‘Ministry In A Time Of Pandemic: Developing spiritually healthy communities’
27-28th May 2020
You are invited to four online learning events to support ministry and spiritual communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The workshops will cover: how to make meaningful rituals for online gatherings; death and grieving; self care and spiritual leadership; and imagining the future of ministry in a post-coronavirus world.
Workshop leaders include Sophy Banks, founder of Grief Tending in Community, Casper ter Kuile, a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, co-founder (with Sue Phillips, Unitarian Universalist minister) of the Sacred Design Lab and author of 'The Power of Ritual', Peter Faithbrother, Interfaith Minister of St Marks, Unitarians In Edinburgh, and Claire MacDonald, minister of Lewisham Unity.
The workshops will be of interest to anyone interested in the importance of spiritual healthy communities and all are very welcome – whether they are in formal or informal leadership roles in their community, Unitarian or otherwise. These events are free and are organised by the General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches. They will be held using Zoom.
'Ritual for Online Gatherings' (Wednesday 27th May, 2-3.30pm)
Join Casper ter Kuile for a workshop on creating meaningful rituals for online gatherings. Casper will share with us his five principles of online ritual and invite participants to take part in small break-out groups. The workshop will close with a panel discussion featuring designer Rebecca Stevens, Professor Tim Hutchings, sociologist of digital religion, and Unitarian Chief Officer Liz Slade. This workshop is part of ‘Ministry In A Time Of Pandemic: Developing spiritually healthy communities’ (27-28th May 2020), organised by Unitarians UK. It is free and open to all.
Please bring along a candle and something to light it with, if you can.
Casper ter Kuile is a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, co-founder (with Sue Phillips, Unitarian Universalist minister) of the Sacred Design Lab and author of 'The Power of Ritual'. Find out more about him.
Rebecca Stevens is a designer, facilitator, and performance artist. She is Director of Strategy and Design at Mishkan, a Chicago-based Jewish organisation. Find out more about her.
Professor Tim Hutchings is a sociologist of digital religion at Nottingham University. His PhD (Durham University, 2010) was an ethnographic study of five online Christian churches. His subsequent work has included topics ranging from the Bible as a digital text to death and mourning in online communities. Find out more about him.
Imagining The Future: Post-Pandemic Ministry (Wednesday 27th May, 7-8.30pm)
Join a panel of spiritual leaders for a workshop imagining the future of ministry in a post-pandemic world. The workshop will include a panel discussion led by Rev Claire MacDonald (Lewisham Unity) and break-out groups. Panellists include: Anastasia Somerville-Wong, Sue Mayo, Fiona Thomas and Lucia Scazzocchio. Chaired by Liz Slade (Chief Officer, Unitarians UK). This workshop is part of ‘Ministry In A Time Of Pandemic: Developing spiritually healthy communities’ (27-28th May 2020), organised by Unitarians UK. It is free and open to all. It will be held via Zoom.
Rev. Dr. Claire Macdonald is Unitarian minister of Lewisham Unity in south London. She is a writer with a background in performance who is committed to what she now calls ‘writing beyond belief’ — working in social change and art contexts to explore new ways of doing, being and meaning through conversation and collective practice. She writes across cultures and genres, and amongst other topics she has written about collaboration, conversation, conviviality, translation, experimental writing and feminist art. She is a founding editor of the journal Performance Research and her recent book of theatre texts Utopia was published by Intellect Books in 2015. As an activist for change she is committed to the idea, to quote the composer John Luther Adams, that change originates in culture and not in politics, and that art, like religion, operates at the moving edge of experience, always edging into what is just beyond what we think we know.
Sue Mayo is a theatre maker, facilitator and researcher. She leads the MA in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths, University of London. Sue is an Anglican with a long practice (including Taizé in France since the age of 15) and is currently working on an arts and social healing project called 'Repair'. Find out more about her.
Rev Fiona Thomas is a freelance Appreciative Inquiry practitioner and co-author of ‘Appreciating Church’, with 35 years’ experience of community development, non-formal adult education, and participatory methodologies. She was for many years Secretary for Education and Learning for the United Reformed Church. Find out more about her.
Lucia Scazzocchio is a radio maker, audio producer, podcaster, and live broadcaster bringing the power of radio to the people through Social Broadcasting, where everyday conversations and narratives can create meaningful insights. Find out more about her.
Zoom Link. Meeting ID: 875 9000 1201. Password: 291588.
‘Inside Out: Exploring Self Care And Spiritual Leadership In Pandemic Britain’ (Thursday 28th May, 2-3.15pm)
Join Peter Fairbrother (Interfaith Minister of St Mark’s, Unitarians In Edinburgh) and Maud Robinson (Minister of Fulwood Old Chapel and Underbank Chapel, Sheffield) for a workshop exploring how leaders within spiritual communities (including ministers, lay leaders, church officers) can better take care of their own spiritual and emotional needs, to help them better care for their communities and our world.
Following an introduction from Liz Slade (Chief Officer, Unitarians UK), we will hear testimonies from leaders who have struggled with these issues themselves, before being invited to share our own stories and vulnerabilities in small break-out groups. We will be invited to consider what our own needs are and how best to meet them.
This workshop is part of ‘Ministry In A Time Of Pandemic: Developing spiritually healthy communities’ (27-28th May 2020), organised by Unitarians UK. It is free and open to all. It will be held via Zoom.
Rev. Peter Fairbrother has been minister of St Mark’s, Unitarians In Edinburgh since 2018. He was ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2016 following journeys through Catholicism, Protestantism, the earth based traditions, New Age philosophies, and Spiritualism. Northern Irish born and bred, Peter moved to Edinburgh 18 years ago and now lives in Prestonpans, East Lothian, with his partner Phil. Among his interests are wildlife (in all its forms), a passion for the sea and coastal living, and a love of the Eurovision Song Contest. Find out more about him.
Rev. Maud Robinson is minister of Fulwood Old Chapel and Underbank Chapel in Sheffield. Originally from Ireland, Maud has served as minister to Unitarian congregations in Boston (USA), Edinburgh, Cardiff and Sheffield. She sees her focus in ministry as walking with others on a spiritual path, where very often 'being' is more important than 'doing.' Find out more about her.
'Exploring the Landscape of Grief, Together' (Thursday 28th May, 7-9pm)
Join grief expert Sophy Banks for a two-hour workshop on grieving. In this interactive workshop, Sophy will share her insights and invite participants to talk together in small groups. This workshop is part of ‘Ministry In A Time Of Pandemic: Developing spiritually healthy communities’ (27-28th May 2020), organised by Unitarians UK. It is free and open to all.
Beforehand: you are invited to find an object for grief and one for support. If possible, please also have a candle to light and a small jug of water and bowl to pour water. And a pen and paper to write with.
Sophy Banks has been holding workshops and ceremonies for grief in a variety of contexts for over 12 years. She sees the reweaving of shared grief spaces as an essential element in bringing communities back into right relationship with self, other and the wider world. Holding grief as a force for healing allows part of our humanity and inter-connection to be restored to grace and beauty - and often we find another grief, of having lived without this as part of our birthright. She spent ten years at the centre of the Transition movement, supporting positive community responses to the multiple crises we are facing around ecological, economic and social harm. She co-founded Transition Training and held a focus for integrating spiritual and psychological insights with practical actions. Sophy's teachers include Joanna Macy, Sobonfu Some, Maeve Gavin and she also draws on her trainings and work in transpersonal psychotherapy and family constellations. She teaches, writes and facilitates in a variety of contexts, grows as much food as she can and can still just about get up the Devon hills on her bike. Find out more about her.
Zoom Link. Meeting ID: 875 9000 1201. Password: 291588.