One of the most damning aspects of the UU common culture is that while worship and the support of community are held up as foundational during the academic year (September through early June), it becomes acceptable to take the summer off. Oh, sorry, we do alternative events such as "walks in Nature." We meet for coffee at 8 a.m. We walk the dogs. We watch videos of GA. We visit other faith traditions. We let lay people fumble around trying to compensate for professional worship and music leaders. We have an "open pulpit." If you want to take on planning summer worship, go for it. We won't come 'cause we're busy or sleeping late. We have extended vacations with complicated schedules with family, foreign travel and extended trips into pristine wilderness. We're on vacation, but go for it anyway. You have our absent blessing.
What is up with that? Do you realize the elitist message you are sending?
Does worship really matter to you?
If worship and community support of people struggling with their lives matter, why is it okay to disappear for the summer? Burned out? There are ways to provide funding, training and leadership to compensate. Worship is a core value in most faiths and weekly practice is part of the most dynamic traditions.
Light bulb moment:
Life doesn't take a vacation.
If worship matters in helping cope with life, it should happen year 'round. Some churches lift this value up. In working class communities especially, those of us who only get a two week vacation, know that year-round church matters. We're coping with the messiness of Life 24/7, 52 weeks a year. Life is hard. That's why we thought church might help. Are you gonna be there for me? No? Only when it's convenient? Okay, sayanara.
If UU churches really want to matter to the people who need them most, they would prioritize year-round church. Church should meet an urgent need: the need for community and the need for spiritual practice.
Evangelicals don't take the summer off, believe me, there's too much work to do. You can dismiss them for their theology, but they know why people come to worship - they come because they need it.