The Central Midwest District Consultants Group provides services which help support healthy congregational life in the district. The Group provides outside expertise and facilitation services that focus on strategic planning, goal setting, action planning, leadership development, communications, and conflict management.
You may download our printable brochure as a PDF. (Rev. 2008)
Who Are We?
The members of the Consultants Group are experienced in congregational development, and group facilitation. All are active UUs and knowledgeable about dynamics of UU congregational life. Each consultant brings skills and experiences that provide richness to their practice and to the congregations with whom they work. The Group meets regularly for continuing education, sharing and reflection on their practice.
What Services Does This Program Provide?
Mission Development, Vision Development and Strategic Planning. Development of a shared vision for the future and a clear and meaningful mission combined with well-developed plans for moving toward that vision are vital to a congregation’s health. The Group works with congregations and leadership to develop shared visions, missions and strategies.
Leadership Development: Are your congregation’s leaders selected, trained and supported to enable them to be committed, effective leaders? Working with congregations to select and develop leadership is vital to the health of congregations. The Group is prepared to support your congregational needs.
Retreat Facilitation. Retreats for Congregational Boards, Leadership, Search Committees, and other groups help to strengthen bonds of trust, communications, and commitments among participants. Through well designed retreats, desired outcomes can be reached to support the continued healthy development of the congregation.
Religious Education. How can congregations of any size develop effective, workable programs for lifespan religious education? Congregations can often benefit from outside counsel with people knowledgeable in this area.
Conflict. Conflict arises at transformative moments in congregational life. Consultants assist congregations in making a healthy space in which disagreement can take place in a way that supports positive transformation.
How Much Do These Services Cost?
For a morning, afternoon or evening or any portion thereof $200 (a full day is $300). Travel equalization: $95
Extra cost to non-fair share congregations: $175
How Do We Arrange for a Consultation?
Tools for Consultants and Users:
The CMwD Consultants Group
|Patricia D'Auria has served as a consultant in the Central Midwest District since 2007. She is a member of UUCW in Brookfield, WI, where she coordinates the Small Group Ministry Program, and has served in a variety of other leadership roles. Professionally, she is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, couples and families.|
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|Jim Jaeger is a former President of First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wisconsin and has served in various other capacities within that congregation. Jaeger served for two years on the CMwD board. He is an attorney in private practice and have worked with, and served on, the boards of, numerous non profit organizations. He is currently studying for the Unitarian Universalist Ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School. Jaeger focuses his consulting activities on board and congregational retreats, strategic planning and conflict resolution.|
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|Suzanne LeLaurin chaired the board of two Unitarian churches in the St. Louis area (First Unitarian 1984-86, and Eliot Chapel 2004-05). She has over 30 years experience in for-profit and nonprofit management. Areas of expertise are meeting facilitation, board governance, strategic planning, outcome goal setting, and aligning strategies with operational activities. LeLaurin has a Masters in Social Work and is currently Senior Vice-President for a large nonprofit in St. Louis, MO.|
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|Lena Neal, PhD, has served with the Central Midwest District's Consultants Group for seven years. As a professional in the area of organizational development and organizational change management, she has worked with various for-profit and non-profit organizations in her thirty year career. Mixing practice with theory, she enjoys working with congregations, boards, and individuals who want to identify their aspirations and goals and make them a reality as we increase and grow Unitarian Universalism in our communities.|
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|Michelle Richards , CRE is a credentialed religious educator and author. She has written Come Into the Circle: Worshiping with Children, as well as the curricula Popcorn Theology and Compass Points (with Gaia Brown). Richards is an RE program consultant for the Central Midwest District and has been trained as a Covenanting for RE Excellence facilitator by the UUA. Along with Dori Davenport, she created the Emerging Congregations workshop for newly forming congregations. Previously she served the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart as Director of Religious Education for seven years and for six years chaired the CMwD’s Religious Education Committee.|
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|Robert Skrocki has been a consultant with the Central Midwest District Consultants Group since 2005. He was on the staff of the UU Midwest Leadership School from 2004-2006 and completed a Certificate Program in Organizational Development at Benedictine University in 2002. Skrocki is a licensed clinical social worker and coordinator of training and organizational development in his full time job. His CMWD consulting has so far focused on facilitating search committee, board, and social action committee retreats.|
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|Dan Wiseman has been a member of the Central Midwest District Consultants Group since 2001. Recent projects include district-wide leadership programs, congregation and board retreats for more than 30 congregations, serving as a member of the CMwD's congregational conflict engagement project, and presenter on Organizational Development at the Midwest Leadership Development School in 2004-2005. In his professional career he consults, trains, and does research in the areas of organization development, change management, leadership development, and strategic planning. He has a master's degree in Educational Psychology and PhD work in Adult Education (ABD).|
|The CMwD Compensation Consultants
Another group of consultants available to work with congregations is the Compensation Consultants group. They are available to Congregations to provide assistance with providing fair compensation for staff. A summary of their duties can be found on the UUA Web Site at http://www.uua.org/leaders/leaderslibrary/compensationconsultants/44324.shtml.
|Douglas Kaufman-Dickson is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, where he is the chair of the Music Committee, a member of the choir and also sits on the Personnel Committee. Douglas is also a member of the current task force revising the church by-laws. Relatively new to the UU world, Douglas previously attended the Unitarian Church of Alton.
Douglas and his wife Karen recently moved to Karen's family farm when Douglas retired from 30 years of Human Resources work, primarily in the petrochemical industry. Karen worked previously as a social worker and nurse, most recently at the Oasis Women's Shelter in Alton. They have 3 grown children and share the farm with an ox, horse, goats and assorted poultry.
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|Karen McMillin has been a Unitarian Universalist for over 8 years. She held various leadership roles in her first congregation including Finance Chair, Canvass Chair, President, and on the Personnel Committee. She attended Midwest Leadership School and later served on its staff including a year as co-chair. Outside of Unitarian Universalism she teaches at Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Karen attends Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park, Illinois where her wife, Reverend Emily Gage, is Acting Minister of Faith Development. Karen and Emily live in Chicago and enjoy the lakefront, local theatre and the Chicago Cubs.
Last Updated (Saturday, 29 December 2012)