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Showing posts from September, 2010

Wow - ambitious leadership from the Executive Committee

I just received this message on Uni News (which anyone can subscribe to, by the way) with a very strong message from the national Executive Committee of the Unitarian General Assembly: The Executive Committee, having considered the responses of the “Difficult Choices” consultation with the wider Unitarian Movement, agreed the following strategic priorities for the work of the General Assembly. These strategic priorities set the framework for a range of innovative activities to be implemented over the next three years which will require change in many areas of our work as we focus on what makes a difference at congregational level. These are currently in development and further information will be circulated when the plans are finalised. General Assembly Strategic Priorities Our Goal: Sustainable and thriving Unitarian and Free Christian communities. Our Aims: To benefit our communities by: • encouraging and supporting leadership at local level • developing Ministry within the

Church do's and don'ts - from Michael Durrall

I thought this was worth re-posting from the UU Growth Blog . It's by Michael Durrall. If you haven't read his books, The Almost Church, and the Almost Church Revitalized, read them. Just read them, you must. I. Things churches should do Once and For All, Get Serious About Your Congregation’s Purpose. Seeking beauty and truth doesn’t cut it. Church is more important than that. Finding Capable Leaders is Worth the Time and Effort. Church leaders create a congregation in their own image, for better or worse. Create a Growing, Healthy Church. The #1 way to accomplish this is to raise the expectations of membership. Your Church May Not Be For Everyone. If potential new members don’t agree with your expectations, this is not their church. Uncommitted souls drag a church down. Identify Unmet Needs In Your Community. You don’t have to look far to find someone who needs a helping hand. Touch People’s Hearts and Souls. People don’t always act for rational reasons. Don’t

Why is British Unitarianism in decline?

In a comment on the last post, Joseph said we should be asking the question of why British Unitarinaism is in decline. So here goes: First and foremost Unitarianism is in decline because religion in Britain is in decline. For whatever reason (and plenty of people are thinking about this) active adherence to religious institutions has been dropping for a very long time. Immigration reverses this trend in some areas (most church-goers in London are non-white for example). But overall the trend is the same. Brits have rejected religion. But I don't see this as an entirely bad thing. Many people in the past were religious purely because of social momentum. They did what everyone else did. This doesn't mean it meant that much to them. For example 60 years ago my church was much bigger. It was an incredibly active place. However, this was largely because the church was the centre of people's social lives. You didn't go to a club on Saturday night, you went to a dance in the c

173 Congregations

This is the time of the year that I receive my copy of the Unitarian General Assembly Directory. I usually do a bit of comparing and number-crunching as I read through the new directory. The most significant thing is the number of Unitarian congregations. Although you would have thought this kind of thing is what would be included in the General Assembly Annual Report, and discussed at the Annual Meetings, it's actually in the Directory that you get a clearer picture of the health of the Unitarian community. So 2010-2011 Directory tells me that there are 173 member congregations in Great Britain. This is down 2 from last year. And trawling through the pages you can work out that Bournemouth Unitarian Church has died in the last year, as well as Exeter Unitarian Fellowship. I've only been getting directories for five years but I can tell you that in five years 8 Unitarian congregations have died. I'm not prepared to say "this is a terrible thing, we should do all we can