For a look at how some Sunday morning guests might see us, read the account of a Texas blogger on her first visit to a UU church. She wrote of her visit:
“I’m not sure what to think of this service. I expected something a bit more like Unity, Church of Religious Science or Divine Science. I didn’t hear any mention of Jesus Christ and only found the word ‘God’ in a few of the hymns. Most songs were about the clouds, community and beauty, etc.
Though I’ve never been to a Native American service, I would think it would have the same general feel.
I’d call this church a true ‘feel good’ church. While I didn’t get much from it, I’m glad there are denominations like this that are welcoming to gay, lesbian and transgender people, who often find it difficult to worship openly with their partner in an environment filled with judgment.
The comments to her blog entry by church members are useful reading as well.
Over on Facebook, an item notes a new book, Real Good Church, How our church came back from the dead, and yours can, too, by a United Church of Christ minister in Somerville, Mass. The church grew from 30 to 150 members. The Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette writes, “It wasn’t one thing (that made us grow). It was 200 things: about signage, about stewardship, about advertising, about staffing, about creative worship.”
A few excerpts:
“Don’t privilege the people who have been at your church over the people outside your community who don’t even know about you yet.”
“Your work, as a pastor or lay leader, is to build up your own tolerance for disappointing people. Learn how to evaluate criticism for what it can teach you, don’t take it personally, and don’t let it slow you down or hijack God’s work.”