The Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association posted the packet for its forthcoming (April 15-16) meeting — and the April meeting is always the best. Why? It’s when you’re most likely to see applications for membership, and the most applications — and this is no exception. [Fixed typos.]
So I will presumptively congratulate the forty-two members of the (PDF link) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Benton County, Bentonville, Arkansas, and wish them well and many years of prosperity and ministry.
But the summary memo (PDF) that announced the Bentonville congregation application also noted that two other churches — All Souls Church (Belgrade and Oakland, Maine) and the Hattiesburg (Miss.) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship — had disbanded, and that the Redding, California congregation has applied to re-classed as a “covenenting community” which by definition (PDF) is not a member congregation. So not all good news.
5 Replies to “A new church applying to the UUA, but…”
Why is April the time most likely to see applicants for membership? Is it the only time of year when applications are accepted? Is there a liturgical reason?
You sometimes see applications in the fall, but I suspect the “April upturn” is a product of two interlocking reasons. First, it is the last opportunity to join and be recognized at General Assembly, and second, applicants have to make a pro-rated Annual Program Fund contribution, and an April application would mean the smallest practical contribution. (Which may be a cash-flow issue rather than anything else.)
I wonder if RE: Redding, if the covenanting communities designation is (unintentionally) functionally repeating the old system of member churches, and member fellowships? Except now the designation is member congregation, and covenanting community?
i am not surprised to hear that HUUF has dissolved. Hopefully, the folks will find their way to Our Home Universalist Unitarian (the universalist is first in their name because they were a universalist church first) in Buttermilk Crossing just north of Hattiesburg. That congregation is older and more disciplined.