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Who Are We? Let's find out!
An Exercise for Mission Discernment: Who are We?

UU Communities can be very different from one another!  Use this continuum exercise to see how your congregations understands itself.

As a part of a workshop or retreat, have the gathered people place themselves in a continuum across the room. After each question, ask a few people at different spot on the continuum why they chose that spot. 

  1. The purpose of this congregation is to transform society ....
    OR to serve as a refuge for like-minded people, especially the marginalized.
  2. This congregation is a more a place to be on a communal spiritual journey ....
    OR more a place where individuals engage in personal exploration of their faith.
  3. Unitarian Universalism is a religion ....
    OR a society for people who have been hurt by religion.
  4. People come here on Sunday morning more to have their convictions clarified and deepened ....
    OR more to be with their friends.
  5. As a UU here, it is your responsibility to be constantly engaged in a search for truth and meaning -- and to put into action the values that are expressed in our UU principles....
    OR As a UU here, you can believe and do pretty much whatever you want? 
  6. Understanding UU history and thought is important here....
    OR You can be a fully functioning member here without knowing much about UU-ism.
  7. What people find here is more the expectation to engage in ministry themselves to others, either in or out of the congregation....
    OR more the opportunity to get something valuable for themselves.
  8. Annie Dillard thinks a church should be a dangerous place, a zone of risk, a place of new birth and new life, where we confront ourselves with who we truly are and who the church is calling us to become. This describes our congregation ....
    OR this doesn't describe us at all.  

About the Author

  • Barbara Child is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister and accredited interim minister who served continually in interim ministry for more than a decade. She lives in Nashville, Indiana.

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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