Showing posts from April, 2009

Yes, We Need a Giant Umbrella

Thank goodness for parody. This video, for example (found at James Ishmael Ford's blog) from Funny or Die, does a nice job at poking fun at NAM's "Gathering Storm" commercial, which perpetuates just-plain-lies about same-sex marriage:

A Gaythering Storm from Jane Lynch
If you haven't seen the original ad that this parodies, go see it on youtube here. There's also a very nice parody by Stephen Colbert. Meanwhile, if you're done watching videos I just want to say that I'm very excited about going to the HRC Clergy Call in a couple of weeks. I made the decision to go today, and am looking forward to meeting up with other UU ministers who attend, as well as my elected representatives. This is my first ever lobbying trip to DC (and I've never attended a march on the Mall, either), so it's pretty exciting in that regard. A sad sign of the economy, related to this however: the UUA's continuing education fund for ministers has dried up for the …

After Easter

The Religious Education Committee asked me last night to talk with the teen group on a Sunday I'm not preaching. The teen group has been studying Jesus this year, and their curriculum goes up through crucifixion and resurrection, but their question is: how did we get here (modern Christianity) from there (Easter morning)?

It's an excellent question, and one that many people in our society have never bothered to consider. The (mis)understanding that, I think, many fundamentalist Christians hold is that the disciples immediately sat down and wrote out the story and bound it together. The words they wrote were either dictated by God or somehow inspired, endorsed, or edited by God. That Bible was handed down through the generations (with each translation being similarly divinely edited), and we have it in exactly that form today.

Nothing, of course, could be further from what those who study the historical Jesus believe to be the truth. Of course, there are different schools of…

Vermont & Iowa

Just wanted to give a brief shout of joy for the decisions to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa and Vermont. I'm particularly thrilled about Iowa, as it's nice to finally have one state in the Midwest that promotes equality and love. We're not a complete wasteland here in the Midwest, despite what many of my New Englander friends seemed to think! :) And bravo to those UUs, clergy and lay, who worked tirelessly in both states, I am sure. Congratulations!

More on Church Growth--Finally

My apologies for getting so behind on this. I promised you a post last week, and I didn't post at all last week. At long last, now, here it is, my further thoughts on church growth.

Red Sphynx said:

But I look around my metro area and see at least 4 UU congregations that are dying. Five years ago, all five had part time ministers. Now none of them do.

Do you recommend some readings or some wisdom for turning the tide in those congregations?Red Sphynx, I'm not a growth consultant, and I hesitate to comment on any particular church's situation. And having read lots of growth literature and gone to dozens of workshops, I'm not sure that any of them really have helped me, personally, turn growth around in any congregation. So, no, sorry, I have no advice to give you, sadly. I'm somewhat familiar with some Texas congregations, having served in Houston for half a year, but that was already seven years ago. At that time, Jonalu Johnstone was the Growth Consultant for the dis…