Thursday, June 28, 2007
Several people commented that they had no idea I was so funny. Obviously they've never heard me guest preach.
This presentation was recorded. You can get the audio cd of this via the General Assembly content management service.
Just visit this http://www.softconference.com/270621 and purchase
3064: Blogs: A New Generation in Communication ($12.00)
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
OS @ GA 07?? What the bleep does that mean?! In true OST there are small group gatherings in clusters of chairs set up for - you guessed it - small groups. Seems that the OST thing emerged as a part of this GA after a contract was set with the convension center and therefore we are not allowed to move chairs out of their rows.
That is why we need OST, right? Because there are so many institutionalized practices keeping us from doing what we know we can and should do. I look forward to seeing what comes from this process.
Will the UUA be able to move their chairs once we deliver innovation, inspiration and new visions to the UUA board? Only if they are smart enough to get up off of them first. But a lot of people seem pretty cozy in those seats. I had a seat once. Actually twice. One was in a closet, the other was in the basement.
Reminds me of this koan.
Master Kyogen said, "It is like a man up a tree who hangs from a branch by his mouth. His hands cannot grasp a bough, his feet cannot touch the tree. Another man comes under the tree and asks him the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West. If he does not answer, he does not meet the questioner's need. If he answers, he will lose his life. At such a time, how should he answer?" *
If you were to write a koan like the above for UUA-congregational situation, what would it be?
After one day at the 2007 General Assembly in Portland it is clear that UU's are ready for UU TV. And I haven't even started filming yet! Can't wait to see what kind of conversations and buzz gets going once I start doing my interviews with people today.
I'm also excited that UU TV in various forms has emerged in several of the OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY sessions. Of the grid of sessions topics being explored the following are included:
- Good News: Media Communication: UU TV?
- One Minute Elevator Speeches on Cable TV
- Dialogue with the World: UU Mass Media
Interested in UU TV? We can make this happen. From inspiring each other to produce more UU video content to organizing what I dream of, an internet based 24/7 UU TV network.
To help get us organized I have started an E-Newsletter for UU supporters and producers of UU video, tv and other mass media. CLICK HERE to sign up. If you have news to share or a project to discuss, get in touch. Have ideas for UU TV? Let me know.
As they say at this GA, NOW is the time. That's the slogan for the UUA's present campaign to grow our faith. They are right, it is time. It is time for us to get serious about sharing our faith, about 21st century communication, and so much more... But folks, its been the time for a long time. Support the UUA and their efforts, but I invite you to join me in forming a community of smart, fast, nimble, skilled, visionary UU's who can make UU TV a reality THIS century.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
In the Fall of 2007 I interviewed the Rev. Glenn Turner, one of the pioneers of our Unitarian Universalist small group ministry movement. This interview was conducted by phone and is now available for sale as an audio CD or may be listened to track by track below (mp3).
Jump to a track
Track 1 Preparing for a revolution
Track 2 Carl George & Meta Church
Track 3 Looking at UUA demography
Track 4 Learning from other group programs
Track 5 The real breakthrough with Calvin Dame and the Augusta, ME congregation
Track 6 Resources and the Rev. Bob Hill
Track 7 From consulting to Thandeka & the CCV
Track 8 Peter Bowden brings it online
Track 9 Facilitators, lay coaches and ministers
Track 10 Outreach, growth and diversity
Track 11 Our groups versus theirs
Track 12 The UUA and what this ministry can accomplish
Track 13 What kind of people are we becoming?
Track 14 The relational church
Track 15 The path to ministry
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
For my final project in film school I am producing a video for newcomers to Unitarian Universalism. Something to the effect of "Discovering Unitarian Universalism" though people in my class call it the "WHat the @% is a Unitarian" video.... These are just working titles. This ~ 10 minute video is being produced for distribution via the web through sites such as YouTube. I'd like it to be available for anyone on earth to post on their website.
I can't go through life as the person who made the purple alien video, right? It is true. When I attended the Mass Bay District conference this year several people went and brought friends over to meet me as "The guy who made that purple alien video." Let me repeat that while I made this video, it was as a test for how viral videos travel. It saddens me that this is one of the top UU videos on the entire internet. At least I'm making up for it.
INTERVIEWS IN PORTLAND
One element of the film will be "street interviews" with people on the street in Portland as well as in my neighborhood(s) -- Boston, MA and Newport, RI. Non UU's will be interview briefly about what they know about Unitarian Universalism.
With an estimated 6,000 UU's attending GA I will be grabbing as many interviews as possible. If you are going to GA and are interested in being interviewed for the "street interview" segment, I invite you to keep an eye out for me @ GA (click here for photo), check this BLOG for related announcements during GA, and/or email me.
NOT GOING TO GA?
Those of you not going to GA, I'll write about how you can help shortly. I'm will be needing to stills of congregational life, congregation exteriors, etc... That and I'll be filming in some congregations in the Boston area.
STAY IN THE LOOP
Want to keep up to date on this project? Subscribe to my e-newsletter.
UU VIDEO WORK
This year I have been working on two television shows, going to film school full time, guest preaching, working with the Youth Group at my wife's congregation and more. Let me say that commuting to Boston is an evil experience and that I've now made up for not having a car while I worked at the UUA. My poor carbon footprint! You can read more about my new and expanded UU video and media work on my website, www.uuplanet.com.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I read the UUWorld.org report on this. It mentions that 60-70 percent of UU seminarians do not attend UU seminaries. While I understand the logic, I hate the idea of not having multiple UU seminaries.
Here's my immediate, albeit late, reaction to this. GROW our movement. INCREASE the number of UUs. Drastically MULTIPLY the number of UU congregations. Move from a binary ministry model - you are or you aren't a minister - to a CONTINUUM of ministry.
I chalk this financial problem up to UU's doing a craptastic job of sharing our faith, sharing ministry and planting new churches. Not that tripling the # of UUs would fix these financial problems, but it wouldn't hurt.
Now, I'd love to check in with Starr King and Meadville Lombard and see what exists in their curricula as far as UU evangelism, church planting, small group ministry, cell ministry, and all those things that would be necessary to build a growth oriented UU ministry.
I don't know what they teach. I would love to find out.
How much of this is a chicken and the egg sort of phenomena? How many seminarians leave our "flagship" UU seminaries and go off and start a new UU congregation? Does our system allow for that? Could anyone afford to do that?
Maybe some brave soul can bring this up in the GA open space technology sessions. The OST question about our role as a faith community in this complex world could easily include a group focusing on how our view of ministry, "lay" ministry empowerment/training, and cultivation of ministers relate to our capacity to minister in this hurting world.
PS - Every time I guest preach and mention Open Space Technology people want to know what kind of gadgets are involved. NONE. It is a process. Not a techno-gizmo.
Blogs and their related technologies are simply ways of letting people give you permission to deliver text, image, audio and video content to them automatically without their needing to surf to your site. Blogs and bog feeds automate content delivery. Take a look at what Mars Hill Chapel is doing. If you look at their "feeds" page you see that all of their content is set up so people can have it delivered to them. Amazing! Announcements served up fresh. That sermon you missed. The sweet sound of the choir...
A confession. My blog-life has been on hold while I'm in film school. Yes, my blogs have been demoted to sporatic on Philocrites guide to UU Blogs. Oh well - just two more months! Then I'll be done and can get on with fusing my TV and UU work. If you liked that little UU alien movie, lookout!
You know the internet is changing everything. It is time for our UU leaders need to know that congregations can use blogs to efficiently and inexpensively tell their story, communicate with friends, members and the larger community, and make congregations of all sizes feel smaller. If you are a UU blogger or blog reader and you have someone going to GA, send them our way!
If you or a rep from your congregation can't make it, I highly recommend the book The Blogging Church by Brian Bailey of Fellowship Church. Though our workshop will cover more ground than just congregational blogs, this book does a fabulous job discussing blogging for congregations and ministers. If you're minister or webmaster has been toying around with a church blog, get this book into their hands. After this read all will realize that blogs are powerful tool for communicating with your community.
If you haven't explored many UU blogs take a look at Philocrites guide to UU Blogs.
Friday 4:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
OCC Oregon Ballroom 204 
#3064 Blogs: A New Generation in Communication
GA Planning Committee Sponsored
Unitarian Universalists are using blogs to share our message with thousands of readers online. What are they saying? A panel of prominent UU bloggers discusses thisexciting new form of public communication and its uses for evangelism, public witness, self-expression, and debate. Learn how you can get involved.
Peter Freedman Bowden
Rev. Christine Robinson
Christopher L. Walton
Suzyn Smith Webb