This morning, I was chatting on the phone with Paul Boothby, Unitarian Universalist minister in Lynchburg, Virginia, and I gave him a quick sketch of what’s been going on here in the Pacific Central District. Paul asked if I had read the Orlando Platform yet. I hadn’t, and didn’t know what it was. He told me that the four districts in the southeastern United States got together to talk about how congregations could work together better, hold each other mutually accountable to the mission and goals of the association of Unitarian Universalist congregations. “It’s not a perfect document,” he said, “but I think you’ll find it very thought-provoking.”
I’m reading it now, and I am finding that it’s provoking thought. I was particularly struck by this paragraph:
Lines of communication, though not broken, need much improvement. District boards need to talk with and listen to our members, our congregations, our ministers, affiliated organizations, district and UUA staff, other district boards and the UUA Board of Trustees. Moreover, our members and member congregations need to talk and listen to each other, their district boards, district and UUA staff and the UUA Board of Trustees. We believe that these communication issues have led, in some part, to a breakdown of trust which needs to be healed so that collectively we can move forward, grow our impact in the global community and get on with the work of our faith: nurturing spirits and healing the world.
That sounds familiar! — it is certainly one of the key issues I have noticed here in Pacific Central District.
I’m still reading through the Orlando Platform, and would love to hear from anyone who has spent some time thinking about it. What do you feel are its strengths and weaknesses?
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