To change, you must face the dragon of your appetites
with another dragon: the life-energy of the soul.
I remember sitting in the foyer of the conference center of my first ever General Assembly after I was hired to work for Mass Bay District. I watched as someone constructed a tower out of four milk crates. The first crate they set down had a large letter E displayed on each side. On top of that they set a crate with the letter V on all sides. The third crate had an O.
On top of that came the final crate with the letter L. When I left the foyer, I encountered such towers of L.O.V.E. throughout the conference center. That was the GA that launched “Standing on the Side of Love,” now called “Side with Love.”
As I have worked for UU districts and the New England Region since then, I have seen Unitarian Universalists struggle together to learn more deeply what it really means to be grounded and centered in love. That struggle has involved a great deal of calling in and calling out, debate, anger, heartache, grief, introspection, experimentation, breakthrough and celebration.
I could not have guessed when I started this job that UUs would today be considering the following proposed statements for Article II of the UUA bylaws:
- The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love.
- We draw from our heritages of freedom, reason, hope, and courage, building on the foundation of love. Love is the power that holds us together and is
- at the center of our shared values. We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.
Love as the liberating force by which the world is transformed? Love as a spiritual discipline? Whoa! and Wow!
What stands out to me is that this is not language the Commission pulled out of thin air. This is language crafted after the Commission listened to a wide diversity of UUs talk about their faith and their hope for the faith. This is language that reflects the longings of the collective Unitarian Universalist heart. Whoa! and Wow!
In my work with colleagues and with you these 15 years, it has been my hope and intention to support, challenge and equip our congregations for ministries in which love is a verb. As I approach retirement, I thank you for teaching me what you know about love, for demonstrating its power, and for keeping faith in that power. I thank you for allowing me to participate with you in facing the dragon of our individual and collective appetites with the life-energy of the UU soul whose name, I believe, is Love.
If ever there were ever a time to harness the power of that dragon, surely it is now.