Can blogs keep some affiliates in business?

Friend and fellow blogger (Philocrites) — and UUWorld executive editor — Chris Walton scooped me in the comments of a recent post where I wondered aloud if blogs could be replacing the special purpose “independent affiliate” organizations.

At their recent meeting, the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees only approved two of seventeen independent affiliate applications under their new rules. So it’s possible even larger affiliates could loose standing. Of course, this doesn’t disband them, but does make their ability to publicize and hold meetings at General Assembly more difficult. And it doesn’t mean the change would help some affiliates. (The UK Unitarian Christian group agonized for years whether or not to ask for a similar status — so I understand — questioning whether or not it would hurt their neutrality.)

But I would start renting meeting space at off-site venues for 2008 General Assembly now.

So what can bloggers do to help the orgs they admire?

See also:
Board shifts funding priorities for theological education” by Jane Greer (UUWorld, 7 May 2007). Applicable content about half-way down.

By Scott Wells

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


  1. I heard a rumor that the Fund for theological education is going to stop giving money to either Starr King or Meadville. Any idea whether this is true or whether they are just planning to reduce the amount they give to the two schools? Also, anyone have any thoughts on whether this could be, essentially, payback for the schools deciding not to merge when that was clearly the wish of those on high in the UUA?

  2. My read was that this was a bit like a school voucher system, where the money follows each student. Once fully phased in, it seems to me that Starr King and Meadville would get the money that follows the seminarians enrolling at those schools. An interesting system, but I also wonder if it is a vote of “no confidence” in the future of Starr King and Meadville as stand alone seminaries. And from an economic standpoint, what does this mean for UU students enrolled at non-UU seminaries with very generous financial aid policies. This would mark an economic incentive for UU’s to enroll at these less expensive schools. I left my respective non-UU seminary with less than $10,000 in student loans. This is a much lower debt load than what I would have come away with, had I gone to Starr King or Meadville.

  3. Wonder if anyone has posted the names of the 15 affiliates that weren’t renewed? I have only heard through the grapevine of a few of them. For those wondering, the UUCF annual renewal packet was submitted before the deadline of April 30 but after that April Board meeting so I expect the decision on us will be made along with others at the June meeting during GA. Good distinction you are making between small and “larger” affiliates. No panic or problems one way or the other here–as you mention GA is kind of its own thing, just will cost more in some ways; we have already moved the hymn sing, meeting, banquet, etc. off-site; some cities this will be easier to do and some cities harder to do and still make it easy for folks to go back and forth between grid and non-grid events. But good heads up to start planning a year plus in advance. We have such a major presence at GA this year in Portland with the Kathleen Norris sunday morning lecture, etc. co-sponsored with the Planning Commission; it will be interesting to see how things in the future like this might be affected, or not. I expect we will need to continue to be more intentional about cultivating relationships with churches and districts that ought to be given more slots, but they may not be. Then again maybe it is time to take the catacombs and leaven within the Empire approach–that has some creative possibilities for operating submergently at GA in ways that get noticed.

  4. I only know the name of one of them (which I got straight from their President’s mouth),
    … I see they havent updated their website yet,,,,,
    and they are still listed on the UUA website !!!

  5. Here are the ones that were turned down:

    Unitarian Universalist Men’s Network
    Unitarian Sunday School Society
    Faithful Fools Street Ministry
    Lambda Ministers Guild
    New Massachusetts Universalist Convention
    Project Harvest Hope
    The Unitarian Universalist Psi Symposium
    Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association
    Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    District Presidents’ Association
    Council on Church Staff Finances
    Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
    Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship
    Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans

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