This argument is solid and weighty, but it is neither reasonable nor convincing. Not all the stones in Boston...shall shut my mouth. — Rev. John Murray, father of American Universalism, on the occasion of a rock thrown at him while he preached
IN TODAY'S SESSION... participants learned about the fourth Unitarian Universalist Principle, that we believe each person is free to search for what is true and right in life. Through the introduction of some Unitarian and Universalist historical figures, participants learned how searching for what is true has been part of our traditions for hundreds of years. Participants made a paper chain timeline, beginning in the year 0, to represent our long history. A story, "Nathaniel Takes a Ride," explained how our religion was spread in the 19th century when travel was by horse or boat. The children made a magnet to take home to help us all remember we belong to a religion that has long, deep roots—all the way back to the 3rd century Common Era.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... how our religion was spread in early America by itinerant preachers. These ministers rode horses, slept outside, and often did not get enough to eat. What is important in your family? Are there any causes for which you would sacrifice your comforts? What would you be willing to sacrifice for your religion? How important is your church to your family? If you had to move where there were not any UU congregations, what would you do for your spiritual growth, nourishment, and community? If you wanted to interest others in our congregation or in Unitarian Universalism, what would you say or do?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
A Family Adventure. The next time your family travels to another part of the country, see if you can go see another Unitarian Universalist congregation. Is it different than yours? The same? How old is the church where they meet? In the 1800s, how would people have reached this church? If your family travels often, consider keeping a journal to record the locations of churches you have visited and your thoughts about each one.
Family Discovery. Check out the UUA website for information about congregations all across the country. Explore inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop for books about our tradition. Look in your congregational library for books on our history. If your church does not have a lending library, locate your UUA District office and website via the UUA website. District offices often lend books and will send them in the mail if you do not live close by.
A Family Ritual. This Day in Unitarian Universalist History by Frank Schulman (Skinner House Books, 2004) provides anniversaries and milestones from our religious tradition. Read the day's entries at a family meal each day.