Longtime Unitarian Universalist activist/professional Joseph Santos-Lyons (he has a new blog, Radical Hapa. Welcome.) commented yesterday:
Are you making a formal request to the UUA to do something with the bloggers? Not a bad idea. What are your thoughts on FUUSE.com and its potential to redefine Unitarian Universalism for the younger generation?
Oh dear: the younger generation. A quick disclaimer. From the first time I stepped into a Unitarian Universalist church (at age 15) I have avoided (Unitarian Universalist) youth and young adult activities respectively, and I’m looking to my next birthday (36) with a certain amount of relief. I know people are different and bring different gifts and have different needs, but UU youth and YA stuff comes with so much drama that I’ve always found it unsettling rather than inspiring or invigorating. When I read YA concerns that the leadership is elitist, I read self-selecting within a culture of drama. I well remember the shy teen girls (sisters perhaps) who came to the UUCF table a few years ago looking for literature because they didn’t feel welcomed in their home church youth group. But what I remember most about them is how normal they acted and looked, and I wondered then if that was the real problem. The (admitted) stereotype of the maudlin, over-sensitive agitprop artist has proven true one time too many.
Now, this isn’t to say I didn’t have my own moment of embarrasing drama — I did come out, you know — and that’s a part of growing up. But UU youth and young adult culture expends so much of its energy on self-tending that I don’t see a lot of results. No great projects. Few leaders. Opting out of being a feeder into congregational life. (The CYF being the climax of this; incidentally, it is also the acronym for the Disciples of Christ’s high school program.)
I’ve been to FUUSE a few times because I hear it is so wonderful, but plainly I don’t see the appeal. I also don’t see the potiential for it to do much of anything for Unitarian Universalism. (You asked.)
As for the bloggers, I’m willing to be recruited for some project, but I won’t initiate one. We’re doing pretty well as-is, but there may be a good opportunity to direct people to UUA.org or local congregations.