Mountain Desert District


What is the Mountain Desert District (MDD)?

It is more than 50 UU congregations in eight states, grown in closeness over 30 years of workshops, and other gatherings.

We are a district which measures distances in hours rather than in miles.

Until 1990, the Mountain Desert District was made up of two official bodies; the Rocky Mountain Area Conference and the Desert Conference.

The American Unitarian Association had a strong national office and divided the country into regions, several unwieldy in size. Colorado Unitarians, for instance, were members of the Western Unitarian Conference which covered most of the central United States from Western New York and Pennsylvania to Salt Lake City.

The Universalist Church of America was organized in state conventions. First Universalist Church in Denver, the only congregation of the denomination in the entire region, stood alone. Although there were many hundreds of Universalist churches in the 19th century Midwest, migration further west was not as intense.

Prior to 1960, the year of the Unitarian Universalist merger, the two denominations had quite different forms of institutional of the UUA.

MDD Vision

Leadership Development is grounded in UU principles and purposes, and accessible to all congregations. We seek to support individual spiritual maturity, develop leadership skills and advance thinking on leadership in the world from a UU perspective.

MDD Mission

Provide programming and leadership development services to member congregations of the MDD. It will provide people in the district with a sense of identity and purpose as congregational leaders. It will meet congregational needs by addressing issues of location of training opportunities, ease of access to learning, specific concerns of leadership in a congregational setting, and a variety of delivery methodologies

Commitment to:

  • Understanding of common congregational needs in this area
  • Regional training opportunities
  • On-line materials when appropriate
  • Curriculum with a logical progression
  • Library
  • Sustaining RLLS as part of the development program

Services are provided by MDD Staff members and several other qualified trainers and presenters. Russell Lockwood Leadership School remains at the heart of leadership development in the district. Clusters of congregations are encouraged to cooperate in developing a schedule for leadership development opportunities in their region.