Thursday, 26 March 2015
Tell The World We're Here
A more generous view might be that in an attempt to ensure we follow the Unitarian ethos of not proselytizing, we end up not telling people we exist at all. We seem to believe that informing people what we stand for, might imply that other views are wrong or inferior and the discussion itself could be conceived as trying to 'convert' people!
Many of us have also experienced the wrath of the traditionalists who gets upset when we try to explain the Unitarian Christian position - something that some of them see as a corruption of their core values. So keeping quiet and getting on with our own personal journey is what we do for the main, after all it should be up to us all as individuals.
This would be fine, but the problem is that our numbers are decreasing and as the years go on, more churches will close or become little more than senior citizens clubs. Thus creating larger and larger areas of the country where future generations have no Unitarian group to join. The negative effect of shrinking can accelerate the shrinkage as each year we scrap over ever decreasing resources.
I know I am biased, but it seems crazy to me that at a time when our values are so in-tune with High Street political correctness we are still so quiet. We should be so proud of our basic philosophy. I believe it is our duty to let the world know we exist so they are in an informed position to decide if they want to join us. It must be done with respect for others of course but if we are to die out, let's go down fighting - non-aggressively of course.
There is also the problem or at least a perceived problem that our faith means such different things to different individuals and groups that whatever we say will upset someone. We don't have the advantage of the UUA who have their 7 principles defined. We do have an Object and GA resolutions, but we are far more than the sum of these parts.
If we are to 'tell the world that we are here', it means that not only do we have to be shouting, but that someone is listening to what we have to say. In such a busy, noisy world, cutting through that is complex and difficult.
It requires specialist skills that we need to learn, particularly if we are doing it with limited resources. It can be done if we change our head-space first.
Energy and imagination are free limitless resources and often, in my experience, money will appear when people see inspiring projects.
The Internet has changed the rules for just about everything and has opened up our ability to reach people easily and cheaply, we just need to learn how to do it effectively .