Showing posts with label UU news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UU news. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Advent 2022

It is being announced today on UU A Way Of Life that Advent, 2022 begins this coming Sunday, November 27th, 2022 and lasts for four Sundays before Christmas. The fourth Sunday of Advent in 2022 is December 24th, also known as Christmas eve.

Advent is a “season” in the Christian calendar that prepares for the birth of Jesus of Nazareth who came to be perceived as the long awaited Messiah of the Jewish people.

Jesus’ teachings expanded far beyond the Jewish people of his time and is now the basis for a worldwide religion and culture.

The season of Advent is characterized by hope for a better world and the coming of salvation for human beings captured through socialization and conditioning by the world of the ego at the expense of peace and bliss which many human beings have come to believe is their birthright.

Friday, November 25, 2022

The Sinner (TV series). Compassion for the culpable.

The Sinner is a TV series streamed on Netflix composed of 4 seasons with 8 episodes for each season totaling 32 episodes in all.

Each season depicts a different case that Detective Lt. Harry Ambrose works to get to the bottom of. This mystery detective series is different from most in that the crime is solved in the first few episodes but Det. Ambrose diggs to understand why the person committed the crime. The season of episodes slowly unveils the back story.

As the back story is being told Det. Ambrose struggles with his own demons and Ambrose becomes a heroic figure of the wounded healer.

One of the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism is the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and if there ever was an artistic portrayal of this search in the minds and hearts of human beings this is it. The search isn’t for transcendent meaning but for an understanding of what makes people tick. 

The virtues displayed by Ambrose as he goes about his investigations are integrity and a passionate desire for truth with a commitment to ethical principles along with deep compassion for the people labeled criminals because of their crime but who Ambrose sees as worthy of love and respect.

While Ambrose might not describe himself as such, he is a man of deep faith in the dignity and worth of what appear to be culpable human beings.

Unitarian Universalists join together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This is their first of seven principles upon which the UU faith is based.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Gratitude: The Heart Of Unitarian Universalism

Back in the Spring of 2007 the UU World published a feature article entitled The Heart Of Our Faith by Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich the senior pastor at All Souls Church in New York City. The article was based on a sermon that Rev. Dr. Guengerich had given at All Souls on October 15, 2006.

Rev. Dr. Guengerich writes in part:

The feeling of awe emerges from experiences of the grandeur of life and the mystery of the divine. We happen upon a sense of inexpressible exhilaration at being alive and a sense of utter dependence upon sources of being beyond ourselves. This sense of awe and dependence should engender in us a discipline of gratitude, which constantly acknowledges that our present experience depends upon the sources that make it possible. The feeling of obligation lays claim to us when we sense our duty to the larger life we share. As we glimpse our dependence upon other people and things, we also glimpse our duty to them. This sense of obligation leads to an ethic of gratitude, which takes our experience of transcendence in the present and works for a future in which all relationships—among humans, as well as between humans and the physical world—are fair, constructive, and beautiful.

Rev. Dr. Guengerich had a book published in May of 2020 entitled “The Way Of Gratitude: A New Spirituality For Today.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Transgender Christian leaders say scripture inspires inclusive congregations.


On September 25,2022, NPR aired a broadcast entitled “Transgender Religious Leaders Say Scripture Should Inspire Inclusive Congregations. Here is a brief excerpt:

Evangelical Christianity has played a big role in the political debate around transgender issues, and the spate of legislation it's led to. And so that position is widely known: God created humans, separated into male and female – categories that are innate and immutable.

But religions speak with more than one voice. And other Christians are using their sacred texts to embrace a broader understanding of gender.

Unitarian Universalism which includes people from all major religions and none do not profess a creed. Instead they have seven principles which they covenant together to affirm and promote. The first of the seven is the “inherent worth and dignity of every person.” 

One of Unitarianism pioneers, Francis David, said in the 16th century, “We need not think alike to love alike.”

The Universalists preached the unconditional love of God for God’s creation and that all humans will attain the Kingdom of God eventually.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Groundswell of opposition growing against article 2 changes to UUA bylaws.

Today it was learned by the staff at UU A Way Of Life that November 28th may be the last day that the comments on the UUA bylaws revision will be accepted. Here is the link for comments - It's supposed to be available until November 28. The comment form  tracks emails, so you can only enter comments once.

The bylaw revisions change the purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association, eliminate the seven principles and the six sources, and add wording about inclusion. A side by side comparison of the changes can be accessed by clicking here.

There is a groundswell of objections to these revisions coming from UU groups such as UUMUAC (Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Action Council), the Fifth Principle Project, and many individuals and UU congregations.

Rev. Chuck Currie leaves Twitter

Rev. Chuck Currie, a minister for the United Church of Christ denomination, announced on 11/18/22 that he is leaving Twitter. Here is part of what he wrote:

Hate speech has soared on Twitter since Musk took over. “One racial slur was used 26,228 times in tweets and retweets in Musk’s first week, which was triple the 2022 average,” reports Axios in a new study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate.


Christianity should be, I believe, about building up the ideal of the Beloved Community. 


In Ephesians 4:29, we read: “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths but only what is good for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” Social media doesn’t lend itself to such ideals, which I myself have fallen short of too many times to count, but God is not finished with any of us yet.


One of my fellow Unitarian Universalists told me that he did not think social media is a good vehicle to engage in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, the fourth of our seven principles.


A UU adult education teacher told me that media literacy should be an important part of any UU adult education program because of our commitment to the responsible search for truth and meaning. She raised the observation that perhaps UUs should follow Rev. Currie’s lead and consider leaving social platforms that perpetuate misinformation and hate speech.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Bread Communion at Oak Ridge UU

On Sunday, 11/20/22, the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church in Oak Ridge, TN celebrated Bread Communion.


Winston Churchill, a prophetic man, focused on behavior not beliefs.

Unitarian Universalists join together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. This is the second principle of seven.

Unitarian Universalism is not a creedal religion based on any one religious text. The living tradition of Unitarian Universalism is constantly evolving as new knowledge, values, and technology emerges. 

The thought system of Unitarian Universalism is based on many sources one of which is the words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love. Winston Churchill was one such person.

Michael Durall in his book, The Almost Church, says that Unitarian Universalists need to live their faith not just attend services on Sunday.. The UU faith needs to become a way of life if it is to grow.

David G. Markham, the publisher of the UU: A Way Of Life blog stated that he has named his blog after Durall's idea that Unitarian Universalism is a way of life.


Transgender Day Of Remembrance


Yesterday, 11/20/22, there was a church service at First Universalist Church of Rochester, NY about the Transgender Day Of Remembrance.

Rev. Lane Mairead- Campbell lead the adult service as Rev. Michelle Yates lead the children's service reading the children’s book, Sam Is My Sister by Ashley Rhodes-Courter.

Rev. Lane then read a list of about 40 people who are transgendered who have died in the last 25 years by suicide, domestic violence, and other forms of violence.

Rev. Lane then stated that the annual Transgender Day Of Remberence began in Massachusetts in the late 1990s after Rita Hester died in 1998.

As part of her sermon Rev. Lane said, “We hold life to be sacred in this church and not in the ways where we feel we must defend birth at the cost of another's livelihood, but in the way that we know that life is precious that each person's life is a gift to the world, and to their community that access to a healthy and happy life is worth defending for all of us even those we have conflict with, or even anger towards, their lives, are still sacred.”

After the service ended the news broke about the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, CO. in which at least 5 people were killed and 18 injured by a 22 year old gunman.

In the coffee hour after the service, a person pointed out that Unitarian Universalists join together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the first of the seven UU principles upon which the UU faith is based.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Concerns about changes to UUA bylaws

Yesterday, 11/19/22, UUMUAC, the Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Unity Action Council, met on zoom for two hours and was attended by about 67 people from across the United States and one person from Paris, France.

The meeting was facilitated by Richard Trudeau, the chair of the board of UUMUAC. Members were invited to express their concerns.

The main concern of the members is the proposed change to the article II bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This change would eliminate the 7 principles and change the UUA from a service organization to one providing more oversight of local congregations.

A second concern was how disagreement with the proposed change to the bylaws is being managed by the current UUA administration which includes a loss of the freedom of the pulpit for ministers who are part of the UUMA, Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, and the fact that two of its ministers have be defrocked and excommunicated from fellowship because of their disagreement with the proposed changes.

A third concern was the deceptive practices of the current administration which include a lack of compliance with bylaws of the organization especially when it comes to nominating the next president of the UUA.

There were suggested steps suggested for action, the first being the raising of awareness and education about the proposed changes and the second being local congregations sending delegates to the General Assembly in the Spring of 2023 who are knowledgeable about these issues.

There was much concern that local congregations who are members of the UUA are not knowledgeable about these proposed changes and it was suggested several times that local congregations be made aware and educated about these issues.

For more information about the proposed changes to the UUA bylaws click here.

Print Friendly and PDF