For all the grief I give the UUA leadership — and sometimes I worry deeply about strategies and priorities from Boston, but that’s for another time — I’m increasingly fond of the Joseph Priestley District (JPD).
The JPD is the regional grouping (middle judicatory in church-speak) that I live in. Encompassing roughly the greater Philadelphia-Washington corridor or the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it is often the largest (in adult membership) of the nineteen districts in the Unitarian Universalist Association, and since the devolution (or abdication) of church growth services to the districts, this is the place where I’ll have the most denominational interaction.
So why the warm feelings?
- The well-wishes here and here on my last blog post where I announced the church start. These things matter
- A policy for applicant churches that suggests someone has thought this through.
This policy (below the fold in HTML; the JPD site has an old version for download!) requires new starts to develop intentionally, give its Fair Share to the UUA and District and — here’s the pain in the ass; nothing’s perfect — have six members of the organizing committee attend a Health Congregations workshop. That’s over five days, stretched over a year and held middle-of-nowhere-adjacent. My experience with UUA workshops hasn’t been fond. But we live in hope.