A distributed project for both sides of the Atlantic (and Pacific)

There’s no place in the word saturated with Unitarians, Universalists and kindred faithful. The demographic (and existential?) crisis the British Unitarians and Free Christians face can and may be seen elsewhere, including the United States.

Short of forming a new congregation — and that’s quite an ask so there’s needs to be a second task — what can a person do. You would expect me to say pray and give money; yes, these are needed, but they risk being cliche, and thus heard but unheeded.

Other tasks, like inviting friends in other towns to visit their local church and offering to house visiting ministers, are good but include a non-trivial amount of effort, and particularly speak to extant churches.

It would be good if there were a set of simple tasks that take relatively little effort and  could be farmed out to as many vounteers as possible. I’ve thought of two, and perhaps there are more.

  1. Sending welcome postcards on behalf of a new start congregation. I can imagine a new start with a somewhat sophisticated constituent management system where visitors or a welcome team would input offered information. It should be possible to pass off the postcard writing job — nice to do in house, but I’m thinking of how swamped new start life must be — to someone in the same region. Something of the old Post Office Missions semi-domesticated.
  2. Perhaps more practically, calling around or searching online for suitable meeting locations. These can be entered in shared spreadsheet, if not the heretofore mentioned constituent management system. Especially helpful if someone has local knowledge in an area that doesn’t have a congregation.

But there have to be many, many more distributed projects waiting to be activated. What kind of things would you suggest?

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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