Healthy Ministry Modules

DESCRIPTION OF HEALTHY MINISTRY MODULES

Just as a trellis provides for a supportive structure and airy spaces for healthy vines to grow, our ministries need structure and spaces to be healthy, growing and fruitful! As clergy, one of the ways we covenant together to keep our ministries healthy is to take periodic training for ethical boundary, bias/privilege/diversity awareness.

The Southwest Conference Committee on Church and Ministry provides for clergy training in Boundary Awareness, and which eventually will also include training in bias/privilege/diversity awareness in a format of 3-hour modules.

Currently operating are FOUR 3-hour modules on Boundary Awareness Training. One or two more modules plan to be added by 2021 on bias/privilege/diversity awareness.

  • The goals of a modular format are:

· Participants in smaller groups will be able to go more in depth in each topic, allowing for more discussion and relevance.

· More flexibility to accommodate different scheduling needs and locations.

· Trainers may develop expertise for particular modules.

· Promoting a culture of ongoing attention to healthy boundaries, rather than it being a once-in-5-year obligation.

  • TIME REQUIREMENTS AND STRUCTURE:

· All clergy are on the same 5-year cycle. Years ending in “3” and “8” BEGIN a new cycle. All clergy with authorized standing in the Conference need to take the required modules by December of the current cycle (currently: December of 2022. Jan. 2023 begins a new cycle).

· Clergy transferring into the SW Conference: If they have taken boundary training since the beginning of the cycle (since Jan. 2018), they do not need to take training until the next cycle. If their most recent training is before the beginning of the current cycle, they need to take it by the end of this cycle.

· Can clergy choose another program instead of the SWC modular system?

Not unless there are extenuating circumstances that are negotiated. The reason is that our program is designed, within the parameters of Faith Trust Institute’s curriculum to maximize depth of discussion and thoroughness of material being covered. It is 12 program hours, while others may be only one 8-hour day. Also it is in person, rather than online, to uphold the value of covenantal relationship with each other.

· Modules are offered a variety of times and locations every year.

  • Within each year, every module will be offered, and some offered twice. Dates and locations for the year will be publicized in advance for the whole year.

  • Within the five-year period beginning this year, each module will be offered at least once, sometimes twice, in three major geographic locations: Phoenix, Albuquerque and Tucson.

  • Modules may be taken in any order. Participants will receive a certificate of completion for each module, and will be tracked in their UCC DataHub record.

MODULE CONTENT:

· Module 1: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

Topics:

o The Joy of Boundaries

o Theology of Boundaries

o Power and Vulnerability

o Self-Care

o Safe Church policy

o Departing a ministry

· Alt-Module 1: RETIRED (Taken instead of the regular Module 1 by those who are in or approaching professional retirement. To remain with active ordained ministerial standing, they also take the other three regular modules).

o Boundaries in Retirement

o Power and Vulnerability

o Self-Care: Discovering and Maintaining Purpose and Meaning

o Continuing Expressions of Vocation

o Managing covenantal relationships, friendships,

o Departing a ministry

o Discerning the choice for Exempt Standing

· Module 2: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

o Transference

o Physical contact

o Sexual attraction, Dating & Intimacy

o Friendship

o Dual relationships

o Family/kids/spouses/partner issues

o Single Pastor

o Between Youth and Pastor

· Module 3: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR FINANCES, RESOURCES, & WORK

o Church finances and personal finances

o Stresses of diminishing income

o Bookkeeping

o Transparency

o Gift-giving

o Over-functioning/Use of Time

· Module 4: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR USE OF TECHNOLOGY &

SOCIAL MEDIA

o Pornography and addiction, sexting

o Emailing & texting

o Use and abuse of various social media platforms

o Interactions w Youth on social media

When participants attend, they need to have a Faith Trust Institute Healthy Boundaries student book #201. If they have already purchased it for previous sessions, bring it, otherwise they will need to purchase it for $20 at registration. (The #101 version will not work).

OTHER MODULES:

· Modules 5 & 6 AWARENESS OF SOCIAL BIAS/PRIVILEGE/DIVERSITY

(UNDER DEVELOPMENT)

These modules will deal with issues of social bias of race, gender, sexual orientation, economic and differing abilities. They will look at the sources of bias, prejudice and historic and systemic discrimination, as well as dynamics of implicit power and privilege.

· BOUNDARY AWARENESS TRAINING for CONGREGATIONS

The Southwest Conference also offers a three-hour session for individual congregations on boundary awareness training. It takes the Faith Trust Institute material that pastors receive in their boundary awareness training and adapts it to a congregational perspective. The goal is to create common understanding around healthy boundaries between clergy and laity, and equipping them with common language around issues so that the clergy are not solely responsible for interpreting and maintaining healthy boundaries or justifying their actions to do so that may not be understood by the congregation. This session is shaped in consultation with the pastor, tailored to any specific needs of the congregation. Since not all the material can be covered in one 3-hour period, the trainers and pastor will discuss which components of the material are most relevant.

o This session is particularly recommended for congregations during interim periods, and/or when a new pastor has arrived. But it can be used at other times as well.

o It is not designed to be a substitute for situational support consultations and should not be used when the congregation is undergoing a specific crisis or escalating conflict.

· BOUNDARY AWARENESS TRAINING FOR CHURCH STAFF

(UNDER DEVELOPMENT)

Similar to the session for congregations, the Faith Trust Institute material will be adapted to the perspective of church staff. This is not a training that addresses issues unique to different roles of staff, or relationship to the pastor as supervisor, but will take the same material in order to create common understandings around the professional boundaries that clergy are trained in.

UPCOMING HEALTHY MINISTRY MODULE TRAININGS

Phoenix: following the Phoenix Retired Clergy Luncheon

ALTERNATIVE Healthy Ministry Module #1-Retired

Tuesday, October 15, 12:30 p.m.

Tucson: bookending the Clergy Retreat

Module 3: Monday, Oct. 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Module 4: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Phoenix: at the Southwest Conference Office

Module 1: December 9, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Module 2: December 9, 1 – 4 p.m.