On Saturday, 11/21/09 James Ford has an interesting article on his, blog Monkey Mind, describing his thoughts on the meaning of the Mayflower compact made on 11/21/1620.
He ties this kind of approach to the development of covenantal relationships to the principles of Unitarian Universalism. I don't understand his meaning and I wish he would explain his ideas in more depth and yet I glimpse that he is on to something.
I think we yearn for a covenantal church and fool ourselves into thinking that we are one, but I have grave doubts that in our postmodern world this is not the case, and it is this fact which explains the lack of growth and vitality in the Unitarian Universalist movement.
Our church is very much a contractual church in which most of our visitors and members are shoppers who are looking not for what they can give or contribute, but rather for what they can get out of membership. Any spiritual commitment as Rev. Ford seems to say comes from other religious traditions which have been brought along by the new members or been co-opted as he points out in an hyphenated way. Unitarian Universalism has yet to develop a spirituality of its own which engages people in personal and communal transformation at any deep level.
For a religious experience that deepens one spiritual understanding one must go to another tradition.
It seems that what Unitarian Universalism has to sell is superficial and has little substance. Rev. Ford seems to imply that it is in the exploration of the principles and the reverence for that which gives rise to them that is our biggest hope for developing a spiritual tradition which has some legs and meat on it.
I wish he and others would explore this more deeply and report their findings to us floating on the surface.
Thanks to Rev. Ford for his thought provoking article. I recommend it to you.