Ever wondered how we choose our topics for Sunday mornings? Unlike most religious movements, we Unitarian Universalists aren’t restricted to a single source of wisdom, like the Christian Bible, or the Koran. We also don’t follow a lectionary — a prescribed calendar of texts that everyone in the denomination is expected to read together throughout the month. In fact, you could say that without these restrictions we’re “freed” to preach on whatever we want.
But sometimes that freedom can be a little too vast. What to emphasize? How to choose? Who decides? It also can be said that freedom from the constraints imposed by religious tradition doesn’t always translate into freedom to embrace a multiplicity of important goals: being relevant, welcoming, spiritually nourishing, appropriately challenging … the list goes on and on.
Our theme for March is Liberation, and, interestingly, it was a conversation with your Worship Team about how best to explore Liberation during the month of March that helped me really understand the concept of “freedom to.”
We’d generated a list of ideas and sermon topics we felt excited about. Only then, as a group, we noticed a certain similarity to our ideas. We were tackling liberation as an individual challenge — which it certainly can be. But we hadn’t also paid enough attention to collective liberation — to what it would look like to experience a world where the worth and dignity of all were not just an aspiration, but a reality.
It was the act of sharing time, and space, and a group commitment to listening well that allowed this perspective to emerge. Could one of us have come to the same conclusion alone? Possibly. But arriving here as a group allowed us to experience the empowering gifts of being co-creators of our Sunday goals.
I’ve felt privileged to be part of so many rich conversations at the fellowship lately. What I’m especially noticing is energy around the prospect of liberating yourselves, as an organization, from forms and structures that no longer serve. What inspires me is your passion for doing this while still staying true to the deeper commitments and historic values of the fellowship: to be a people who in community give shape to your vision for yourselves and for the world.
These are such exciting times to be here, together.
In love and service,