Afflict the Comfortable and Comfort the Afflicted or Why I Will Continue to Bitch pt.2

Mickbic writes:

I don’t expect The Living Room in Turley Oklahoma or Micah’s Porch in Chicago to meet your standards for very long Kim. You will undoubtedly find reasons to bitch about them too. You appear to afflict the comfortble and comfort the afflicteded and that gets old after awhile.

I don’t know if I should take this as a compliment or insult. Before I really respond to the meat of this comment, I’ll say a couple of things that are complimentary.  I’ve known Ron Robinson for more than 10 years and think that what he is doing in Turley is wonderful. And while I haven’t known David Owen-O’Quill as long, I admire his guts in trying to open up new avenues.

Now to respond to the meat of this comment. If what I’m doing is afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, then hot damn—I’m actually learning something in seminary. All the good ministers I know say that they see that as part of their job. I will not apologize for saying what I think. And if it gets a little old for you, stop reading this blog. It will be better for you and for me.

Next, if you will notice I never single out any particular UU congregation for criticism. That’s not my job nor my point. (and I believe my mother taught me better than to do that) When I talk about something, I’m talking about what I see as wider trends—not something that any one church does. It is not my intention to call out any particular church, because in my life right now all I’m going to see is the periphery. The periphery gives me a pretty good view of the wider world, not how it is applied in any particular church.

So my last post still stands….I will continue to bitch as long as I feel like it. If you are looking for an apology for that…..then you’re looking at the wrong sister. ‘Cuz you ain’t gettin’ it from me.

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Why I Will Continue To Bitch…….or What Is Wrong With UU the Way It Is

it’s mid-semester break for us here at ESR and Bethany, so I will probably write on here for the next couple of days.

So I was looking through UUpdates earlier today and came across Strange Attractor’s post “What Is Wrong With UU the Way It Is”. I was going to respond on her blog, but felt that it would be more polite to respond here.

What is wrong with UU the way it is? Nothing, if it weren’t assumed that what drew YOU to UUism is the only way for UUism to be. And, unfortunately, in too many cases UUism is presented (implicitly and explicitly) as being only one way. You’re a middle-aged white woman who listens to NPR, votes Democrat, buys organic food and doesn’t believe in God. Well….bully for you!  But if your congregation, implicitly or explicitly, by word or by deed makes those who are not white, not middle-aged, don’t listen to NPR, vote however they feel, doesn’t buy organic food and maybe just maybe believes in God feel as if they are unwelcome, then I’m going to continue to bitch.

As long as the model UU congregation is the exurban church with 100 members and can only been seen after you drive through 50 miles of woods and not a congregation like The Living Room in Oklahoma or Micah’s Porch in Chicago, I will continue to bitch.

As long as there is active (that may be too strong a word, but it’s what I can think of) discouragement of taking the U/U/UU message into non-traditional UU areas, I will continue to bitch.

As long as the number of ministers of color is so small that they can tell you what number they are, I will continue to bitch.

U/U/UUs have been talking a good game for a little more than a century now. At some point, that talk becomes very thin.  It’s time for this movement to either put up or stop talking.

So….what’s wrong with UU the way it is? Nothing for you. And that’s fine. Lots of things for me, and that’s fine too.

The Largest Congregation in the UUA is NOT! All Souls-Tulsa

I know this is nit-picky, but I’ve read it too many times for me to ignore it.

The largest congregation in the UUA is NOT….I repeat NOT!……All Souls-Tulsa.  The largest congregation in the UUA is the CLF.

Why am I talking about this when there are other issues rattling around in my brain right now? Simple. Because I think that for all the wonderful and groundbreaking work that is happening at All Souls right now, I think there needs to be some celebration of the groundbreaking work of the CLF just by its very existence.

That’s it for this email. Back to UU identity questions later.