at Kingswood

Eleven delegates from seven MUA congregations gathered at Kingswood to attend a challenging and fascinating workshop on Faith in Action: Social Responsibility, led by Karen Hanley, Chair of the GA’s Faith & Public Issues Commission. After explaining about the Commission’s work – they are not only responsible for social justice /responsibility issues, but also for interfaith issues – Karen set us to work. In the first part of the day, we had an “ideas storm” about Unitarian contributions to social responsibility and political change throughout history, and were pleasantly surprised at how much the denomination had achieved and is still achieving. Karen shared Rev. Jane Dwinell’s view that the growth of congregations is subtly based on having one or two projects in hand – visible signs of us doing something that outsiders can see. We could become involved in other organisations’ projects too. Looking outwards, rather than inwards, focussing on giving service, rather than on survival – are the keys to growth. Most of the rest of the day was spent in identifying projects (actual and potential) in our own congregations, with a view to going away with action in mind. Karen reminded us of the need for SMART planning – anything we decided to do had to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-constrained, and took us through the project planning process. At the end of the day, Karen asked us to commit to something to take back to their congregation. All in all, it was a most inspiring day.