Sunday, May 26, 2019
Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - BUUF - Birth and death of a UU congregation
The idea for the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship was born on Mother's Day in 2009. This interview with Don Zimmer was done in October of 2010 17 months later.
The church grew and was chartered in 2011 and then slowly atrophied and was dissolved in 2019.
The death of the church has been due to many factors. The primary factor being the lack of leadership which failed to attract, engage, and retain members.
Leading a church requires vision, and sense of mission, high levels of energy, persistence, patience, and above all else, an ability to resolve conflict.
The second factor beyond lack of competent leadership is the unwillingness of people to follow. As one person put it, "managing Unitarian Universalists is like herding cats." Being free thinkers and lacking any respect for centralized authority, Unitarian Universalists tend to be lone wolves and their willingness to pull together for a common goal especially when it is contrary to one's personal interests weakens the organizational coheasiveness.
The life of BUUF would be a good case study in the failure of Unitarian Universalism to provide centralized support for the incubation and development of fledgling congregations.