Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Revolution Church - One Punk Under God

Have you heard about Revolution Church, Jay Bakker's church? I just heard about it on CNN. That's right, son of Jim and Tammy Faye has his own ministry and now TV show - One Punk Under God. It looks very cool. Check out some of these the slogans from their merchandise page:

"Equal Rights is a Moral Issue"
"Jesus Is The Saviour, Not Christianity"
"Religion Kills"

I love that Jay is working to move beyond whatever the church has been (and his parents) and is getting to the heart of Christian teaching. Can we UU's do that? Please pretty please? Oh wait. We don't need anyones permission. All we need is some institutional BS to cut through. Wow! We've got plenty.

I know. Peter, you say it over and over. True. But I'd still love for us to do a better job as UU's figuring out - bottom line - what we are about and go do it. And not only do it, but evaluate and measure our success. If more of our congregations new what they were trying to accomplish and how to evaluate THAT we would see a lot of changes.

What do you measure in your congregation? Anything? People and money? Make sure you keep the ones you got and get'em to give more? What? I'd love to know.

My favorite idea person and marketing guru is Seth Godin. In his book Purple Cow he talks about the importance of being remarkable. Good doesn't cut it these days. Life and time are short. Want to grow? Want to matter? If you aren't worth talking about why should any of us bother?

In the book Creating Community Andy Stanley shares that his church is focused on being a relational church. They KNOW what matters and focus. Specifically there are 3 relationships they focus on:

1) Connection or relationships within the congregation
2) Relationship with God
3) Influence outside the congregation

Maybe those are good things for us to do in our own little UU way. We can go with 1 and 3 as is. First, keep track of relationships - make sure everyones connected, caring for others and being cared for. Second, we help people learn to put their faith in action to help in the larger world and to be one more UU voice in the world. Bill Sinkford's voice isn't enough. As for #3, do you know what your equivalent is? Can you state it 50 words or less? If you can get it down to 50 please tell me. The fact that most can't is a stumbling block for us. The point, the objectives need to be clear.

Back to Revolution. Looking over this Revolution Church website I first felt annoyed that we didn't grab the name. I'd love Revolution to be a UU church. That name does more to communicate our values and ministry than anything I've seen. Even more than that little purple alien preaching the cosmic UU principles with a chipmunk voice.

Second, I started thinking about how close our churches are to what a church would look like if some of our younger ministers and/or members were to go out and start new churches. I've heard about the Church of the Younger Fellowship that CLF has. What would happen if that turned from a cyber church into a cyber church planting boot camp?

Tell me what you'd do if you were going to start your own UU Revolution Church. What would it look like? Contact info & anonymous feedback form here.

Check out Bakker's Revolution Church:

Check out the show:

Rockridge Nation Launches Today

I'm a big fan of the Rockridge Institute. How often do you hear the words "frame" and "framing" used these days? All the time -- thanks to George Lakoff, author of Thinking Points and Don't Think of An Elephant. Today the Rockridge Institute launched its "Rockridge Nation" website/campaing.

You should take a look, get involved, and help frame the debates our nation is having (or should have).


From the Rockridge Press Release:

Rockridge Nation Launches Today
Join the web community of progressives working to frame the debate.
Last week, we promised you that we would soon launch an online community of progressives working together to advance our values and vision more effectively. Now, we are excited to be able to invite you to join Rockridge Nation by going to http://www.rockridgenation.org today and becoming a member.

Rockridge Nation is the people-powered website that we have created in response to your suggestions. We built it with the confidence that progressives who recognize the importance of framing can work together to restore progressive values—rooted in empathy and responsibility—to the center of public life.
If you have ever needed help from other progressives in framing an issue or wanted the Rockridge Institute to become a more timely source of analysis and insights, we have built Rockridge Nation for you. For progressives who believe that citizenship demands more than just voting, Rockridge Nation is your community to stay engaged each day as an active advocate for the progressive vision that we share.
As you offer your questions, stories, and commentary, progressives around the country will be able to lend a hand, give encouragement, and foster a productive dialogue. By working together and learning from each other at Rockridge Nation, progressives will become more effective in defining the issues and expressing our values in compelling ways. The Rockridge Institute team will also be following carefully. While we will sometimes comment on your ideas, pointing out relevant resources or asking questions, we believe that the cooperation of a large, diverse community of progressives who understand framing will yield many effective ways to promote our principles.
I and others at the Rockridge Institute will also participate regularly by writing on the Rockridge Nation blog. The blog will draw attention to the ideas of Rockridge Nation members and help amplify your voices. It will also draw upon news from diverse media sources and blogs to foster dialogue at Rockridge Nation about the framing and values of the issues of the day.
To encourage you to join and share your ideas today, we will offer Charter Member status to the most active participants in the spirit of Rockridge Nation between now and December 31, 2006. Charter Members will be eligible to receive more exposure for their writing and additional opportunities to help shape the future of the Rockridge Nation community. We will provide more details this week in the Rockridge Nation blog, but you can get a head start now. Visit the participate section and start adding your questions, framing stories, and nominations, once you understand the purpose and policies of the site.

Is Lay Ministry at a Dead End?

Those of you sharing my interest in turning our congregations, our ministry and our movement inside out and upside down will probably enjoy the following article by KATHYRN PALEN. This is from a previous issue of the Alban Institute's CONGREGATIONS magazine.

Yes, it is true. If UU navel gaze long enough UU and your congregation can accidentlly turn outside in and downside up. Is that why the primary cartoon featured in the UU World is mont after month of character all twisted and inverted? Ahaa!!

A Ministry of All

The headline read “Lay Ministry Is at a Dead End.” I took a deep breath before reading the accompanying article. This was not how I had expected to begin my participation at a national convocation of people working in the area of lay ministry. I had arrived at the event excited about spending a weekend with others who shared an interest ....

Continue reading at

More info about
Alban Institute