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I think I know why the UU faith is declining

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
No, they cannot change doctrine but they can declare new doctrine or dogma that is inline with the Church's Traditions.

Can the Church change its doctrines? | Catholic Answers

Popes have been shaping Church Tradition (thats why we have Tradition "and" scripture) for years. When did the Popes stop adding to (not contradicting with) Church tradition? Why do some Catholics feel that Tradition has been around since the Bible? If that is so, why have sacred tradition? What separates it from scripture if it is true everything "comes from" scripture rather than "based off it." This is a good convo for religious debate section.

Wanted to add that in sense what makes
protestant and catholics different is that there is sacres tradition. Its based on the bible ans not all of it is in the bible. Its Catholic teaching. Its not wrong, it is what it is.

Paranoid Android

Active Member
Popes have been shaping Church Tradition (thats why we have Tradition "and" scripture) for years. When did the Popes stop adding to (not contradicting with) Church tradition? Why do some Catholics feel that Tradition has been around since the Bible? If that is so, why have sacred tradition? What separates it from scripture if it is true everything "comes from" scripture rather than "based off it." This is a good convo for religious debate section.

Wanted to add that in sense what makes
protestant and catholics different is that there is sacres tradition. Its based on the bible ans not all of it is in the bible. Its Catholic teaching. Its not wrong, it is what it is.[/QUOTE

I believe UU is losing people because they have a faith for everyone. As they try to attract people that aren't religious and don't have a spiritual bone in there body, they will lose more. The way to keep people is to stick to doctrine even is they kill you for it.

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
You have a point. I notice more that UUs are a church of people who have fallen from or reject organized religions. Id say its increasing because more people feel they still need a spiritual environment lacking the dogma. Every UU service I went to talks against the Church, religion, or similar.

Its a combination of two denominations. Unitarians believe in a creator but reject the trinity. Universalist felt everyone is good in the creators eyes.

Kinda keeping it good for both sides in one church, i guess.

Also, thry have a lot of social ministries that other churches dont promote.

(Dont see the connection between the post you quoted from, though)

Paranoid Android

Active Member
You must be FIRM in creating a spiritual culture. I, for example, have bene hectored, etc. People feel they KNOW what God would do. But I don't care whether Dementheology has 1,000 followers or one. Because it is the Truth. If you are unsure, or you attempt to please everyone, you will not please Who really matters-GOD.
You have firm beliefs to create the spiritual culture you want to see. What type of person do you want out of the spiritual culture you began ? I want people who obey the laws and frankly, are informed about Disability History and k now not to NECESSARILY trust Squares . Are Squares evil ? No. Are they given to wrong deeds because of Satan ? Yes. You have to envision your spiritual society accomplishing it's goals. What does Dementheology want ? We want universal pacifism and the accomplishment of our Long Term Goals. Envision, envision !!
So what does UU spiritual culture want ? What are UU spiritual culture want to accomplish ? Conceive, perceive, ACHEIVE !! Maybe the UU needs to return or look at it's spiritual culture and decide what they WANT.


Well-Known Member
Its weird Ive seen other threads about this same topic too, it must be happening alll over EXCEPT for Dallas Tx. My personal Pagan UU church use to have about 20 to 25 people now if we do a full moon services its like somewhere around 40 or 50 people and that many when we have partys too.

We still have about 25 on a Sunday but on different celebrations it goes way up and weve had goo participation in classes too.

I know downtown Dallas UU told me last week they have about 11 or 1200 attend on any Sunday and they have many singles groups and a bunch of classes and are very involved and have a lot of people participating, if you just look at their calendar,theyve got a ton of stuff going on over there and we have a big UU in Oak Cliff too.

Our UUs are booming, I mean people are getting our participating taking classes and attending service so.


Well-Known Member
Another idea I've always thought would be a good one for the UU is to add some liturgical flair. Just because the UU is very open and diverse theologically doesn't mean they can't have a liturgy like a Roman Catholic or Episcopalian parish would, but, in practice, they usually don't.

For example, many Christians churches have liturgical seasons that correspond to certain themes and colors. For example, for 40-45 days starting with Ash Wednesday and leading into Easter, there is a time period called Lent where all the clothes and decorations at the altar are purple, and the priests or ministers dress in purple robes. Then there's about 7 weeks of Easter, where everything is white and gold. Every day of the year is part of some liturgical season.

What if the UU did something similar, but taking themes from nature? From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the ministers could be dressed and the churches could be decorated in yellow for summer and the sun. After Labor Day through the end of November, brown for fall. December 1 through the end of February, white for winter. March 1-Memorial Day, green for spring. I'm giving traditional cultural and climatological dates for the season changes, but the equinoxes could be used as well.

There could even be general themes to the services during each season. Maybe environment and nature during spring with the green, etc..

Ours is Pagan and ours is growing and getting bigger, we wont have anything to do with that Christian liturgy stuff nope!Were Pagan and were growing!
Also, things like incense could be used. Young adults love incense these days.

Give the services more of a sense of timelessness and mystery, like the ancient pagan temples or the Catholic mass or whatever.

Have a set order of services that's consistent from week to week with set wording and call and response ala the Christian with some mysterious wording. Add some Latin, Hebrew, whatever. What's that universal language people tried to make up and implement a century or two ago? That could be used. Whatever.

It's just personal preference, but I like to have a little bit of a sense of mystery and timelessness and changing of the seasons and familiarity of liturgy with my religious-type stuff.

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
Carlita our church is Pagan so we believe in all the Gods and Godesses.

Nice. We have group/districs like the one for our MD/VA/DC area. Little meetings. Only one UU church I know has pagan celebrations. If it were not weekeds, Id attend. Its good you have that fellowship.


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I've off and on went to a UU congregation, and the one thing I noticed, that like many churches of many other religions, the age group of 18-29 is eerily absent. I think it's a generational thing that has caused such a huge hit to church attendance across all religions, linked to the "nones", those not religious yet not really self-identifying agnostics or atheists.

Single Steps

New Member
I have a personal story to share about my recent visit to a UU service.

I do not presume to know if or why "UU faith is dying," but perhaps my experience may offer insight to those whose hearts are closer to the matter.

I would first wish to express gratitude UUs for having me! The conviction of "radical hospitality" was sincerely felt and appreciated. The person wearing the "greeter" tag was kind of pushy asking me 'what made you decide to come here,' which seems like a long and personal conversation to have while standing in line...but a similar conversation was able to flow more naturally while seated in the fellowship area over a cup of coffee and snacks. (Yum!)

My girlfriend and I had a fabulous chat with a congregant. She didn't tip off any label of her personal beliefs, but shared that she wanted to bring her kids to a place of spiritual discussion that refuted the 'hellfire/brimstone' assertions that had been planted in them by their mainstream Christian friends. We were joined by another congregant who was identified as a Jew. Fabulous! So far, so good. A young lady (young teens?) came and asked us if we'd like to attend their film festival after the service--the kids has scripted, produced, and starred in their own version of a Star Trek adventure! (Still regret missing that, but didn't know about it in time to schedule it in that Sunday.)

I have been peripherally aware Unitarian Universalism for many years, although my understanding of the contextual etymology of the term and the faith was sorely lacking. I did not realize that both parts of this composite were (in context) of Christian theological descent. (As I'm sure is true of many of those reading, my personal experience with mainstream Christianity of its day in some formative years was less than positive.)

While I expected to meet and be surrounded by many non-Christians...and so I was...I was a little surprised at how "Christian" the spiritual side of the service felt. The service was replete with hymns of familiar pace and meter of other Christian services I had attended. There were English 'chants' that filled up the pews that were low and powerful. (Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounded a little like the Borg talk inside their cubes.) The audial aesthetic was familiar to me in an unpleasant way---which admittedly may be entirely owed to my lifelong trepidation and suspicion of all things Christian. I don't hold any fervent ire for Christianity any longer, and anyway the worst of my gripes with Christian services I remember I haven't seen in any occasional visits I've made in the past couple of decades. They have come a long way, haven't they?

In those decades, my path of spiritual discovery has been more on the Asian side of the fence, so maybe my old prejudices toward Western ways are still lurking in my nervous system. I say that to mean I don't criticize or blame the UU service I attended for doing anything 'less than' or 'wrong.' I just identify different sights and sounds with spiritual stimulation over that which visually and musically seems indistinguishable from an average Protestant service. I would be interested to give it more of a chance just to see where my discomfort comes from and if it would fade...if the UU scene otherwise felt like it was fitting.

The woman in a black robe and rainbow sash conducting the service first ran through some announcements, including a great share regarding the loan of a building to a Seventh-Day Adventist church in need. She read a gracious thank-you letter by their pastor. She concluded "We don't have to believe alike to love alike." Amen. She reached me. I was more at ease.

She told a parable of a UU figure to the kids rounded up on the steps to the alter. After those kids departed to for their class, she continued on the same theme for a more adult audience.

The subject turned to mentioning the ills of the world. She used some slides during her pitch, and during this stretch she showed 3 to drive home the emotional point of the problem of evil: A topical news photo of a destitute young Syrian refuge boy. Then another scene depicting Boko Horum hostages.

Then a picture of an armed belonging to a police officer, gun drawn and aimed inside a car window.

Her comment was "and the evil here at home."

Now the inference was crystal clear...an audio-visual affirmation of the assertion unarmed black Americans are wantonly targeted and murdered by police officers on an epidemic scale.

This reverend who had successfully reached me, lost me.

Without diving into a political discussion or debate---the spiritual lesson she was trying to make was lost by a Politically Dividing message. I understand that most UUs are politically liberal. I am socially liberal enough to want to check out the UUs. But as someone with a more moderate/conservative perspective on this political issue she needlessly invoked, I no longer felt welcome. It felt like a unspoken assumption of "the body" that this perspective was The Ethically Correct one, completely, logically, discerned from her "spiritual" wisdom.

During the rest of her sermon, I debated with myself if I was being too reactive and self-important. My intuition was weighing on how accepting of me, a moderate Republican, the UU pulpit would be. Maybe I should cut her some slack, and give her another chance.

By the time the sermon was hitting its climax, all in the congregation were asked to tell someone adjacent to them "I love you, and I want you to be clean." It was relevant to the sermon, honest...but it was still creeping me out. The entire 'obey the reverend' to speak something that aren't my words takes me back to a place of personal discomfort. Not a spiritual experience for me.

So we leave after the service. I get on the internet again and look more into what the UU community advertises of itself online.

And of course most of you already know what I find. Money that I put into the basket in church is something I should expect to be going to fuel politically controversial stuff. There's more letters after LGB nowadays than I am comfortable blindly "supporting." (I have a gay sibling, and I'm thrilled to death she is legally married. Do I think Anyone who hasn't cleared medical and psychological screening to actually surgically change genders are entitled to pick any restroom of their choosing? No, and I don't relish the idea of my church basket money going to the effort to make that sentiment law.) And of course a slew of smiling white faces posing behind a banner of "Black Lives Matter."

Of course they do, and I'm not against a range of raised expectations of law enforcement procedures to help them be accountable to all citizens. But there're more sides to this issue, and all the 'evil' is not just on a single side of it.

Why are my political opinions relevant to this post? Because UU Makes them so. If I try to stick it out in a UU congregation, I'd have to be very judicious about what I can contribute to and what I can't out of political conscience. My participation in an "active" church means going in a direction different than my (awfully open-minded)

Why didn't this Reverend know she had best couple that picture of a police officer with a drawn weapon WITH a picture of the Dallas sniper shootings of innocent policemen and women? Just for the sake of NOT needlessly dividing your audience with an issue unrelated to the sermon anyway? A strong visual deserves just as strong a visual that this is a Spiritually complex issue--not a simplistic, binary one.

I searched inside of myself, and realized that I Expect that degree of care and inclusivity out of a spiritual teacher. I'm not wrong to expect higher standards of a professional spiritual leader. The lesson of the day was a good one. She did a good job with it. But her decision to tantalize the congregation's political hackles was telling. UU's internet presence confirmed it wasn't just a misunderstanding. It's what UU does. Provocative Political Liberalism. It's apparently more important than attracting syncretic seekers like myself to UU.

So even though I'm an open-minded guy on spiritual matters (and darn near all political ones, too) I seem forced to conclude that I'm in the wrong place at UU.

Very best wishes and respects to UU folks. You're very kind to have read and considered my long-winded tale. There's no hardness of heart on my end, and I hope I didn't inspire any on yours. May your path be blessed.


Well-Known Member
Well now hold there with the last statement you made. I do stand with Black lives matter but however its not neccesary to be liberal or take any side in that to go, weve had conservatives including my ex boyfriend Robert and me to some extent, I leans towards liberal but he was a conservative Libertarian and I'm liberal libertarian. But I don't give my money to democrats and not all our money goes to that. big portion of my churches money my church who is Pagan UU church goes to animal rights, the spca that type of thing. I wouldve ran out the door with the Christian hymms, geez that must be a Christian UU church yuck! Ive had issues with our churches leadership here of late but now that youve said that mine doesnt look so bad. Yikes. Mine is not christian no weve conservatives there too, were Pagans were not christians.


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I actually kind of agree with @Single Steps in principle. It's why I don't go a terrible much anymore. I don't agree with all the positions that have been talked about there, and honestly I feel politics should stay out of the sermon. Yes, the guiding principles of a church can lead to a position, but that should be one that the each individual comes to on their own. Not every position that the left has is actually liberal, so to speak. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to go to UU and hear about Black Lives Matter when I myself have some very serious criticisms of it, even if I agree with a lot of what it says. It seemed too much like a presumption of blind support.
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