New church shall be born with …

Here’s my thought — it makes more sense to construct a plan (not unlike a business plan) as a basis for organizing a church than to try to gather people and see what you have in common, which in so many words is (or was) the conventional wisdom for forming Unitarian Universalist churches. And because I intend to reach out to people who don’t know a Universalist from a ukulele, I figured I’d better state some standards that we might otherwise take for granted.

The following is an outline. I’m going to fill in each plank, but I’m trying to make this process as open as possible so you get the see the work-in-process, too. Still trying to work up some language for a pro-environmental plank, plus one that means “jerks aren’t going to be encouraged”. The “membership and leadership” references I hope aren’t too coded, but are to describe full participation in congregational life.

Second Universalist Church shall be born with the following characteristics:


  • It shall be a Christian church.
  • It shall be a Universalist church.

Regard of persons

  • It shall be democratically governed and accountable to its members.
  • It shall regard women and men as equal in membership and leadership.
  • It shall regard bisexuals, gay men and lesbians, and intersexed and transexual persons as equal as others in membership and leadership.
  • It shall actively protect children and vulnerable adults.
  • It shall not abuse the religious beliefs of other people.

    Institutional culture

    • It shall expand its outreach and intends to help form new churches.
    • It shall use, promote and produce words, ideas and media that can be distributed and reused freely.

    By Scott Wells

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


    1. I’m curious how you intrepret not opposing religous beliefs of others. Your Church will certainly disagree so what does it mean to “not oppose”?

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