Friday, October 08, 2010

UU Membership declines

More a marker post than anything with a H/T to Inner Light, Radiant Life for picking up Don Skinner's post in UU World (sitting unopened, unread in my living room). Our RE program threiving, but I'd say membership flat.

I think we're (greater UUism) headed for the perfect storm of bad economic times, and the collapse of political liberalism as an ideology UUs invested far too much faith into, that puts our Church in a crisis.

I'm surprized more haven't picked up the drop and written on it, but then maybe there are more UUWorlds out there unread and unopened.


UUFreespirit said...

Respectfully, I think the "UU is shrinking" argument is overstated. The drop, I think, is confined to a couple of districts in the Northeastern states, and likely just a few congregations there actually make up the margin. These are largely Christocentric UU congregations that are clinging to the "liberal Christian" institutional mentality at a time when UU on a larger scale is moving in a far more pluralistic direction. The liberal Christian model still speaks to individuals and informal groups of UU's, but on an institutional level it's outmoded and needs to be abandoned (in the USA, anyway). Fortunately, the Christian names of the congregations and the crosses over the pulpits are slowly being abandoned in favor of an atmosphere that is far more broadly welcoming and inclusive.

Chris Walton said...

Bill, it's possible that you paid attention to the news story about declining membership way back in April, when it first appeared online—and when a number of UU bloggers did respond to it. Their responses are summarized in the Fall issue's "Blog Roundup," but you may have seen them when UU World's "Interdependent Web" blog pointed to them in April.

Bill Baar said...


Do you think UUism not growing?

We Western Unitarians and Universalists have been pluralist for a good century or so... you think the case is our growth offsets the east's decline?

I'm betting the Church is not growing accross the country. It would be nice to see these gains and losses mapped out.

@Chris ...thanks for the links.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I,left the UUA and the local church about 5 years ago out of frustration with the hard left political advocacy and lack of "Unitarianism."

The key point about the story is the loss of RE numbers. A religion that has not grown in decades faces a steady decline. Too many potential new members arrive and are soon turned away by the lack of a core faith even if they sympathize politically.

Bill Baar said...

@anon 10:24 You might find this post helpful.