This summer, I had the absolute joy and privilege of going to General Assembly and spending a week at a UU summer camp. If you haven’t done either, I highly recommend both.
I am also fortunate to live in an area with many congregations within a reasonable drive. I seen (and even led) services at several of them, and visited for workshops and other events.
They are each part of my view of Unitarian Universalism. They all matter to me. I care about their success. I care that there are other ways of doing church, of being a community, and building a community as surely as I care that there are many ways to search for truth and meaning. Unitarian Universalism is better for being diverse.
I also recently heard about a congregation that, some time ago, had leadership that said they didn’t need to be an active part of a larger Unitarian Universalism. They were large, old, and stable. They didn’t need to connect with the congregations they had made a covenant with. Maybe they could have been what they were for a long time. Maybe connection wasn’t a need, depending on their goals and vision. It is still a need for being Unitarian Universalist.
Unitarian Universalism is built on relationships, including those between congregations.
Ours is a covenantal religion, built on relationships. Our movement, our larger cultural power and influence, and indeed our Association depend on all of knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves and bigger than our own congregations. We need to be part of a national, and even a worldwide movement.
We join congregations to do the things that would be harder, more complicated, and even impossible to do alone. Why would we not join our congregations to do the same?
Still, too many UUs are members of their congregation first, and some only that. I don’t want to discourage those people if that is all they have to give. I hope it is not, though. Instead, I encourage everyone to go to events where you can network with other UUs from other congregations. It can change your whole outlook, even as much as finding Unitarian Universalism and your place in it was a revelation in the first place.
This Work seeks to build a larger view of Unitarian Universalism
Participation in activities such as I have this summer is essential to running the I Am UU project and working to build Unitarian Universalism for all of us, right where we are now. It also costs time and money. If you think I am doing a good job and that the work has value, please consider leaving a contribution to support the work!