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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Do Unitarian Universalists And UUA Leaders aka Brave U*U Souls Dare To Compare Their *Real* 2014 UUA Membership Statistics With Other Liberal Denominations?

In a recent 'Growing Unitarian Universalism' blog post dated June 10, 2014, and entitled 'How Do We Compare' the UUA's growth strategist Tandi Rogers, and the UUA's director of growth strategies Rev. Stefan Jonasson, come to the Big Fat U*U CONCLUSION that -

"Unitarian Universalism is growing in comparison to Liberal and Mainline Protestant traditions"

They come to this rather questionable CONCLUSION as a result of comparing the publicly available membership statistics of certain Liberal and Mainline Protestant traditions such as the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the United Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian Church USA. The chart that they produced is reproduced below. I expect that it will be used during the 2014 UUA GA in Providence Rhode Island to try to bambU*Uzle dim-witted U*U GA delegates into believing that Unitarian Universalism is somehow growing when it is doing no such thing.



What this carefully contrived chart of membership statistics *really* shows is that Unitarian Universalism is not declining quite as rapidly as some of the other "more liberal" denominations in America, and even that conclusion may well be belied by the most recent UUA membership statistics that have yet to be made public by the UUA. This contrived chart and its CONCLUSION in NO way means that Unitarian Universalism is actually experiencing any real and tangible growth as these two self-interested UUA bureaucrats, whose Office of Growth Strategies is supposed to ensure the "strategic mobilization of resources, purpose, and partnerships to grow current and future Unitarian Universalist congregations and beyond", would like to have U*Us believe.

There are several highly questionable aspects of the claims being made by UUA growth strategist Tandi Rogers, and the UUA's director of growth strategies Rev. Stefan Jonasson in this blog post. For example the chart claims to be presenting "reliable statistics" that "go from 1996-2012, a 16 year span" yet the chart only displays statistics up to 2009. If we use "reliable statistics" that actually do go to 2012, the picture is somewhat different, even if the misleading CONCLUSION remains the same.

But why does this official UUA chart only provide "reliable statistics" that "go from 1996-2012" when the UUA, and its "less than honest" Office of Growth Strategies, have "reliable statistics" that are as up-to-date as the first quarter or even second quarter of 2014 at their disposal?

Reliable statistics like the most recent Data Services data about Non-Certified Congregations by Region / District which shows that no less than 52 UUA congregations have NOT recertified their membership in the UUA.

Reliable statistics like the most recent Data Services List of Congregations That Submitted Membership Numbers which shows that only 991 UUA congregations have actually recertified their membership in the UUA.

Even if we deem that the 52 UUA congregations who have not yet re-certified their membership in the UUA, more than 4 months after the deadline to do so expired, are none-the-less still member congregations of the UUA, as the UUA apparently does, we are left with a UUA that currently has only 1043 congregations. This number is still higher than than the 2009 figures provided, but the question remains, does the UUA actually have more than the 991 UUA congregations that re-certified their membership this year, or is it possible, even probable, that many if not most of the 52 congregations that did not re-certify will not do so for one reason or another?

What are the current UUA adult membership numbers for 2014 for the 991 certified congregations and the 52 NOT-certified congregations?

A recent UU World report says -

"The UUA's latest membership figures count 154,707 members in 1,024 congregations in the United States, a decline of 1.2 percent from last year. Another 3,479 members belong to 23 congregations in other countries, for a total of 158,186 members in 1,047 congregations worldwide. Children's religious education enrollment dropped 4.6 percent last year in the U.S., to 49,191."

but even these figures seem to be last year's membership figures, rather than this year's membership figures, in that at the time the report was published in the UU World, the UUA would have had 1043 congregations at best. . .

Why is the UUA's office of Growth Strategies presenting a chart that shows UUA membership statistics that are no more recent than 2009, when it has "reliable statistics" for UUA membership that are half a decade more up-to-date at its disposal?

Here is the comment that I posted in response to this highly misleading Growing Unitarian Universalism blog post of the UUA's Office of Growth Strategies. No doubt it will be "memory holed" as soon as a blog administrator sees it -

Those UUA membership figures are now about half a decade out of date. The Spring 2014 issue of UU World magazine reported that -

"The UUA's latest membership figures count 154,707 members in 1,024 congregations in the United States..."

and there is some evidence which suggests that those UUA adult membership figures may well be somewhat inflated. No less than 51 UUA congregations have yet to re-certify their membership in the UUA more than four months after the February 2014 deadline for re-certification. Even if these adult membership figures are taken taken at face value, it would appear that the UUA suffered a net loss of almost 10,000 adult members within the last five years.

The net loss of RE enrollments is even more dramatic.

In spite of all the talk about growth Unitarian Universalism is clearly in decline in North America. If I remember correctly UUA President Peter Morales ran on a platform of promising to transform UUism from what he termed "a tiny, declining, fringe religion" into "THE religion for our time." I think we can safely say that 6 years into his de facto 8 year term as UUA President Peter Morales has FAILed miserably to deliver on that now quite evidently empty promise.

Update - Sunday June 22, 2014:

Somewhat surprisingly the above comment has yet to be "memory holed" by the administrators of the UUA Office of Growth Strategies' 'Growing Unitarian Universalism' blog. It will be interesting to see if my comment survives into the beginning of next week, but I expect that it will be deleted by Monday if not earlier.



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