Beyond Congregations, Beyond Facebook: Missional Social Media?

TL;DNR Version: I want to create a virtual space to act as a meeting hall for some serious work in theology and mission. We recognize that the culture of Unitarian Universalism is not representing the 7 Principles in the way that I hear them discussed in small groups and on personal blogs. Western Religion has always been about answers; how can we thrive as a religion about questions and the individual search for personal truth and meaning?

First, a paragraph of metablogging for my few regular readers: I’ve got a fairly large number of posts that I’ve been working on. I think I’ve even got an idea to push myself to write more. I’m going to try a loose schedule, where I post something essentially UU related on Thursdays, and also something on Mondays that is personal, but not directly UU.

Today, I am writing something completely new to put forth my idea for a Unitarian Universalist Social Media platform. The idea is to mirror some of the work that is being done on other social media, but in a place that is devoted to UUs and not clogged with everyone else’s friends, ads, and games. I want a place where people can come and focus on being part of a larger movement. I want a place where we can support each other, discuss crazy ideas, and not fear judgement and ridicule for wanting to speak radically about our faith.

I’ve been looking at Ning. I was part of a Ning community before they discontinued their free service. (I left that community, and not because of anything wrong with Ning.) I have a friend from college who works for them now, and I feel that they have some good features I would like to take advantage of. Looking over their features, I’ve had ideas for how they could be used to support a movement within our movement to encourage leadership and innovative expressions of faith.I’m not sold on Ning, completely, but he features list has actually been inspirational.

I know that there are already dozens of FB groups and pages; I helped spawn a couple and administer one neglected page myself. I know that there are already hundreds of UUs invested in personal blogs and Twitter ministries. I know that the Church of the Larger Fellowship already offers worship and community to those without a brick and mortar church. I also know that there are many who are not happy with those options, or who could do more if there were a safe place to work. I know more than one blogger who has to conceal their identity in order to voice their opinions and faith. I would like to provide a place where we can fellowship with these pseudonymous UUs.

We have the ability to gather the hundreds of voices crying out for change, longing for direct action over repetitious protests. We can support each other in our personal ministries and efforts at intentionally living out our Principles. Technology allows those of us with the inclination and ability to work together to build momentum, and hopefully effect real change in how UUs see our religion, and how we share it with the world. How might we use it best to bring about the Beloved Community?

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2 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on BSynchronicity and commented:
    I’m willing to help you in any way I can, as much as I can. I’m an individual that’s often too sick/too much pain to physically show up. I would love and be so grateful for an online church welcoming community.

    • What I have in mind is not quite a church, but a community that will span as many congregations as we can. I do want it to be governed, first and foremost, by the 7 Principles, as much as it is possible. True Democracy will have to wait until we’re really up and running, but other than that, I think an on-line community can work with those ideals as a foundation.

      That said, the help I need first is know how people think the site might be used, and knowing that it will be used to do something good. There is an investment of time and money that will go into establishing it, and I want to be as on-target with those investments as I can.

      So, how could a UU focused Social Media site help you, your community, our movement, or the world? Any ideas will be appreciated.

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