At the 2007 General Assembly, I invited leaders of then-current and former affiliates to meetings to try to help them imagine what they could/might do next because I knew there was lots of frustration about the changes. The UUA trustees who had been most closely involved with implementing the new criteria wished me luck and said I shouldn’t expect too much from these meetings. I’m an optimist, but they were right to be skeptical of the results of my efforts. I was verbally abused and treated in other totally inappropriate ways by leaders of some of our former independent affiliates.
A friend who works at the district level told me a similar story, about bringing some unwelcome news to a group of (adult) YRUU facilitators, and being shocked at the level of verbal abuse she took. I've also know a whole series of past congregational-presidents who don't come around so much any more. Several of them have said that the level of verbal abuse they took in the position had shocked them. I've heard the same from at least one treasurer. And I've received a few doses of it myself over the years. A common theme was that this over-the-top criticism had come from people who were usually temperate, mild mannered and kind.
What would make your faith community healthier? asks Rev Matt Tittle. I've stated the answer in the double negative: less unkindness. By that, I mean that more kindness isn't really the solution. No matter how much kindness we've received over the years, it can be greatly undone by a single angry heated tirade.
I don't know if we're better or worse with this than other denominations are. But I know we've lost some good people over the years to it.