At the most recent UUA Board meeting, Chris Walton reports that President Peter Morales said:
“The vision that is emerging, that I’m trying to reflect, has not changed radically at all. It’s a vision around compassion, community, and acting in the world. What is shifting in that vision is a sense that, given our current context, [we must move] beyond how we’ve thought about congregations to engage people who are deeply suspicious about church and about congregations as an institution.”
It’s time to call a spade a spade here people. There’s a reason that many people “are deeply suspicious about church and about congregations as an institution.” UUism in particular, post-end of the “Controversy”, purposefully ran away from engaging the culture that you are now seeking to “transform.” (I could make the same argument about the Liberal Church in general, but I don’t feel like doing that much writing)
Let’s look at this with a clear eye, shall we.
UU churches ran away from cities and their “problems” by settling in homogenous suburbs and exurbs. And upon settling in those suburbs and exurbs UU churches are in the most inaccessible parts of town (not anywhere near main roads and barely visible, if at all).
When UUs did engage, it was done (for the most part) in the most condescending/paternalistic manner; the “savior complex” UUs are known for.
Institutional UUism actively discouraged innovative/creative/grassroots ministries in non-traditional areas and the ministers who wanted to serve those ministries until very recently.
I believe the reason for this avoidance of engagement is theological; that in reality most UUs are just Calvinists-in-denial. And until UUs actually deal with THEOLOGY (yeah I know that’s a dirty word in UU circles), engagement with the culture that it/they/you want to “transform” will be spotty.