Monday, May 10, 2010

UUism Won't Grow If... (Blogging the UUA Growth Consultation)

During the UUA Growth Consultation that I attended from May 5 to May 7, participants brainstormed ways to finish the sentence:

"It is 5 years from now and Unitarian Universalism has not grown because..."

Here are a few of the ways our group finished the sentence:

... We did not believe we had a message that saved lives.

... We were still scared of religion.

... We realized that by living our faith we might risk losing our place of privilege. Liberal religion requires that we live at the edge of what is comfortable. Rather than choosing to live on the edge we did nothing.

... We did not put religion first.

... Our ministers felt frustrated and demoralized.

... Preaching in our congregations was generic and predictable.

... Ministers hated being told what to do [to create growth in their congregations.]

... Our members lacked the ability to "go deep" and cultivate intimacy in our congregations.

... Our congregations did not want to grow.

... Our congregations were inward focused and acted like a "kept" social club.

... We equated Unitarian Universalism with white, middle-class values.

... We fought about governance.

... We failed to support growing churches.

... The focus on growth became just one of too many.

... The direction of the UUA failed to resonate at the local level.

... Our evaluation of growth programs was poor.

... We continued to neglect team leadership.

... We failed to create strong learning environments for congregational leaders.

... We did not feel that we had a moral imperative to heal disconnections in our communities and in the world.

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