Small Congregations Support

Infographic: small UU churches in new england

Small congregations (membership of under 120 or so) are the majority of of our New England Unitarian Universalist churches.

Click here to view the infographic on the right and learn a little more about these Small & Mighties.  

You will find resources on this page to help your small congregation to be small, vital, and healthy.

When you want to talk to your New England Region staff about what is happening in your small congregation, contact kbellavancegrace [at] uua [dot] org (Karen Bellavance-Grace). And to be in conversation, join our New England's Small & Mighties Facebook group!

DIY Small Church Learning

You and your friends are dedicated to your beloved church home. You'd love to learn more about healthy church practices, or sustainable models of ministry. You've checked out our region's workshops and programs, but have not been able to attend in person. The articles on this page have been chosen by your New England regional UUA staff for you to explore a variety of topics in congregational life on your own time. We encourage you to use these resources as a starting point for conversations with your church family. If you want to delve deeper into any topic or have more support for your congregational conversations, contact kbellavancegrace [at] uua [dot] org (Karen Bellavance-Grace) or any of your New England staff team


Discernment is a spiritual decision making process. Individuals and congregations can engage in discernment by asking good questions without presuming to know the answer. One example might be asking, "How can we most faithfully use our church building to support our mission and magnify our UU values in our community?," instead of asking, "How can we keep our church doors open and our building heated for another winter?" The first question leaves space for a broader diversity of answers - perhaps the most faithful use of the building would be to partner with a community agency to house an after school mentoring program, or to sell the building and use the proceeds to fund more community ministry. Asking questions about where the future is calling your congregation is an act of spiritual leadership. If you find yourself at a crossroads moment in your congregation, one of these articles below might help you spark important conversations about your next steps.



It's often the case in small churches that eventually, everybody serves in just about every colunteer and leadership position! It's sometimes wise to step back and look at your congregation's volunteer culture, and the expectations in your community about leadership. If your congregation is looking for new ways to suport volunteers or new approaches to leadership, start with one of these articles, or call your NER staff.



Small churches often ask how they can offer religious education programs for children and youth when there are very small numbers of children who attend on any given Sunday. There are lots of ideas for supporting spiritual growth and faith formation for all ages (not just children and youth) in small churches. We've gathered some articles with ideas and resources for you to experiment with. If you want to talk through these ideas with an NER staff person, contact ksweeney [at] uua [dot] org (Kimberly Sweeney) for a consult!



Whether your small church has a part time minister or is completely lay-led, Sunday worship remains an area of congregational life that requires lots of volunteer time and attention. There are some new ways of thinking about and planning for worship that you might be interested in exploring together. We've gathered some resources here for you to explore. And please remember to check our list of programs and workshops - we usually offer at least one program a year on worship! 



Safety is so very important - even in small congregations. Our UUA has put together a lot of resources for congregations to adapt and use in your own location. Disruptive persons policies, Limited Access Agreements - these are the kinds of things we hope we never have to use, but it's so much better to be proactive than to wait until you need them before creating them. If you want help working through safety policies in your church, contact ksweeney [at] uua [dot] org (Kim Sweeney), NER's safe congregation program lead.



There's been lots of attention paid to how churches respond to new 21st century realities. How we communicate, how we get information, even how we work and worship - so many things have changed in just the last couple decades. There's plenty of things your church continues to do well; but if you identify an area of congregational life where you'd like to explore a new approach, we've gathered some articles to spark your imagination. And if you feel ready to make a change, contact hallen [at] uua [dot] org (Hilary Allen), our Innovation Program Lead.



Funding the vision and keeping the church building heated - perennial topics of conversation among small church boards across New England. We've collected some resources for your team to consider as you approach stweardship season. And if you have questions about stewardship in your unique setting, contact jsullivan [at] uua [dot] org (Joe Sullivan), our region's program lead for congregational stewardship.



We are in the process of creating a whole other web page with resources about Multisite Ministry and other Congregational Collaborations - please check back a little later for the link!