Friday, January 25, 2013

UUA Headquarters

I realize that I am late on the discussion, but I have been thinking about this for quite awhile and just want to get it out there.  I am deeply disappointed that the UUA hasn't given more thought to moving headquarters out of Boston.  While I realize we have history there and it would be difficult to move staff (if they even wanted to move...), I feel it would be best in the long run.  Where and Why?  Glad you asked!  I believe we should seriously consider the Midwest.  Obviously, I would love St. Louis, but really any Midwestern city would be appreciated.  Boston is FAR away and expensive to get to.  How many people have actually made the trek to visit it?  I will grant that it is easy to fly to, but flying is cost prohibitive to many and driving there can be overwhelming.  Additionally, staying in Boston is very expensive, as are most activities in that area. I can't imagine how much it will cost for the UUA to buy or rent new space in Boston.

The Midwest is a great alternative.  It is central, has major airports, easy car access, and is a lot cheaper!  Plus, it would just feel closer and not like some distant castle high on hill far away from its people.  If we are looking to grow UU, then we need to be in the thick of it with quick access to all areas.  I can't imagine living in the far reaches of Washington Sate and feeling any sort of connection to Boston.  In a time where congregants are looking for a sense of community both within their congregations and the denomination as a whole, the UUA should think seriously about making themselves more accessible and visible to the lay person and not just staff and board members!


Kim Hampton said...

Much as I love being from St. Louis, St. Louis is out in the headquarters sweepstakes. Mainly because Lambert is not a hub for anybody anymore.

If the UUA does move, Chicago and the Twin Cities are probably the Midwest candidates. My guess is that if they move, it will probably be down I-95 to someplace like Philly, Baltimore or Richmond, VA.

John Hansen said...

I wasn't aware the UUA was considering moving. In Canada, the Canadian Unitarian Council is located in Toronto which puts it (more or less) in the centre of Canada in a city that happens to be the largest one so there is a bit of sense there.

I've found as I've spent more time in the Unitarian movement that a lot of it centers around Boston and New England in general. Many of the clergy serving Canadian congregations tend to be from there. I imagine there are historic reasons for this but I'm sure it couldn't hurt the movement to put the HQ somewhere different.

plaidshoes said...

Kim - I agree that St. Louis probably isn't that likely, but I have to put it out there. I would be pretty happy with Chicago, though.

John - There are a lot of historic reasons for it being in Boston, but I really believe if it wants to grow, it needs to be more accessible! Sounds like Canada had the right idea with Toronto!