Where There Is No Vision The People Perish…or Dreaming Big? pt. 5

The Disciples seem to have a vision. Enough of one to say that they are going to grow by 700 congregations anyway.

Do we have a vision?

And don’t give me that “we can be the religion of our time” line. I’m not buying it. And besides, that’s not really a vision–that’s a slogan.

So what is our vision?

Because where there is no vision, the people perish. And churches don’t grow.

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4 thoughts on “Where There Is No Vision The People Perish…or Dreaming Big? pt. 5

  1. :And don’t give me that “we can be the religion of our time” line. I’m not buying it.

    And it doesn’t look like anyone else is buying it either Kim, in light of the fact that Unitarian Universalism is a tinier, declinier, and quite possibly fringier “tiny, declining, fringe religion” than ever before. . .

    :And besides, that’s not really a vision–that’s a slogan.

    Yes that was UUA President Peter Morales’ remarkably unrealistic, if not outright delU*Usional, UUA Presidential campaign slogan. I believe that the he and the UUA still throw it out there from time to time, although I take note of the fact that this slogan has been significantly dilU*Uted to –

    *A* Religion For Our Time

    in terms of a series of promotional videos that the UUA has produced.

    AFA*I*AC There is a significant difference between Rev. Peter Morales’ presidential campaign slogan –

    “We *can* be *the* religion for our time”

    and the UUA marketing slogan “A Religion For Our Time”.

    The former clearly conveys a sense of religious preeminence and even religious superiority (Can U*Us say “U*Us Uber Alles”?) while the latter, rather more modest version, perhaps unwittingly suggests that Unitarian Universalism has yet to actually become “a religion”; as does President Peter Morales’ repeated proclamations that U*Us need to “get religion”, the unwritten subtext of which strongly suggests that contemporary Unitarian Universalists do not actually *have* religion (or do not “get” religion. . .)

    Doh!

    I have asked Rev. Morales several times to clearly articulate exactly what criteria Unitarian Universalism needed to meet in order for him to be able to officially declare that The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ had achieved his claimed goal of transforming The U*U Movement into THE Religion For Our Time™, and to provide his (up to) 25 year plan for achieving this goal, but he has repeatedly failed and/or refused to do so.

    I am increasingly of the opinion that Rev. Peter Morales never *really* believed his own over-the-top campaign rhetoric to begin with, and only used such sloganeering to dupe U*Us into electing him as UUA President.

  2. At this particular time in society and/or history most branches of Christianity are asking questions similar. It expands from evangelism and growing “the church” to realms of relevancy and what is it exactly that Christian organizations have to offer people. The many tasks of figuring this out seem overwhelming and somewhat daunting. Much like whittling down the focus of a thesis and/or dissertation. Phyllis Tickle, in The Great Emergence, writes of how every 500 years or so something emerges that changes the course of Christianity. Paul Kuritz, in The Making of Theatre History, writes of the inter-weaving nature that theatre has with religion and other aspects of society, as well. In both cases it seems there is a weaving of sorts when sometimes the church rises and lays ontop and sometimes humanism or other ways of living life rises to lay on top. This is not clear cut but it is a weaving of sorts. This means that while not on top it is not number one priority. This does not mean it is not important and so these questions, while helpful, sometimes leave people spinning, so they ignore them because they are too hard or overwhelming to deal with. For some, visions are held but they are unable to articulate them and for these instances I find Rilke to be helpful. He expresses the need for people to live into the questions because in time we may find that we live the answers we seek. This is my hope, that we all live into the questions and someday, either tomorrow, next week, month, year, and/or years to come find that we have lived the answers to the questions that which we seek. Until that time, we should continue to ask these questions and live life well with one another.

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