I’ve been thinking: what would it take for Unitarian Universalism to be healthier, so that would could meet some realistic goals for improving the material and spiritual estate of this corner of liberal religiousity? If we’re going to fight, it might as be for something epic. If we’re going to struggle, it should be more than topping up the endowments.
I think the problem is one of general internal health. I remember reading recently about a study in sub-Saharan Africa where rate of HIV transmission and infant mortality remained high despite heathcare efforts to address both. The study found that unless the quality of life of those in the affected areas was projected to improve, the infection and mortality rates didn’t improve. Without a hope, says the Proverbs, the people perish. The same goes for hope: not simply one conceived mentally but acted upon practically.
So how are we to be healthier? One sign of bad health is that, as an Association, we seem incapable of holding more than one model of anything at one time, or for very long. In a great arc, Some Great Cause sweeps the landscape, obliterates other options, the failings appear, and it is discarded. The Fellowship Movement is one example. I think the Big Plant church start — a late-adopted darling from the 1970s — is already showing sign of strain. I wouldn’t get too attached to the Carver Model.
I think the bloggers can help as proxies for what were once advocacy organizations. Let there be more than one way of doing something without having to fight over operating expenses and the UUA Board of Trustee’s blessing first.