The Congregational Vitality and Development Team of the Living Water Association 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 Living Water Association 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

MissionInsite 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!

Trained 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

Vision Statements

Has 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.

Constitutions & Bylaws

Trained 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.

Church Legacy

Are 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.

New Church Start

Are 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.

WRA Vitality Grants
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Congregations 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 Vitality Grants, please complete the application.

For more information about any of the above offerings, please email Rev. Nayiri Karjian or call 330-940-2220 x102.

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

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

Radical Welcome

By Stephanie Speller

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

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