Philocrites: Report on UUA Board’s January meeting.

Philocrites wrote Report on UUA Board’s January meeting about the Board of Trustee’s observer notes. Take a look.

I admit I’m not keen on the idea that the Church of the Larger Fellowship — I assume “Congregation of the Larger Fellowship”, which sounds like something that reports to the Roman Curia, is a mistake — giving its membership information to the districts or spawing a youth version.

Tell me: shall it continue the legal fiction of it being a member congregation or it is morphing institutionally into a outreach mission, its defacto role?

If the former, there is a benefit to roughly 8% of the ministerial college who need a place “to keep their membership.” But it should repect its boundaries with other congregations. No “helping” the youth by interposing itself in the life of congregations.

If the latter, which would be better, it needs to abandon its pretensions and become accountable, institutionally, to the congregations that it would seek to assist. That means the ministers would have to “hold membership” elsewhere — not to mention the three thousand others who would have no voting access to the General Assembly.

That said, either way, the CLF needs to be responsible to the bredth of theological positions “out there.” Plainly, I think the CLF does a miserable job with Christianity. When it speaks of it, the perspective is that of “other.” Little wonder their brown-inked newsletter is dubbed in some UU Christian circles as Bad News (in contrast to the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship newsletter, Good News.)

Now, if it an autonomous congregation, well, that’s fine. It has a right to be what it is. (Meaning, to me, if there was a non-local Christian option, it should rightly be admitted as a member of the UUA. I don’t see that happening.)

Thus I’m getting mixed signals from and about the CLF — why didn’t it certify its membership, thus depriving itself of voting representation at GA? — and it seems the general constituency of Unitarian Universalists have an interest in seeing a resolution.

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’m not going to get into your general concerns with CLF itself, since I don’t think I understand some of them and probably disagree with others, but I do want to clarify something: I think you’re talking about the “Church of the Younger Fellowship” idea — a proposal that was spawned by the young adults over at FUUSE, who for whatever range of reasons identify with the denomination but find local congregations a hard nut to crack. (They are, unfortunately, especially for college students.) My understanding is that these young adults took the idea to CLF, which saw some value in it that I can plainly understand. At the moment, CLF does better ministry-at-a-distance using e-mail and the Web than any other institution in the UUA. That model makes sense for a lot of younger young adults. I also understand that CLF chose to focus the program only on young adults, since ain’t nobody gonna do your youth ministry if the local congregation won’t.

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