Optimal Relationships: A Path Toward a More Civil Society

Rev. Ed Brock’s new book, Optimal Relationships: A Path Toward a More Civil Society, is now available through amazon.com.   He is donating half of the profits from his book to our church.

What people are saying about this book:

“Ed Brock has written an extraordinarily powerful and useful book to help us all forge optimal relationships in a variety of settings, despite the polarization we seem to so often find ourselves facing. Filled with stories of real life people, he provides us with a road map of practical principles we can follow, rooted in family systems theory. Because he so adeptly illustrates each of the concepts he presents with these stories, his book will be useful both to people who already have some knowledge of family systems, as well as to those who are new to these concepts.”

—Rev. Chris Jimmerson, Minister for Program Development, UU Church of Austin


“Through case studies, personal anecdotes, and–best of all–clear, effective writing, Ed Brock presents a thoughtful approach to constructive relationships: in families, in organizations, and out in the world.  An excellent overview of systems thinking.”

—Rev. Jake Morrill, Lead Minister, Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, Oakridge, Tenn.


“Rev. Edward Brock has provided us with a clear and compelling application of Murray Bowen’s systems theory to address the crises of violence and disconnection in today’s world.  Using a set of principles for relationships of optimal connection, made accessible by the generous use of story and examples that span ancient and modern times, Optimal Relationships provides a resource for religious communities to teach and practice a practical model for relational living that people can take back into their families, communities and workplaces.  This is a book that can help transform and heal the world.”

—Rev. Dr. Margret A. O’Neall, Interim Lead Minister, UU Congregation of Phoenix, Arizona


“Fabulous book. Ed Brock provides the map to a peaceful co-existence based on carefully considered principles. Even the most antagonistic groups and individuals are capable of being in relationship. This is sure to be vital in any institution as it faces the polarized challenges of our time.”

—Rev. Dr. John Morehouse, Senior Minister, The Unitarian Church in Westport, Conn.


“Ed Brock’s book, Optimal Relationships, could not come at a better time! The author brings together a number of significant theorists and synthesizes them into a path out of the current state of toxic partisanship in our civic and religious institutions. His work found its way into the very next sermon I preached after reading his book.”

—Rev. Roberta Finkelstein, Developmental Minister, First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Delaware


“This book is an important read in helping to understand how to better communicate, live one’s values, and respect people with whom one disagrees.  The more entrenched we become in a position, the more we need to read this book.  I highly recommend this book about what to do when the pressure is on and the stakes are high.”

—Rev. Keith Kron, The Director, Transitions Office, UUA


“This is a well-crafted book that should be of great value to those seeking a compact introduction, for groups and individuals, to Bowen and Friedman theory.”

—Rev. David Keyes, Church Consultant, San Francisco, California


“This book is a treasure trove of practical wisdom and insight.”

—Rev. Dr. Karen Stoyanoff, Minister, UU Church of Anaheim, Anaheim, Ca.