Gathered Here: Giving Life to our Faith
General Assembly 2013 Event 4013
Speakers: Linda Laskowski, Amanda Trosten-Bloom
From February 2011 through August 2012, thousands of Unitarian Universalists (UUs) explored what gives life to our faith. Come hear what we learned, and the difference it will make to Unitarian Universalism and to your UU community. Come experience and reflect again on the best of who we are.
What Gives Life to Our Faith?
Tell me a story that illustrates one or more of the elements of Unitarian Universalism’s positive core. It should be a positive story that you’ve experienced over the course of your life as a UU: a story of success that reinforces the strengths of our faith. Consider the following probing questions, as you tell your story.
- Who was involved? How?
- How did this experience affirm or promote UU principles, furthering our religious commitment to create “the kingdom of heaven on earth?”
- How did this experience change you or others?
According to the Gathered Here Summary Report, Unitarian Universalism is at its best when we…
- Grow into our best selves and honor the divine in each person. We see another person as “real.” In so doing, we help them connect with their inherent worth and dignity and ensure that this connection is reflected back to them. We also open ourselves to be changed.
- Practice “spiritual justice”: justice making grounded in faith and worship. Through faith and worship, we make ourselves open, vulnerable and receptive. This softens the tone of our justice making. It enables us to do our work in a manner that provides safety and respect to others—even those with whom we disagree.
- Embrace fellow travelers within and beyond our faith, building community together. We expansively see and define who “we” are. Actively reaching out to and partnering with like-spirited, like-minded and like-hearted people, we increase our influence in the world and open doors to future growth in our membership.
- Proactively invite people to share themselves and their gifts. This is described as one of the more powerful ways in which we can see and affirm our members. Particularly when engaging members of historically marginalized groups, it’s essential that we recognize each person’s unique skills, gifts, talents hopes and dreams.
- Have such a strong sense of our religious purpose and identity that we must act on it. When we passionately commit to our religious principles and purpose, we are unable to ignore the world’s call. We can’t not act, to bring our vision of the Beloved Community to life.
- Covenant together to create sustained relationships across all ages and cultures. Through covenant, we maintain right relationship with fellow UUs. And through experience living well in our diverse faith, we learn to live well with those who are beyond our movement. Our covenantal connections show us how to live respectfully and well in a world that thirsts for peaceful connection.
- Transcend geographic, national, and language barriers. We actively seek opportunities to reach across cultural divides to form relationships and make the world a fairer, more just place. We do so with open minds, loving hearts and helping hands.
- Experience spiritual depth, individually and collectively. We offer “bring me to my knees” spiritual experiences for people of all ages. These experiences include formation of safe, intimate, respectful, unconditionally loving relationships, while engaging in alternative worship, spiritual discovery and powerful rituals.