I was a little amazed about the idea -- from a special UUA Board meeting no less; where's the fire? -- that five regions should supplement and perhaps supersede the current nineteen districts.
Chutney asks who the losers would be. Staff, to be sure. That's what reorganizations are for. But I wonder who the winners would be.
There shouldn't be a reorganization unless there's a good reason. And a good reason would be to devolve some of the functions centralized in the current system. Centralized, and I think unduly inhibited. At minimum, the following services should be decoupled from the center, apart from setting quality standards:
- Admitting member congregations
- Admitting ministers and others to fellowship
- Sponsoring or caring for new church starts
With this, I imagine, comes the spectre of independent fundraising and ministerial development arrangements -- with one of the current seminaries, or without -- and that needn't be a bad thing.
But again, where's the fire, or is this an effort to make lemonade -- unwillingly -- out of the lemons of feared financial insolvency?