For the next spell, I’m going to write small items and not dwell on UUA business (it makes me unhappy) and spend that time in prayer, reading Scripture and digging into the works of the “new Universalists.” Their thoughts and arguments remind me of what I’ve read for decades, particularly from the nineteenth century. I’m not of fan or nor convinced by apologetics, but I’m sure there are insights that would come out in a closer reading of these works. I’m particularly interested in modern insights from Patristics and post-colonial missology. Psychology, too, but I’ve not seen that come up (yet).
I had already hacked the numbers from UUA certification, so I might as well report out. I took what was reported up to February 3 and reached back to the most recent certification numbers for those who did not certify this year, bringing them forward. (Non-certifiers tend to be the tiniest churches and Canadian churches; the later may be ambivalent about UUA membership after CUC independence in 2003.) I’m sure it will be off a little from the official report later and by congregation count (1026) is off by one, but surely close enough. Big drops, with the biggest losses from the biggest churches; it’ll be interesting to see in the next couple of years if they bounce back at all. No comment about why this is, apart from the obvious (the pandemic strain and anxiety).
UU members: 136,583
Religious education enrollment: 19,723
Also, I read the Article 2 draft three times (as the drafters recommended) and I’ll just let it be. It doesn’t say much to me, seems very general and in its terseness seems a reaction to the fights over the language of the current Principles and Purposes (really, the Sources.) But I wasn’t a big fan of those either, truth be told, and that didn’t make it a defining point of my faith. Others, of course, did and will surely have strong feeling about the proposal, particularly fears I imagine that their faith is being rewritten, but I’ll let those people speak for themselves. I don’t feel called either to fight over it or promote it. One policy piece: new church development seems entirely lost in the language of the purposes of the UUA, but that follows years of denominational practice; unwise, I think, but I’ll leave that for others to worry about.
Feel free to comment about any of this if you like.
One Reply to “Certification numbers, Article 2 thoughts”
I find the statistics concerning. In the past I would have been interested in getting involved in denominational programs to change things and move them in a better direction.
But I’ve been there and done that. One part spinning of the wheels. The other part unhelpful behavior on the part of the denominational hierarchy.
I’m content to do what I can at my local church, and leave it there. Life is too short for futile actions and hurt feelings.