by Joel Monka
I know that many congregations have sister churches around the world- All Souls, Indianapolis is sistered to Sepsys St George, Transylvania. Wouldn't it make more sense to have sister churches right here in the US? I suspect that I better understand my Transylvanian friends than my fellow UUs in Boston. Why doesn't the UUA facilitate sister church programs throughout the US? Perhaps swap ministers for a week... find out if your issues are shared on the other side of the country? I think we need it; I have spent Sundays in other cities without looking up the local UU church because I wasn't sure how it would go.
For what it's worth, many American UU churches have adopted sister churches in the Gulf Coast region. The church I used to go to has several partners. If you get your church into this idea, I'm certain they would accept another, though.
It may be worth looking at some of the suggetions in the YRUU "JAHNNY DEPP" program for facilitating exchange visits between different district youth communities. Maybe we could also use an adult church version of "JAHNNY DEPP" as well.
Yes, the name is another convoluted and way too clever acronym for "Joining And Helpfully Networking Neighboring YACs District Exchange Program Packet":
In addition to establishing long-term "sister church" relationships, it might also be worthwhile looking at promoting the idea of congregational leaders visiting other UU congregations who could provide potential solutions to problems back at home.
Maybe a UU congregation has an innovative RE program. Perhaps a church looking for RE innovation could have RE leaders visit with them and see their program in action?
Maybe a church has a really good canvass program. Perhaps a church looking for an innnovative canvass program could send leaders there to visit with them and see their programs in action?
The possibilities for creating cooperative lateral networks to help with emergent congregational needs are endless here.
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