‘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?