Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop-BREAKING BARRIERS, BUILDING BELIEFS-Via Zoom


Click here to join the workshop

“Will the new minister hear me? Will my concerns and needs be met? Will the minister
understand what I’m living with? How will the community respond to our minister?” In
answering these questions, a picture of the “ideal minister” (categorized by age, gender
identity, nationality, physical or cognitive ability, race, sexual orientation, gender identity,
and more) comes to mind.

With this picture in place, it can be easy to exclude ministers who fall into certain
categories unintentionally. As we get caught up in comparing candidates to our
“picture,” we can forget what we hoped for in a minister.

On the weekend of November 4th, 2023, FUCSJ will participate in the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop offered by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for congregations involved in the search for a new minister.

The FUCSJ Search Committee
invites all congregational leaders, members, and friends to participate in this workshop.
The workshop will be virtual.

The UUA designed the Breaking Barriers, Building Beliefs program to promote inclusive thinking and help prevent discrimination in searching for a new minister.

This program includes a three-hour B4 workshop and a Sunday morning service, with Denise Crawley, a facilitator trained by the UUA. In the workshop,

FUCSJ attendees will:
● Consider the hopes, expectations, and concerns they have for a new minister
● Learn more about the ministerial search process, and
● Explore how creating categories and putting people in them interferes with
choosing the best candidate.

Join on Zoom on November 4th at 9:30 am to participate in this UUA-sponsored workshop led by UUA minister, Denise Crawley.

The selection of a minister is important. The Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop is
another opportunity for everyone in our congregation to participate in this process. This
experience will guide the search committee in our work.

Click here to join the workshop

Rev. Denise Cawley

Rev. Denise currently is the Interim Minister at Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist in Palatine, IL a Chicago Suburb and lives with her partner, Rev. Matt Aspin, who serves a congregation in Hartland, WI. She is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She has served congregations in Oregon, Illinois and Wisconsin and provided spiritual and emotional support chaplaincy at Planned Parenthood. She worked in non-profit management for more than 20 years and has been pivotal player in diversity, inclusion, marriage equality, and voting rights for over two decades.

Reverend Denise brings visual arts, interactive rituals, and dramatic storytelling into her ministry.  Artmaking is a vivid part of her spiritual practice too. “Ministry lets me combine my greatest loves: advocacy, social justice, art, play, and writing into my life’s calling, which is to inspire people to love with vulnerability and passion,” says Reverend Denise.

Survey link:

Click here to join the workshop


Service link:

Nov. 5th Service with Denise Cawley

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

When you hear that question, what is your answer? Can you or can you not? Science offers us answers to the age-old question. If we want a growing church, and a successful settled ministry, it is one we ought to consider. The path to Beloved Community is long and there is room for all of us on the path. Join us for this exploration of the journey.


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