Sunday, April 26, 2009

What would make our churches healthier?

The UU faith would be healthier if there was less unkindness. Most of the time, UUs are kind to each other. But every once and a while, good people get their ears burned off by their angry co-religionists. Linda Laskowski quotes from a letter by Gini Coulter

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.

37 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Here's some more "SPAM" for you David.

    Please forgive me for more or less repeating myself. . .

    I think that your point about "less unkindness" is very valid David. Quite regrettably the highest levels of the current UUA administration, apparently including UUA President Bill Sinkford and UUA Moderator Gini Courter herself. . . turn blind eyes and deaf ears to people complaining about the "unkindness" of intolerant and abusive U*U clergy who are allowed to deeply insult, outright defame, and otherwise verbally abuse their co-religionists and non-U*Us with complete impunity. If you have any doubts about this I can present plenty of evidence to support what I just said including, but by no means limited to, these email strings between me and *resigned* Congregational Services Director Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and UUA Ministry and Professional Staff Group Director Rev. Beth Miller regarding the "unkindness" aka over-the-top criticism and verbal abuse of one Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang.

    I *had* hoped that you would not "memory hole" that perfectly legitimate cogent aka germane comment, butt no. . .

    Happy New Year FWIW

    Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger

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  3. 我只知道,假如我去愛人生,那人生一定也會回愛我........................................

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  6. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。...............................................................

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  7. 河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。.................................................................                           

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  8. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

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  10. 世間事沒有一樣沒有困難,只要有信心去做,至少可以做出一些成績。..................................................

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