New congregations: neither airdrops nor strawberry runners

Even though we have data and options for forming new Unitarian Universalist churches, I didn’t present  “airdrops” nor “strawberry runner” models for serious consideration. I said the Fellowship Movement era was over without any desire to duplicate it.

The reality is that the Unitarian Universalist today have few resources for church planting : economic, appropriate talent, organizational culture. This may change, but we don’t have it right now.

One of the things we do have is a historic surplus of ministers, and an undersupply of parish ministries. Should we wonder when we see little, “emerging” congregations coalescing around a minister from day one? (Did you notice this in the recent UUWorld article about emerging congregations?) Planted not in the “ideal” place, but one chosen for personal reasons, or from necessity. This may very well become the model for today. Will we let them go it alone?

Categorized as Church start

By Scott Wells

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


  1. I recently went to hear a Luthern pastor speak about church stat ups and she complained about the program the denominational program for church start ups. All I could think about was that they cared enough to even have denominational assistance.

  2. Indeed, if half as many people quoted the Purposes of the UUA as its Priciples…

    The nut, emphasis mine.

    The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.