Posts Tagged ‘creed’

If you only read one thing from DiscoverUU…

June 4, 2008

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.

-Aaron Sawyer

DiscoverUU, Founder

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UU AFFIRMATION

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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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

UU’s must develop their own creed.

February 18, 2008

UUs must develop their own creed.

Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd’s excellent sermon podcast titled “By Heart” brought up something that I feel severely limits the potency and functionality of UUism- RITUAL.

-specifically how memorization can enhance and strengthen an individual’s beliefs.

Nancy’s sermon described how, in times of desperation and need, people find comfort returning to ritual prayers that were drilled into them as children. Rituals like The Lord’s Prayer or the Apostles’ Creed allow us to touch the sacred, shared history of humanity and the divine. They bring us comfort in times of need and bring strength to continue on in the face of adversity.

 

The Seven Principles are excellent organizing statements, but you will not hear Christians reciting the 10 Commandments in moments of distress.

Call it what you want. We need an affirming statement, a thesis, an organizing call. We need a creed.

Without a creed, we are a religion more about what we are not, than what we are. Paragraphs and pamphlets cannot compete with the strength of a central affirming sentence. When we find ourselves attacked by nature or our fellow man, we must be able to recall a message of affirmation and strength, defining our goals, and restoring our spirit.

The catch: Unitarian Universalism is a creedless religion.

But that’s a little like saying the absolute: “There are no absolutes.”

In that spirit, our UU creed must be one that proclaims creedlessness and captures the spirit, diversity, and responsibility of the UU tradition. The creed is: we have no creed. We just have to pretty it up. I’ve compiled bits and phrases stolen various sermon podcasts. I hope that with some effort and the cooperation of my friends, this might one day be serviceable as such a creed. Please help.

Here are two versions I have created so far. I would love to hear your thoughts. Knowing what a passionate bunch UU’s can be, I do have one request in this creative venture.
Please do not tear down without building it back up- constructiveness in place of critique please. Anyone can swing a wrecking ball. It is very difficult to build it back up.

That said: Comment away!

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I believe in a personal call to find the sacred, choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

I believe in the power of reverence, the joy of community, and the responsibility of freedom.

This is the creed of my heart, not that of my institution.

 

Or

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I believe in a call to find my sacred truth, to chose for myself, and hold in my heart.

And I believe in your right to act in kind.

Together we can share the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the responsibilities of freedom.

This is the creed of my heart, extended to you, and expressed through this institution.