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    The 'It' Church

    Saturday, May 8, 2010, 7:15 PM [General]
    Posted By: RevDorris

    The ‘It’ Church

    This was the title given to an article in UU World, Spring 2010, to an article by UUA President, Peter Morales.  www.uuworld.org/life/articles/158390.sht...

    The President of the UUA, Peter Morales, has properly identified the problem faced by the UUA as a whole.  That problem as he stated is that the organization lacks “religion”.  Without religion the organization will decline.  This is a hard pill for many to swallow but truth is truth, no matter how much people protest and debate.

     

    There is a lot going on in the world today.  Everything seems to be in a state of turmoil.  Many questions need to be asked.  Good workable answers need to be found.  The leadership is floundering.  There is a lack of direction or a workable plan.  The future leaders need to step forward and take action.

     

    The organization needs spiritual growth and dedication.  Someone must take a leadership role.  People must come forward to share their visions and dreams.  Each of you has the opportunity to let your wishes be known.  Each of you has a stake in determining the future of the UUA.

     

    This is a time for plain talk.  It is a time to propose concrete solutions.  This is not a time for endless debate and bickering over the meaning of terms.  This is not an intellectual exercise.  The life of the organization is at stake.

     

    Will you take a stand for what you believe?

    Will you work to achieve your goals?

    Can you make your church a spiritual place?

    The future is in your hands.

     

    The UUA is your organization to direct and guide.  Most of you know I am not a member.  I do promote the Unitarian Faith Community.  My views and beliefs are well known.  You are free to tell me to mind my own business.  But you see, my business is the Unitarian Community.  My concern is the spiritual growth and well-being of all Unitarians.

     

    The UUA has many qualified ministers and leaders.  Ask them to step forward and do what needs to be done.  To make the UUA religious may initially cost you a few members.  Still, a small dedicated membership can rejuvenate the whole organization.

     

    Let’s get up-close and personal for a moment.  Each congregation needs a loving minister.  Ministers need to have an open door so that everyone knows there is someone who will listen.  Most ministers see people by appointment instead.  Few make house calls like they should.

     

    This being said -- Most ministers work like slaves.  They are grossly under paid.  Many young ministers and old provide their services for free.  Their noble calling keeps the churches open but also keeps them poor and unable to devote 100% to the members of their church and communities.

     

    Churches are closed more than they are open.  The fancy buildings sit unused.  Few are open more than 1 or 2 days a week.  Is it a wonder that the people are gone?  What should be a spiritual oasis sits empty and dark.

     

    Today more than ever the churches need to be open.  The people need to meet with those who care.  Support groups need to be formed.  Those who love God must show they care.  In small churches the members are like family.  In large churches the members are an extended family.  Unfortunately today -- most are dysfunctional.  Strong and loving leadership is a must.

     

    Please tell me what you think.  Tell me your hopes and dreams.  If not me -- then tell whomever you consider to be your spiritual or religious leader.  Cast aside your fears.  Work to make your church, your favorite forums, and your community a better place.

     

    I am just one man.  My mission or calling is to unite the family.  The Unitarian family includes all who believe in One God regardless of where they are or how they choose to worship and serve God.  I cannot do this alone.  Your help is needed.

     

    Most of the Unitarian membership has grown silent.  I know many friends still read and contemplate all the writings, posts, and articles that are available.  Many are loosing hope that a difference can be made.  These are tough times for many people.  More than ever they need a positive place they can go to for guidance and aid.  We can work together to keep the dream alive.

     

    When two or more join together -- The One is there.  When alone -- The One listens to your thoughts and words.  The Spirit goes forth with your concerns.  Still, many of us feel isolated and alone.  I am here and there are spiritual leaders in almost every community.  I am sure, like me, they will be available to help.

     

    Everyone is busy and time is precious.  I or any minister cannot help unless you ask.  I made a pledge many years ago to go wherever I was needed.  For the Unitarian Community, I will travel to any region.  This I freely do out of love in serving the children of the One.

     

    When or if face to face contact is needed, you decide the time and place.  I am willing to go wherever I am needed.  The One will provide what is required.  Schedule permitting, I will be there.  Call when you are willing.  It does not matter if you are a group of one or many.  I make this promise to the children.  We can work together for the good of all.

     

    Maybe there are others willing to serve.  Unless we know your needs we cannot help.  Knowledge and guidance will be freely shared.

     

    The dream of a Unitarian Community is alive.  We can become a dynamic group.  Even the UUA can be rejuvenated as a leading spiritual and religious organization.  Together we can change our communities and through our communities the world will be changed.  We can all work together as children of the One.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    What is going on?

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 9:59 AM [General]
    Posted By: RevDorris

    ‘What is going on?’  This is a question many are asking.  What the future holds -- I have no answer.  I do know -- I will continue to promote the Unitarian Faith.  I will continue to write of our love for God and humanity as a family.

     

    A lot of well meaning people talk a lot.  Few become involved or walk their talk.  Each day people are quick to say what cannot be done.  They attack the beliefs of others without offering a loving alternative or way. 

     

    Each day I see good people come and go.  I see leaders who do not lead in an appropriate way.  I see the frustration of the people with the way things are.  There is a lot of talk but nothing seems to change.

     

    Promises are made then nothing is done.  We have not the time or money is an excuse.  Without active leadership an organization fails.  People loose their hope and faith when no progress is seen.

     

    I have seen our faith divided into many factions.  Some want to return it to just a Christian denomination.  This path marginalizes most of the human family.  This is not the path I walk but is better than many alternatives.

     

    Others have taken control and declared there is no God.  Atheists have been put into many leadership positions and pulpits.  This has destroyed the view of Unitarians and Universalists as any faith at all.  This path I find repulsive and will not support.

     

    When the Unitarians and Universalist merged   the idea was to form a place where all who loved God could come together in worship and love.  Each congregation could worship the One God in their own ways.  This dream was distorted and lost.

     

    Long before this merger we saw the blending of eastern and western teachings.  This view encompassed all the best teachings attribute to the inspiration of God.  Spirituality and growth in knowledge and wisdom was the primary goal.

     

    We also saw a blending of the teachings of the nature religions into a part of the whole.  We saw humanitarian efforts that were not equaled by any other faith group.  These efforts too were then distorted and lost.

     

    Many of the initiatives started became part of the efforts of main stream religions.  Unitarians and Universalists were marginalized and denied entrance into some of the organizations they were instrumental in starting.

     

    The American Unitarian Conference was started to restore Unitarianism to its pre-merger state.  Unfortunately some in power tried to erase more than 100 years of inclusiveness and marginalize those who do not hold a Christian view.  This caused a rapid decrease in the membership of the AUC.

     

    Not since the days prior to Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Hume has a strictly Christian outlook for Unitarians been enforced or maintained.  Emerson himself left the Unitarian pulpit when his views expanded beyond Christianity.  Those in power at his time only wanted Christian views expressed.

     

    Still Unitarians claim him as one of the truly great Unitarians.  He had a vision of just how great and inclusive the Unitarian Faith could be. 

     

    Unitarianism became the fastest growing faith in America till the time of the merger into the UUA.  Because of its rapid growth it lacked the organizational structure to maintain all that needed to be done.  The Universalist had the structure but not the numbers to sustain their organization.

     

    Initially the UUA grew but since it lost the Unitarian vision its numbers have steadily declined.

     

    Today our Country, world, and faith are in a deep depression.  In 2008 Paul Yonge and I met in Atlanta and agreed to form ‘Unitarian Community’ to promote the Unitarian Faith:  ‘One God -- One human family.’   It would be inclusive of all people who love and worshiped One God and would serve humanity through humanitarian efforts.

     

    The same year, 2008, I became a member of the Board of Directors for the AUC.  After a couple of meetings the directors stopped meeting. Promises were being made and nothing was accomplished.  After a year I sent the directors notice that I resigned.  This should have triggered new elections but not even an acknowledgement was received from the president, the founder of the organization.  One director asked me to keep posting on the AUC forum.  That I have done although more limited than before.

     

    I started a journal and formed a Unitarian Community group on Beliefnet.  As of today this group has 351 members listed.  Another member started a discussion thread about the AUC on the UU forum page.  It has received more views than any other thread.  Unitarian Community is the only large Unitarian Group on Beliefnet.

     

    My journal has received a lot of attention -- over 31,000 visits.  For 2009, I was voted The Beliefnet Member of the Year receiving 44% of all the votes cast.    I say this not to brag but to show that there is great interest in the Unitarian Faith. 

     

    Last week I started a Unitarian Faith thread on the Spirituality Boards on Classmates.  I have set up a personal page on Face book.  This is a work in process.  Here again I will promote the Unitarian Faith.

     

    Rev. Maurisa Brown-Latham and her husband have also made some remarkable strides in promoting  and organizing their vision of Unitarianism.  Promoting only the Christian heritage they have a wonderful website that is constantly updated.  They have also started Unitarian Ministries International as an organization for lay and Ordained Unitarian Christian Ministers.  This has been remarkably done in a very short time span.

     

    Their words indicate they will later expand to include non-Christian Unitarians.  This, however, at present marginalizes those Unitarians with non-Christian views.  I applaud their efforts but also sense their frustration.  They have hit the wall of acceptance and growth that ‘Christian Only’ has built.

     

    Like the AUC, Unitarian Community, and others the lack of established churches joining with them has created the problem of people saying, “We have no place to meet and worship.”  It is difficult to grow beyond a certain point without dedicated people in many locations establishing home fellowships and churches.

     

    Surveys show 70% of American Christians are not happy with the doctrine of their denominations.  Most hold the Unitarian view that there are many different and acceptable ways outside of Christianity to worship God.  Few are willing to leave their denominations or drop the Christian denominational label.

     

    Those who do leave most often refer to themselves as Spiritual but not Religious.  This is the fastest growing segment of the population.  Turning away from the church for many different reasons most of these individuals do not know there is a place for them in the Unitarian Community.

     

    In my opinion, there is much more work needed to promote the Unitarian Faith.  There is a growing hunger for truth.  Young people want to gain in knowledge and wisdom.  They see the mess that has been caused by greed and the lust for control and power.  They know there must be a better way.

     

    Unitarians can unite and fill this real human need.  Will we unite to promote the love of God and the service to humanity through humanitarian efforts?  Will we unite to promote love, harmony, and peace for all mankind?

     

    I do not know what the future holds, but I will continue to promote the Unitarian Faith.

     

    What will you do?

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Belief and Worship

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 7:36 PM [General]
    Posted By: Seena

     

    There are shared beliefs among the various religions. Sometimes there may be psychic and other communications, discussions, and conversations among them. Sometimes not.

    Some of them are given to fighting and the quest for domination. That seems to be part of the nature of "religion" also. Such fighting, of course, is also to be found within churches and other religious groups.

    It is perhaps a welcome sign that some people can share and discuss psychological, anthropological, philosophical or other beliefs and opinions, in spite of different beliefs about worship.

     

    0 (0 Ratings)

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