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Showing posts from June, 2007

It really happened

So, I am presiding over a religious service at GA this year. And my lovely and faithful co-officient is a well-known blogger famous for her savvy advice about fashion, beauty and the importance of making the small sacrifice of looking like a religious leader.
So I mention that we will be robing for this event, inasmuch as it is a religious service. She says, in that little voice "Do I have to?" Sigh. Another Sigh. O, I guess so."
I swear it really happened. If I hadn't summoned a semi-stern look, but told her that a stole, a mu-mu and some crocs would have been OK, I think that she would have gone for it.
The meaning that I draw from this tale is: we all struggle with temptation, even those who lead.

Mercy Mercy Mercy.

Don't try this at home

Michael O'Hare, at a site I like to read "The Reality Based Community" hits the perfect level of sarcasm in this post about today's political/media climate.

Once upon a time, people made their own music in their living rooms with friends, or went out in the park to throw a ball around. The music they made required a lot of practicing and was still never really good; no-one I knew could play any ball game as well as even a middle-rank NFL player. Now, thank God, we have a few certified specialist experts making wonderful music for our iPods, and playing superb ball for us all to watch, and we can do it alone, which saves no end of taking care of other people's feelings. How could anyone want the art, or sports, of a great nation to be mostly made ineptly, by anyone and everyone, taking a lot of time that could be spent on the job? Surely it's better for all of us to leave this kind of thing to the few stars who are better than we could ever be. Kids used to h…

Phil is perceptive again but what is next?

Philocrites puts a name to the long standing "parties" in UU politics: the "denominationalists" and the "congregationalists." These have been evident to me ever since I came back into Unitarian Universalism in 1989, after a 20 year absence. But this understanding of the competing groups is an elaboration and outgrowth of older contradictions.
I rejoice in the apparent victory of the "congregationalists". I think that it is super that the Board, the officers and the staff now remember that the role of the association is to serve the congregations. I have been pleased to see that the Commission on Social Witness process gives much, much, much more weight to the participation of congregations in developing our public stances and public ministry.
What comes next? Two things: one is looking beneath the rhetoric to where the power actually goes as processes change. The second is understanding how "congregationalism" means empowe…

One meaning of the Independent Affiliate mystery

Henceforth, all things, great and small, done in the world of official Unitarian Universalism will be done in the name of the "congregations." Just as every time the Secretary of State goes to a Mideastern capital, they do so "to advance the peace process", so will all decisions be done to "serve the congregations."

The disaffiliation of Independent Affiliates is between the UU Board and the Independent Affiliates. The concrete resource in contention comes down to the presumptive program slot that an IA has at the General Assembly. Just below the surface is the ability of an organization to claim some sort of official relationship with the UUA simply by mailing in a few words and a hundred bucks. The Board realized that was an invitation to potential embarrassment, a wise perception.

But I cannot see for the life of me how the congregation I serve has a dog in that fight.

Congregational Power has been on the banner of most of the people who have been cri…

Serving Congregations?

Well now, it seems that just everyone buys this new mantra that the purpose of the UUA is to 'serve congregations' and therefore, it makes perfect sense for the Independent Affiliates to show that they 'model interdependence by engaging congregations' or some such pile-up of verbified nouns and nounified verbs that pass as UU-speak. Everyone is buying the basic stated premise of the "Massacre of the Independents."

OK, I am being a bit strident, but I am feeling so ironic that it is causing narcissism in that all compasses point to me.

My point: organizations are complex environments and an interdependent web in which each part and parcel may have many roles and results. Precipitious change in the environment can throw the whole balance of nature out of whack.

So what role do the IA's play in the overall environment of the UUA?

1. They are intellectual centers. Congregations are not intellectual centers in which new ideas are developed, and old traditions …