What common distributed work would work for UUs?

Two givens.

  1. My Day Job includes lots of interaction with software developers.
  2. My hobby — effectively — is learning more about my three computers, each with its own variant of Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu Linux, like other free and open source software projects, have a open yet ordered and participatory style of development.

There are days that software is more of vital force than theology. But make no mistake: I don’t write code. There are plenty of basic things I don’t understand. I’m OK with the odd amount of installation, troubleshooting and look forward to helping out with documentation. But I believe in the process and the outcome to want to do my part.

I’ve thought that this attitude is the difference between a healthy church and a sick one.

Given, too, that the Unitarian Universalist Association is moving to an all-congregations, all-the-time format — a mistake on many levels; for one, by what moral authority does it then credential ministers? — but that issue has been examined at more length most recently at Transient and Permanent. So look there, too. (I’ll bring it up again later.)

Thus, it seems high time to (1) use new models of distributed work to (2) share the work that the has been customarily under the umbrella of the Unitarian Universalist Association, but for which there may be little political will to accomplish.

What would you nominate for shared work?  What work models unfamiliar to churches would you suggest?

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. Ok, this is going to seem very basic (and very familiar to churches), but how about Unitarian Universalists take responsibility for inviting a friend or stranger to church whenever that person expresses an interest in attending. For example, you tell someone at a party that you are a Unitarian Universalist and they say “I’ve always been curious about that.” Then you say, “Oh, well I go to the ____ church, I really like it because ____. Would you like to come with me on Sunday?”

    Then, if they do come with you, introduce them around and help them get connected to a group or activity that they might enjoy in the future.

    Obviously, this might work better in a congregation where people have joined together to make an effort to really welcome folks, but it’s work even a single individual can start with.

    Also, I think we’re seeing a number of innovative shared work efforts recently focused on organizing online content about Unitarian Universalism, including UUpdates, DiscoverUU, and UUPlanet.tv

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