Torda450 Small Group Ministry Module 2
Our second module is about the duel topics of "Theology and U/U Identity". Before participating in this module, it is recommended that you watch February's dialogue - find the archived dialogue here. You can also view this module as a pdf.
March 2018 Module 2: Theology and U/U Identity
Note: This module is designed for a small-group setting. However, it can be adapted for individual use or for a larger group. For example, an individual could substitute journaling for small-group discussion. For assistance with adaptation, please contact international [at] uua [dot] org.
- Chalice, Candle and matches or LED battery operated candle
- Projector/Screen or computer monitor to play the February Theologian Panel discussion at the ICUU Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal: You can find the archived dialogue here. (Alternatively, participants could be invited to view the video before the small group session.)
- Projector/Screen or paper copies of
- Find some quiet time before beginning to ground yourself.
- Set out the chalice and prepare the projector and paper.
Opening (15 minutes)
- Welcome participants and light the chalice using these or similar words by Rev. Eric Cherry:
The chalice is lit in our hearts each time that we
pray for vision,
long for healing,
forgive our enemies,
comfort our neighbors,
and prepare for justice’s day.
In its light, our hope and compassion are renewed and
the covenantal ties that bind each to all become clear.
Now, by its sacred flame, the path before us is brightened:
Love prepares our way,
Harmony is in view,
there is no East or West,
no South or North.
Only a world to greet, and bless
with more Light still.
- Invite participants to share their names and to check in briefly about the last day or two—maximum of 1 minute each.
Theologians' Panel Discussion on Theology and U/U Identity (90 minutes)
If you intend to watch the panel video as a group, plan to do so now. You can find the archived dialogue here. Alternatively, invite participants to watch the video before the small group session.
Focused Check-In (2 minutes per person)
Invite participants to take a deep breath together and sit in silence, taking in the information shared during the webinar. Then, begin the focused check-in using the question, “How did the experience of the theologian panel discussion interact with your spiritual journey?”
Reflection (45 minutes)
- Invite each person to name and describe what they perceive to be the one or two most foundational principles of U/Uism in their context. Give each person a few minutes to share without interruption, then invite open conversation about what was shared.
- Rev. Norbert Racz (Transylania) noted that the Great Commandment from the Bible kept coming up through the ICUU Conference as the gathering explored the theme of the heart of Unitarian/Universalism: “Hear, o Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Rev. Racz asserted that this is the shortest form of the global U/U principles and that the core of U/U theology is present in this statement. Invite the group to reflect on and discuss this assertion: Does it ring true with your experience of U/U-ism in your context? If not, does this suggest a notable difference in your context?
- Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana asserted that building community and connections is more important and prior to building theology/theologies in our congregations. Is this your experience? If so, do we ever get to building theology/theologies? Discuss with group.
- If you had to choose one symbol that embodies our global identity as Unitarians/Universalists, what would it be, and why? What does the symbol you select mean to you?
- Distribute or project the schedule for the Torda450 Theological Dialogue.
- Reach agreement about any research or other exploration that participants will do before the next meeting.
- Remind the group of its next meeting date.
Closing Reading (5 minutes)
Share these words adapted from Priscilla Murdock:
“Let us be mindful of the enduring bond that keeps us together. Let us remember those who went before and paved the road for us to travel. Let us remember our pioneers with admiration and gratitude, with honor and with joy. Memories are for us to cherish and to share; the future is for us to mold together. Let us be about that work.”
Extinguish the chalice.