The Orlando Platform

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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One thought on “The Orlando Platform”

  1. 4 comments recovered (2 lost):

    Scott Wells says:
    February 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    I was going to blog about it but didn’t find much there except a misplaced, heroic read of the history and something to give those fearful of a power grab something to crow about. So I declined to blog.

    Bill Baar says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm
    It’s a big platform… I’ll try and read this weekend. My reservation was big UUA is pretty distant from me, and they tend to come up with campaigns like “standing on the side of love” that make UUs seem awfully smug. My district is close, reachable, has helped my Church in the past, and they don’t do silly campaigns. So yes, my district is close and UUA’s more distant than Rome.

    Chris Walton says:
    February 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm
    Dan, there’s some background on the Orlando Platform in UU World’s Dec. 13 report on the meeting of the four southern districts:

    Jean says:
    February 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm
    Ugh. Just a glance at this long thing, and it’s so much like the strategic planning and mission differentiation and branding and you name it documents that we do in academia and … well … once again I just don’t want anything to do with UUism. This sounds so much like work, and nothing like issues of spirituality or faith or the larger questions that really matter. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

    I think I shall go commune with nature, my horse, my dog, my cat, the endless acres of snow. Much more rewarding.

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