Friday, October 05, 2007
Is Church Keeping You From God? That's the question
So the UUA's kickoff campaign in Time magazine asks the question: Is God keeping you from church? What a question for boomers and older; or, more accurately, what a question for people already in UU churches. The question being addressed to a wider culture of folks, being addressed by the emergent organic church movement, is the opposite: Is Church Keeping You From God? But then, that's what many UU churches do, keep people from God, and the new campaign says let's de-emphasize God and raise up Church; that's also the focus of the new DVD campaign though the word God is used, in such a wonderfully cozy inviting way, the "benign grandfather.mother image" as Carl Scovel once described Channing's God. People who think the word or idea of God is keeping them from church should already be attracted to UUism; it's where we have been for forty plus years. We keep looking to grow by appealing to people who "should" be a part of us, we think; if we could just get out the right message to them in the right way; give them credit; they will find us; our churches are full of them now. In the meantime, people who like God, like Jesus, can't imagine church without them, but who are stumbled by the concept and word and practices and stereotypes of church itself, these people are growing in number all the time, especially among milennials. But to go after their concerns might really be misleading, I guess, for then we would be attracting them to a place where God and Jesus et al are absent in transforming meaningful ways, dare I say it, challenging ways. Of course the idea of trying to incarnate new communities for them, rather than attracting them to existing churches not for them, that's something beyond us. End.
Posted by Ron at 3:14 PM