The UU Growth Lab

Facebook-beakerThe UU Growth Lab, a group on Facebook, was created to serve as a free space and think tank for Unitarian Universalist Change Agents, primarily within the Unitarian Universalist Association though we are not exclusive. In early 2011 I launched the lab in response to minister colleagues expressing to me that they didn’t feel safe sharing opinions on a public blog that might go against institutional norms, power structures and so on.  I had also read the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard which discusses the need to create a space for reformers to gather, exchange ideas and organize.  It took one day for 50 people to join the lab.  In three months membership hit 500, today it is over 1,200. Looking for fellow Unitarian Universalists to talk UU growth issues with?    Please join us!

How to Join the UU Growth Lab

welcomeFacebook has three levels of privacy for groups – open, closed, and Secret. Our group is technically a “secret” group because we do not want conversation visible to non-members, and we do not want Facebook to be promoting the group via suggested groups.  When Facebook started promoting groups in its web sidebar, we started getting people in the group who wanted to share spam, were not Unitarian Universalists, were looking for, ummmmm, other kinds of growth (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and were not really interested in the depth of conversation and positive culture that characterizes the lab.   If  YOU ARE  interested in our group, we’d love to have you join us.  This includes UU leaders who want to just listen and learn.

To join,  an existing members of the group needs to add you to the lab. 

This means you must be friends with someone in the group, and you need to ask them to add you from within the group.  If a friend told you about the group, have that person add you.   It is a slight logistical hurdle, but we decided it was worth it to protect all of our time and the quality of this shared space.

Peter BowdenIf you do not know someone in the group already,  as community manager I am happy to add you.   Just friend me via Facebook and let me know that you’d like to be added.

Once you are added, feel free to unfriend me. I’ll catch you in the lab!  If you have any questions,  just email me.

Introduce Yourself

Once added, please INTRODUCE yourself to the group with your name, present Unitarian Universalist involvement, and what brought you to this group. We’ve been introducing ourselves in this fashion since the lab was first launched.

Posting Guidelines

  • Please limit posts to discussion of Unitarian Universalist growth related issues.  Discussion! That means questions.  If your post doesn’t include a question in it, you’re missing the point.
  • All announcements and random links without an attempt to start a conversation will be deleted on sight.
  • No solicitation even for the most fabulous of UU projects in the lab.
  • Posts violating nature of the lab will be deleted and you will be tagged in a comment explaining why.
  • If your post is deleted, please take a period of time to not post and pay attention to how we do things.

Notification Setting

Once in the group, I recommend that you go to the groups page – just search your Facebook for UU Growth Lab — and click the EDIT SETTINGS button at the top of the page.  This will allow you to adjust your notification settings. This is a very active group.  Decide whether you want Facebook to inform you of new posts.  If you are getting too many messages from the group, just turn of the notifications and visit the lab when you are so moved. Easy!

Group Administration

Community Manager:  Peter Bowden
Group Admins:  Peter Bowden and Tandi Rogers, UUA Growth Strategy Specialist.

For more labs visit my UU Lab Directory at

Note that I only started the UU Growth Lab, these others are self organizing spin-offs.


  1. […] reading the UU Growth lab on Facebook, I came across a post that caught my attention. The question asked was, “How can we more […]

  2. […] month ago in the UU Growth Lab on Facebook I asked, “Where have all the lay UU bloggers gone?” That conversation sparked a […]

  3. […] Assembly conference of the Unitarian Universalist Association was  made collaboratively by the UU Growth Lab. It was first published in 2011 and has since been updated annually.    The UUA’s 2014 […]

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