"The only difference between a rut and grave is the depth."
My Momma always told me, "You can rest in the grave." Not a very comfortable message. Its wisdom is all too clear: keep showing up. Now, I am the first to advocate that people--individuals--benefit from a daily practice of centering--a quiet time, but I am pretty sure that does not extend to churches. Alas, for you if you have come to this Special Place in need of rest. Churches are agents of action. Like the elephant, if we-the-church do not move, we will die. This is a place of transformation, not stagnation.
Here's our dilemma: whether we admit it or not, Unitarian Universalist congregations have for the last 50 years depended on their religious education programs as their growth engine. Problem is, that doesn't work for us anymore. Especially here at Santa Fe. Among my Mountain Desert District colleagues, UUSF is the Poster Child church for Millenial generation abandonment. We have only 10 families with children here; less than 10 children show up on any given Sunday. That sure has my attention. It should have yours too. With the exception of one parent, not a single parent here is engaged in any small group, team, or committee at UUSF. That's got my attention too.
This is not a small, isolated, nor simple trend. There is no right way to "fix" this. My point is this: we must change in ways that make it abundantly clear that what we offer here on a Sunday (and throughout the week) work for young families in their lives today. And what that offering is, is different from what you and I experienced and maybe different from what you and I might like.
If we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep getting what we're getting. -- Stephen Covey
We might not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. It is our collective task to meet the needs of all five generations that come through our doors. Our leadership knows this. We are introducing new models of worship, family ministry, adult faith exploration, small group ministry, and social justice practices as fast as practicable. What we're asking of you is that you show up, speak up, look up, listen up, team up, lift others up, and never give up.
See you in church.
Lifespan Religious Educator
The best way to predict the future is to create it. -- Peter Drucker