Our UU faith calls us to be curious. The search for truth and meaning is not a place we arrive at, but an endless practice of curiosity. Change is the one thing we can count on. Change often brings discomfort but what if instead of fighting it, we expected it. What if we counted on change and were curious about it?
I have read Widening the Circle of Concern a few times. I expect I will keep studying the great learnings and changes in our faith and what is called for if we want to grow and not shrink Unitarian Universalism. Have you read it?
If you want to, you can read or listen to it for free: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/cic/widening. Or you can order a printed copy and there are copies in our library.
Some of the learnings I have had from it about change:
“Our covenant, founded in the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, calls us: to deal with disagreements constructively and to communicate with each other in a direct, caring, and responsible manner.” It means, sitting with things that are uncomfortable and asking yourself WHY? Why are they uncomfortable? Is it because it is less familiar? Is it because you had a negative experience with it? Curiosity about change is so helpful.
Widening the Circle of Concern also asks us to express gratitude and support to all who volunteer their time and talents in support of the church to call each other lovingly back into the circle of covenant when necessary to live our values within the church and throughout our wider community, bringing the best of each to the other. Change for you might be writing a few thank you cards or emails every week. We all mean to–but is there ever enough gratitude?
Covenant and commitment, not comfort, should be the binding fabrics of UU congregations and other communities. In fact, most UU churches exist to help people become better people. It is our playground and our laboratory for change–changing people to be even better representatives of peace and justice.
Our covenant calls us to hold urgent and dear Unitarian Universalism’s aspirations to building the Beloved Community with diversity, inclusion, equity, compassionate justice, and an acknowledgment of our interdependence with other forms of life. To do that we have to change all the time. It is not a one-time thing. Instead, change is ongoing. We have bound ourselves together in faithful discernment, not just by structure but in our learning and living with change. Our common ministry must lead us forward toward transformation and liberation. This month, sermons will help us look at how we deal with change and how we figure out what it means to help one another on the path. In our faith, covenanting is not a directive, or set of rules, but a way we go about helping one another be better. Indeed, our covenants are the tool we use to bring one another on the road of change. We are called to travel this path together because together we are more.