Color Congregation Successful

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 18th 2014 // Future of Faith // no comments

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Go FULL Spectrum   Is the decline of organized religion – particularly amongst Millennials – due to a lack of ethnic diversity in congregation? Bob Smietana points to the inherently multi-ethnic nature of religion and sees the increasing diversity of the U.S. population as an opportunity for congregations that embrace a broader paradigm of who their ministry serves. – Ed.   Almost everyday, it seems, there’s a new story about how “Millennials are leaving the church.” But there’s a problem with these trend pieces: They aren’t true. American Christianity still has plenty of Millennials — they’re just not necessarily in white churches… …About a third of young (18-29 year old) Americans — and more than half…

Broader Leadership…

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 8th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, Featured Youth, Future of Faith, UUA // no comments

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Bigger Congregation Smart congregations don’t see the  overlap between Boomers (in the prime years of congregational governance) and Millennials (adult and ready to lead) as a challenge, they see it as an opportunity to broaden their appeal.     Excerpt from “Got religion? How churches, mosques and synagogues can bring young people back” by Naomi Schaefer Riley on the Fox News blog. …if religious institutions are ever going to get young adults to return, the leadership will have to figure out a way to make them feel like their time and talents are needed. It is not uncommon to hear boomers in church complain about the self-absorbed millennials who don’t support their religious communities. But…

Branded

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 30th 2014 // Future of Faith, UUA // no comments

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Our Brand, Ourself Examining the Unitarian Universalist (UU) and Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) brand is the fruit of reflection on the disconnect between the number of people who religiously “brand” themselves as UUs and the larger number of people who live by UU Principles, to increase the denominational and congregational health of UUism through growth. This process of self-examination provokes uncertainty at the same time it creates excitement over the vision of a more prominent role in American religious life for UUism – and much has been made of keeping connection with the ageless and intemporal aspects of human existence as celebrated by this faith while increasing UU relevance for people today. Re-imagining the expression of UU…

Camp for Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Families

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 27th 2014 // Events and Opportunities, Mosaic // no comments

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August 2014 at the UBarU Retreat and Conference Center Create multiracial congregation with other Unitarian Universalists: strengthen bonds of identity while living the commitment of Unitarian Universalism and the Unitarian Universalist Association to multiracial/multicultural, multigenerational, welcoming congregations. From the UUMF website: Welcome to UUMF! Camp’s inaugural year! Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Families (UUMF!) Camp is a place to meet other UU families whose members also don’t appear to “match” each other. We hope to come together each summer to celebrate our Unitarian Universalist faith with others who share common experiences that often follow multiracial families. We will have a great time building this beloved community during this weekend in the scenic Central Texas Hill Country. Come…

More Millennials Raise Families in Urban Areas

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 19th 2014 // Future of Faith // no comments

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How Will Changing Demographics Change Congregations? Recent research shows more Millennials are raising families in urban areas than is historically the case when an age-cohort reaches the age of starting families. This suggests that the demographics in non-urban congregations will change (discussed here on Blue Boat) and that urban ministries will encounter new challenges and opportunities. Learn About Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry       Two stories of urban ministry | “The challenge and future of urban ministry: The case of White Memorial Church“, on the Ministry Magazine blog by Lawrence Downing | “A New Kind of Urban Ministry, Christians no longer want their communities fixed. They want them flourishing” on the Christianity Today blog…

UUs in the Military – Conscience in a Hard Place

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 15th 2014 // Events and Opportunities, Guides and Tools // no comments

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Ending War – Honoring the Principled Warrior The relationship of Unitarian Universalism (UU) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to the military is complex and as lengthy as the history of the United States. While the UUA and Unitarian Universalism is generally pacifist, UUs have  and do serve in the military. The UUA has supported wars in the past. On  Memorial Day we remember UUs in uniform who perished, and honor UUs present and past for their contribution by bringing UU Principles and Sources to bear in one of the least humane theaters on earth – that of armed conflict, potential or engaged. Learn About the UUA and the Military – Watch this module from…

Religion By Affiliation

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 13th 2014 // Future of Faith // no comments

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The Mass in Religion has Always Been in the Street   Elizabeth Drescher questions the wisdom of viewing the Internet as a cause of the disaffection with organized religion, pointing out that for the public “mass” media has always held greater allure than religious Mass itself, and that the demise of religious affiliation has been bemoaned over several hundred years. She suggests that while the compulsion to religiously-identify weakens as society becomes more open the needs religion is intended to fulfill (yet often don’t) are filled elsewhere.   Drescher: This is clearly the gist of a now relatively steady stream of research and commentary that has formed itself into something of an exurban legend. One…

Retiring Boomers a Boon for Congregations

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 12th 2014 // Future of Faith // one comment

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Watch Out Millenials ’cause Here Come the Boomers Carol Howard Merritt asks how an increase of Boomer Generation retirees can and will change congregations on the Christian Century blog. Her key findings: More people will be on a fixed income: giving will change. | More people will volunteer: congregations will develop new and more flexible ways to “pitch-in”. | Multigenerational governance will become more prevalent: matching schedules of the employed, retired, students and others will become a priority.     Read Carol Howard Merritt’s post, “What the retirement of Baby Boomers could mean for the church” from the Tribal Church topic on Christian Century. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) promotes multigenerational governance | Learn about…

Best Practices at Original Blessing

Written by Annie Gonzalez // May 8th 2014 // Stories and Voices, young adults // 9 comments

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Multigen and Mission Focused “Original Blessing is like a study in best practices for a congregation that wants to appeal to younger people as well as older folks” remarked Carey McDonald after a recent visit there. Having stopped into Sunday evening worship at this new UU congregation in Greenpoint, Brooklyn a couple weeks ago myself, I had to agree. The service followed traditional UU models: chalice lighting, singing, greeting one another, a sermon, a pastoral prayer where the community’s concerns were lifted up. And the service I attended did all of these elements in ways that felt engaging, authentic and spiritually alive. The musicians were excellent and the singing, done without having to look down…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Oakland, CA

Written by Annie Gonzalez // April 23rd 2014 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults – Ed. “Bishop Yvette Flunder says her approach to church membership is ‘you welcome someone, you make them feel loved and then you put them to work.’ Well that’s what I try to do!” says Alex Haider-Winnett. He’s the outgoing coordinator of the young adult group at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland (FUCO) and he’s been a member there for about four years.  It looks like his strategy is working. First of all, young adults feel welcomed at FUCO.  Aaron Hinde, a young parent, started attending…