Article II and Our UU "Technology"

Good morning friends! [If relevant: Later on in our service this morning, we’re going to be talking about Change. We are going to talk about how important things change over time. And how the most important things stay the same even when everything around them changes. Then we are going to talk about how Unitarian Universalism is changing, and how what is most important about our faith is going to stay the same.]

When I was thinking about the things that change this week, I started to think about technology.

Technology is something that I have seen change over and over again in my lifetime. Have you noticed it change in your life?

This week I decided to go on an archaeological dig in the storage area of our Church building [change location as applicable]. As I was digging, I found some pretty cool fossils—technology fossils. Would you like to see them?

[Rev. Jaimie recommends finding examples of old technology as it progresses and changes. She says, "I used a cassette tape, a CD, and an MP3 player; a VHS, a DVD, and Netflix; and then a floppy disk, a thumb drive, and then a google doc. I was hoping for a rotary phone and if you have one, definitely use that!"]

Hold up the "fossils" and show them to the children. Ask them if they know what they are.

What is a cassette for?
What does a floppy disk do? [Etc. Rev. Jaimie adds, "You'll get a laugh from the congregation if you call a floppy disk a 3D Save Button!"]

These are some excellent fossils.

A single cassette tape, black with a blank yellow label, on a white surface.

First we had a cassette, then CDs then MP3 players.
The type of technology changed but something important stayed the same.
What stayed the same? [People want to be able to hear music.]

First we had a VHS tape, then a DVD, and now we have Netflix.
The type of technology changed but something important stayed the same.
What stayed the same? [People want to be able to watch movies.]

First we had a floppy disk, then a thumb drive, then Google docs.
The type of technology changed but something important stayed the same.
What stayed the same? [People want to be able to save and share files.]

Friends, what is most important stays the same, but the way we do it has changed a lot.

And in Unitarian Universalism we have been using the seven Principles as our “technology” for our faith since 1985. That was a long time ago—that’s when people made the switch from cassette tapes to CDs.

And now a really wonderful team of leaders has come out with a new technology for our faith. This technology has seven new values. They are Pluralism, Interdependence, Equity, Transformation, Justice, and Generosity, and right in the center is LOVE!

And now it’s up to us to figure out if this new technology—these new values—are going to be the next new way that we can live our UU faith in the world.

There is a lot to think about here, and we know that change is hard. It can be uncomfortable, and like any time we learn a new technology it can take a little while to adjust. But we also know that as long as we commit to move forward together in love, we can change and change again and again, and what we love most will stay just the same!

Blessings to you, and now let’s sing you off to your classes!

Editor's note: Rev Jaimie Dingus gives and credit to Carey Nieuwhof. In his article, "10 Predictions About the Future Church and Shifting Attendance Patterns," he writes, “Churches that love their model more than the mission will die.” The idea of model vs. mission that he lays out is the inspiration for this time for all ages.