Best of UU

“to love one another more deeply. . .”

Filed under: Reflections — Jess at 4:32 pm on Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Please forgive me for my seeming indulgence today, but this is something I wrote this past Sunday that seemed to come through me rather than from me, and I want more people to read it.

Living What We Profess

by Jess Cullinan

This very morning, a week after terrible tragedy took two of their number and terrorized the rest, the congregation of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church has once again gathered for worship. They have rededicated their sanctuary, seeking to reclaim its peace and serenity and joy. They are holding their heads high, and their beacons of hope, and thousands upon thousands of us across the land are with them in spirit as well.

The message going around and around my head from all of this is that this world has never needed our liberal religion more than it does right now.

We are living in a time when the language of the Bible and that peace-loving carpenter’s son are being used as weapons, as bludgeons, calling for fear and shame and separation, and in a time when we need nothing more than to come together, to love one another more deeply, and to heal our world.

There are things we know as Unitarian Universalists, but we are all too quiet about them:

(Read on … )

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“to grow toward whom we might become!”

Filed under: Sermons — Jess at 2:38 pm on Monday, October 29, 2007

One of the struggles in Unitarian Universalism is to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the community, to go beyond the individualism that a free search for truth and meaning can sometimes foster, and to see our place as part of a greater Whole.

The Rev. Tom Owen-Towle, currently serving as the interim minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, California, spoke beautifully on these concepts to his congregation this September, urging and challenging members to build Beloved Community (pdf) right where they are planted.

For consideration: how does membership in your community challenge you to become more than you are by yourself?

Growing the Beloved Community!

by Rev. Tom Owen-Towle

I wrote a book recently on what I consider the 12 hallmarks of healthy congregations. Now, there’s been a lot written on theology, from every conceivable angle, but precious little on ecclesiology, especially the art of being and doing church the liberal religious way, our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship way.

I will be conducting a Saturday morning workshop, November 17th, here at our Fellowship, on this very topic. I hope you will plan to participate.

As San Dieguitans you pride yourselves on being individual questers: pursuing the good, the true, and the beautiful in your own fashion. And so you should, and so do I. But, I dare say, there’s more to this strange, wondrous business of progressive religion. Being a solitary traveler is but a 100% half-truth. For Unitarian Universalism, at its finest and fullest, demands far more of its adherents than rugged independence. It requires that we become builders and sustainers of the interdependent web wherever we’re planted.

(Read on … )

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