The merger was a bold experiment, equal parts vision and economic necessity. After 45 years of work, fun, and toil, it has run its course. Neither Unitarianism nor Universalism anymore, Unitarian-Universalism has become a rudderless, parochial, and shrinking movement saddled with a name like a mouth full of marbles. It lurches on mainly through the force of institutional inertia, hemmoraging members born into the church and primarily providing converts a battleground for pitched fights between Humanists and Christians, Christians and Pagans, Pagans and Humanists, anti-racists and non-racists, Sunday service adults and circle worship youth, etc. Unlike 1961, there are now many mainstream choices for liberal theists, and there are strong and growing communities of Pagans, Buddhists, and other traditions who once needed the shelter of our accepting eaves. Other denominations ordain women, sanctify gay marriages, oppose racism, provide services to the poor, and recognize the beauty of human diversity. The need for Unitarian-Universalism simply isn't apparent anymore.
Instead, let the two faiths part ways with a kiss and a handshake, and let the Church of the Free Mind and the Church of All Souls be reborn. Apart, each can concentrate on honing their unique messages and find once again the particular spiritual and intellectual resources that made each tradition a force of reason, love, and justice in American religious history. Rather than reaching for "all things for all people" and grasping little to nothing instead, return the Unitarian and Universalist denominations to their natural tracks and let them find renewed strength through healthy competition and streamlined bureacracy and theology.