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Monday, June 4, 2007

This week at Meet the new humanism.

Doug Muder attends the "New Humanism" conference at Harvard and wonders, does humanism need to be new? (It's Doug's first column for; see my From the Editor column for more about the online magazine's new columnists.) From the archives, William F. Schulz explores humanism's legacy in Unitarian Universalism.

In the news, Jane Greer reports that UU activist-folksinger Pat Scanlon has gelled an antiwar coalition that includes the Unitarian Universalist Association and the UU Service Committee around one of his songs, "Where Is the Rage?"

Don Skinner reports that the upcoming UUA General Assembly will use "Open Space Technology," a discussion and decision-making method, to identify goals for the Association. Helen Bishop, the coordinator of the initiative, explains the significance the Board sees in the conversations:

"It's been many years since the UUA as a body has examined its mission and vision statements and thought deeply about how we should position ourselves as a faith community. It's time to do that. Also, the Board of Trustees is looking at policy governance [a management process in which the board makes policy decisions, delegating the execution of these policies to staff], and the Commission on Appraisal is doing a multiyear examination of the UUA Principles and Purposes, something that is required by our bylaws every few years. There is also a discussion across the UUA about how we should be doing ministry to and with youth."

"All of these things will be informed by what congregational leaders consider to be important issues," said Bishop, "and that's what Open Space can be helpful with. It permits the participants to bring their own concerns to the fore without a framework being imposed by the board. The board will respond to what the participants come up with."

As always, Sonja Cohen rounds up another week of Unitarian Universalists in the media. As GA approaches, UUA news junkies will also want to bookmark or subscribe to's General Assembly news blog, which will provide coverage of GA business.

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 4 June 2007 at 10:05 AM

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h sofia:

June 4, 2007 02:30 PM | Permalink for this comment

Great article by Doug! Very well written; it was almost like "being there."

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