Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Values component of first principle
The UUAWOL ministry aspires to enhance the UU covenant to affirm and promote its seven principles. We are working on the principles one at a time and considering how to affirm and promote them by enhancing knowledge, skills, and values so as to enhance our individual holiness and sanctify the world. Below is the value component of the first principle - the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
The value component of the first principle, inherent worth and dignity of every person, requires the member to be consciously aware of their choice to value the encompassing worth of each and every human being because they are part of the divine creation. This valuing in the first principle is very much based on the seventh principle which is the respect and love for the interdependent web of existence.
This value component also asks us to be aware of any biases we may unconsciously harbor against “the other.” To clarify our values we must be honest with ourselves and purify ourselves from our egos. Values clarification involves four steps: awareness, acknowledgement, choice, behavior. Here are some questions to help clarify your values about the first principle.
1. What kind of people do I like best and like least? Why?
2. Have I ever admitted to myself or others my biases? When? Who?
3. How have I taken steps to rise above my biases?
4. How has becoming aware of my biases influenced my behavior?
The requirement for the successful completion of this component is that you tell someone the results of this inventory.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The UUAWOL ministries aspires to enhance the UU covenant to affirm and promote its seven principles. We are working on the principles one at a time and considering how to affirm and promote them by enhancing knowledge, skills, and values so as to enhance our individual holiness and sanctify the world. Below is the skill component of the first principle - the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Implementing the first principle through skill training takes actions. To implement this principle in action you are being asked to extend yourself to the other. Here are some ideas: visit a temple, synagogue, stake, church of a denomination or religion that you are unfamiliar with. Meet the people and ask about their religious practices. Write a brief report or tell someone about the differences you learned about between your own people and other, and the things that are held in common.
Another idea would be to visit an ethnic festival in your area of a nationality or ethnicity you are not familiar with. Notice the difference in language, music, art, clothing, food, manners and etiquette, religion, family life, etc. Tell someone about your experience, preferably back at church.
At the very least you can read a novel, watch a movie, visit a restaurant that is different from your own upbringing and culture. Report what you have learned.
We all are familiar with the Golden rule, but consider and enact the Platinum rule which is “Do under to others as they would have you do unto them.” To enact the Platinum rule it is presumed that you understand the preferences of the other.
The purpose of this skill training is to enhance the common bonds of humanity. Every person, no matter how foreign or different, has inherent worth and dignity. Overcoming our fears of the different and unfamiliar is the key to this first principle. It is scary and challenging but the benefits for our journey to holiness and the sanctification of the world are enormous.
Monday, August 13, 2018
UUAWOL Ministries - Understanding our covenant: What does it mean that every person has worth and dignity?
We will begin to focus on the first principle which is the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Using the triad of knowledge, skills, and values, the first task is to articulate the knowledge requirements. The first requirement is a 500 word description of what "inherent worth and dignity of every person means." Where did this idea come from? Has it always existed in human cultures? What is the basis for this assertion? How is this principle manifested?
Please submit your essays to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit your name and address along with your essay.
There is no right or wrong. In the search for truth and meaning each person must come to his/her understanding of what is meant by this first principle. How does one affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person?
To get you started here is snippet from Sarah Lammert's essay in "The Seven Principles In Word and Workship" edited by Ellen Brandenburg
“Historically, the affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person was first articulated in the American Unitarian context as a direct attack on the Calvanist orthodoxy of the nineteenth century. William Ellery Channing and other Unitarian ministers of his day protested the idea that human beings are fundamentally depraved. Instead Channing presented a vision of the perfectibility of the human mind and spirit.” Lemmert in Brandenburg p.6