and our approach to religion
are ideally matched.
The Internet depends
almost entirely on words.
And our approach to religion (for better or worse)
depends almost entirely on human intellectual capacities.
Other approach to religious questions depend largely on emotion.
Being present in the religious meeting may be more important
than anything that could later be put into words.
But the Unitarian Universalist approach to
religion does not appeal to everyone.
In fact, it may appeal to so few people in any given location
that it is very difficult to create and sustain a face-to-face congregation.
Now, however, these limitations of time and space
can be transcended by Internet communications.
Our Unitarian Universalist
movement is all about communication.
And now we have some powerful new tools
that can allow us to communicate with literally millions of people
who would never otherwise try our approach to religious questions.
In contrast to other
uses of the Internet,
we are not trying to sell anything.
We are trying to give it away!
Cyber-space is overwhelmingly a place for free expression
—free in the sense of being unlimited by a central authority
and also free in the sense that the readers
usually do not have to pay for what the Internet has to offer.
Therefore, let us see how much free expression we can give away
to the millions of people who chance to come upon us on the Internet.
And then a secondary
problem is something to offer
—if people do accidentally discover us.
Here we already do have a wealth of information to offer,
but it has not been well crafted to be easy to read on a screen.
Everyone who reads websites
knows which forms of presentation communicate the best.
So, we can learn from the best websites on the Internet
how to present our ideas so that surfers of the Internet
will stop awhile to read what we have to offer.
(Something as simple
as dividing the lines of the text
into lines that fit easily on a computer screen
can enhance communication.
You may have noticed this
in the the presentation you are now reading.
Every sentence begins at the left margin.
Lines are divided at meaningful places in the sentence,
instead of at some pre-determined mechanical length.)
This home page for Internet
Ministry & Outreach
will attempt to gather links to the diverse means of using the Internet
for ministering to people who already think of themselves as UUs
and for outreach to others
who would like to identify with our movement if they knew about it.
By sharing our successes and failures
—perhaps by means of an e-mailing list—
we can improve what we are trying to do on the Internet.
In the 21st century,
the Internet can only become larger and larger.
How soon will the majority of the human race have Internet access?
A BEGINNING LIST OF EXAMPLES OF UU INTERNET OUTREACH<> Almost every part of the UU movement
This beginning list
will briefly describe these efforts—with links—
so that all of us involved in Internet Ministry and Outreach
may be simulated to try similar projects
—and probably create even better ways of using the Internet.
1. Cyber-sermons<> Cyber-sermons are very short (3 pages or less) written discourses
1. Introducing Cyber-Sermons.
2. Format for Cyber-Sermons.
3. Criteria for Excellence in Cyber-Sermons.
of Proposals for Cyber-Sermons.
list of Cyber-Sermons by James Park.
Other examples will
be added here
as they are suggested and described.
Some other possibilities that come to mind include:
(1) The Church of the Larger Fellowship
uses the Internet for outreach.
(2) The UU Young Adult Network
creates a content-rich section of its home page.
(3) The UUA creates an outreach feature for its home page.
(4) Individual local congregations use the Internet to attract visitors.
Please send examples
(with e-mail contacts and links when possible) to:
James Park: e-mail:
Other examples of Internet Ministry & Outreach
will be included here as soon as they are received.
And they will be grouped according to similarity.
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An Existential Philosopher's Museum.