Representin’ part 2

Well, we did the radio show…my debut. All the questions I worried about coming up came up (What do you worship, and what are you doing in your community).  Thank goodness that our minister and another member of the congregation were present (and the sound engineer for the show was from our congregation, too).

But the big question came in this form: What is the main thrust of Unitarian Universalism (and I’m reminded of Rev. Galen Guengerich ‘s column in the UU World about gratitude)?  In other words, if Jesus Christ isn’t your personal savior and you aren’t going on to a greater place in the next life, how would you describe what it is that UUs believe.

Each of us answered, and each of us said something different–and yet, each of us said the same thing at the same time.  I rehashed what I had said in a sermon my worship committee co-chair did earlier this month.  I introduced the idea of inherent worth and dignity and I said that it all came to a head for me a week or two before that particular sermon, when we were talking about inherent worth and dignity and the question was posed: “Can someone squander their inherent worth and dignity?”

I’ll ask that question again and you think of what comes up for you.  I’ll give you a minute afterward:  Can a person squander their inherent worth and dignity?

My answer? That’s not the point. The point is not about what someone else does, it is how I respond to it.  Religious life, I think, can give us the framework to respond when people do squander their dignity through various means: by being violent, by being lazy, hurtful, mean, by entering into war unilaterally and unprovoked.

That is what we are about, isn’t it: learning to respond to the awful while we learn to be proactive for the hopeful, the good, the true and the right?  It is us, right, us UUs, but not us alone. It is us learning to be hopeful, learning to understand, learning to bring others to the table of understanding and love.

So, the question was asked at the end by both hosts (who, I think by the end of the show must have realized that they are Unitarian Universalists), if all this is true about Unitarian Universalism–why is the denomination so small.

I had no answer.  Do you?


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2 Responses to Representin’ part 2

  1. uuMomma says:

    Sure has taken me a long time to respond to this, I know. But I have to say–respectfully–I think that you missed my point. I’m not wondering what the UUA is doing (or not doing), but what we, as individuals who meet each week in our home congregations who say we are Unitarian Universalists, are doing to keep our numbers low or NOT doing to keep ourselves from growing.

    There are congregations that are growing and I’d like to know what they are doing to make that happen. I have my own ideas (and ideals) about why so many churches stagnate and why only two families with small children have stayed at my particular church since I started attending. The UUA and Rev. Sinkford can inform how we, as individuals and as a member congregation, respond to the world, but in our own communities we are the ones who have to create the community to which others wish to belong. And, when you live in a place where people are comfortable attending church and worshipping and what you are offering is more lecture and discourse than worship and action, well, you aren’t going to keep people who want to attend church and be active in church life but still have the freedom to search for their own truth and meaning. Which, of course, does not speak to those places that want to offer lecture and discourse.


  2. Joel Monka says:

    Easy answer- all this is NOT true about UU. Perhaps it’s the ideal you would like to believe about us, but can you give three real life examples of the UUA or any member congregation “…learning to bring others to the table of understanding and love.”? Not setting up a Washington Office of Advocacy initiative, not an open letter from Rev Sinkford, but actually accomplishing something?


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