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Blog roundup, Winter 2012
Online responses to UU World.
Responses to ‘UU World’
After reading the Rev. Dr. Thandeka’s article, “Obama’s Childhood Unitarian Universalism” (Fall 2012), Sara Lewis at The Curriculum of Love remembered transplanting herself into Unitarian Universalism as a teenager: “I found my own faith home when I first walked into a UU church, but I had a long road to travel before that home noticed me back.” (September 7)
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein responded to Doug Muder’s article, “It Takes All Kinds,” about being an introvert at General Assembly (uuworld.org, July 30). An extrovert, she also struggles with General Assembly’s “pep rally atmosphere.” Religious transformation, she wrote at PeaceBang, “is a far deeper, more challenging, intimidating and permanent work than getting jazzed up about a social issue at GA, or experiencing some fantastic ‘rah-rah UU’ moments in huge worship services.” (August 8)
A letter to the editor in UU World’s Fall 2012 issue (“Whose UUA?”) struck a chord with Christine Leigh Slocum of Seattleite from Syracuse, who wrote that she doesn’t recognize the Unitarian Universalism presented in UU World magazine: “UU World’s relationship to UUism is akin to the relationship of women’s magazine cover photos to real women. . . . It often seems like it is the portrait of how we hope to be more so than how we are.” (August 28)
After reading Christopher L. Walton’s report on the UUA Board’s June meetings, “Board of Trustees Hears Report on ‘Fair Share’ Giving,” (uuworld.org, August 15), Tom Wilson suggested at Musings and Essays that opinions of “congregational leaders” and “ministers” about contributions to the UUA were being improperly conflated: “The ministers are not the ones who pay the bills. Kind of like taking a survey of the teenagers to see how much and who the family should pay for cable and phone.” (July 12)
Peter Bowden announced at UU Growth a new Facebook project, the UU Media Collaborative: “We hope to encourage collaborations between UU graphic designers, photographers, videographers, graphic artists, and other creative minds.” (September 19)
The Rev. Andy Pakula, at Throw Yourself Like Seed, presented “U+,” a program for those who want “a more rigorous way of living as a Unitarian (or Unitarian Universalist).” (September 15)
The shape of justice
As he ran to catch a bus, racist comments reminded Kenny Wiley that we have a long way to go on social justice issues. At Vive Le Flame, Wiley wrote, “I passed a group of four people, strangers who looked somewhere between 17 and 21—two women and two guys. As I ran by, one of the guys, a white guy, yelled out, ‘Hey, bro, you running from the cops or something?’ One of the women quickly added, ‘What’d you steal this time?’” (July 11) Wiley’s post was republished on the Boston Globe op-ed page July 14.
The Rev. Meg Riley’s articles on The Huffington Post counted down the days until election day: “I can feel myself getting more brittle as this anti-gay ballot initiative heats up in Minnesota. I find myself wanting to blurt out to virtual strangers, ‘Can you even imagine what it would be like to have your family’s mere existence up for a vote?’” (July 30)
Matt Kinsi at Spirituality and Sunflowers challenged UUA President Peter Morales to do more than talk about outreach to religiously unaffiliated young adults: “You’ve been talking about the nones for quite a while now. Where’s the group of young adults you’re getting advice from on how to welcome young adults into congregations? . . . Yes. There’s Congregations and Beyond. Which, to me, has failed to live up to its hype so far.” (July 11)
The Rev. Dan Harper at Yet Another Unitarian Universalist lodged a protest against the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association: “I feel like I’m paying lots of dues to subsidize services that cost more and either don’t serve me, or are less effective than services I already get elsewhere. Worse yet, it feels like the services I’m subsidizing are aimed primarily at the ministers who receive good salaries and have ample money for professional expenses and can afford to pay for extra services above and beyond their UUMA dues.” (August 10)
Desmond Ravenstone suggested at Ravenstone’s Reflections that the UUA needs an ombuds office: “We need someone who can cut through the red tape, listen and respond effectively to individuals, and hold us all to account. We need someone who takes seriously that every soul who comes through our door is important to us.” (July 31)
This article appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of UU World (pages 68–69). See sidebar for links to related resources.