Q: What has been the impact of UU Wellspring on the churches that have participated?
A: UU Wellspring is a natural leadership development program. Wellspring participants often deepen their involvement in congregational life. Some become facilitators for other UU Wellspring groups. Some become involved in church governance and service activities. As they do so, they bring with them a heightened sense of connection based on their experience with deep listening and spiritual practice, which helps transform every group and individual they touch.
Q: What is the cost to congregations? What is included in this cost?
A: Our goal in pricing the UU Wellspring program is to cover the costs of providing this program, not to make money. A one-time startup fee of $1500 covers materials, mentor support for the opening retreat, and ongoing mentoring for the year. Congregations are responsible for paying travel costs for UU Wellspring mentors who travel to provide onsite services for the opening retreat. A renewal fee of $500/year starting in the second year provides access to three more years of curricula, curriculum updates, and continued one-on-one support as needed. UU Wellspring fees also include access to the UU Wellspring web site and social media resources.
Q: What time commitment is required for church staff and lay leadership?
A: We recommend the initial Wellspring facilitator be a minister, ministerial intern or Director of Lifespan Faith Development. Allow 3-4 hours every other week for group leadership and prep in the first year. Providing orientation, participating in the opening retreat, facilitating and participating in group meetings, completing the readings, conducting a daily spiritual practice, working with a spiritual director and doing individual reflection add up to a significant time commitment. However, all participating churches have found UU Wellspring to be more worthwhile than they had expected!
The time commitment eases up significantly in year two, as you move into the role of coach for new facilitators that come out of the year-one group. This is a great way to get fresh material for sermons, to spend concentrated time with a group of lay leaders as you grow together in spiritual development, and to be accountable with your own spiritual practice.
Quotes from Congregants
“As UUs, we support ‘the free and responsible search for truth and meaning’ and we believe in developing our own spirituality. For me, these important explorations are best done in community, in a small group, not alone. The Wellspring structure and my Wellspring small group support, challenge and encourage me as I face the big and little questions of my life. Wellspring is a welcome and much needed addition to Adult RE for UUs.”
UU Congregation of Fairfax
“My time in Wellspring was among the most powerful small group experiences I have ever had as a UU. It helped me to deepen and solidify my spiritual practice, learn more about UU history and theology and I made some new connections to wonderful people in my congregation!”