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Showing posts from January, 2013

Generations and Giving

In the workshop I'm attending at the UUMA Institute, we've been talking about the different generations in our church and what motivates them to come, what calls them to be involved, and what they care about.  We've talked about what incidents shaped and defined these generations.  Today, the thought that came to me, prompted by something said by a colleague, was that if the generations are motivated by different things, not only does our membership and outreach efforts need to be targeted differently to each group, our pledge drive might be more effective if targeted differently to each group.

So, for example, the Silent Generation, born 1925-1945 are builders and institutionalists.  They dislike debt.  The Great Depression had a big impact on them, and they like frugality.  They are civic-minded, and the older members of this generation may have served in WWII, younger ones in the Korean War.  A pledge campaign that emphasizes the institutional needs and building needs w…

The "Guns" Series...

... will resume in about two weeks.  I'm working up a sermon on it, and don't want to pre-publish everything that I plan to say from the pulpit.  Sorry for the delay.  Meanwhile, I'm at the UUMA Institute and hope to have something interesting to write soon.

Guns Part 3: What I've Heard

I've been thinking a lot, as most people have, about my perspective about gun violence and what should be done.  I've done a lot of learning, such as educating myself on the difference between a clip and a magazine.  I've been listening to my relatives, my colleagues, and my friends and congregants who are school teachers, police officers, parents, and politicians, and to my president--of the UUA and the USA.  And I've been listening to the NRA, and not just the clips played on MSNBC. 

My friend Dani Meier, for example, a long-time anti-violence advocate, gun owner, and school counselor, wrote a HuffPost piece titled "Thoughts From 'A Good Guy With a Gun'" in which he writes, "First, as microcosms of society, schools will always have some students, parents, and teachers with anger problems, mental illness, or poor self-control. As educators, we regularly try to model peaceful conflict-resolution, 99.9 percent of which we successfully deescalate…

Guns Part 2: My Own Story

I've always been a lukewarm believer in the right to own guns.  Lukewarm, I say, because I think the right to own guns leads to a host of problems, that that writers of the Second Amendment never envisioned an America like today, with the weapons that our government has, and the weapons our citizens have.  I am not, by any means, someone who believes that the Constitution is a perfect document, either.  I believe it's important that a process exists for amending it, and am willing to amend it when it is important for freedom and liberty.  I am willing to rethink the Second Amendment entirely, and don't hold the right to own guns as sacrosanct as I do freedom of religion, speech, and of the press.

Lukewarmly, however, I do support the right to own guns.  I was brought up in a household where there were guns, and I had the example of a responsible gun owner in my father, who kept the guns, if not under literal lock and key, securely away from me during my childhood.  There w…

Guns Part 1: My Church

Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting, I've been working on a two-part blog series about guns and gun violence.  It's been slow going, because it's an emotional and difficult issue for me.  I've been torn apart in my feelings about Sandy Hook, and mourning deeply, particularly as a mother of an elementary-school-aged child.  This blog series has now become at least a three-part series, maybe more.  I thought I just needed to explain who I was and position myself in this debate, and then lay out my person vision.  Now I understand that I also need to tell my readership, which hopefully and probably includes more than my own religious community, about the community I serve.

I serve a more politically diverse, which is to say more conservative, church than the average Unitarian Universalist church.  It's very different from all the other churches I've known, as someone who was raised Unitarian Universalists and moved quite a bit before seminary and has served seven c…