Boundary Awareness Training

Boundary Awareness Training

for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leaders

an Online Continuing Education Opportunity

with Debbie Gline Allen, C.M.C.F. and Rev. Gregory Morisse

Saturday, January 8 & Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 8:30AM-12:30PM

Registration is now open

Developed by the historic Massachusetts Conference, this introductory course will equip faith formation and youth ministry leaders with the basics of healthy boundaries. This class will explore specifically the joys and challenges of ministering to and with children and youth while serving on a local church staff. Through reading, conversation, and case studies, participants will create their own guiding principles for ethical behavior in ministry.

1. Read: "Boundary Awareness: Foundations Article," "Faith Formation & Music Ministers Article," and "Ministry with Children & Youth."

2. Respond: Complete the Survey provided.

3. Participate: Join a 4-hour interactive Zoom session to discuss the material.

Check out the full list of offerings: Faith Formation Leadership Training and Certification Program


Debbie Gline Allen serves the Southern New England Conference as a Faith Formation Minister and directs its Faith Formation Leadership Program. She has served five congregations and in the conference setting in both the NH and MA Conferences, as well as on the Board of the Association of United Church Educators. She is currently a commissioned minister in the United Church of Christ seeking ordination.

Boundary Awareness Training

for Clergy, Members in Discernment, and Authorized Ministers

an Online Continuing Education Opportunity

with Rev. Reebee Girash and Rev. Gregory Morisse

Tuesday, January 18 & Wednesday, January 19


at The Plymouth Church in Framingham

87 Edgell Road, Framingham, MA 01701

Registration is open now.

Boundary Awareness Facilitators from the historic Massachusetts Conference have created an introductory course on Boundary Awareness. Focusing on the key concepts of power, authority, and vulnerability, participants will develop their own ethic for establishing and maintaining healthy clergy boundaries. This two-day training can be used to meet Boundary Awareness Training requirements for most Associations. Prior to the first class participants must complete the following pre-work:

1. Read: "Boundary Awareness: Foundations Article," and "Ministry with Children & Youth"

2. Respond: Complete the Survey provided when you register

3. Participate: Attend the two-day training.

For in-person gatherings: All participants must prove vaccination or submit a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the training. All participants will wear masks when gathered. Lunch will be provided; participants will be able to spread out in the building to eat lunch safely.

Attendance on both days is required to receive certification.

By January 6, please select your preferences among these three pairs. In order to keep the groups evenly sized, you may not get your preferred topic in all three cases. We will tell you by January 10 your list of topics, and we ask that you review articles on these topics and bring to the training a brief case study for each topic presentable to a small group. Keep in mind confidentiality and collegiality as you consider your case studies.

Special Topic, Breakout #1:

Sabbath & Self-Care OR Digital Ministry

Special Topic, Breakout #2:

Clergy with Partners and/or Children OR Clergy Who Are Single/Dating
Call and Compromise: Balancing Ministry and Family,” by Alison J. Buttrick Patton

Special Topic, Breakout #3:

Politics OR Parting Well: Boundaries for Former Clergy

Foundations Workbook

Presentation Slides

Day One

8:50am - Arrive and get settled

9:00am - Introductions & Worship

9:30am - Foundations

12:00pm - Lunch

12:30pm - Ministry with Children & Youth

1:30pm - Special Topic, Breakout #1

2:30pm - Q&A, Conclusions

3:00pm - End Day One

Day Two

8:50am - Arrive and get settled

9:00am - Foundations (continued)

10:30am - Special Topic, Breakout #2

12:00pm - Lunch

12:30pm - Special Topic, Breakout #3

2:00pm - Q&A, Conclusions

2:30pm - Closing Worship

3:00pm - End Day Two

About the Authors

Reverend Reebee Kavich Girash and Reverend Gregory R. Morisse have been authorized pastors in the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ for over fifteen years. In their formative years at Harvard Divinity School, they were part of a generation of new clergy influenced by the pain of clergy sex abuse scandals, most publicly in the Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

They have been active in Boundary Awareness Training. for over a decade. They come to this work having seen up close the consequences of both clergy burnout and clergy misconduct. They have witnessed the damage boundary violations inflict upon churches and how congregations can mirror clergy dysfunction. They have seen careers end after a boundary violation; and they have also seen colleagues come back from the gray zones.

Over the years, they have held mirrors up to each other and personally learned from these concepts and principles. Boundary Awareness is both personal and important. For their “expertise” they continue to seek out healthy mentors and those who model good boundaries and great wisdom. This is a living conversation. May it continue.