Here’s something thought-provoking from United Methodeviations.
Some of our United Methodist churches are held hostage by low expectations, complacency, lack of vision, and a distinct aversion to anything remotely disciple-like. What are we going to do about it? When mediocrity becomes the standard, it is only a matter of time until we cease to exist. No relevancy, no urgency, no commitment = no church. Unless it is safe and even encouraged to rock the boat, makes some waves, and shake things up, we may be looking for a new church real soon.
I see some disheartening similarities between this description and UU congregations in general. Not so much in that we have lofty and demanding ideals and fail to live up to them. It’s more that the low expectations are sort of built in to our broad theological tolerance. And, as teachers are told early in their training, if you set low expectations, your students will live up to them.
In my own small corner of this complex undertaking, I’m trying out ways to be transformative. Although the most visible way is by transforming the liturgy and its music, I work from an underlying belief that UUs should expect to find their lives transformed by their faith, and that their faith should expect that of them. Doing something meaningful is work, but if what you’re doing isn’t meaningful, why bother?
Perhaps one good reason to consider massive renovations to your order of service would be to serve notice that we’re not doing things the same old comfortable way. Transformation starts here and now.
Edit: I realize how that I understand the lyrics in this performance only because I have performed it many times myself. Sorry that he’s so mumble-mouthed in this one; here’s a link to the lyrics, in case you want to clarify anything. It’s really a good song, I promise!