As I scanned the crowd during a recent Sunday service I couldn’t help but notice the many interests and causes on display. And I was grateful that our spiritual home is one that attracts, nurtures and reveres people with a cornucopia of passions. Ours is a big tent with room for all – as it should be.
I saw people wearing Black Lives Matter buttons and shirts. People knitting. People singing and playing instruments. Members with canned goods under their chairs that they planned to donate to food insecurity initiatives after the service. People were clad in NFL spirit wear as well as garments bearing anti-NFL messages. Women in the audience were seated in classic yoga meditation positions. There was a couple with matching Standing on the Side of Love tee shirts. People who ate bacon for breakfast sat shoulder to shoulder with steadfast vegans. Softball players were mixed in with Drum Circle regulars.
I wondered how a group of folks with such varied interests could form such a happy tribe. The answer is rooted in tolerance. Acceptance is the thing we have in common. We celebrate our diversity and bask in the strength it conjures rather than allow it to divide us. Your thing might not be my thing, and we’re both fine with that. I may never choose to carry your sign or wear your sweatshirt or button, but I’m really glad you want to. I don’t have to share your passion to be inspired by it.
Our Fifth Principle
Although our diverse passions are a source of strength, they can pose challenges, too. For instance, how should we determine our funding and programming priorities given our varied interests? Good question. As Unitarians, we tend to turn to our Seven Principles for guidance in such situations. When making decisions as a group, we embrace a democratic process as specified in our Fifth Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
Democracy requires participation! With that in mind, I encourage as many people as possible to participate in two upcoming meetings where group decisions will be shaped.
On this Sunday afternoon, January 21, a congregational vision and budget meeting will take place where we will review how well we are addressing the budget priorities set at last January’s budget meeting, and then brainstorm and vote on new priorities. Members and friends plan to meet at 12:30 in Room C. The meeting will end on time at 2:00!
On Saturday, February 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., everyone is invited to a fun, interactive workshop, Knowing UUs, designed to deepen our connections with each other and get a better overall understanding of who we are collectively. Insights will be used to support future program planning.
Please bring your passions and help shape our future!