Almost exactly two years ago, I mapped the emerging congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association. That is, those that had begun the process of organization, but which had not been admitted to the UUA. This is our defacto model of church development.
I revisited the list and mapped the changes.
- Blue pins mark congregations that were emerging in 2008 and still are.
- Green pins mark congregations that began to emerge in the last two years.
- Yellow pins mark congregations that finished "emerging" and joined the UUA. In conventional terms, these are the success stories.
- Red pins mark congregations that disbanded or whose fate is unknown to me. In conventional terms, these are failures.
- Added later. Light blue pins mark congregations noted as emerging or the like on district websites, but are not (yet) referenced at UUA.org. (Pre-consolidation churches or those not noted as moving towards UUA members are excluded here.)
I've seen district-level references to emerging congregations that were not listed at UUA.org, so there is a difference of opinion between Boston and the district, old or missing reporting on someone's part, or a combination of these. Take the Summerville, South Carolina start: by its own website it's been disbanded for more than two years but still comes up at UUA.org.
Of course, success, failure and emerging are only as meaningful terms as shared standards allow. But more about that next time; for now, I'd like you to examine this map carefully. What do you see?
View Emerging UUA congregations in a larger map