“Congregations and Beyond” vision from UUA President Morales

Rev. Peter MoralesThe Rev. Peter Morales has issued a white paper detailing what he sees as “a historic opportunity for our faith.” Released by the UUA on January 19, 2012, you may read the paper on uua.org or  download as PDF  below.

I very much look forward to the conversations “Congregations and Beyond” will stimulate.  Download it, read it, then join the conversation.  Connect with me via Twitter, Facebook Page and UU Growth Lab group on Facebook.


6 thoughts on ““Congregations and Beyond” vision from UUA President Morales

  1. The minister elected President of an association of congregations has decided it’s too hard to grow congregations so we’re going to abandon the effort. Reaching out to those purported hundreds of thousands who think of themselves as UU’s but can’t be bothered to join a congregation will no doubt result in increased contributions to the national body and more jobs for denominational bureaucrats. Meanwhile, congregations and congregational ministers will be left to fend for themselves, leading to an atomized “movement” whose local roots will shrink and become increasingly unable to maintain themselves. Anyone interested in becoming a UU minister in the future had better prepare for a tent making ministry or some mere social media presence sustained by a UUA paycheck. Perhaps there is nothing else to be done, but it seems a sad betrayal of our heritage.

  2. I wish that his paper talked more about how congregations can leverage social online networks, rather than create a vision that suggests we are going to have congregations and rich donors are going to pay for the UUA to develop and sponsor independent social networks. Building a new infrastructure rather than leveraging the existing is what led to the failure of whatever the Pathways model growth initiative was called.

    1. Hi David, I think that is an important point which I’ve heard from a number of people already. When we talk about the “UUA” doing more in certain areas, such as social media, we need to have clarity about what the UUA staff, programs and offices are doing vs. what we can accomplish via the work and ministry of our congregations.

  3. Peter,
    Rev. Morales talks about people who share UUA core values but don’t participate in congregations. I am one of the many people who _don’t_ share UUA core values but _do_ participate in congregational life a great deal.

    It seems to me that the core value, or at least the central ritual, of the UUA is assembling thousands of people every year in some conference hotel to vote on lengthy creedal statements, often about subjects about which the assembled people know little. (As a real scientist I am particularly annoyed when GA invokes religious authority to express scientific opinions.) I am painfully aware that the few references to the UUA I have come across in general political writing are efforts by right-wing Christians to use the UUA to prove that “Liberals don’t really believe in separation of church and politics.”

    I am aware that people like me aren’t very popular at GA or 25, so I avoid those places. But there are many people like me in my congregation. I would say that out of 370 members we have three who take an interest in UUA affairs, including GA. It appears from the Morales article that the general feeling of disinterest is mutual.

    So maybe we could have an amicable divorce. The UUA could become a direct mail fundraising outfit like SPLC. The congregations could form a new organization, patterned on the NACCC, which would help with settlements and print hymnals but not try to tell us all what to think. We could still be friends. How about it?


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