What’s wrong with church? There’s a noticeable amount of discussion on some of the blogs I follow about the problems with the traditional type of congregational life found in so many UU congregations. I have experience with 2 UU congregations, so I’m no judge. But…
Critiques from the point of view of congregational growth, Associational growth, the health of these along any sort of metric you might care to mention, and so on are all reasonable.
It seems every so often, maybe even fairly frequently, one of the blogs I follow has a post thinking there’s a problem with the way (or even the fact) that UU congregations do ‘church.’ By which I mean… getting together on Sunday morning, sitting in rows facing someone in charge, singing a song (maybe… probably… badly), clanging a bell, lighting a candle or chalice, some sharing time, some kid time before they’re hustled off to RE, some sort of reading, a sermon, some more singing, a responsive reading, passing a basket to collect some loot, maybe a bit more singing, out goes the candle, and clang goes the bell.
It seems reasonable to want to see some changes in this form, since it’s largely habitual. But in broad strokes, as a lay member, I like the form. Any one or combination of these elements is ripe for the targeting, I’m sure.
Post Oct 7, 2011 at 7:12pm
Update, Jan. 10, 2018.
Well. That link is broken, and I cannot find an updated link to that content. It points to First Parish in Concord (Concord, MA). These things will happen on the internet, which is one of the reasons I am reviewing old posts.
However, I am embarrassed to admit this: I cannot remember the name of the First Parish minister I was referring to in the title of this post. I also can’t recall why I thought it was a good idea to connect that man to a brief look at UU order of service trellises.
However, I continue to feel that, for a small congregation, the outline in the original post still sounds good to me. Each congregation needs to decide for itself, and–even for me–sometimes Joys & Concerns needs to be… refocused.
I’ll probably write an actual new post about order of service in the Sunday Gathering we currently attend in the not too distant future.