Liberal Christian, issue 3

I’m accepting manuscripts for the third issue of the Liberal Christian, which must be released to me in the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. (See http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0 for what this means if you’re not familiar with liberal licenses.)

Themes related to governance (including coverage of the past UK Unitarian and Free Christian AGM and forthcoming UUA GA) and seasonal liturgical items — including preaching and planning helps as far out as September — are especially welcome. I also welcome photographs that illustrate Unitarian, Universalist and kindred Christian life.

The future for independent Unitarian Universalist organizations

Ron Robinson is the executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship; he also writes an independent blog (Planting God Communities). While he’s careful not to speak for the UUCF, I can trust he speaks from knowledge of the independent affiliates controversy.

Check out this post, and make it all the way to the end.

I’m not going to speak for the UUCF — I hold no position in it anyway — and I’m not even going to speak about it until I speak to leadership and some stakeholders, but I think all Unitarian Universalist organizations — former and continuing independent affiliates — have to recognize that if they don’t provide their own services currently (formerly?) provided by the UUA, they’ll always be at risk of having these services withdrawn. That’s too much crisis and uncertainty for most organizations to suffer.

I believe that future General Assemblies will be a draw and that independent organizations will “do their thing” near it. There are 368 days until GA 2008.

Theological BarCamp: has its time come?

Here I am feeling so innovative — it must be the Day Job — by talking up Open Space Techology, Unconferences and BarCamps, and then Dan Harper very gently reminds me (us) that he’s been down that road before about a year and a half ago:

My thoughts on organizing a theological bar camp are here:
http://www.danielharper.org/blog/?p=163

Organizing it and running it seem pretty straightforward to me — just an organizational overlay over standard event logistics.

While my post generated absolutely no interest among the religious liberals who read my blog, I still think it would be a good event. Indeed, a decade ago I helped plan one or two UU young adult conferences (this was back when I was a young adult) which had some resemblance to this idea. It’s one of those things where if people actually tried it, they would realize that it’s so much better than the standard, dreary General Assemblies and district conferences.

I even commented at the time but it slipped my mind.  He’s right, you know, and very persuasive at his site. (Read this earlier post, too.) So, what about it gang?  Please comment.

Top five articles for May

Few surprises that these were the most read articles in May for Boy in the Bands.

  1. Where is Meadville Lombard going?Like other–perhaps all–Unitarian Universalist ministers, I got an email from the Rev. Lee Barker, the president of Meadville Lombard Theological School . . . .
  2. Buying US-made clothing, so far“. Ms. Theologian is talking about not buying clothes from China. I’ve written at length about my hunt for US-made, union-made, non-sweatshop-made clothing.
  3. “Why Starr King?”. This may be my Southern and East Coast associations showing, in my twenty-plus years of being a Unitarian Universalist, Starr King School for the Ministry has always been “that school.”
  4. Banning someone on WordPressThough I have had pointed disagreements with several persons on this blog, I have only banned one person from commenting and participating . . . .
  5. Has the Episcopal Church jumped the shark?Gutter newspaper and television has made some hay about Jim McGreevey . . . .

The top three outstripped the others and all other posts.

Blogger: Matthew Davis Fox

I’ve added the LiveJournal page feed for (the Rev.) Matthew Davis Fox on my feed reader at home.

I found it after I Googled his name after finding at reference to his ordination at the All Souls Bethlehem Church, Brooklyn website. As some of my readers may know, All Souls Bethlehem is a three-way federated church: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ, and is specifically of Disciples, Universalist and Evangelical Synod origins. (Transit: F Train to Ditmas Avenue.)

The Rev. Mr. Fox is a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion and has standing in the United Church of Christ. He works for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Revival 2008: Getting there green

Jamie Goodwin (Trivium) looks forward to the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship Revival conference, held this November in Cleveland. That’s much closer for him than General Assembly, and closer for many of us. Now, how to get there?

I suppose I could fly: I did for General Assembly a few years ago, but short-haul flying is something many of us are trying to avoid because of the higher proportional energy costs and environmental damage than surface travel.

The Megabus bus line might be a desirable option for some who live in Midwest. Amtrak — which I prefer! — serves Cleveland by the Capitol Limited (Chicago to Washington D.C.) and the Lake Shore Limited (Chicago to Boston or New York, via Rochester). Sometimes that run is deeply discounted. But it is 11 hours or so each way, a bit more than I would normally be happy about.

Connecting service for much of the U.S. comes out of one of those cities, but that’s an even harder sell.

Other ideas?

"Why Starr King?"

This may be my Southern and East Coast associations showing, in my twenty-plus years of being a Unitarian Universalist, Starr King School for the Ministry has always been “that school.” You know, the funny one. The one with a penchant for curly, spirally graphics. The one that’s so serious about language — remember the poetry-filled course catalogs from the 80s? — but too often lacks a sense of self-awareness or irony. The one that pushes buttons nobody else does.

Continue reading “"Why Starr King?"”

Where is Meadville Lombard going?

25 May. I’ve been getting a lot of traffic for this post and don’t want it to “fall below the fold” so I’m giving it a bump back to the top. Welcome to my new Chicago readers.

Like other–perhaps all–Unitarian Universalist ministers, I got an email from the Rev. Lee Barker, the president of Meadville Lombard Theological School informing me of a significant financial gift and the school’s board of trustees “unanimously approved all of the ojectives outlined in the Going Forward: Integrated Enrollment Plan.”

Yes, ojectives. Did you hear me sigh? And reading them, it doesn’t get better.

Continue reading “Where is Meadville Lombard going?”