Gave nothing, why?

Twenty UUA member congregations gave (I refuse to say paid until covenant rhetoric is swapped for service provision rhetoric) nothing to the UUA Annual Fund last year. The list is here. This post probably plays up this fact more than anything said publically by the Administration, so I won’t say the congregations are being shamed. And since these churches won’t have delegates seated at General Assembly, it needs to be a matter of public record.

That said, why not give at least a token amount? I’d like to know if the churches have reasons, or if the money just ran out by the time that line item came up. A few things leap to the eye. The number of small town Universalist heritage churches. Is it a protest for being underserved? The three Canadian congregations; what’s the story there? Is it a protest for being eased out of the UUA against their will, or something along the lines of “no taxation without representation”? A few are federated; never a good omen for denominational loyalty, particularly if the other denomination (like the health-insurance-providing UCC) is offering better services. Some of the smallest UUA member congregations or “federated fragments” are on this list, but All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (Colorado Springs) is “medium sized.” What’s the story there?

By Scott Wells

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

1 comment

  1. I think you re on to something in two areas.

    With regards to the small town Universalist heritage churches, they almost certainly are not giving because they see the UUA as irrelevant to their needs and on-going struggles. The same may be true for the somewhat larger, but still Universalist in heritage, churches in Detroit, MI and Marrietta, OH.

    With the federated churches, the increasing loyalty to the UCC may be key. If you were a liberal, inter-denominational church, would you give to the UUA, or to the UCC, or both? Much of what the UUA produces and provides is so sectarian and name-branded in scope, that an inter-denominational church can make little use of it. There should be little wonder about this rarely noticed sectarianism in era where liberal inter-denominational churches are often viewed as “not real UUA churches”. And if skeptics say that sectarianism isn’t true, check out Atkinson Memorial Church in Oregion City, OR; which declares that it ended its interdenominational NACCC/UUA relationship, to become solely UUA affiliated, in order to become “a real UU church” (exact language an Atkinson member used in conversation with me, when explaining the ending of their interdenominational standing).

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