Monday, April 28, 2008

The recent UU Blog discussions.....

Ok folks, the recent UU Blog discussions are about the ex-Independent Affiliates and the de-funding of the National UU Youth programs.

Jess's Journal does a nice post on her initial feelings about the National UU Youth Program.
this sums up my own feelings so well, that I dont even have to. As I stated there, I almost wish she will turn her post around and explain why the National Cons are good for both individuals and the UU as a group. Because that's what I really would like to hear - yes, I'm a do gooder and I like to think organizations that I belong to, do good.
But all missionary work (and that's what the National UU Youth Program is) has to convince the donors that it's doing the job it was intended to. Or at least, trying hard to do the job it was intended to. And if the program is worth doing, and has lots of support, why aren't people doing fund raising right now? Saying - "if the National UUA doesnt fund it, then we will, because it is worth saving and worth doing". Why isn't this being done?

I'm a member of some of the former independent affiliates. This year, like last year, I paid my dues and looked at and bought books and nicknacks from them. If these former affiliates send a fund-raising letter to me, I would toss in a (small) check, because the work they do is important to me. Would I like it, if the UUA would restore the privileges to my favorite IAs that membership had for them? Sure. I like the UUA to fund them as well, and let me win the lottery so I dont have to work anymore, while you're at it. But each dollar spent on something means you dont have a dollar for something else. So when I support the UUHS, this means that I have to do without something else-no eating out, no good wine, no Rocky and Bullwinkle DVDs.
I personally feel that the Board was too sweeping when they removed virtually all the IAs. I know they were expecting some of them to unite in common ground, but that hasnt happened. On the other hand, the sky hasnt fallen on the ex-IAs either. Most or all still exist - even a full year after the cut. And i admit that I supported some cuts - but I know I couldnt say where to draw the line....
I dont have much vested in these issues. Or do I? I'm at least putting a little money where my loud mouth is. If these issues mean something to you, I hope you will do the same.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Charity Begins

As mentioned below, I now have more money. and part of what I was going to do with to save - (I have just a decade before retirement!) and increase my charitable contributions. I had planned to just increase the charities I contribute to now: various Unitarian Universalist, Universalist, and Environmental groups. But I decided to start with a semi-charity Kiva. Kiva is a group that provides loans to loan groups in countries that loan to poor folks who need loans for their business.
the loaner and the loanee make money. Kiva and you (the contributor) don't - although if you are lucky you get your money back. So you can loan it to someone else.
Interest rates can be high (but my credit cards were higher than the one Im loaning to), so not a perfect plan - but seems reasonably fair. Apparently a lot cheaper than the usual loans - and a lot cheaper than the payday loans people here in the USA.
see my link to the right, or go to
make sure you read their FAQs -

Friday, April 25, 2008

just a short note about my now being debt free

I have been grumpy about UU stuff on other's blogs, but not here. This is because I'm saving the nice stuff for my own blog. You can call me Mr. Knucklehead elsewhere, but here I am Mr. Sunshine.
and what is it that has made me Mr. Sunshine? ah, those of you reading the title above know the answer: I am debt free!
after being in debt for 12 years! (actually longer if you include student loans - so we'll say 22 years!), I am debt free. For the past 8 years, I have been putting aside 1/3 of my income to reduce debt load. and finally I am here ! Just in time to go on vacation !
Sometime in the early Summer, I will have to see what to do with the "extra" dough, but as of now - I see 1/3 (of the 1/3) going to help a family member reduce her debt; 1/3 going to savings, and 1/3 going to charities - it is about time to start tithing again isnt it?

(oh and folks, have a better plan for graduate school and divorce living, OK?)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Are We Congregationalists or Episcopalians? (1923 version)

I found this a very interesting take on 2008 UUA as well as the 1923 UCA.....

Rev Stanley Manning was the director of the Universalist Church's Young Person's department back in 1923 , and among other things, he wrote a weekly coloumn for the weekly denominational paper, THE UNIVERSALIST HERALD. In a column in early June, he wrote that the depression in Georgia was forcing Universalist ministers to move north, as the local churches couldn't afford to pay them a living wage. He suggested that they do something about this.

++++++++++++++++++June 23, 1923
The article published two weeks ago on this page and entitled "S.O.S" has let to some rather interesting "Comebacks."
Some have said, "That's the thing; we must help." Others have said, "This is something for the General convention to undertake." Still others, and the great majority, have said nothing.
The Director of Young People's Work has no desire to press this matter except to bring to the attention of the Church the fact that here is a problem whih our brothers and sisters in the South can not solve without our, at least temporary, help.

These "Comebacks" are illustrative of two different types of mind among us. The congregational mind utilizes a denominational organization only for doing those larger taks which are beyond the possibilities of a local church. It feels perfectly free to undertake any sort of enterprise on its own responsibility, without consulting "the men higher up."
The episcopalian (or presbyterian) mind awaits the initiative of the larger organization, and then undertakes to perform the task assigned.
There are advantages in each, but success depends upon a different set of qualifications in either case.
If we are congregationalists (psychologically) we must have the daring to initiate and carry through projects that challenge us to larger tasks than we have ever undertaken heretofore. It was in the hope that some of our churches might do this to the extent of adding to their salaried workers a missionary pastor and send him to a Southern circuit, that the S.O.S. call was sent out.
The fact of the matter is that our church polity is a combination of these two: it is neither ultra-congregational, in which the local parish can do as it may please, regardless of all the rest, nor is it wholly episcopalian or presbyterian, in which the governing individuals or organizations are absolute. But if we take this fact as an excuse for "passing the buck" when an opoportunity opens or a call for help comes, so that the General Convention officials say "Our hands are tied: we can not appropriate money which the churches do not give;" and the churches say, "this is what we have a General Convention for; it is the convention's affair, and not ours" - well, long ago someone had something to say about those who were asked, "Why halt ye so long between two opinions?" We must make up our minds to be a mighty army and move like one both in our ordinary work and likewise when an emergency arises, or we muct be ready to meet cases of urgent need by special and if necessary extra-legal methods, moved by the universalism of our faith and not by what our next-door neighbors do or fail to do.
My own personal preference is for the former method; I would rather be a buck private in this army, to go or come or stay, to give or to withhold, as my commanding office might order; and I should like him to have the reserve of power necessary to meet emergencies, as does the President of the United States, for instance - only I should want the right, under proper restrictions, to prevent ill-considered or hasty action, to return this C.O. to the ranks and elevate some one else to that position.
But whether we are congregationalists or episcopalians or presbyterians, let us be univesalists, and go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.