Online conversations about Unitarian Universalism and responses to <cite>UU World</cite>.
A hot topic in the UU blogosphere was the “Congregations and Beyond” report, in which UUA President Peter Morales wrote, “Congregations will always be at the center of Unitarian Universalism. . . . [But] congregations cannot be the only way we connect with people. We have always seen ourselves as a faith, as part of an international religious movement.” (January 19)
At So May We Be, the Rev. Chip Roush observed, “We UUs are not unique in facing this issue. Nor are we unique in trying to solve it through marketing.” (January 21)
Christine Slocum of Seattleite from Syracuse re-examined her understanding of Unitarian Universalism: “I already thought of UUism as a religious movement. Imagine my surprise when, in the ensuing discussion, I discovered that I had the wrong idea the entire time.” (January 24)
On the UUA’s Growing Unitarian Universalism blog, Tandi Rogers shared initial results of her survey of “free-range UUs”: “[One] thing that stunned me was the number . . . who have been to our congregations and left, repelled by less than inspiring worship or an exhausting congregational conflict or our issues with power and authority.” (February 13)
At Beyond Belief, Morales commented on the nature of the conversation: “We are creating a new way of working together as an association. . . . Stated briefly, we at the UUA are doing all of this in close collaboration with others. We are ‘crowdsourcing’ our work—working in partnership with a wide variety of people and inviting input along the way.” (February 14)
Liz James of Hummingbird Homemaker shared the perspectives of fellow students in a Meadville Lombard digital literacy class: “When the price of membership is conformity to a structure that is culturally foreign or negative, people might say ‘I’m a UU but not a church person.’ Unfortunately, ‘not a church person’ currently translates into ‘nearly completely shut out of the movement.’” (February 1)
At the lively tradition, the Rev. Tom Schade wrote, “When some people hear that President Morales wants us to think of ourselves as ‘a religious movement,’ they get anxious. It sounds like the UUA will become even more boundary-less and intentionally less organized.” (January 30)
At RevCyn, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum considered media coverage of Trayvon Martin’s death: “The fact that we are, really, conditioned through our media and our culture to be more sympathetically inclined towards dead white children and to find their deaths sadder and more outrageously wrong makes it even more clear how very, very wrong Trayvon’s death was.” (March 28)
Writing at The Weekly Sift, Doug Muder described the racism whites don’t want to see: “[Why] did the police find [Zimmerman’s] story credible and his actions excusable? You’re an armed white adult chasing an unarmed black teenager you outweigh by about 100 pounds. Naturally, you would feel threatened. That’s the kind of racism that is still endemic in every nook and cranny of America.” (March 26)
Kim Hampton of East of Midnight concluded that “there is a theological issue at play here. And we ignore it at our peril. Everybody mouths the words that ‘we are all God’s children.’ Yet on the other hand collective actions say that God is a respecter of persons.” (March 29)
The Rev. Dan Harper of Yet Another Unitarian Universalist responded to Eboo Patel’s Spring 2012 UU World article (“If We Don’t Invest in Our Youth, Others Will”): “The totalitarians and fundamentalists . . . have built thriving youth ministries that produce fanatics. If we poured the kind of energy and effort and money into youth that they do, we could nurture a huge cadre of young people committed to spreading peace and justice and love throughout the world.” (February 27)
Writing at And the stones shall cry, the Rev. Krista Taves described visiting an evangelical megachurch and hearing Universalism preached: “I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing. His sermon was about pure love. Unconditional unfailing love and he was saying it is all around us. . . . Are we going to let ourselves be healed with that undying love?”
Writing at Divining the Digital Reformation, the Rev. Brian Kiely examined the role of religious professionals in changing times: “The reality in this age of declining volunteerism is that even more of the work is falling onto those folks who are paid to go to church.” (March 5)
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The Rev. Heather Christensen writes “The Interdependent Web,” UU World’s weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs. She lives with her partner Liesl and their two young children in Bellingham, Washington.