Symbiotic Relationship

Found a typical ‘Pagans aren’t Satanists and are regular folk’ story, but one thing stood out when reading it.

“An informational meeting took place Sunday in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland, 6220 S. Jefferson, where he and seven other area residents gathered to discuss the organization’s direction.”

Obviously I’m not the only one looking to the Unitarian Universalists. I wonder how many rural and suburban UU churches are serving as de-facto meeting and networking centers for the Pagan community? I also wonder if the trend is the same in larger urban (and in the more liberal college towns) areas where there is more specific Pagan infrastructure (shops, public groups, publications).

Pagans who can’t find a stable local community seem to be turning to the creedless and tolerant UUs for a spiritual home. But I’m wondering if the trend is larger than we even know? Not all small groups and meetings are under the perview of CUUPs (the official Pagan UU organization), so it must be hard to track. A 1997 survey of the UUA claimed that about 20% of UUs had a “nature or earth-based” (ie Pagan) theological perspective. Has this number grown in the last eight years? How much of the churches’ new blood is Pagan?

As modern Paganism matures and more internal infrastructure is built will these UU Pagans stay? Will some sort of recognized symbiotic relationship develop? Would the congregations with strong humanist or Christian memberships feel comfortable with a polytheist for a minister? How do these Pagans who attend UU churches and make use of their infrastructure see this trend? Do they consider themselves UUs first? Are the UUs just a port in the storm? Interesting questions that should be discussed.