I love that DiscoverUU was mentioned in the UU World Magazine’s Blog Roll, which surmises recent UU blog postings. It’s an honor to have been mentioned and yet, I feel I missed an opportunity. I’d like to encourage the fantastic UU World editors to publish the below UU Affirmation.
Unitarian Universalism needs to adopt a shared expression of personal affirmation.
The UUA is cutting all (nearly) programs to focus on serving at the congregational level. But those UU Congregations won’t succeed unless they start affirming the individual.
Many people arrive at UU doorsteps reacting to negative experiences with another religion. It is only natural that UUism is often defined by those aspects it does NOT share with other faith traditions. However, after some healing has occurred, we lose those members who enjoy the church, but find they don’t NEED it. Often, the scattered, reactive, and overly political* message of the church has failed to connect with them at a deeply personal level. UU’s need to move from our reactionary organizational identity by using a positive and personal affirmation that articulates a clear UU message that originates in the heart and extends beyond the congregational walls.
*Political movements must flow naturally from an abundance of spiritual strength. Using politics to insight anger and adrenaline leads to congregational fatigue and frustration. It asks members to tear themselves in yet another direction, when they have come to gather and heal.
Just as the 10 Commandments do not contain the transformative message of Christianity, UU’s cannot rely on our own Seven Principles. Many UU’s know a congregational affirmation that starts with “Love is the spirit of this church…” But the power of the Apostle’s Creed would be greatly diminished if it began: “The Catholic Church believes…” Our affirmations are impersonal and distant, a collective statement that is limited to the walls of the church by its very construction.
By declaring UUism a creedless religion, creedlessness has become our creed. We need to reconstruct this message of negation into a freeing affirmation.
I do not own the below passage. Please use it in your prayers/meditations, in your congregations, and in your literature. Teach it to your children and share it with your friends.
I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.
I affirm this right in you as well.
Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.
This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.
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