This week I’m exploring the things that bind Unitarian Universalists together in religious community. Since our liberal faith does not rely upon a specific doctrine of religious belief or creed, each congregation has a different way of expressing the promises members make to one another in how they will be together as an organization.
Today we look at mission statements from several congregations around the country. I’ve chosen examples of those statements by congregations that express what it is they gather to do as a community, both within and outside the walls of the church.
For consideration: What does a mission statement say about a religious community? How are you, as an individual member of a congregation, part of the mission?
We, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills [Kingston, New York], have a mission to:
- Provide a supportive place for spiritual, philosophical and intellectual development
- Celebrate and affirm, through the democratic process, our commitments to social activism, cooperation, caring and love
- Seek ways, for both individuals and the congregation as a whole, of providing service to the community
- Invite and welcome persons in our geographic area to become part of our religious community.
We covenant with each other to:
- Accept the responsibility to maintain a congregation in which to develop the best possible relationships, to love ourselves and others and to encourage our children to realize their potential
- Provide a respectful place for people of diverse backgrounds, views, and religious beliefs and foster a sense of well being for everyone in our religious community
- Respect, recognize and appreciate each and every individual’s spiritual search and unique nature, and provide for alternatives to traditional forms of religious practice
- Affirm our special responsibility, and that of our members, to promote the full participation of persons in all of its activities and in the full range of human endeavor without regard to race, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age or national origin and without requiring adherence to any particular interpretation of religion or to any particular religious belief or creed.
We are a community built on interdependence.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading [Massachusetts] is an intentionally welcoming congregation, dedicated to an open-minded search for spiritual truth and meaning.
We honor the individual within a dynamic, caring community, affirming religious freedom through our
worship, social outreach, lifelong learning, and shared ministry.
We live our beliefs.
South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society [Salt Lake City, UT] is an intentionally diverse religious community with a mission to celebrate religious freedom, nurture curiosity and learning, and work toward a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world.
The Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship [Alabama] is a community dedicated to affirming a reverence for life and enriching the spiritual lives of its members.
Here we honor the one and the many; here we welcome a diversity of thoughts, beliefs and passions; here we speak without fear and listen with open hearts.
We gather to care for one another, share our burdens and joys, and celebrate life’s passages.
Strengthened by this fellowship, we bring a liberal religious presence to our larger community, and work for a safe and just world.
[Storm Lake Area Unitarian Universalist Association, Iowa, is] an open and caring congregation, providing a spiritual sanctuary for those who wish to embrace a liberal faith. We affirm the principles of Unitarian Universalism, which inspire us to nurture and educate our membership, encourage the exploration and practice of progressive religious thought, and support the spirit of creativity. Our mission extends outward as we strive to be a positive presence for a more ethical, just and compassionate society.
The First Unitarian Society of Madison [Wisconsin] seeks to foster a liberal religious community that affirms the tenets of its Bond of Union and the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
As a means to accomplish our mission, we will:
- Inspire and instruct our members and our children in the exercise of reason and the search for truth and spiritual wholeness;
- Encourage compassion and support for seekers of social justice, while resisting the perpetration of injustice;
- Enhance the lives of our members and nurture our sense of community through our programs and activities;
- Affirm an appreciation of the arts and sciences and recognize a responsibility to maintain our historic Meeting House; and
- Continue our commitment to retaining a dedicated staff to realize our mission and ministry.
Source: Individual congregation websites, linked above.Tags: community, congregations, living faith, mission