Hit the Jackpot

Tom Schade at Coffee Hour, the new Unitarian Universalist group blog asks the “won the lottery” question.

What would I fund, after I got that platinum-plated electric kettle? (I prefer tea to coffee, you see.)

First, and this may seem harsh, but I wouldn’t give a penny to the UUA. Money is power, and both need to be distributed to keep fiefdoms from being established. A lot of Universalist money went into the memory hole of the newborn UUA, and from I understand the promises to honor the Universalist contribution – both in cash and tradition – were not kept. It is worth noting that some Universalists four decades ago had enough snese around themselves to hold on to their resources, and they dole it out by annual vote.

So, now to the funding.

  • Endow a chair in Universalist studies. Perhaps two, or if I was feeling bold, a house of studies. The house of studies model has a lot of merit – the Swedenborgians have moved to it, in league with the Pacific School of Religion, for the training of their ministers – and if I had to choose today, I’d install it at my alma-mater, Brite Divinity School, which has a Baptist House of Studies.
  • Host and fund evangelists’ conferences. Bring in experienced, sound church planters to inspire potiential candidates for church planting. All-expenses-paid church planter’s evalucations to follow.
  • Fund a recruitment committee to comb the seminaries for East Asian candidates for the ministry and church planters. Especially ethnic Koreans.
  • Fund a grant program for church planters and new congregations. As a rule, no more than three years of funding for new projects, at no more than 75% of TCM (total cost of ministry), with health care funding for another two years.
  • Fund urban work camps and urban ministry with an express mission plan to identify members of target populations (especially Latinos, African Americans, and immigrants and internal migrants of whatever nationality) for lay leadership, leading to new churches and ministerial training
  • Then later, Fund several locally-based lay training programs to create a first generation of locally ordained pastors for populations that have little or no representation in the ministerial college. This would parallel Presbyerian and United Methodist lay ministry models, and some use of Canon 9 ordinations in the Episcopal Church, to serve special populations.

I’ll find links to successes and models for this last idea, and post them later, or make a new entry, as needed.

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