The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Friday, October 20, 2006

Aided and Abetted by Chutney. . . The Emerson Avenger Mugs Unwelcoming U*Us ;-)

This not so comic strip created by U*U blogger Chutney obviously pokes fun at how rather too many "corpse-cold" Unitarians give the cold-shoulder to newcomers to their so-called “Welcoming Congregations” on any given Sunday. I see that the two U*Us are holding white coffee mugs which brings to mind a U*U “in-joke” that a member of the Beaconsfield aka West Island Unitarian Congregation told me about Montreal U*Us several years ago. I can say with authority that, while I was a member of it, the Unitarian Church of Montreal had a set of green coffee mugs that they encouraged "guests" and newcomers to use so that they could be identified as such and welcomed. The "in-joke" told to me by the member of the Beaconsfield U*U congregation, which presumably arose out of some less than welcoming experiences of members of the closest "neighbor" U*U congregation. . . was that the green mugs were actually intended to help Montreal Unitarians identify who *not* to talk to. . .

I was in the Bay Area in August and visited the San Francisco Unitarian Church. I arrived several minutes late so there was no opportunity to meet any members prior to the start of the service but I can again say with authority that virtually no one bothered to welcome me as a newcomer. I lingered in the sanctuary following the service and no one greeted me. I then ventured out into the hall/lobby where San Francisco U*Us not only did not greet me but even avoided responding to me when I said hello to them. Some avoided eye contact and brusquely brushed past me without so much as a nod. No, I am quite certain that they did not know that I was the dreaded Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger. This was just the typical "welcome" that ANY newcomer could expect in this U*U "Welcoming Congregation".

One San Francisco U*U in the hallway did make a point of greeting me however it was immediately apparent that he was only doing his "job" which was to keep an eye out for any newcomers and make a point of greeting them and solicit them to join the church. He had pamphlets about church membership at hand and, when I asked him what the requirements for membership in the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco were, he showed me where it said that all that one had to do was -

1: meet with the minister

2: make an unspecified financial contribution to the church

and last and probably least. . .

3: sign the membership book

Presumably this San Francisco U*Us "job" was primarily to solicit new memberships however it had the side-effect of allowing everyone else there to studiously ignore and even on occasion brusquely shun any newcomers to their "Welcoming Congregation".

I finally was able to strike up conversation with one or two church members but only as a result of taking the bull by the horns and introducing myself to them. Interestingly enough two or three church goers did later come up and say hello and ask me who I was but, most ironically. . . in the course of my pleasant and even quite long conversations with them it turned out that the very few church goers who had made an effort to greet me were not actually members of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. . .

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm an introvert, and I think that if more than three people came up and introduced themselves to me in one Sunday, it would scare me off.

People are different. Some people want more attention than other people do and some of us are shyer than you are, Robin. Three hellos sounds like a good number to me, whether the people were members or not.

Friday, October 20, 2006 3:11:00 pm  
Blogger indrax said...

It is hard for any group to come across as welcoming without also coming across as creepy. If you put someone in charge of greeting newcomers then it becomes 'their job' but if you don't, then who does it?
Not everyone is cut out for giving tours and explanations. For that matter it can be hard and frightening for a church regular to try to greet a stranger, make the best possible impression, and not give offense.
UU's are very aware that we are a small congregation and need to grow, so representing the denomination to a potential new member is a big responsibility.

This is essentially evangelism, and that is not our strong point.

Friday, October 20, 2006 11:30:00 pm  

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