Showing posts with label Missionary efforts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Missionary efforts. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The mission of Unitarian Universalism is to teach forgiveness

We teach what we believe about ourselves. What do Unitarian Universalists believe about themselves? Do they believe they are special living in a hostile world? Do they believe that they are defective and unacceptable in some way and therefore are attempting to create a safe space into which they can feel like they belong? Do they believe they alone have a progressive message that the world would benefit from hearing?

Life presents us with a curriculum which we are to learn and we find ourselves repeating the lessons until we do learn them and then we desire to teach them to others to save the world from its suffering.

And what is the primary lesson we need to learn by teaching? It is an existential lesson which is simply that our suffering comes from our attempts to separate ourselves from our creator by building up and protecting our egos. Our mission is to teach that we are not our ego but a part of something far more mysterious, glorious, and awesome. The path to happiness is to eschew the ego, forgive ourselves and others and join the rest of Life in the At-one-ment. This involves looking for the divine spark, the Great Rays, from all living things and encouraging others to do the same.

The mission of Unitarian Universalists is to teach not only a respect but a love for the interdependent web of all existence and the most important step in this direction is to forgive our own trespasses and the trespasses of others against us.

Take away = The basis of our Unitarian Univeralist faith is forgiveness and this requires awareness and generosity. How can you teach the value of forgiveness to others so that you better learn the lesson yourself?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Unitarian Universalism needs missionary zeal encompassing learning what it would teach

Unitarian Univeralism is a dying denomination along with many of the other mainline Christian Churches. They are dying because these institutions are no longer relevant to our contemporary, digital, global community. The old practices, beliefs, and traditions no longer are attractive enough to engage, retain, and nurture membership. UU churches have become social clubs that tend to be cliquey and unable to resolve conflict well. Most importantly, UU as a denomination, and its churches, have no missionary zeal to spread its primary beliefs and principles. As W. Edwards Deming, the Total Quality Management guru from the 80s said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

Where is Unitarian Universalism going? What is its key message for the salvation of the world? How is that message spread?

In A Course In Miracles, it is taught that the usual role of teaching and learning is reversed. It is written, “The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same.”

It is further written, “The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with a means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn.”

“Teaching is but a call to witness to attest to what you believe. It is a method of conversion. This is not done by words alone. Any situation must be a chance to teach others what you are and what they are to you.”

Observation would lead to an awareness that this is rarely done in UU churches and other mainline Christian churches. If one were asked what difference a church makes in its community in terms of positive influence, often the responder would be hard pressed to articulate a coherent response.

If Unitarian Univeralism is to survive as a social institution in our society, it must develop an awareness of what it wants to learn and how to teach it so that that learning can occur. If Unitarian Universalism is to survive, let alone grow, it must develop a missionary zeal focused on spreading the good news of its core principles and beliefs. As it is empowered by the learning that comes from its teaching it may be a source of influence for the salvation of the world.

Take away - You learn what you teach. What do you want to learn? What do Unitarian Universalists need to learn?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rev. Greg Ward preaches at UU church of Berkeley on 01/25/15 on "How To Explain Unitarian Universalism Without A Pamphlet"

Editor's note:

I search out and review good sermons from a Unitarian Universalist perspective. I am looking especially for sermons that articulate the Unitarian Universalist faith and deepen our sense of spirituality.

In this sermon, Rev. Ward is basically making a sales pitch and training sales people, outreach workers, missionaries. Unfortunately he doesn't call his sermon a sales training speech for missionaries, but this seems to be essentially what he is doing. His sentences are inspiring and uplifting but not terribly memorable. If you are going to equip missionaries with tools to spread the faith you need some snappy slogans. Here are a few which I recommend:

1. "Our God is too big for anyone religion."
2. "We always stand on the side of love."
3. "We are all in this thing called Life together and we believe that we will enjoy it more working together for the benefit of all."
4. "Unitarian Universalism is a big tent which covers not just earth, the solar system, the milky way galaxy, but the whole universe."
5. "We believe in deeds not creeds and we have seven principles to guide our actions."
6. "We all are children of the Universe and as such we are here to love one another."

Do you have some sales tools which you use and recommend? First of all, what do you tell yourself are the key and fundamental aspects of your faith? How would you share these aspects with others?
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