This site is for you if you are interested in:

  • attempting to live by Unitarian values
  • improving Unitarian gatherings and groups
  • sharing Unitarian ideas

The site name is inspired by a phrase that Michael Dadson uses, which was promoted in Stephen Lingwood’s book.

I started attending a Unitarian congregation about 3 years ago, and have found that living Unitarian-ly has become part of what I do.

  1. 😀
    Well written and some good points put over.
    You prompt me to say what I think ought to be the case in respect of ministry in what I see as Unitarian-ly theology. I think all people are in ministry in some way and no one should be called a lay person in the Unitarian movement. The distinction between paid and unpaid does not reflect the ability of doing a task of ministering, some paid ministers show a low standard of practice in some areas of their work, while some unpaid people do a much better job. Yet the unpaid are insulted by saying their work is unprofessional. (lay)
    As a validating body the GA has set itself up in governance of who may be termed a minister, in reality I see this as traditionally the role of the local member congregations not the GA.
    It is however hardly suprising that this has occured due to the fact that most of the administrators of the GA are GA paid ministers. For a denomination that says it is inclusive its self appointed governers are pretty exclusive about who they allow in their club. At the end of the day the GA is just that a club not a governing body, it has no power over a local congregation so why should it exercise one over who a local congregation may chose to call its local minister? (=Money)
    Actually qualifications do not make someone a minister in my book, it is their working practice that does this. A good minister is someone who makes themselves redundant by coaching and supporting people in their ministries, as you so rightly say increasing numbers on pews is not a reflection of people wishing to live Unitarian-ly. Some congregations have legacies and incomes from the past that allow them to employ a full time minister and the GA along with districts assist such congregations. Prime jobs are for the club members and non club members are paid less, not because they do an inferior job but because they are not full members of the club.
    A local congregation should be the validating body of whom they might call to do a job, selecting not on the basis of club membership but on the rightness of a person in a local calling.
    Unitarian-ly is a from below basis of theology, not from above such as Catholics are as an example. The GA needs to recognise this rather than try to play Pope and govern who is called a minister in a given local congregation setting. Ministry is only justified by its fruit, not its membership of a given exclusive club.
    Those whose ministry shows fruit and are recognised by their local congregations should be supported equally by the GA. Those who are employed as stipendiary ministers may have a case for a Union to look after their interests, however this should no be the GA as it is. The GA does not really reflect local congregations as many are unrepresented at its deliberations. It is only the congregations with paid Ministers who make up its numbers generally speaking.

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