P r a c t i c e
Chains do not hold us together as Unitarian Universalists. Nor do creeds connect us. Perhaps it is the threads, hundreds of tiny threads of cooperation, connection, compassion, clear conscience and ongoing communication. Threads of shared values create a whole for us.
There is a joke out there about how many Unitarian Universalists it takes to change a light bulb. The answer is: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the light bulb. However, if you have found in your own journey that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. Come to our annual light bulb Sunday service in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three- way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
That may be funny, but there is a lot at stake on our planet. Therefore, I muse that the case for Unitarian Universalism cannot be made by pursuing “proof,” but rather, by stories. Not the stories of how the world was created or even how any belief can save the planet, but rather the powerful stories of how people's lives, as individuals and as communities, are creatively transformed by practicing this living faith that we engage in.
The word “practicing” is very important.
I just returned from General Assembly 2015, held in Portland, OR. This month’s theme for reflection at PUC - harmony - is a fitting reflection to engage in post-GA. While between 3-6 black churches have been the victims of arson attacks since the Charleston massacre, I spoke to Carol Oates, the membership director at the Charleston, South Carolina UU church about what PUC might do to assist them to strengthen their outreach. This conversation was a faith-informed practice that we engaged in. I will be staying in connection with Carol once she returns to see what we might do to support the Unitarian Church in Charleston’s work in healing the community there.
Perhaps at General Assembly, both on-site and off-site, what kept this enormous group of individuals unified was the practicing of thousands of smaller acts of cooperation, connection, compassion, clear conscience and ongoing communication that created a shared and living faith that has the power to meet an uncertain future with love.
“A Homespun Love”
by Alicia Partnoy
Because this humble and homespun love
— just as you see it, simple, unadorned —
is what keeps our feet on the ground,
is what engenders the fruit
of our nonconformity,
and throws us a lifeboard amidst
Every so often our love blazes
like thousands of stars,
gets dressed up to go out
and uncorks bottles of effervescence,
cases of laughter.
You see, every so often,
when the moment is right,
our love recalls that is it,
like we are, a survivor.
Practicing With You,