Our religious education nurtures both roots and wings; the roots of community and shared values, and the wings of the free mind and creative spirit. —— Rev. Pat Hoertdoerfer, "Education for Religion as Relationship"

In Today's Workshop...

Today's story used the metaphor of "roots and wings" to talk about our faith tradition——past, present, and future. We heard and discussed a sermon by Rev. Joshua Mason Pawelek about ancestors. We learned about our roots by reading quotes and actions and connecting them with core values of Unitarian Universalism. We then explored the widely held assumption that as Unitarian Universalists "we can believe anything we want" in the context of the "free and responsible search for truth and meaning" (fourth Principle). We also reflected on how our faith leads us to believe, feel, and act when it comes to roots (tradition) and wings (living and acting).

Reflect on...

How do you live out the free and responsible search for truth and meaning? In what ways do you act as a co-creator of the future of Unitarian Universalism?

Explore the topic further with family and friends...

  • Research your family's religious background. What traditions did your ancestors belong to, and how did tradition play out in their lives? Listen to stories from family members or look at old family photos and keepsakes. Talk with your immediate family members about their religious background and their current religious affiliation. Ask them "What in your faith keeps you rooted and how do you give your faith wings?"
  • Initiate conversation with your peers from other religious traditions. Ask them what in their faith keeps them rooted and how they make it relevant to their lives. What do they feel they have inherited as part of a religious tradition? How do they determine what is true and meaningful for them?
  • This workshop portrayed our religious roots as a source of pride. What happens when your religious roots are not respected or accepted by the majority culture? Watch "Roots and Wings" a short piece by 14 year-old Angad Singh about his Sikh roots.
  • Watch and/or read the rest of Reverend Joshua Mason Pawelek's sermon "On Becoming an Ancestor" and use it as a conversation starter with friends or family. Post a link to the video on your Facebook or MySpace profile, blog, website, or other social networking account along with some of the reflection questions provided above or during the workshop.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.