Posts Tagged ‘DiscoverUU’

Part 2 of 2: “Oh, I went there!”

February 3, 2008

“Oh, I went there!” is Part 2 of a two part posting. Click here for Part 1: “What have we done?”

Aaron Sawyer

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Today I am asking you to help realize the DiscoverUU vision by donating to our promotional fund.

Our goals are far from the dirtied term ‘evangelism’.  We must remember that UU is an outside-the-box religion with a misleading name and a confusing creedless format. It is our duty to inform people about the UU option. I hold that most people likely to associate themselves with UU do not even know it exists.

Liberal political blogs are the best place to find our key demographic.

Promotions by liberal groups within the liberal blogosphere have proven to be VERY effective because the reach their key demographic inside their trusted communities where they are hungrily browsing available links and feeding off each other’s ideas.

These internet promotions can be placed on the top web sites for one week at a cost of about $4,000 and represent almost 3 million viewings. Three million viewings.

That’s about 15,000 views in the key demographic for every tax-deductible donation of $20. It can’t be beat.

$20 lets you present Unitarian Universalism to more people than you will probably ever speak to for the rest of your life.

$20 to feed a young living community comprised of some of the best ministers and leaders UU has to offer

$20 that provides the spiritual food that could grow America’s next Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alexander Graham Bell, or Susan B Anthony.

$20 is a bargain, folks.

Those that can offer more, should offer more. I would like to run internet ads year-round, but we’ll need $208,000 for that. I know it sounds like a lot, but IT CAN BE DONE.

And I’m going to throw down the gauntlet here:

I dare say that if UU’s had a different message, an ignorant, hateful, and fear-mongering message, WE WOULD HAVE OUR MONEY.

“Oh, I went there!”

Our principles matter. Period.

So in the spirit of Unitarian Universalists’ great leaders, if you’re serious about advancing the liberal perspective on the multitude of issues Unitarian Universalism has advanced throughout time- grass roots issues like global warming, and environmental protection… like women’s rights, homosexual rights, civil rights… Fair trade and labor rights.

If you long for the kinds of leaders Unitarian Universalism has offered in the past,

THIS is how you plant those seeds, THIS is how you strengthen those roots, and THIS is how you provide the spiritual food that is required to fight the poisons of hatred, bigotry, and corporate greed.

The spiritual aspect of these issues provides the strength, the backbone, and the right frame of mind to heal this divided world.

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Ultimately, DiscoverUU is not about policies or politics; it’s about the living spiritual journey of Unitarian Universalism and its collective and responsible search for truth and meaning

Please visit regularly. Tell a friend. Listen to sermons. Comment on blog postings, and become a part of a word-wide living community of Unitarian Universalists.

Part 1 of 2: Just what have we done?

January 30, 2008

“Just what have we done?” is Part 1 of a two part posting. Tune in later for Part 2 of 2: “Oh, I went there”

Aaron Sawyer

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Just what have we done?

DiscoverUU.com is a nonprofit web site providing a liberal spiritual presence to the liberal political movement already alive online.

DiscoverUU uses the proven format of The Huffington Post, one of the most successful liberal news blog sites ever created, to provide a living community for spiritual liberals. It features blog posts from UU’s best ministers and bloggers, sermon podcasts, and regular UU News. This living community updates the site daily, encouraging visitors to check in regularly, and incorporate UUism as part of their daily lives.

Newcomers to the site are presented with the appeal of a live, casual, interactive dialogue of UUism, which more accurately presents the spirit of UUism and its “responsible search for truth and meaning” than stuffy, stagnant, theological or historical presentations.

DiscoverUU’s goal is to EDUCATE a young, ready, liberal community

FIRST Our goal is to attract new visitors in the hopes that they will begin to self-identify as UU’s.

That’s the ball game, right there.

Do you agree with the Seven Principles?

Yes?

Consider yourself a UU. Yeah, you’re still a Agnostic, Buddhist, Christian, Deist, Evangelist, Friend, or whatever… (That was fun!) But you’re also a UU, and from now on, incorporating those cool ideas you’ve discovered in other religions is no longer taboo- it’s celebrated.

SECOND, as these intelligent, liberal, newly self-identified UUs begin to grow older and have children, DiscoverUU will help them seek out local UU churches to envision their ideals, raise their family, and develop community.

And THIRD, DiscoverUU would like to help coordinate charitable efforts, because THAT is the only REAL presence any church has at the community level, by going out and doing good works.

This is the vision.

Just what have we done? We have created a fun and informative way to promote our values and introduce UUism to our friends to a community of spiritual leaders.

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Tune in next time for Part 2 of 2: “Oh, I went there!”

And I really AM gonna go there.

The launch! We’re out of bandwidth! Oh my!

January 23, 2008

Wow, it’s been really great to hear from my web master that we’ve exceeded the bandwidth I’ve purchased for the site! I’ll continue to throw money at the problem for now. *wink

Thank you everyone who’s visited. I hope the page is something you’ll want to check with daily. There are frequent updates as news occurs and bloggers post new material throughout the day. I am personally amazed at the quality of the blog posts in terms of being A) fun to read B) well-written and C) informative.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the site in general. If there’s anything you really wished as included in the site, or something that you think would really improve the experience.

Email me at moderator@discoveruu.com

Please get in the habit of commenting on blog posts you enjoy or that moved you in some way. As the UU blog community continues to grow and thrive, your feedback is an important part of the blogging experience. Respectful comments always, please. (not to say you can’t get a little snarky at times!)

Have fun!

If you control a church website or have a blog of your own, please feel free to ad the DiscoverUU banner to your site (below).

-Aaron Sawyer

DiscoverUU Moderator

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It’s a UU Bake-Off!

January 15, 2008

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Universalists are often asked where they stand. The only true answer to give to this question is that we do not stand at all, we move.“- Unitarian Universalist Minister, Lewis Beals Fisher

After the holidays, I’ve clearly still got food on the brain.

UUism is a flavor. A sensation you can roll over your tongue. It might be difficult to describe the ingredients, but for those who have tried it, identifying UUism is as easy as apple pie. So stop making up invisible rules and algebraic functions trying to exclude people from UUism. This is one of the most inclusive spiritual expressions on the planet.

You see, I recently cooked up an advertisement for Unitarian Universalism listing famous UU’s. (click here for a taste). This ad has generated some controversy about who should and should not be called a Unitarian and/or Universalist, namely, whether Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin belong on this list.

Here is the main ingredient to the “Famous UU” controversy: church membership.

Some say we can only list those with official Unitarian and/or Universalist church membership. Others say membership must be constrained to only official members after the two churches merged in 1961.Slow down Joe McCarthy! I’m talking about theological beliefs here, not membership rosters. The UU idea is so much bigger than names on a list. It’s just not an accurate depiction of the healthy UU movement to limit our concept of UUism in such a way.

A better way to find UU’s is to see if the person has laid out a clear theological position that embodies the UU spirit. Jefferson did that. (Click here) So did Franklin. (And here.) And so did a whole host of famous intellectuals, artists, and social leaders. Even if we use the most conservative definitions of Unitarianism or Universalism, many more people will fall into the UU food group.

The UUism of today is an ever-evolving and theologically expanding movement. Yet the UU flavor is as clear, just like an apple pie is an apple pie with or without raisins. Heck, who even needs the apples? I love pie! I’ll take them all. And why don’t we let in the strudels and tarts too. So long as other religions are serving their parishioners hot dogs and rump roast, one pastry is as good as another in my book.

As Unitarians, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were master chefs, and I am proud to have them as a part of our spiritual heritage.

Tired of having my food metaphor shoved down your throat?

The point is many like-minded people have never heard of Unitarian Universalism, yet they have a compatible spiritual diet. I want to help them find the words for what their putting in their mouths. Martin Luther King Jr. apparently considered Unitarian Universalism, but gave up the idea because he could “could never build a mass movement of black people if we were Unitarian.”

This has to stop. UUism is the best and most appropriate vehicle for the spiritual expression of compassionate and liberal ideals. If Barack Obama is any indication, the world is starving for a message of peace, hope, and unity.

Let’s get cooking.

My favorite UU recipe is a simple one: start with a liberal belief system spread over a layer of good works; top with love and respect; ad world religions to spice.

So gather your ingredients, find your favorite recipes, and share it with others.

Consider DiscoverUU.com your spiritual bake-off!