Selling the UUA

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For those of you who are UU-Pagans, the Unitarian-Universalist Association has released a new 10-minute promotional DVD (part of a larger national campaign to increase membership) to entice potential members of the liberal faith. Sadly, all the voices in the in the film seem to come from liberal monotheists (who are a distinct minority in the UUA), and other theological perspectives aren’t even mentioned (except for a glancing aside that “atheists” are accepted within the UUA). The only nod to UU-Pagans and earth-centered spirituality (which makes up 20% of the UUA) comes during a one-second flash of a bulletin board for a Pagan study group.

Which makes me wonder if this video represents what the “powers that be” wishes UU-ism was, a body of liberal monotheists with a sprinkling of “atheists” and other believers on the theological spectrum. Some liberal Christians checking out a UU Church for the first time may well be shocked when they find out the reverend is a Humanist (or a Buddhist) and doesn’t recognize a Christian conception of deity. You can judge the film for yourself by checking it out on YouTube.

Being a non-creedal faith, the UUA and the larger Pagan community have entered into a somewhat symbiotic relationship. Many Pagans isolated from larger communities (or dissatisfied with the community they have) seek out UU Churches as a safe and accepting spiritual home, and UU Churches are often the home for Pagan Pride Day events across the country. Notable UU-identified Pagans include Margot Adler, and Isaac Bonewits. So with this strong (and growing) connection between the two faith communities, it is surprising the UUA hasn’t done more to market themselves directly to Pagans (or at least acknowledge our importance in its marketing materials) instead of trying to win over liberal believers who may find find themselves deeply uncomfortable in a non-creedal setting.