Working in Congregational Systems

If you are interested in taking this course, please email UUGIREeducation at gmail dot com to let us know. If there is enough interest, we will consider offering it again soon. It was last offered in February 2017.

Working in Congregational Systems

Have you heard “systems” referenced over and over in collegial conversations? Are you ready to get in on this wisdom? Join us for a dive into systems theory and practice.

This will be a three-session course offered on Wednesdays in February at 1:00-2:30pm Eastern. Here is the focus for each session:

February 1 – Bowen Family Systems Theory
February 8 – (no session)
February 15 – Practice in Congregational Life
February 22 – On Being a Non-Anxious Presence

Due by February 1 – Reading Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, by Peter L. Steinke, is required preparation. Each session will build on previous sessions, so be sure to have the book read prior to February 1 and attend every session. Participants will be asked to do reflective work between sessions.

The course will be led by Rev. Kenn Hurto and Connie Goodbread from the UUA Southern Region staff. They are giving generously of their time in service to our faith and in support of keeping the cost low for participants.


Kenn Hurto has served our Unitarian Universalist ministry for nearly 45 years in congregations small and large. Presently, he is the team Lead of and member of the UUA Southern Region field staff. For over 12 years, he was privileged to study Family Systems Theory with Rabbi Dr. Ediwn H. Friedman. Friedman’s work, Generation to Generation, and his posthumous essay Failure of Nerve Leadership In the Age of the Quick Fix, have had a tremendous impact on clergy and educators. Kenn has been teaching the theory and coaching religious leaders for over thirty years, emphasizing the soul-side of leadership

Connie Goodbread is a Credentialed Director of Religious Education with over twenty years of experience. She has studied Healthy Congregation development and congregational conflict identification and transformation with Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke. Prior to her district work, Connie was a Healthy Congregations and Conflict consultant. Connie is a trainer of Dr. Steinke’s Healthy Congregations process and has written a Unitarian Universalist supplement to Dr. Steinke’s work called The Smart Church. Connie lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with her husband Bob.