The Growing UU blog posted an interesting (and colorful!) graph today, comparing membership and congregational trends of Unitarian Universalism plotted with figures for other denominations.
The good news is, Unitarian Universalism has seen a very small uptick in this time period, where many liberal and mainline denominations have seen falling numbers. We will see more analysis of those figures in the months to come.
I am struck today, though, by our overall number of adult Unitarian Universalists in the UUA.
Granted, I grew up Catholic, so majority faith is still my mental default. Did you know that the Hawaiian Islands have more Catholics on them (not including tourists!) than we have Unitarian Universalists across the United States?
164,000 people could fit into two of our large NFL stadiums.
I live in a metropolitan area of six million people.
164,000 is roughly 2.7% of the metro population.
If we truly owned being The Love People, shared our saving message and force for good, if we were somehow heard and embraced by 1 in 36 Houstonians, we could double the number of Unitarian Universalists in the US.
OK, so that's a little scary to consider.
But if even a tenth of a percent of Houstonians joined a UU church, we would have six thousand Unitarian Universalists in our local congregations. That would roughly quadruple the current UU population here.
From time to time I hear that Unitarian Universalism isn't for everyone.
I can definitely understand that some have theologies incompatible with our shared values. But need we be the uniquest of unique flowers?
My Universalist heart says no. We are called to be the hands and feet of God...and the smiles and warm greetings and personal relationships, sharing hope and purpose and joy and wonder.
Together we change the world every single day.
The more the merrier.