From the October 20, 1921 issue of the Unitarian Register. The map is familiar; the idea of a program launching after a 90 minute meeting is pheonomenal. But why should it be so? What might a group of people, meeting over a long lunch say, accomplish or at least propose? The Boston Circle The… Continue reading The neighborhood of Boston, mapped and planned…
A few days I commented on Twitter about some UUA statistics and that led British Unitarian minister Stephen Lingwood to look for himself. I’m copying our Twitter discussion with his permission. @bitb Interesting to see how many 50ish-member churches there are. From over here it’s easier to get the impression they’re all 500+ in UUA… Continue reading Can small-church Unitarian Universalist ministers oblige?
While I’m prone to talk about worship resources, the details of church polity or the importance of church history, I don’t think that any of these things are the most important resources to start or sustain new churches. Rather I would think that an assortment of the following documents — expressing a variety of well-crafted… Continue reading What resources should we start with?
On Sunday I re-joined Universalist National Memorial Church, where I was the pastor and a member in the early 2000s, on Sunday. I’m now ready to contribute where I’m needed — if I’m able. Perhaps that’s why I noticed this new financial valuation of volunteer service by Independent Sector. In D.C., the average dutiful soul… Continue reading Valuing volunteers
The Growing Unitarian Universalism blog featured web-streaming worship services (also) last week, a subject I care about and wanted to add thought to. The idea of a remote congregation isn’t new. Postal missions and radio churches (breadcast sermons) have a long history, both for Unitarians and Universalists and others. Metro DC holds testimony to the… Continue reading Working notes about streaming worship and virtual congregations
I looped back to read up on the British Orthodox Church, and saw news of a new mission in Windsor: Father Peter had prepared to pray with one person he had been visiting for some months, but as the prayers from the Agpeya, or Coptic Daily Office, began there were eight people from a variety… Continue reading Starting a church with how many?
I have been combing the pages of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland and came across one church – small, remote? – that meets less than weekly but more than monthly in a very sensible pattern: nine months, meeting twice a month (first and third Sunday in this case) two months, meeting once (January and… Continue reading The twenty-times-a-year church
As my regular readers now, I think a lot about church growth and decline. If I had a simple solution or magic formula, I would share it. Much of the problem lies with the change of society: religious congregations no longer have such a strong claim on cultural influence. Other institutions, as expected as good… Continue reading Lacking confidence
While some of your favorite sites are down — a very severe storm blew through metro Washington, D.C. last night, disabling an Amazon cloud computing center in the ‘burbs — let me ask a question that has been bothering me since the UUA General Assembly: just what do you think the purpose of a church… Continue reading What do you think churches should do?
So the UUA’s a bit smaller this year than last. The question I have — perhaps unanswerable — is how many of those are (put plainly) old, middle aged and young. Are these numbers a sign of social and economic stress, or are we approaching a demographic cliff? The answer would suggest next steps. But… Continue reading Thoughts about the UUA decline numbers