As I am going about every day life right here on the Solar Coast, one of many questions I get requested most regularly is, “Are you retired?”
“No,” I say, “I’m nonetheless working.” “At what?” they ask. “I’m a minister,” I say. And so the following query inevitably is, “What variety?”
I’m a UU, I say, a Unitarian Universalist. After which it’s virtually all the time, “I by no means heard of that. What’s that imply?”
That’s when it will get somewhat difficult, as a result of it’s simpler to say what it doesn’t imply.
As an illustration, it doesn’t imply I’m a Muslim or a Jew, a Hindu or a Buddhist, although my church honors these traditions.
It doesn’t imply I’m a Christian, both. Sure, many UUs do certainly rely themselves as Christian, however I occur to not be one in all them.
Not unexpectedly, the standard response is, “I’m undecided I get it.”
Properly, I proceed, many UUs I do know aspire to maintain an open thoughts and so don’t want to be restricted to working towards faith in just one method or one other.
They need to interact life with all their senses and preserve an perspective of gratitude for the items that come their method.
They search for reality in lots of locations: in a wide range of spiritual and religious traditions, in their very own expertise of the world in plenty of sacred texts and in lots of not-so-sacred ones as nicely.
UUs come collectively in group and do lots of the similar issues different spiritual and religious communities do: They learn and sing, work and play, have fun and lament.
They help one another in occasions of issue, they attain out to assist their neighbors they usually work for justice on the planet. And so they train their kids the best way to get alongside, the best way to dwell a very good life and the best way to proceed rising all through.
But when that begins to sound as if UUs agree on the whole lot, we don’t.
If UUs agreed on something, we’d agree with writer Robert Fulghum, who wrote, “We agree that people should work out their very own spiritual conclusions. We agree that we are going to disagree on these conclusions.
“We conform to be taught from each other by way of dialogue. We agree on a course of and the instruments for use in that course of, instruments like democracy, integrity, persevering with training and particular person duty.”
I believe most of us would agree that we don’t have any of the creeds or dogma which can be the hallmark of so many different religions.
A few of us preserve common religious practices, like meditation or prayer; others don’t.
A few of us like telling our pals concerning the congregation we belong to; others of us don’t need to trouble anyone with that “evangelical” stuff.
A few of us like solely jazz or nation or opera or rap music. After which a few of us prefer it all.
I’m undecided what different UUs would say they consider, however I consider within the primary goodness of all humanity, and I consider we’re stronger once we act collectively.
And I consider in miracles, too. As an illustration, I consider it’s a miracle that I can talk this to you. And whereas I don’t consider within the supernatural, I do consider within the “tremendous” inside the pure.
I’m a Unitarian Universalist even when it’s tough to clarify what meaning.
Although our campus stays closed because of COVID, you’re welcome to affix us digitally on our web site — UUCOV.org — to listen to extra about what it means.
See you (digitally) in church, synagogue or mosque.
The Rev. Khleber M. Van Zandt V is minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice and on the board of Venice Interfaith Group Affiliation.