Showing posts with label Covenant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Covenant. Show all posts

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Covenanting as a UU - Easy come, easy go.

What is "covenant?"

 It is very little without commitment.

 Many UUs pay lip service to covenanting with one another, but at the first sign of conflict they flee the exits, commitment goes out the window.

It is very easy to join a UU congregation. All you have to do is "sign the book." It is just as easy to leave with rarely anyone inquiring about your absence.

It is a question of easy come, easy go.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Members of UU church claim they have no idea they are in a covenant.

            Members of the First Unitarian Church of Dismal Seepage, Arkansas, said after service last Sunday that they had no idea they were in a covenant.
            Pastor Megan Tremble stated in her sermon that Unitarian Univeralism is a covenantal religion.  People interviewed after the service said they were alarmed that Pastor Tremble seemed to be saying that they were a coven and that Unitarian Univeralism is a pagan religion similar to witchcraft.
            Jerry said, “People already think we are weird. My neighbor, last week, said with a great deal of disdain, ‘You’re a UU???? You people aren’t even trinitarian!!!” I didn’t even know what she was talking about. What the hell is ‘trinitarian’ suppose to mean.”
            Jerry’s wife, Linda, said, “Maybe it's time for a new pastor. I don’t want to be a witch in a coven.”
            When Beth tried to explain that a “covenant” is not a “coven” it seemed to be over Jerry and Linda’s heads.
            Jerry said, “I don’t know about any of this fancy church stuff. Actually, I like the coffee and donuts after the service and chatting with people about the hog market.”
            Pastor Tremble said after the service that maybe she tried to bite off more than the congregation could chew and it was time for her to move on from the backwaters of Dismal Seepage and look for an opportunity in a bigger city like Little Rock.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Today's lesson, number 98, "I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation."

Today's lesson, number 98 in A Course In Miracles, is "I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation."

What is God's plan for salvation? It is that we return to the Oneness when we are ready. The way to that return is to manifest unconditional love for ourselves and all of humanity. Salvation is when everybody loves everybody all the time.

Very few of us love everybody all the time because we are full of fear based on the law of scarcity. There isn't enough to go around and so there are winners and losers. The world of the ego is based on the law of one or the other, dog eat dog, get them before they get you, or if they have already gotten you, you get them back.

We are so sure we are right that we want the last word, and with the last word we dominate and subjugate our adversary and we think, in our deluded way, that these forms of attack will make us happy. This dynamic of get them before they get you, and I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine, are all forms of conditional love.

In the last analysis, life is very simple. Would we have conditional love or unconditional love?

God's plan for salvation is unconditional love and today we are reminded that we have a choice to make: continue on the path of the ego or the path of the spirit.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles and these seven principles are based on manifesting Unconditional love in seven different forms. Today, five minutes of every hour, let us consider our covenant and in this consideration accept the suggestion that these seven principles can be a possible path to realize our salvation.

For a commentary on today's lesson, click here.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Today's lesson - Universalism is a belief in the Unconditional Love of the Universe

Today's lesson, number 60 in A Course In Miracles, is a review lesson composed of lessons 46 - 50 which includes "God is the love in which I forgive;" "God is the strength in which I trust;" "There is nothing to fear;" "God's Voice speaks to me all through the day;" "I am sustained by the Love of God."

As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, "If God is with you, who can be against you?"

We have come to realize that there is a choice available to us: the path of the ego which is based on conditional love, and the path of the Spirit which is based on Unconditional Love. The Universalists have preached an awareness of this choice in the United States since the late 1700s when John Murray, in reaction to the Calvanists, insisted that God's love is unconditional and the Unconditionally Loving God condemns no person to hell, but invites them all to heaven.

The Univeralists realized that we make our own hell on earth and we can also make our own heaven. It is up to us. God gives us free will and does not tell us what to do. The choice is ours. We have to decide what we want.

In our contemporary society, Unitarian Univeralists offer people a choice of covenanting together to practice seven principles. Unitarian Univeralists, based on the first principle of affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person, have accepted that God is the Love in which I forgive. If you don't like the word "God" you may use any word of your choice to refer to your understanding of your Higher Power.

Based on this forgiveness which is simply letting go of the path of the ego and embarking on the path of the Spirit, the Higher Power is the strength in which we trust because we have realized that our lives on the path of the ego are unmanageable.

With this forgiveness, this letting go of the ego, there is an awareness that there is nothing, any more, to fear. We are all okay no matter what. We are are in a calm, peaceful, centered place of bliss.

Being in this centered calm place of bliss our Higher Power speaks to us all through the day. We hear the celestial music, the hum of the Oneness. There is a harmony which is encompassing.

Being encompassed by this sweet harmony, we are sustained and come to not only respect, but love the interdependent web of all existence of which we are happy to have become aware that we are a part.

Awareness of our holiness sanctifies the world.

Unitarian Univeralism, along with A Course In Miracles, are but two spiritual paths that allow us to experience the Unconditional Love of the Divine.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Today's lesson - Choose again: ego or God?

Today's lesson is lesson 56 which is a review of lessons 26-30 in A Course In Miracles which are: "My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability;" "Above all else I want to see;" "Above all else I want to see differently;" "God is in everything I see;" "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind."

Comedian Flip Wilson when he did his Geraldine routine would say, "What you see, honey, is what you get." Today, the lesson in A Course In Miracles reminds us of this fact: that projection creates perception. What we think we are going to see creates what we see. In other words beliefs create our reality.

It is written in the lesson 26 review, "Pain, illness, age and death seem to threaten me. All my hopes and wishes and plans appear to be at the mercy of a world I cannot control."

In the book, Practicing Psychotherapy In Contructed Reality by Stephen Bacon, Bacon describes the work of Ernest Becker in his book, The Denial of Death, "Why do we not feel this anxiety constantly? Becker believes that we do feel it - at least as background anxiety - but most humans are denied the full experience on a daily basis because we build worldviews that shelter us from the Abyss." p.48

What we see usually are illusions on the path of the ego which promise to make us happy and yet they are empty promises which ultimately leave us vulnerable. It dawns on us that there must be more to life, there must be a better way, and we begin to search for truth and meaning beyond the counterfeit idols which the world offers us.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to create a vision based on seven principles with the hope of helping people become aware of their holiness and sanctifying the world. Today, withdraw from the illusions of the world and their false promises and instead seek to envision oneself, others, and the world with unconditional Love and a nonjudmental attitude.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Joining a UU church and covenantal relationships

I joined a Unitarian Univeralist church yesterday, 02/24/19. Finally "signed the book." I have attended this church on and off for the last 5  years or so. This is the third UU church I have joined "signing the book" over the last 14 years.

As my faith has grown, I have become more understanding of the purpose and importance of the covenant. Without membership in a faith community, the covenanting process with its difficulties and benefits isn't experienced.

I am reminded of Groucho Marx's comment that he had reservations about joining an organization that would have anyone like himself as a member.

They let me in along with a few other people and the current congregation seemed happy to admit us.

Having been raised a Roman Catholic I was instructed on the necessity of attending church on Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligaton. Failure to attend, I was told, was a mortal sin, and if I died with a mortal sin on my soul, I would go to hell and burn for all eternity. In other words, going to church on Sunday and Holy Days was a serious obligation not to be neglected unless deathly sick or disrupted with some other grave obligation.

Unitarian Univeralism has no such requirements but to develop and maintain covenantal relationships regular attendance is necessary. I asked a UU friend why she went to church regularly and she said, "I go to church because someone there might need me." She told me that 6 years ago when we attended another UU church together. I asked her today if she remembered telling me that. She said, "Yes, I do remember that and I can't take credit for it because someone had said that to me."

I said, "You were just paying it forward?"

She said, "Yes," and I pay it forward with you, dear reader. Go to church regularly because someone there might need you and it is how convenantal relationships are created and maintained.

UUs covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles and these principles, when implemented, sanctify the world and help people become aware of their holiness.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

To what extent is Unitarian Univeralism based on paradox?

Paradox is the truth of life known as the Yin and the Yang.
Those who think they know, don't know.
Those who don't know, and know they don't know, are wise.

The wise person does not store things up but gives them away.
The more the wise person shares the greater is the abundance.
The wise person lives by the motto, "One for all and all for one."

Unitarian Universalists who live their covenant based on their seven principles are the yeast in the dough of the world. The goodness arises and among those who have eschewed their egos appreciation and gratitude abounds. Would that the covenant grow and embrace human kind throughout the world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

From whence does Unitarian Univeralist well being arise?

If you act like a missionary you will get eaten by cannibals.
Don't get too far ahead of those you would help.
You should take people and things where they are at, not where you want them to be.

Good work can take time.
Taking time requires patience.
Holding back conserves virtue.

Having conserved virtue, there is confident wisdom.
Confident wisdom is the basis of well being.
Well being is the purpose of all things.

Unitarian Univeralists know that well being is the purpose of all things and is to be found in their covenant with one another based on their seven principles. It is the covenant based on the seven principles which provides confident wisdom. It is this confident wisdom that provides Unitarian Univeralists with their well being.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Do celebrities have much of value to offer?

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

The quiet, content, compassionate do not clamor for attention.
Those who clamor for attention have little of genuine value to offer.

It is a paradox that the least are usually the first.
The first are usually the least.

Eschew the shiny bauble, the boastful bombast.
Rest in the company of those who know the Truth.

Unitarian Univeralists take comfort in their covenant for they know that within that there is affirmation and righteousness.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How is it that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last?

While Jesus tells us that in the Kingdom, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, here on the path of the ego we don't believe it or act on it.

It is written in the Tao Te Ching that the humble is the root of the noble, the low is the foundation of the high.

The Tao Te Ching points out that too much success is not necessarily an advantage.

We Unitarian Universalists don't have to worry about too much success because we are a very small denomination. We are the yeast in the dough considered to be of little notice but we help the whole society, the whole world, rise.

Our Unitarian Univeralist covenant, based on our seven principles, and our six sources, while of little notice and small in number, is the lamp that sheds a beacon of light into our dark and weary world.

Monday, November 12, 2018

What good is silence?

In Industrial Psychology they call it "sink time."
Sink time is time to sit in silence, to let the data settle, to let the smoke clear off.

How do we digest all that we have taken in when we scurry from one thing to another?

We need time to reflect, to digest, to just relax.

Unitarian Univeralists tend to be busy people.
UUs think a lot and want to fix things.
UUs are searching and trying to rectify injustice and make the world a better place.

Are UUs nothing but Social Workers and Activists?
UUs value their covenant which affirms and promotes seven principles.
Affirmation and promotion takes perspective and deliberate and purposeful action.
To be purposeful and deliberate, one must be thoughtful.
To be thoughtful, one must be quiet.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

When is enough enough?

It is easy to get burned out.
Do this, do that. It must be done.
We're counting on you. Don't let us down.
Without you we would fail and the failure will be all your fault.

Promises have been made but don't seem to actually been kept.
We wind up with little but fatigue while they enjoy the ride.

We would back down, turn away, give up our efforts but we feel guilt and ashamed.
This is not the results of our covenant we signed up for.
This is not how things should be.

Things are out of balance and seem skewed.
We have to say "No."
We come to realize that when enough is enough, that's enough!

And so we retreat to the comfort of the Tao and let the chips fall where they may.
The cries of disparagement go over our heads
For while the system is distressed and needs recalibration
We are finally liberated and free.

Unitarian Univeralists intend to rectify the injustice in the world.
UUs affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
But just as often injustice, inequity, and attack occur.
UUs take comfort in their covenant which affirms and promotes a respect for the interdependent web.

Friday, November 9, 2018

In what do Unitarian Univeralists find Truth, Goodness, and Beauty?

No one person owns the Truth.
The Truth is always present supporting Goodness.

Goodness appears in unexpected ways at unexpected times in unexpected places. Goodness also does not appear often where one would expect it and require it.

Truth and Goodness have a life of their own apart from the ego.
The ego projects and Truth and Goodness extend.

Truth and Goodness reside on the path of the spirit and are not to be found on the path of the ego.

Truth and Goodness are not haughty, not proud, do not need applause to be what they are.

Many do not see Truth and Goodness when it is right before their eyes. Truth and Goodness are more a matter of the heart than the head. When the heart is closed by fear Truth and Goodness are difficult to experience. When the heart is open Truth and Goodness fill up as much space as is provided.

Unitarian Univeralists embrace a faith that is huge, all encompassing, waits to be recognized.

UUs covenant to affirm and promote seven basic principles which encourage the experience of Truth and Goodness in all of their days and for all time. In this practice, UUs find precious beauty.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Should I live my life based on faith or desire for success?

The heresy of the path of the ego is to do things with faith, not to succeed.

Success is in God's hands. Whether we succeed or not is out of our control. Our call is to act with faith.

In AA the first step is to come to understand that our lives are unmanageable. The second step is to turn our lives over to our Higher Power whatever we conceive our Higher Power to be. Some call this surrender. Others call it acceptance. Others, still, call it "going with the flow."

Here at UU A Way Of Life ministries we call it faith. Faith is enacted when, based on our covenantal relationships based on the seven principles, we live our lives intentionally for the shear joy, peace, and bliss of living in this way. Will it bring us success in life on the path of the ego? It's out of our hands. Will it bring us joy, peace, and contentment on the path of the spirit? Absolutely. Living in our covenantal relationships based on our seven principles brings a satisfaction and fulfillment beyond material understanding.

In AA the slogan is "Let go and let God," which can be shortened to simply "Let go," and act with Love with the intention of doing the  best right thing.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Where do Unitarian Universalists find peace?

All we need be focused on is the next best right thing.

AA counsels us, "One day at a time." "East does it."

There are so many things to pull us off center, to get us upset, to drive us to distraction.

Prioritize and take things one at a time as they cross your path.

We'll cross that bridge when, and if, we come to it.

Enough of making a tempest out of teapot, and mountain out of a mole hill.

Catastrophizing is not good for our spiritual health.

In Unitarian Univeralism we are grounded in our covenantal relationships which aspire and intend to affirm and promote our seven principles. In is in this we stay centered, in this we stay grounded, in this we find peace.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What is the gift that Unitarian Universalists have been given?

The wonder of the universe is awesome.

The marvel is beyond words.

In Unitarian Universalist faith we call it the "interdependent web of all existence."

We are dependent on the planet Earth.

Planet Earth is dependent on the solar system.

The solar system is dependent on the Milky Way galaxy.

The Milky Way galaxy is depdendent on the cosmos.

The Cosmos is dependent on Tao.

Tao is infinite and eternal, two concepts which our minds cannot fully grasp.

Our problems, in the perspective of this immenseness, seem trivial and petty, and yet we recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate that they are part of the All.

This part in Existence which we play imbues us with a grandeur not of our own making but of which we are a part. Grandeur is not the same thing as grandiosity.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "It is easy to distinguish grandeur from grandiosity, because love is returned and pride is not." T-9,VIII.8:1

Our Unitarian Univeralist faith calls us to covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles which uplift the awesomeness of Life. Let us recognize the gift we have been given and our parts in it.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What should I do? How should I act?

Morality without Love creates great harm.
Intelligence without wisdom gives the world educated idiots.
If there is no peace and harmony then duty and obligation are enforced.
When anarchy arises leaders are sought out and obeyed.

Without Love, the ego requires structure with rules, expectations and requirements.
Without Love, control issues and power struggles ascend in relationships.

Relax and simply ask yourself, "What would Love have me do?" and then do the next best right thing.

Unitarian Univeralism encourages us to covenant together in loving relationship to affirm and promote seven mutually agreed upon principles which help us discern where Love is to be found.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

What is it that Unitarian Universalists are seeking?

When people crave material objects, the worst is brought out in them.
When people aspire to be rich, they engender an ambition which distorts their vision.
When people strive to be smart, they overlook the importance of being kind.
When people become attached to things and ideas, great suffering ensues.

Unitarian Universalists know better than to cling to the things on the path of the ego.
Unitarian Universalists apprise more than anything the value of the covenant.
Unitarian Universalists support each other in following seven mutually agreed upon principles.
Together, Unitarian Universalists seek holiness in order to sanctify the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Transformation is often subtle and not well understood

Sometimes people awaken and don't know what is happening to them. It can be perplexing and our society has little to offer people who start to feel that their self system, their way of experiencing the world, is becoming different.

This awakening can be experienced in many ways. The gift of tears is one of the most common especially in males in their 50s. They find themselves crying at silly things like TV advertisements or other occasions and it can be embarrassing to them.

Some people experience themselves as becoming over emotional in the sense of being moved more deeply by simple things in their lives which causes them to pause and savor in ways they haven't done before.

People  are perplexed by these experiences which seem very personal and they keep them private and hidden from others because they don't know what is happening to them and how to communicate and explain it to others. If the person experiments in sharing some of these experiences, it often is medicalized and the person is referred to a doctor for assessment to determine what is happening. Doctors, though, are of little help and may actually be a detrimental because although there are physical manifestations, the transformation the person is undergoing is psychological and spiritual and not somatic.

The one institutional support that might be expected to help would be the church and yet, besides mystical traditions, churches have little to offer such people because most of the church's leadership and membership have not reached these levels of spiritual development themselves and so have no understanding of the person's experience.

Here at UUAWOL ministries we do understand these experiences and offer to help the individual going through this transformation an opportunity to construct a narrative that is meaningful, relevant, and satisfying.

Salvation is not an individual pursuit but occurs withing the context of covenantal relationships and in Unitarian Universalism we base this covenant on our seven principles. Can the implementation of these seven principles be transformative in a person's life? Absolutely, and this is the function of church to sanctify the world by helping people become holy. Holiness is to be celebrated but first it has to be recognized and acknowledged.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What are the signs of wakefulness?

What are the signs of wakefulness?

  1. Oneness. The person has felt a deep abiiding sense of the interdependent being of all existence.
  2. Inner stillness other wise called peace. Christians call it the peace of Christ.
  3. Self awareness and self regulation which is not disturbed by the likes and dislikes of others or the ups and downs of external circumstances.
  4. Compassion, empathy, and atruism towards all of life.
  5. Surrender to the Higher Power being at one with the Tao.
  6. Tuned in to the vibrations of the universe not tuned out and oblivious and impervious.
  7. Bliss - an abiding sense of well being and all being right with the world.
  8. Love has eradicated fear.
This state is called by UUAWOL ministries "cosmic consciousness." It is generated by and maintained by covenantal relationships intended to affirm and promote the seven principles. Very few Unitarian Univeralists have achieved this state of spiritual development. The faith has given us the means but few have chosen to accept it and pursue it. UUAWOL ministries is offering people an opportunity to engage in and enhance their covenantal relationships in pursuit of a better way of life to increase personal holiness and sanctify the world. Will you join us?

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