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Wednesday, January 15, 2003

What is our message?

Kevin M. asks a great question:

Don't we, as Unitarian Universalists, have an obligation to bring our liberal ministry to a world that badly needs it?

At the General Assembly last year, the Commission on Appraisal launched a new study, asking "Where is the unity in our diversity?" As I've watched the last two days of UU conversation unfold, I've thought maybe the Commission was asking a question that we could formulate even better:

What do we want to share with the world?

When we get caught up in the turmoil of our diverse identities within Unitarian Universalism, we can get hypersensitive about our group's supposed loss of clout within the UUA. But I cannot think of a constituency within the UUA that does not have at least a few extremely vocal proponents of the idea that they are being harried out of the movement. The UU Christians have felt this way, Humanists have felt this way, atheists have felt this way — it runs the gamut.

But defensiveness and anxiety about losing pride of place in a small movement are signs of uncertainty, not confidence. Yet wonderful things are happening in our congregations; they inspire us; most of us would love to welcome new people to our congregations, not in order to meet some p.r. goal but because we find that liberal religion changes lives for the better.

So what do we want to share with the world? What do you want to share with your neighbors and the people in your community?

I just became a Coming of Age mentor at my church. I'm excited and daunted by the role — but it is helping me focus my own religious questions on essentials. Bill Sinkford has been clarifying what he wants to share with the world. We don't need to pick up his language if it doesn't reflect our deepest commitments and experiences — but what do we want to share with the world?

(Originally posted to UU-Community)

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 15 January 2003 at 8:01 PM

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Next: The decline of liberal seminaries.

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