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Thread: Uu q&a

  1. #51
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by Pathway Machine View Post
    Wow! That sounds really cool. I've never heard of such a thing. What do you discuss during meetings? Would you be likely to hear anyone from the groups you mentioned speaking or addressed in a meaningful way during meetings? In other words do you explore different religious ideas in your meetings? Is there open discussions rather than sermon type talks?

    I do reject the Trinity, but believe Jesus was Christ . . . would someone with a disagreement such as that be welcome as a member?
    Well, the UUA was founded as a merger of the Unitarian Church (the Unitarians reject the Trinity) and the Universalist Church (Universalists believe in Universal salvation)--its origin is Christian. Its been my experience, in a variety of congregations, that about 1/3 of congregants are atheist, agnostic, and/or humanist, another third are spiritual and/or religious without being Christian (this is where you find your Pagans, among others), and the last third are maybe some sort of Jewish and/or Christian-ish religious or spiritual beliefs. Some congregations are more Christian, others more atheist, etc--one I went to was more Buddhist! While anyone that accepts the 7 principles should be welcome, we all know that humans often fail at living up to their ideals...and that there can be some discomfort between the different beliefs which can lead to conflict.

    What is discussed depends--regardless of topic, it generally is reflective about how to live more fully in the UU principles. Many discussions are about what it means to be human and to treat one another with respect, also about our responsibility to the environment, often in the context of various religious beliefs. During the summer, UU sermons are often delivered by members of the congregation (sort of reminds me of Mormons there)--my husband and I gave a sermon on the 150th anniversary of Antietam on the human cost of the American Civil War and I've attended services on the spiritual significance of the Drake Equation (the equation that suggests the number of planets in the Universe with intelligent life), so there's a big variety.

    When it comes to different religious ideas, yeah, our congregation does that fairly often too. We've had guest sermons by other UU ministers (one of the local ones is also Wiccan), by the head of a local Sikh temple, by a liberal Rabbi, etc...and yes, they were religious and interfaith and built on the idea of X element of Y faith and how it is also a UU idea. We've had Christian members lead Christian-ish (though not explicitly so) services, and Pagan members lead Pagan-ish services. Our congregation celebrates Seder, we do a Christmas pagent, we celebrate all 8 sabbats (as part of EarthRising, the Pagan group)... Plus, UU has some of its own traditions--our congregation (which has a lot of military members and vets in fellowship with a lot of pacifists) does an almost laying of the hands sort of community blessing and healing as part of Veterans Day, and the UU as a whole has what they call the water communion and the flower communion...and there's Chalica.



    Oh, dear. It sounded so good until I read this. I wonder if there are variations on how things are done depending upon geographical location?
    UU is Congregationalist. Not sure if you are familiar with Congregationalism, but basically it means that the congregation drives how the church is run in terms of policies, etc. The congregation we have been going to has a Sunday Services Committee that determines topics, speakers, etc. If you don't like the congregation in your area, you can try to find another one, you can be part of the UU's Church for the Larger Fellowship (basically a giant global, partially online church for people without congregations), or you can suck it up and work for change.

    Sometimes I think we are too quick to cry foul and not advocate for what we want.

    I'll be the first to admit that the main church service isn't deeply ecstatic, though its reflective and inspiring. While its not regularly some incredibly deep worship experience, it (depending on the congregation) CAN occur in small group worship--like CUUPS (the UU Pagan group, etc). But its like anything else--you get what you put into it. If all you do is sit there, well...yeah, its not going to mean much.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
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    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  2. #52
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    I'll be the first to admit that the main church service isn't deeply ecstatic, though its reflective and inspiring. While its not regularly some incredibly deep worship experience, it (depending on the congregation) CAN occur in small group worship--like CUUPS (the UU Pagan group, etc). But its like anything else--you get what you put into it. If all you do is sit there, well...yeah, its not going to mean much.
    i admire your enthusiasm and knowledge. You make it sound like a uniquely positive take on religion, with its tolerance and diversity. I don't like syncretistic organized religion. If, comparably speaking, you have a whiskey you have a whiskey, and if you have a coke you have a coke. Its fine to mix them, but don't insist they are still either a whiskey or a coke. They are now a whiskey and coke.

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