I can’t tell you how excited I feel to be entering my fourth year serving The Unitarian Society (a Unitarian Universalist Congregation)!
My July included both vacation leave (spent much of it in New Mexico with a side trip to see family in Oregon) and study leave (approaching the climate crisis with my spiritual hat on and creating art). My August included a return to direct ministry at TUS, including a trip to Eastern Tennessee for the final gathering of the Beyond the Call (BTC3) group of UU ministers from all over the nation focusing on social justice ministries (we’ve been meeting for the past year).
Part of my study leave included envisioning the arc of our worship year together. Guided by the monthly themes of the Soul Matters Sharing Circle, we will gather every Sunday morning to embody community, to raise that which is worthy, and to grow compassion and justice in the wider world and in our worlds.
I have given myself a challenge. Over the coming year, I plan to preach on each of the Unitarian Universalist principles – all seven, plus the proposed 8th. I have never done something like this. I’m a little worried that I might not be up to the task. But I’m going to stretch and give it a try.
I think it will be good for all of us (definitely including myself here) to explicitly explore Unitarian Universalism. For us to spend some time with these most familiar aspects of our shared religious identity. Because, for some of us, they aren’t particularly familiar. No shame there – just a fact – and one we can remedy together as a community.
I will not be preaching the Principles in numerical order. This is for two reasons. First of all: too hard! My brain and creative juices do not work that way! Secondly: while there is an interesting relationship between the principles, it is not a linear one. What is typically considered the first principle (“inherent worth and dignity of every person”) is not most important and the seventh (“interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”) is not the least important.
The first of this UU Principles worship series is our Water Ingathering on September 8th. We will begin with our 7th Principle, exploring through the metaphor of mosaic making how we, in all our different shapes and sizes, histories and stories, are all needed to make a Beautiful Whole. I look forward to this year-long journey through Unitarian Universalism through the Principles with you.
Also: don’t forget to gather your waters and bring them with you! As we have done for the past several years, you are invited to choose a word or phrase as your personal intention for the year. In keeping with the mosaic theme, I’m hoping that you will write your intention on special slips of paper that will go into making a bulletin board mosaic in the lobby.
I am blessed to be on this journey with you,