A new survey for freerange UUs has just been created by the UUA’s Office of Growth Strategies. I hope you’ll share this with your friends, colleagues and congregation at large.
Here’s the survey announcement:
Seeking Free-Range Unitarian Universalists…
by Tandi Rogers
If you’re a “Free-Range Unitarian Universalist,” please take this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FreeRangeUUs. The UUA Office of Growth Strategies is seeking to better understand Unitarian Universalism outside our congregations. Help me transform the way we live into our faith. If you’re active in a congregation, but know people who aren’t, but identify as Unitarian Universalist, please pass this on to them. Thank you!! In faith, Tandi
From a growth perspective, I think figuring out how to cultivate (not control) a larger Unitarian Universalist movement is critical. Often I hear people using the words movement and religion interchangeably. They are very different. A few thoughts on that in older post Is Unitarian Universalism a Religion or a Movement?
For more on the difference between a movement and a campaign, read the book Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements. For some inspiration on starting a movement, watch the Ted Talk video Seth Godin on the tribes we lead.
I’m very happy to see the UUA taking what I call “Freerange UUs” and, if they had a sports team, “the UU Freerangers” seriously. Since I started tweeting approximately three years ago (via account @uuplanet) I’ve come into contact with freerange UUs who feel that they aren’t allowed to be Unitarian Universalists because they aren’t connected to a congregation. Some have expressed that they don’t feel like they have permission to be UU in any way other than the building bound form. My response has been “With all the authority NOT invested in me, I hereby give you permission to be a Unitarian Universalist!”
Some of my colleagues have challenged me on it being valid to be UU outside of a congregation. I gotta tell you, if Unitarian Universalism is small enough to be contained in our existing congregations, it is too small of a thing for me. The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations — this organization is rightly bound to congregations. But I don’t think our larger faith should be.
Some of you may be wonder, why aren’t these people connected to existing congregations? There are so many reasons. Here are some highlights.
- There is no local congregation
- The local congregation is Sunday morning centric and they work then
- They identify with our faith, but not our present demographics
- They are in transition
- The spouse they are divorced from is occupying the local congregation
- They were asked to pledge their third time at the congregation and feel the church is all about money
- The congregational leadership is constantly begging for volunteers giving a sense that it is a sinking ship
- The congregation is filled with unhealthy politics
- The congregation is old and they are young
- They have accessibility issues
- They “married out”
- The local congregation stinks — it happens.
- And on and on…
I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from the UUA’s Free-range UU survey. Even more, I’m hoping that the UU Freerangers will start organizing themselves, that a movement will ignite. There are far more of them in the United States than there are members of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Again, I hope you’ll share the survey.