Friday, February 29, 2008

"How To Start a UU Church in 3 easy steps"

This is the view from our new church, the UU Community of Frankfort!

This Sunday is our Inaugural Service. Hereafter, we'll hold services every other Sunday at 4.

We have our own Office/Meeting Room in an historic downtown building. In addition, we rent the huge, airy & sunny yoga studio for our bi-monthly services.

We have about 20 at worship, & a mailing list of 50. Attendance should increase dramatically now that we have this space & can meet on Sundays.

We'll declare ourselves a congregation in a year or so... maybe sooner.

These are a few of the people. See them smiling? They're excited about the possibilities for uu-ism in the state capitol, a lovely old town with the oldest historic Black University, the grave of Daniel Boone, and a half-crazed legislature trying to ruin our state with nuclear power plants, mountain top removal, and anti-gay legislation. Can you say creation museum??? UUs have plenty to do here.

O.K., here are the three steps. Trinitarian --ish , I know.... they were on to something with the threes, though.

1. Patience! It's an organic process. Time and roots are required. Years, love & much tending of the soil. Try keeping out the weeds & pests, though.

2. Listening & Leadership. I think a good minister is required. I am doing this in a rather guerrilla fashion, since most of my own congregation is at best indifferent about it all (even though it's technically a satellite church.. whatever.) Things started moving quickly when I took charge. Sometimes strong leadership is required. Right now, I have no days off, and I'm exhausted. This too, shall pass, for the church will find a minister that they can call & pay. That's the goal.

3. Courage. Some risk-taking is required, and... not to harp on this too much, but folk are more willing to take risks when their minister is walking with them. Don't wait for your District or the UUA to help. So far, the answers I have received have ranged from a flat "Well, you know there's no money for this." (way to kill a dream.. lol!) to "Great News!" I can't wait to see who takes credit for it when we declare ourselves a congregation.

Anyhoo, I'm ready to start my next one.... gas prices are high & folks are getting to where they can't drive to Lexington. If you want to start a UU church, minister-friends, if you have time & heart & chutzpah, just do it. At least try. We owe it to this amazing faith to make it available to all. Best I can tell, no one's going to stop you.