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Taking It Home, Session 16: Love Is the Golden Rule

In "Love Will Guide Us," a Tapestry of Faith program

Descendent of slave and of slave owner, I had already been called poet, lawyer, teacher, and friend. Now I was empowered to minister the sacrament of One in whom there is no north or south, no black or white, no male or female—only the spirit of love and reconciliation drawing us all toward the goal of human wholeness. — Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray, civil rights activist, feminist, writer, poet, lawyer, teacher, and ordained priest

IN TODAY'S SESSION... we reviewed all seven Unitarian Universalist Sources and remembered highlights from our sessions together. Our story, "Love is the Golden Rule," showed how the centrality of love has been expressed many ways in different religious and cultural settings. We created Night Sky displays to take home to remind us how our Sources guide us to act with love.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... their Night Sky display your child made, and the seven Unitarian Universalist Sources, expressed in child-friendly language as:

  • The sense of wonder we all share
  • The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair
  • The ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world's religions
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves
  • The use of reason and the discoveries of science
  • The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life
  • Faithful words and actions that shape our Unitarian and Universalist heritage.

Take some time to talk about what each Source means. How does, or can, your family learn from that Source. How do, or can, you let it guide you to act with love?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... creating a list of your family rules. Discuss each rule and how it might, or might not, be an extension of love as the golden rule. Remember that love can be applied to oneself in the form of self-care and healthy habits. See if you can choose one overarching rule for your family to live by.

A Family Adventure: Source of the Day. Plan a week of Source days to focus on each Unitarian Universalist Source in turn. For "the sense of wonder" you might go to a place that invokes awe and wonder, such as a waterfall, cave, or museum exhibit. For "the women and men of long ago and today... " research a hero or heroine together and articulate how their words and deeds can guide us to love. For "world religions," visit a house of worship such as a Buddhist temple; read a story together from Hindu, Islamic, or a Native American tradition; or take a yoga or tai chi class together. For "Jewish and Christian teachings" you might visit a church or temple you have not visited before, look up the sayings of the 12th-century rabbi Maimonides, or watch "Veggie Tales" videos together and then read the Bible stories they are based on. For "the use of reason and the discoveries of science," spend the day reading Magic School Bus books, do a few simple science experiments, or take a magnifying glass outside to explore nature and record your observations. For "the harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life," take note of the life around you—including yourselves, pets, and house or yard plants—and talk about where each living thing is in its lifecycle. For the seventh Source, "our UU faith heritage," share what you know about Unitarian, Universalist, and contemporary Unitarian Universalist actions for social justice—a legacy that began with those who strove for religious freedom in Europe, continued through the fight to abolish slavery and promote full suffrage in the United States, and continues with advocacy for equal marriage, just immigration policies, and environmental protection. If you can easily get online, start at the UUA website and follow links to learn about our faith's history. Each day, identify how the "Source of the Day" can help guide you toward love in your beliefs and actions.

Family Ritual. Collect readings, poems, and prayers that reflect each of our Sources. Every night at dinner, read one. See who can identify the Source. Discuss briefly how the message of the reading matches your Unitarian Universalist beliefs. Two helpful books: A Child's Book of Blessings and Prayers by Eliza Blanchard Sunday and Everyday: My Little Book of Unitarian Universalism by Patricia Frevert, both at the UUA Bookstore.

The UUA bookstore also offers:

Aisha's Moonlit Walk: Stories and Celebrations for the Pagan Year by Anika Stafford

Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher by Lynn Tuttle Gunney

Born With a Bang: the Universe Tells its Cosmic Story, From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story, and Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story by Jennifer Morgan

Ayat Jamilah, Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents by Freda Crane and Sarah Conover

Harmony: A Treasury of Chinese Wisdom for Children and Parents by Sarah Conover and Chen Hui

Kindness: A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents by Sarah Conover

Pilgrim Book of Bible Stories by Mark Water

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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