Over the last couple of months, the Mission Statement Task Force has put a survey in most of the weekly E-Nuus for everyone’s participation. Refer to the February 17th E-Nuus for the last survey which also includes all the previous ones. It’s still not too late to take the quizzes if you’d like. It has been very interesting and enjoyable for those of us on the task force to review the results, especially the comments. I thought you might like to read some of them too. The results are anonymous. Thank you to all who participated. I summarize the questions as there isn’t enough space to write them fully. Look back at the E-Nuus for the complete questions. Also, I am writing this prior to getting the results from the last survey.
Refuge or Place of Transformation?
I can’t get behind a description of our congregation being a refuge. “A welcoming center for people who celebrate equity, justice, and love” is not a refuge. I don’t like a mission that would call us to transform society either. I am not convinced that my values are the supreme values that society needs. Other civilizations are not failed attempts at being Unitarian Universalist. If we value diversity, we must learn to appreciate other ways of thinking. Neither of these choices is inspiring or inclusive.
We are both. When I went to my first General Assembly in 2003, I was introduced for the first to the idea that Unitarian Universalism was not just a transformative faith but a Movement with several missions and one was social justice. Our faith calls us to action to join with others to root out injustice. Our faith community we call Chalice should strive to be a model of the Beloved Community we hope society will someday be. But until that day comes, we hope the marginalized among us will find Chalice to be a refuge.
Communal spiritual journey or individual?
If it was purely personal exploration, I don’t need Chalice for that. But I like being on my personal journey while being in community with others who are on their journey.
I think my answer reflects a wish for a communal experience as part of congregational life perhaps more than the current reality.
I don’t see these as being mutually exclusive, it’s a place for both. I’m on a personal journey that I am doing in community with others. It’s a dialectic.
UU a religion or a society of people hurt by religion?
Religion is a pretty broad category that encompasses some really toxic and crazy sh*t as well as beautiful and helpful practices and beliefs. I’m not afraid to call UU a religion; if I just wanted a society I would join a coffee club.
Tough one because I don’t agree with either of the extremes. I see UUism as a faith tradition, but not a creedal religion. I do think many folks who gravitate toward UUism were brought up in other religions and many of us rebelled against our religious upbringing or found fault with it for one reason or another. But “hurt by religion?” I wasn’t hurt by my religious upbringing, but I certainly disagreed with some of its content once I started questioning and thinking for myself.
Come Sunday for deepening convictions or to see friends?
My convictions do not need clarification, but I thrive in an environment where others generally share the same convictions. Being together supports us all.
“Convictions”? We have freedom of belief and that contributes to compatible friendships.
Before (before Covid) I would have said it was more to have my convictions clarified, but with Zoom services I have come to realize that a lot of it was to be in community with others and see my friends. For that reason, I find myself rarely attending the Zoom services.
We’re here to search for truth and meaning or believe and do whatever we want?
The concept of each of us believing as we choose is a VERY important reason why I am at Chalice. But I want to try to remain open to views of others that might cause me to change my core views as well
My values do not include doing “what I want.” If they did, I might smack certain people upside the head. (jk)
Our UU principles spur us to engage and encourage others in the search for truth and meaning. But, as a church without a formal dogma, we are given a lot of leeway to participate as much or as little as we want.
I don’t like when people say you can believe whatever you want as a UU. That’s not true. We have principles in which we heed.
Knowing UU history important or not as a member?
I don’t personally consider the history as nearly important as what we are today & our current positions & traditions.
I would say the history is important for certain elements. For instance, if you don’t understand the history, you may not understand why we need an 8th principle. Generally, though, you can enjoy and practice UU without knowing where it came from.
Are we here to minister to others or to get something valuable for ourselves?
I’m guessing the term “Ministry” in this context means offering support & assisting in growth at Chalice. I am all in for that, there is no other place I know of with more loving, caring & kind people.
Loving, caring & kind people, yes indeed.