A diverse, welcoming community of open hearts and minds since 1948
To have Gini Courter, the Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association, giving our sermon yesterday: How special was that? I'm very grateful for her leadership, her vision, her humor, her commitment to our faith ... and perhaps most of all, her love for Unitarian Universalists and people in general.
Gini quoted Laila Ibrahim, who is the Director of Religious Education at our congregation in Oakland, California. Many years ago, when I was one of the three ministers on staff there, Laila (pronounced LIE-la) was a dedicated non-staff layperson who operated a beloved preschool out of her home. She had those four points about UUism she developed (and that Gini mentioned) made into refrigerator magnets and other "bling" too, I believe ... In essence, she says:
Unitarian Universalists believe ...
It’s a blessing we were born;
It matters what we do;
What each of us knows about god is a piece of the truth, and;
We don’t have to do it alone.
I agree with Gini ... It's good to have this "boiled down" language to use when our seven UU principles verbage ("We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote ...") obscures more than it reveals. That's why my shorthand version is that we Unitarian Universalists believe in the power of love to transform the world.
It was awesome having the youth in the balcony during the second service!
Here is a version of the prayer I offered during the Embracing Meditation, based in part on Gini's sermon:
Spirit of life and community -- Love that abides within us:
We are thankful for this living tradition to which we belong ... for its prophets, its leaders, its ministers, its laypeople, its members and friends.
We are thankful for partners for justice and service in other faith communities and in secular organizations.
We are thankful for the ability to communicate, to hear and be heard.
We are grateful for the spark of the divine in each person here and throughout humankind.
We are grateful that revelation is still open and that we are all part of that revealing.
We are grateful today for the capacity to extend care and compassion ...
We lift up transgender men and women this November 20th Transgender Day of Remembrance. We remember transpeople lost to violence and hatred, and pray for strength to engage in the struggle for freedom and self-expression.
In this week when many of us celebrate food, family and fellowship in abundance, may we do what we are called to do for those who face hunger, loneliness and despair.
May we know ourselves to be truly blessed by all that is our life.
And so it is.
One more note: For those who still want to contribute to this Wednesday's OccupyDC Thanksgiving Dinner, you may do so directly through this link, which is unaffiliated with UUCA. To volunteer, I suggest emailing the Network of Spiritual Progressives at email@example.com. And thank you to everyone who has made our OccupyDC "kitchen actions" go so well! As one member said during the Embracing Meditation, the last one started as chaos, but it all worked out!