Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where's the meat? Where's the substance?

Secularization is growing in the United States with "None" being the fastest growing denominational preference on the Pew Religious affiliation poll.

It has been my experience in starting a new UU congregation that many people are sympathetic to Unitarian Universalism and describe themselves as in alignment with UU principles, but say that they are "spiritual" and not "religious" and aren't interested in getting involved in organized religion. In other words, they don't see anything which organized religion can offer them that they don't already have or can get more easily somewhere else.

I tend to agree with them. Joining a congregation is a lot of work, takes significant time and energy when one could be doing other things more fulfilling and satisfying.

And so, if people are attracted to and sympathetic with UU principles and values but don't perceive further involvement as worthwhile and beneficial what could a UU congregation have to offer them which they can't already get somewhere else?

Where is the meat? Where is the substance? Where is the deep spiritual understanding that can be articulated and communicated in courageous, inspiring, stimulating, and validating ways?

Some preachers and teachers and social justice and pastoral care givers have it, but they are few and far between and can they develop a following and inspire others to join in the deeply nourishing and beneficial life work? How does this work of leaders and followers become institutionally supported?

I am looking for ideas about this. Please help me by leaving a comment or sending me an email at

Thank you

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