What is holding us back? <--Click this first.
(Read it and weep!)
Sometime last year when I first decided to take a second look at Yale Divinity School, I went out to their open house and decided to attend a workshop on a program they have on religion in schools. The consultant was a consultant leader of the program and not Yale faculty. Afterward, I stayed to chat with him about "Godly Play," "Spirit Play," and Montessori. It turns out that he does not share my enthusiasm for Montessori, but it got us into a good conversation about educational methodology and religious implications. So then he-- who is by the way, an Episcopal priest in his seventies or eighties-- asked me about my faith tradition. I told him that I am Unitarian Universalist, and he proceeded to "school" me on the problems of my faith tradition. I think he was surprised when I not only didn't disagree with most of what he said, but I in fact contributed to the conversation. I've been a UU my whole life and I am confident enough in my experience of the tradition not to be defensive about it.
So we both stood there talking, getting passionate, and really agreeing with each other, and then our conversation began to wind down, and he looked at me earnestly and said, "I hope you remain a UU," with the tone of, "your voice is an important one." I looked at him and said sincerely, "me too," and then he said the words I most needed to hear: "I've been saying I might leave the Episcopalians for 60 years [or some big number I can't remember specifically]."
The prophetic voice is not an easy one to carry, but when it has been given, there is little choice.