Fresh Start Curriculum

ECF Fresh Start 3.11 Curriculum

Welcome to the online Fresh Start curriculum web page. Please note that the curriculum is no longer being updated.

Below you will find all of the material in the last version of the Fresh Start 3.11 curriculum. In addition to all of the curriculum modules, you will also find the Introduction, Bibliography, and other resources, including “Fresh Start in Your Congregation.”

There are four sections of links below: Walk Through of 3.11; Resources; Modules; and Binder Extras. Each link is annotated with the type of file (PDF = Adobe Acrobat; PowerPoint=PPT; DOC = Word).
Please remember that all content on this page is still copyrighted.

History of Changes to Fresh Start 3.11 Curriculum: Here you will find a list of the last set of changes to the Fresh Start curriculum. This is helpful for facilitators who wish to know if they have the latest modules.
> History of Changes.pdf
> History of Changes.xls

Walk Through of 3.11: Assists with the transition to 3.11
> Walk Through .ppt file
> Walk Through.pdf file

Volume I - Resources:

Introduction: Overview of program standards, brief history, and acknowledgements
Facilitator Resources: How to structure Fresh Start for your diocese; how to design sessions; facilitation tips; menu of modules; getting to know you exercises; worship resources; and quotations for the Fortune Cookie exercise
Bibliography: List of all print, web-based, and other resources used in developing Fresh Start modules
Fresh Start in Your Congregation (for clergy): A stand-alone document designed for Fresh Start participants to help use what they have learned in their congregations
Fresh Start in Your Congregations (for lay leaders): Parallels the clergy resource, but directed at lay leaders

Volume II - Modules:


The following modules are considered core to Fresh Start. They cover the underlying theory of transitions (Transition); the basic story-telling process that begins to build relationships (History-Sharing and Understanding); the reminder that self-care during this time is important, too (Family and Friends: Leading an Integrated Life), and how to take Fresh Start back to the congregation (Entering a New System).

◾Entering a New System– A congregation is a living system, and the arrival of a new leader causes disruption to its equilibrium. Participants identify healthy ways to enter the system. Companion resources for clergy and laity provide practical methods for engaging the new congregation in sharing histories, exploring norms and expectations, and committing to on-going feedback.

> Entering a New System.ppt
> Entering a New System Notes.pdf
> Entering a New System Notes Resources.pdf

Family and Friends: Leading an Integrated Life – Finding time for family, friends AND self is often difficult during a time of transition. During this session participants look at their use of time, boundary-setting, and the extent of their support networks, and begin to think about how professional life, time for family and friends, and respite all need to be part of an integrated life.
> Family and Friends.ppt
> Family and Friends Notes.pdf
> Family and Friends Resources.pdf

History-Sharing and Understanding – The clergy person, the diocese, and the congregation all enter into this new relationship in the context of their histories, personal and institutional. Sharing these histories promotes understanding and trust, helping to build the relationship. This module incorporates a process that facilitates the story-telling.

> History-Sharing and Understanding.pdf (there is no .ppt version of this resource)
◾Transition – This module introduces the concept of transition (as opposed to change), exploring ways of responding appropriately given where people (the clergy person and congregants) are in their response to change.
> Transition.ppt
> Transition Notes.pdf
> Transition Resources.pdf


The following modules should be chosen according to the needs and interests of participants. The order of listing is alphabetical and does not indicate degree of importance.

◾Church Size and Its Implications – This module introduces the latest in church size theory, asks participants to look at their own experience with different size congregations, and raises questions about the implications of size for their current congregation.
> Church Size and its Implications.ppt
> Church Size and its Implications Notes.pdf
> Church Size and its Implications Resources.pdf

◾Conflict Part I: Conflict Awareness – From a base definition of “conflict,” this module explores types of conflict and helps participants assess their personal styles of dealing with conflict and recognize the early warning signs.
> Conflict Part I: Conflict Awareness.ppt
> Conflict Part I: Conflict Awareness Notes.pdf
> Conflict Part I: Conflict Awareness Resources.pdf

◾Conflict Part II: Conflict Management – In this module, participants are introduced to Speed Leas’ levels of conflict and the concept of behavioral covenants. Appropriate interventions for different levels of conflict are discussed.
> Conflict Part II: Conflict Management.ppt
> Conflict Part II: Conflict Management Notes.pdf
> Conflict Part II: Conflict Management Resources.pdf

◾Decision Making: Style and Clarity – Participants explore the factors to consider in determining how decisions should be made and who should be involved, using case studies to promote their understanding. They analyze the decision-making styles of their congregations and the consequences of that style, and look at the impact of culture on decision-making styles
> Decision Making: Style and Clarity.ppt
> Decision Making: Style and Clarity Notes.pdf
> Decision Making: Style and Clarity Resources.pdf

◾Dialogue: Searching for Common Ground - This module introduces the concept of dialogue and how it can be used to help people with profound differences stay in relationship.
> Dialogue: Searching for Common Ground.ppt
> Dialogue: Searching for Common Ground Notes.pdf
> Dialogue: Searching for Common Ground Resources.pdf

◾Exit and Entrance: Patterns, Emotions and the Wilderness – This module helps participants understand that the success of a transition depends in part on how exits and entrances are handled. They reflect on their own exits and entrances, as well as those of their congregation, and learn to become more intentional about their entrance into a new ministry.
> Exit and Entrance: Patterns, Emotions and the Wilderness.ppt
> Exit and Entrance: Patterns, Emotions and the Wilderness Notes.pdf
> Exit and Entrance: Patterns, Emotions and the Wilderness Resouces.pdf

◾Family Systems Theory: The Congregation as a System – This module provides an introduction to Rabbi Edwin Friedman’s family systems theory and its particular application in times of transition in congregations.
> Family Systems Theory: The Congregation as a System.ppt
> Family Systems Theory: The Congregation as a System Notes.pdf
> Family Systems Theory: The Congregation as a System Resources.pdf

◾Finances: What You Need to Know – Getting a handle on the financial situation of a new parish can be challenging. This module provides a road map through the financial maze, including a look at the canonical requirements governing parish finances.
> Finances: What You Need to Know.ppt
> Finances: What You Need to Know Notes.pdf
> Finances: What You Need to Know Resources.pdf

◾Habits, Norms and Expectations – This module is designed to help participants identify the habits, norms and expectations of their congregations, particularly in the areas of liturgy and worship, music, programs and structure, and staff. They also explore the underlying sources of these expectations. Participants identify their own habits, norms and expectations in order to be able to identify similarities and differences between themselves and their congregations so they can be explored and, for differences, resolved.
> Habits, Norms and Expectations.ppt
> Habits, Norms and Expectations Notes.pdf
> Habits, Norms and Expectations Resources.pdf

◾Leadership for Our Times – A look at the demands being made on leaders in today’s world, this module builds on the work of Peter Steinke and Ronald A. Heifetz. Participants do a quick assessment of their leadership style and analyze current challenges facing their congregations, using Steinke’s and Heifetz’s models to craft an appropriate response.
> Leadership for Our Times.ppt
> Leadership for Our Times Notes.pdf
> Leadership for Our Times Resources.pdf

◾Leading Planned Change – The very fact that a new clergy person has been called introduces change into a system, and sometimes other changes are thrust upon a congregation even if the time is not appropriate. Participants identify those changes that are occurring in their congregation and learn how to help people navigate through them.
> Leading Planned Change.ppt
> Leading Planned Change Notes.pdf
> Leading Planned Change Resources.pdf

◾Organizational Systems Theory: Using Organizational Analysis in Congregations - This module introduces participants to a structured way to analyze the effectiveness of their congregational systems. Starting from a mission focus, participants look at the current context for ministry and how structure, rewards, relationships, leadership, and other mechanisms support or detract from achievement of mission.
> Organizational Systems Theory: Using Organizational Analysis in Congregations.ppt
> Organizational Systems Theory: Using Organizational Analysis in Congregations Notes.pdf
> Organizational Systems Theory: Using Organizational Analysis in Congregations Resources.pdf

◾Planning for Effective Ministry – Planning is a spiritual discipline, and clarity of mission and vision are the foundations for good goal-setting. Planning is part of a cycle, a model for which is presented in this session. Participants identify the type of planning already occurring in their congregations, where their congregations are in the cycle, and what should be done next.
> Planning for Effective Ministry.ppt
> Planning for Effective Ministry Notes.pdf
> Planning for Effective Ministry Resources.pdf

◾Polarities: Differences to be Managed - Polarities involve opposing viewpoints, neither of which is "right" or "wrong," and the positive aspects of which both are needed. Polarity matrices are introduced as a process for helping congregations have conversations around these complex issues, which often lie at the heart of on-going congregational conflict.
> Polarities: Differences to be Managed.ppt
> Polarities: Differences to be Managed Notes.pdf
> Polarities: Differences to be Managed Resources.pdf

◾Power, Authority and Influence – This module introduces participants to various types of power in the congregation and gives them tools for assessing power structures. The module defines power, how it can be used, and how to deal with both formal and informal types of power in congregations.
> Power, Authority and Influence.ppt
> Power, Authority and Influence Notes.pdf
> Power, Authority and Influence Resources.pdf

◾Renegotiating Roles and Expectations – When one’s understanding of role or expectations of self do not align with those of members of the congregation, renegotiations are in order. This module outlines some ways to begin those renegotiations, including tips on how to give and receive feedback and how to hold difficult conversations.
> Renegotiating Roles and Expectations.ppt
> Renegotiating Roles and Expectations Notes.pdf
> Renegotiating Roles and Expectations Resources.pdf

◾Role Clarity – This module helps participants understand the role expectations – both formal and informal – placed on them by their congregation and to assess the impact of the congregation’s culture and history on these expectations. An exercise using the ministry skills inventory from the Church Deployment Office is used to define role priorities.
> Role Clarity.ppt
> Role Clarity Notes.pdf
> Role Clarity Cards.doc
> Role Clarity Resources.pdf

◾Wellness: Caring for Self in Transition – Spiritual, physical, mental, emotional and relational health are all important and may all suffer during times of transition. The rhythms of a holistic life, so important to wellness and balance, may be difficult to maintain in a new place without familiar people and routines to draw upon. Through reflection, participants get in touch with what they need to do to maintain their balance during the stresses and strains of transition.
> Wellness: Caring for Self in Transition.ppt
> Wellness: Caring for Self in Transition Notes.pdf
> Wellness: Caring for Self in Transition Resources.pdf

Binder Extras
Table of Contents.pdf
Binder Covers.pdf
Binder Inside Covers.pdf
Binder Spines.pdf