UUA: Congregations and Beyond

Tracking the conversation launched by UUA President Peter Morales's paper, "Congregations and Beyond."

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  1. Morales: 'We need to think of ourselves as a religious movement'

  2. The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, published a paper in January 2012 inviting UUs to respond to changes in the American religious landscape that may be making congregations less central to people's lives.

    "We have long defined ourselves as an association of congregations," Morales writes. "We need to think of ourselves as a religious movement. The difference is potentially huge."
  3. The UUA is promoting conversation about Morales's paper and collecting resources related to it:
  4. Consultation in Florida stimulates conversation

  5. A 21-person UUA staff-facilitated consultation is meeting in Orlando, Florida, February 1-3 to brainstorm responses to Morales's paper:
  6. The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, co-facilitator of the Orlando consultation, is director of Congregational Services at the UUA. She describes the consultation as an attempt "to brainstorm how we might extend the reach of Unitarian Universalism in this new age."
  7. Much of the conversation centered on the Orlando consultation is taking place in a Facebook group called "Unitarian Universalists Exploring Congregations and Beyond" and on Twitter using the hashtag #CongBeyond. (Storify inexplicably thinks the Facebook group is "Pedro Santos," but the link does work! You must be signed in to your Facebook account to see this conversation.)
  8. Many who did not attend the Orlando consultation participated remotely via Twitter: 
  9. Updated 2.7.12: In a blog post summarizing the Orlando consultation's work, the Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, one of the co-facilitators, identifies three major areas the consultation focused on: "Engaging congregations in reaching out to the world beyond them," "culture change," and "new modalities":
  10. UU blogs respond to Morales

  11. UU World tracked the first week of blog reactions to Morales's paper in its Jan. 27 edition of The Interdependent Web:
  12. The Interdependent Web tracks a second week of blog responses in its Feb. 3 edition:
  13. June Herold, a social media professional who helped the UU Congregation of Arlington, Va., build its social-media-powered church website, writes:

  14. The Rev. Tom Schade offers historical context for why Unitarian Universalists find themselves in a new era:
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