How Engaging? UU Commission On Appraisal Report

Peter Tufts Richardson


The long awaited report, Engaging Our Theological Diversity,1 has arrived. I for one wish we could have waited longer! Engage theology we must! Alas, our theological diversity, such as it is, was not engaged by the Commission. There is a good deal of data pushing (Edwin Friedman warned us about this in 1989 as “a form of substance abuse”),2 miscellaneous quotes, feedback, along with an outline and bullet points, but no engaging.

Page one in the introduction, “Framing the Question: What Holds Us Together?” gets us started with a promising quote from two adult GA workshop participants:

I have a vision of the UU movement as interreligious dialogue. As we respectfully share those things of ultimate importance to us we are mutually transformed. This is a model for the rest of the world …

This quote presents a vision—a direction for us to take into our future with a sense of our mission for the world as we do so. Unfortunately, the Commission Report 171 pages later had moved no further along with either a vision or a mission.

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