Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The dumbest thing about American Unitarian Univeralism

I'm glad Peacebang started blogging about this cos I was about to, and now it's like I'm joining in with a conversation rather than doing a big rant and having a go at Americans (though that is always fun ;-)).

Why the hell do American (or is it just in New England??) UU churches take, like a quarter of the year off? In the summer they close. They CLOSE!! A church, closing. It's so bloody weird and wrong. Where does it come from? Why? Why? Why? Why do people need church less in the summer? Where are people supposed to go? Where is the Divine supposed to go?

My church in Boston didn't close exactly, but moved to the smaller upstairs chapel, but the minister still had all that time off.

Now I've spent most of my life around teachers and priests, both jobs where people think people don't put many hours in, when in fact they put in loads ('you only work Sunday mornings/9 to 3.25'). Teachers work hard and need their long holidays. Ministers work hard, and reserve holidays. But a QUARTER OF THE YEAR? Dude, when I'm a minister I'll be getting six Sundays off a year, at least half of the amount Americans get.

I'm not angry about it, I just think it's the weirdest thing. Unitarians in Britain don't do it (are Canadians the same as Americans?), no other denomination in America does it.

In short, it's the dumbest thing about American Unitarian Universalism. It's just weird.


Blogger Chalicechick said...

My church does give the ministers lots of time off, but we don't close in the summer either.


8:24 pm  
Blogger boyinthebands said...

Well, I never got the summer off. And I think it is weird, too. I also preached 46 Sundays one year -- I happen to remember that figure -- which some people think heroic in the league of Ajax or Hector.

But it just seems like church to me.

8:39 pm  
Anonymous Clyde Grubbs said...

When I was studying history, there was a little book published in Britian that told the buddying scholar of history to stop reading in the summer and take some time to travel, and refresh themselves.

The American Unitarian practice comes from our ideal of the scholar as clergy. The standard is one month vacation and one month study leave. There is also time for denominational service (pulpit exchanges, GA and conferences, and public appearences.)

Most churches are 52 weeks a year, of the thousand in the UUA I don't think more than 80 close in the summer, and while several hundred have lay services in the summer, others fill their pulpits with UU ministers who are either retired or community ministers or preachers from a not to far away congregation who are on study leave. I am preaching this coming week as a guest preacher.

So closing is wierd, but the summer off idea is an exageration.

8:57 pm  
Anonymous Mike Killingworth said...

I had thought that the standard British contract - at least in the South Eastern District - was for 40 services a year.

7:13 pm  

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