Hopefully by now most of you have seen or heard our newly proposed mission statement.
With love at the center, the mission of this congregation is to…
INSPIRE, CONNECT, and ACT.
INSPIRE individual and communal spiritual growth,
CONNECT through worship, music, learning, and caring ministries, and
ACT to promote UU principles in ourselves and in the wider world
Recently, I was talking to a few different chalice members and we were all excited about the recent upswing in in-person activities. In just one week we had gone to the Fiber Arts group, Meditation group, Women’s Book group, and a number of other meetings. We were all thrilled to see each other and to connect!
This renewal of face to face interaction made me think of the mission statement with connect as a key ingredient. And connection led me to think of community. One of the important qualities of Chalice mentioned many times in the surveys and focus groups was the strong sense of community. And, as I thought of the word community it led me to think of Beloved Community. Which then led me to the Eighth Principle.
The thing about the Eighth Principle that I love so much is that it equates spiritual wholeness with Beloved community. This reminds me of when we became a Welcoming Congregation years ago. By intentionally welcoming members of the LGBTQ community we grew in love and spirit within ourselves individually and as a congregation. I feel it is the same with the Eighth Principle. It is a beacon or a marker to the world that we intentionally welcome and value members of the BIPOC community in our congregations.
And this brings me back to our mission statement. From inspiration and connection we move to action. And again, in the Eighth Principle we see the importance of action. I believe we, individually, as a congregation, and as an association, are called by our inspiration in our teachings and connection in our community to act for a better world. The Eighth Principle, to me, is one step towards the world in which I want to live.
However, the Eighth Principle isn’t the be all and end all. We can get to the goal of Beloved Community and fight racism and white supremacy without it. And, of course, in and of itself it doesn’t do any of those things. But it does make a statement. Just like being able to say we are a Welcoming Congregation. It tells the world who we are and it invites those affected most by racism and white supremacy to join us. It says we are with you and we are you. It, in my opinion, is an act of love.
Yours in inspiration, connection and action,