In the Interim: 4/19/2019

meg-rileyYou’ll receive this on Good Friday, and as the day turns to night, Passover seders will begin all over the world.  Though UUs mark Easter in our own ways, we do little to note the crucifixion which must happen before the ressurection can occur.  And while  about ten percent of us are “Jewnitarian,” the UU seders I’ve attended over the years have been brief and abbreviated, nothing like the long forays into deep discussion and reflection I’ve celebrated in the houses of Jewish friends.

Sometimes I long for more of a liturgical year for Unitarian Universalists. Various people have written them over the years, and some congregations opt into them.  At UUCM, engaging in theme-based ministry connects us to dozens of other congregations pondering the same monthly topics.  But none of those optional calendars have the depth of the year that a Christian or Jewish or Muslim calendar holds, and sometimes I long for that.  Many of us create our own seasonal rituals and choose to align our energy with that of the earth more than with a particular faith community.

The first time my child, then 8, accompanied me to a Jewish friend’s house for a Passover seder, Jie said on the way home, “Now that’s a REAL religion!”  I knew just what Jie meant, and it also made me very sad.  Those of us committed to Unitarian Universalism, as I have been my whole life, know that it is a difficult and demanding faith of a very particular, quirky, nature.

This need for a center, for something that is ours, is why the Worship Arts Ministry (often called WAM) is initiating a weekly chalice lighting which includes the UU principles.  We want the kids to be able to answer the question, if asked, what do UUs believe? And it doesn’t hurt the adults any either!

We’ll try it for a while, and see if it strengthens the center.  We’ll be eager to gather your input during the summer.

Meanwhile, whatever holidays you celebrate this weekend—Passover,  Easter, Earth Day, or your own—may it be a time of connection, joy, and meaning.

— Warmly, Meg

Each week, the interim ministry team will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme, the state of the church, or the state of the world. MegTerri and Arif will alternate writing this “In the Interim” post. We encourage your comments.

2 Comments

  1. I will admit that I was lukewarm on having a “standing” chalice lighting – but I am finding that hearing the same 4 lines reinforcing what UUs believe (our “faith”, if you will) is helping me a lot! I say keep it going. 🙂

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  2. My observation is that belief statements have relatively little to do with actual lived values or behaviors. I think they function primarily to define us versus them. In this era of victimizing Trump, and his support from Christians who divide good people from bad, white from black, I interpret Unitarian as unity and Universalism as universal and inclusive. I search for soul and belonging beyond the masks of beliefs, identity and labels. Institutional religion has always tried to define boundaries, contrary to the essence of faith.
    Lee Wenzel

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