Mapping the center, part 2: Joseph Priestley District

A few days ago, I was invited to a Joseph Priestley District event in Dover, Delaware. Logical, I thought, since it’s about in the middle of the District (though actually convenient to few).

Or is it?

I mapped the geographic center of the Unitarian Universalist Association, so what about the Joseph Priestley District? I mapped two ways with the most recent membership data: by adult membership and by the number of lay delegates the church would get in the General Assembly. Turns out the two points are about a mile apart: by the Loch Raven Reservoir, Towson, Maryland, north of Baltimore.

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A lovely place for a meeting!

The large congregations in and near Washington warp the distribution. If you exclude the largest of these (All Souls, Washington; Arlington; Cedar Lane, Bethesda; Fairfax) the centerpoint shifts halfway to the Pennsylvania line, to a point north of Belair, Maryland. Almost the same, too if the congregations were evenly weighted.

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Next annual meeting at the Aberdeen Proving Ground?

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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