Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Soliciting UUr help

Okay, I did that for the title to poke fun at myself. I am so OVER all of the so-cute monikers in which we exchange random vowels for UU. "CUUking group." "RUUning group." Thank you, UU World, for not making the magazine, "UU WUURLD" ...

Okay, my point and I do have one:

I have been asked to conceive and direct a new UU class. NOT an orientation, which we also provide. This is more of a "UU 101" class.

What prompted this is that a) we have no minister b) we have few UU ministers visiting our pulpit and so consequently, we have more than a few new members who don't actually know much about Unitarian Universalism, apart from the overview they get in orientation. Our Board, thankfully, feels strongly that we don't want to just be a non-denominational church, we want to be a Unitarian Universalist church.

I have lots of materials I'm going through, but I wanted to know from you -- minister or layperson -- what is important to you about Unitarian Universalism? What would you want a new member to know? How do help a new member not just be a member of our specific church, but to actually be a Unitarian Universalist?

Thanks in advance.


Anonymous said...

Man. I just started writing this whole list for you, but it turns out it's mostly a list of things people should know about being a part of a church community...any church community...rather than specific to UUism. It's my own dissatisfaction with the mentality of many of the people in my own congregation that seems to limit their vision and committment. For instance, we had a meeting recently and a slide was shown that said something about "making the world better" and some people at the meeting couldn't quite fathom that that was part of their participation in this faith community. I guess that's it: I'd like people to know that if they join a UU church they are expected to work toward making the world a better place for all. That expectation can come in many forms: being conscious about how and what one eats/consumes; protesting war; creating a soup kitchen or building homes. Still, I think they need to have that expectation that they will be called--when they are ready--to be a part of that vision for a better world. Too much?

Lizard Eater said...

Too much? NO -- like Goldilocks, it's "just right."


The Jotter said...

Oh, you couldn't have made me happier if you'd told me I had a year's worth of free maid service and my maid would be Clive Owen.
Here's my dream class. I teach a class, btw, but it is part orientation.

UU History - role of women, role of social justice, differences between Unitarian history and Universalist history, the cool cats of history and their stories. The big bang of when U meets U and becomes UU.

UU Theology - the radical concepts of one God and universal salvation; where they came from, the trouble they caused, the incredible hopeful message they carried. Modern UU theology from atheism to panentheism.

Education - how we raise our kids and why. (I'm a lifelong UU, so that part is near and dear to me.)

UU beliefs on life and death, how and why we do our rites of passage. And then... why we are a religion and not a political party, self-help group, or philosophical discussion group.

All that would be night 1 of the class. For night two...
Sorry. It was funny at 4 AM when I wrote it.

Steve Caldwell said...

You may want to look at the UU Identity curriculum for young adults that is published on the UUA web site:


The author is Katie Erslev, a lifelong UU DRE serving a UU congregation in Colorado.

She spends two session looking at our mostly implicit theology with the understanding that talking about it will:

(1) allow us to better articulate who we are religiously

(2) and also allow us to discern the growing edges of our theology with respect to multicultural and anti-oppression issues.

Katie also spends one session looking at UU humor and what UU jokes say about us.