For discussion

How about this?

Every UU congregation could grow and thrive in its present building and with its present minister, if it

1.) clarified what it wanted to teach to the community around it,
2.) started serving the community in a way that brought its message to life
3.) learned to welcome, include and empower all the new people who might come
4.) let go of what no longer served its focus and purpose.



  1. Ministry is about more than theology, vision, mission. Aristotle has his place: people respond to religious leaders whose lives, language, expressions mirror their own. Thus, single ministry only worked when our ministers had large families who shared, or were forced into sharing, the patriarch's ministerial function. This is the real reason ministerial salaries have gone down: we are no longer paying for wives and teen-agers to devote themselves to ministries with their peer groups. And now that we no longer "want to see everyone in the pews looking like our minister and his lovely family," the single minister model is killing those of us who retain its Reformation-based model. Reformation congregations arose in villages where everyone DID look alike. We don't like in that kind of society now. And frankly, my family left those countries in large part because they didn't want to.

  2. Thanks for these questions, Tom. They're exactly the kind we've been asking ourselves on the All Souls, New London membership committee. I've printed out your excellent blog post, "Joining a Church" that Jan Larson sent me a link to today. It provides a great springboard for discussion and also a path to follow, if we read well into it. I really appreciate your wisdom.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the difference between "principles' and "virtues"

Starting a Discussion about Multi-partner relationships

Reflection on Merger (Dialectical Theology Part 8 of many)

Denise Levertov's Poem about Thomas

What's In Our DNA (Dialectical Theology, part 7 of many)