Transforming Culture

So, the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) as an organization seems to be proposing that it is more a movement for transforming the culture, rather than defining itself as an association of congregations.  And of course that’s got a lot of people nervous and has engendered some conversations, some of them somewhat angry or bitter.

I find something quite visionary and exciting in that idea of becoming a movement for transforming culture. A lot more exciting than “being an association of congregations” — if that means simply counting the number of congregations there are, and how many members they have, and doing whatever can be done to keep those numbers from falling or even growing them.  Or if it means “doing whatever congregations think they want and have the energy to ask for or do right now, without changing much.”

I guess I’m still an unapologetic humanist, because I believe that “transforming culture” requires people to do the transformation.  “Transforming culture” also requires that people be transformed. Reification of the concepts of culture or movement can lose track of the fact that both are made up of people.  The people, and the systems their relationships form, are ultimately what we have to work with, and to work on.
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51Qa1uAyVeL._SL160_Just started reading: Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America (new edition out in paperback soon)

If you’re interested in some of the roots of America’s culture wars today — this book has some interesting insights.  I don’t believe it’s got all the answers, but some of the roots of resentment, shame, and blame are documented here.  Now, if we can work to listen to what’s behind the resentment, shame, and blame –move to really listening to one another ….