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Spring Unitarian Universalist Thread - All Welcome - Page 3

post #41 of 89
We light one candle, at the end of joys and sorrows. The minister says "For all we have heard, and all that remains unspoken, I light this candle." And then we all say "thus do we weave our lives together. We mourn, we rejoice, we remember."
post #42 of 89
the board fired our minister.

They said that her ministry wasn't effective. Really, they just didn't like her.

I'm literally in tears. I don't think I can go back to the church.
post #43 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
the board fired our minister.

They said that her ministry wasn't effective. Really, they just didn't like her.

I'm literally in tears. I don't think I can go back to the church.
Oh, I'm so sorry.
post #44 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
the board fired our minister.

They said that her ministry wasn't effective. Really, they just didn't like her.

I'm literally in tears. I don't think I can go back to the church.
Oh my gosh. I can't imagine what this must be like. I am so sorry.
post #45 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
the board fired our minister.

They said that her ministry wasn't effective. Really, they just didn't like her.

I'm literally in tears. I don't think I can go back to the church.
Oh no, I'm so sorry.

What else did they say? What do they mean by her ministry wasn't effective? What did they feel was lacking? It's such a vague phrase.
post #46 of 89
Ziggy - I am so sorry to hear about your minister! Have they said anything else (the board?)

Here, I recently became a member of our local UU congregation. There are many that are over 50 and quite a few over 70 even. Young adults, there are 6 of us and DD is the only child (2.5). We are loosing our minister at the end of June as she is headed out West to another congregation to be closer to her family. This means lay leadership for us for now until we decide where we are heading. The congregation needs to grow (something everyone has said) but I think they are really stuck on how-to do it. What are things that have worked in your area, for your congregation? In this city, there are 4 UU congregations (large metropolitan area). The physical space is also a limitation for us (renting a space in an office building), which doesn't exactly scream faith community, but you would change your mind if you came in. As always, first impressions do make a difference. There is a building fund with a good bit of money to purchase a building...just need to find one.

Also, in terms of RE programs for children, what curriculums are your congregations using? I am staring to look at them on the UUA site to get an idea. Hopefully this area will grow and DD won't be the only one.

Thanks for reading/answering my super-newbie questions!
post #47 of 89
Thread Starter 
Congratulations on becoming a member, Singin_Angel!

Our congregation went through a period of wonderful growth that is just now starting to level off a little, but our situation seems like it is different from yours in pretty much every way. We are the only UU church in our metropolitan area. We have a building that we have been in for more than 50 years. What I would suggest for you would be looking through the past Breakthrough Congregations and finding one (or more) that has similarities in size and situation with your congregation and watching its Breakthrough video. You can find the 2009 Breakthrough Congregations along with other articles about encouraging growth on this UUA web page: Growing Congregations

My congregation cycles through some favorite RE curriculae for the various age groups and also tries a few new things each year. This year my dd is in the 4th grade. She is doing The New You the Creator during first service. She absolutely adores this class and I think it is wonderful, but I must mention that dd once said to me, "That's not Religious Education. That's just art class" During second service she did Bibleodeon in the Fall. This class teaches the kids about well-know Bible stories using activities and lots of dramatization (skits). DD also loved this class and I heartily recommend it as well. Now during second service my DD is doing Philosophers Club. Based on talking to her this sounds like a very good, challenging and thought-provoking class. It sometimes produces anxiety in my dd, but she is pretty sensitive to thought problems like "What if you are stranded on a Desert Island?" or "What makes you different from a machine? How do you know you are not a machine?"

Last year my daughter did Experiences with the Web of Life, a heavily nature-based class that gets a big thumbs up from both of us. She also did Moral Tales, one of the Tapestry of Faith curriculae and honestly, this has been my least favorite of all her RE classes at my church. The approach seems excessively preachy and behaviorist to me.

In first grade my dd took Free to Believe. I think this is an excellent curriculum for young children because it helps them develop a sense of identity as Unitarian Universalists. My dd did not take any of the RE offerings for younger children so I can't offer an opinion on them, or on the classes for older kids that she has not gotten to yet. I have heard great things from others about Our Whole Lives and our new Coming of Age program. You can read brief descriptions of all the current children's RE offerings at my church here.

HTH!
post #48 of 89
hi! i'm a wiccan but have been going to a UU fellowship since dec as i was feeling a lack of spiritual community and i really love it there. really howe can you not like a church that sings john lennon alot roght?

just wanted to sub and say HI
post #49 of 89
Thread Starter 
to the thread, onyxravnos!

I'm glad you have found a spiritual community you love.

Total coincidence - a blog I follow by a UU minister mentioned wiccans today: Rev. Cyn
post #50 of 89
Thanks for posting that blog link! great reading.
post #51 of 89

UU reads

Thanks Adele for keeping this thread going!!! I've been away a while. Lots of chaos in our lives but we are taking things one step at a time.

I was wondering if anyone had any UU related books that they have really enjoyed. Anything else spiritual and family oriented?

Many thanks in advance!
post #52 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargirl View Post
Thanks Adele for keeping this thread going!!! I've been away a while. Lots of chaos in our lives but we are taking things one step at a time.

I was wondering if anyone had any UU related books that they have really enjoyed. Anything else spiritual and family oriented?

Many thanks in advance!
I liked Raising Free Thinkers by Dale McGowan. It has a heavily athiest/agnostic bent but is UU/humanist friendly. It's got some interesting resources to use as a starting point for discussing everything from world religions to ethics and morality with your kids. Well worth the read.

I have a couple more on my wishlist from the UU bookstore.
hth
Karen
post #53 of 89
I'm reading Mark Morrison Reed (when I get a chance to read) right now. http://www.uua.org/leaders/idbm/reco...d/121776.shtml

I am really liking it. I wish I had made it to our district assembly to hear him speak.
post #54 of 89
Thread Starter 
Whenever I am asked for UU book recommendations, I always recommend A Chosen Faith by Forrest Church and John A. Buehrens. This is the book that clinched for me that I really was a Unitarian Universalist, before I ever set foot in a UU church. However, it is an introductory-type book, and not particularly family-oriented.

I like the looks of The Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children, and I have scanned parts of it, but haven't actually read it. If anyone here has read this book, I would love to know what you think of it.

I am also a fan of Dale McGowan and I read his blog regularly, but I haven't read either of his books. Since I don't self-identify as an atheist and I am a member of a religious community, I feel like my parenting concerns and perspective are different and I have never been drawn to read the books. Still, I think he is a good writer with lots of great ideas on parenting.

I am realizing that I need to do more reading on UU. I am also considering doing Wellspring next year. There was kind of a prototype group at my church last year and the participants in that group are facilitating groups starting in the fall. Has anyone here done Wellspring? Thoughts, opinions, warnings?

Timely note: On Sunday our minister did a reminder talk on what Joys and Concerns is and what it is not. No poetry readings please! It was funny and also to the point. We'll see if it helps and for how long.
post #55 of 89
Our church has hired a new part time minister. Our current minister will be leaving the end of June and the new minister begins in September. So happy to have the huddle complete. We also received a grant to help us rent at small office space, just a place to be permanent, hold adult RE classes, meetings etc. Very good things happening.
post #56 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Our church has hired a new part time minister. Our current minister will be leaving the end of June and the new minister begins in September. So happy to have the huddle complete. We also received a grant to help us rent at small office space, just a place to be permanent, hold adult RE classes, meetings etc. Very good things happening.
That's great news! Must be a relief too. Any first impressions of the new minister you would be willing to share?
post #57 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post

I am also a fan of Dale McGowan and I read his blog regularly, but I haven't read either of his books. Since I don't self-identify as an atheist and I am a member of a religious community, I feel like my parenting concerns and perspective are different and I have never been drawn to read the books. Still, I think he is a good writer with lots of great ideas on parenting.
Thanks for those other book suggestions.

Dale McGowan's books are very UU friendly. I prefer Raising Freethinkers because it has lots of excellent resource suggestions about everything from learning about world religions to ethics and suggestions for ways of handling everything from religious peer pressure to way of thinking about "big" questions which don't rely on doctrine/dogma. The other book is more philosophical and anti-religious in some ways.

As a homeschooler surrounded with devout evangelical Christians, it has been really helpful to me to have those suggestions and perspectives.
post #58 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post
That's great news! Must be a relief too. Any first impressions of the new minister you would be willing to share?
I don't know much about her. She's been working with other near by congregations as a consulting minister for the last few years. I think the ministry is a second career for her. Others at our church have seen her and they like her and were really pleased when the search team brought her name forward. It all sounds pretty good. Any change is rough, but I feel relieved not to be in limbo, waiting. Or even worse as someone suggested on our board saving $$ and going without a minister.
post #59 of 89
Hi everyone!

Our family just started attending our local UU church a month ago. We're still just checking it out, and I'm trying to learn about UU beliefs and practices. I noticed this thread today and would love to hang out here and eavesdrop on what you're talking about, if that's OK.
post #60 of 89
Thread Starter 
bookwormmommy! (I love your ID )

We're glad to have you here.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have or just lurk if you like.

Speaking of making new people comfortable . . . (sorry! )

Our church has invited visitors to stand and introduce themselves for years now. At the Religious Services Committee meeting last night our minister finally said flat out he thought we should stop doing this. This was not the first time he has mentioned not liking this practice and feeling that it is awkward and not welcoming. The committee discussed and we decided to try altering our weekly welcome script and eliminating inviting visitors to stand.

What does everyone else's church do? What do all of you think of this practice?
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