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In the 1980's and 1990's the primary wisdom was that it was best for denominations to start congregations intentionally in those places with the greatest demographic prospects and give to these select locations sufficient support and resources so that they could quickly become large or, at least large enough to support a full-service program: minister, building, religious educator, music program, and so forth. The strength of this point of view coincided with the religious and cultural power of the emerging evangelical Christian megachurches -- who for a time provided many of the most important innovations in congregational life. The big UU experiments in this type of congregational start were -- and are -- North Dallas and Pathways (near Philadelphia).

 

In recent years, there has been an increasing realization in the evangelical Christian world (still the leading innovators in this area) of the limitations of what might be call the "big, fast" approach. A younger generation of Christian evangelical leader is setting out to start smaller more "organic" religious communities -- in coffee houses, in peoples' living rooms. For long-time UUs this news movement is very much reminiscent of the Fellowship Movement of the 1960s. The organic approach to starting new congregations departed radically (as each generation is inclined to do from the previous one) from the fast and big approach. In the organic approach seeks to study almost as an anthropologist might what form of religious community might be natural to a given location. In the wake of the fact that the UU experiments with big and fast start-ups and their failure to meet expectations, it has led many UUs including many who work assisting UU congregations toward a renewed interest in the diverse ways congregations start and grow -- and the diverse ways we might assist. In speaking to the UU ministers at General Assembly in 2006, the UUA President Bill Sinkford said: 'what we need now are a 1000 experiments in helping congregations to grow.' (paraphrase)

Welcome!

Are you an emerging Unitarian Universalist congregation, that is, a UU congregation in the process of formation? If so, this resource is for you. Our mission is to let you know you are not alone, and to serve you by gathering into one place information that will be of help and support you.

BaydeNocUU

Congratulations to the newest congregation in the MidAmerica Region! The Unitarian Universalist Bay de Noc Fellowship in Escanaba, Michigan was made official January 16 by the UUA Board!

Iowa Lakes UUF Jan2015

Congratulations to the Iowa Lakes UU Fellowship in Okoboji, Iowa. Welcome to MidAmerica Region!

About Us

Emerging UU.org is currently maintained by the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

For more information contact emergingUU@midamericauua.org

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