the UUA’s take on contemporary worship

In case you haven’t seen it, the Unitarian-Universalist Association’s web site has a nice introductory page about contemporary worship. It’s broken into three sections: Myths about Contemporary Worship, Ten Tips for Successful Contemporary Worship and a links pge.

Since there isn’t much of this kind of worship happening in UU congregations, much of it is taken from successful Christian practice, now in its fourth decade. But we’re talking about communication methods here, not theology, so it is instructive for us to consider what they’re doing (right!) and learn from it.

So, in case you haven’t read that page yet, go have a look at it. Read those two articles and ponder them. Be prepared to discuss.

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About liberalreligiongetsloud

Contemporary Music and Worship Director (retired), First Unitarian, Albuquerque NM
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4 Responses to the UUA’s take on contemporary worship

  1. Beth says:

    Thanks for pointing out this page. It’s a very good resource

  2. Paul Oakley says:

    A (hopefully somewhat) relevant reflection…

    Now when are you going to lead the discussion you asked up to prepare for? 🙂

  3. Great post, Paul – informative and thought-provoking.

    As far as music goes, and communications style in general, I don’t think “contemporary” (or “hipster” or whatever) should be seen as an attempt to expand into a new “market niche”. In the case of Unitarian-Universalism, we already have very low market penetration in our core customer base, to continue the metaphor.

    About 600,000 Americans self-identify as UU, but only about 150,000 of them actually belong to congregations. I think this is akin to having 600,000 people say “I think American cars are for me”, but three quarters of them buy Toyotas. Why?

    IMO, it’s because they are in love with the basic concept, but not in love with the actual product (experience, growth, comfort, challenge, or whatever it is that we produce). We still sell Oldsmobiles, but that’s not what people want to drive anymore. If becoming a “hipster church” would make the other 450,000 self-professed UUs fall in love with the product, why wouldn’t we do it?

    • Christine Robinson says:

      Actually our “market penetration problem” is more like people saying, ‘I like American cars,” but actually they have an empty garage. What they really were saying was, “I don’t do this driving thing, but if I did, I’d buy American.”

      I think that’s our 600,000… “I don’t do the religion thing, but if I did, I’d be a Unitarian (because that’s how I grew up, or I belonged for a while when my kids were young.

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