A Hampton Roads UU Revival!

There’s been a lot of media coverage recently about the “nones”, the growing numbers of people, particularly amongst the younger generations, who are not affiliated with any religion.  Given the changing demographics of our nation, that’s not really surprising.

For when the “nones” reject religion, they’re rejecting rigid hierarchies that tell people what to believe, they’re rejecting gender roles that demean women in order to protect men’s egos, they’re rejecting antiquated dogmatism that’s at odds with what they know about the world, and they’re rejecting all manner of bigotry against their lesbian and gay friends, their multiracial friends, their Muslim friends.

And yet at the same time that we’re witnessing the rise of the religiously unaffiliated, Unitarian Universalist congregations are also growing.  And that’s because Unitarian Universalism rejects those rigid hierarchies and gender roles, the antiquated dogmatism and all manner of bigotry, too.

But don’t take my word for it!  You have an excellent opportunity later this month to see for yourself.

On Sunday February 24th, the Fellowship of Campus Unitarian Universalist Students (FOCUUS) at Christopher Newport University are hosting a worship service that will revive, refresh and re-energize our spirits.  There’ll be fantastic music, combining the choirs and musicians of the Unitarian Universalist congregations of Newport News, Williamsburg and Norfolk, and we’ll hear uplifting messages for all ages.  Starting at 11am in the David Student Union Ballroom at CNU, we invite you to join us to sing, to listen, to laugh, to give and to worship with us, as we build our common vision of a world where the circle of love is drawn ever wider.

For our Unitarian Universalist congregations in Hampton Roads, FOCUUS is bringing us together so that we can recommit to a faith that is radically inclusive, spiritually alive and justice centered.

Ours is, first of all, a religion that asks you to bring your whole self into the Beloved Community — your heart, your soul, your mind and your body — and whoever you are, whatever your spiritual path, whomever you love, wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome.

And ours is a religion that nurtures rather than hinders spirituality, recognizing our individual struggles with the mystery of being and yet affirming that we can still walk together in the ways of love, inviting the spirit to move in our hands and give life the shape of justice.

And ours is a religion that has long sought to grow the soul of humanity, from fighting for the abolition of slavery to campaigning for women’s voting rights, from protesting economic injustice to demanding same-sex marriage equality.

For residents throughout Tidewater, then, FOCUUS along with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula, the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists and the Unitarian Church of Norfolk invite you to gauge the boldness of these religious aspirations for yourself.  Whether you consider yourself one of the “nones” or a spiritual seeker or a recovering church-goer or a parent wanting helpful rather than hurtful religious education for your child, we invite you to be a part of drawing the circle of love and life and hope ever wider.

So we warmly welcome you to join us on February 24th, at 11am in the Ballroom of CNU’s David Student Union, to revive, refresh and re-energize our commitment to the promise of religious community: that we are different people with different life experiences and different understandings of the world and our place in it, and yet we can nonetheless come together in a boldly shared endeavor to grow the Beloved Community not only for ourselves but for our whole world.

Let us live the promise of people coming together in common spirit, learning from one another, helping one another, sharing with one another.  Let us bring our open minds, our loving hearts and our helping hands together and rediscover faith set free from fear.

Drawing the Circle Wide

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5 Comments »

  1. […] Meal Ministry.  It’s giving us greater visibility, too, from our sign on Warwick Boulevard to the service we’re doing at Christopher Newport University next Sunday.  It’s making us known as a powerful voice for Unitarian Universalism, within the […]

  2. […] homily delivered at the Hampton Roads Unitarian Universalist Revival on February 24th […]

  3. […] Does this mean we’re in competition with our neighboring Unitarian Universalist congregations in Williamsburg and Norfolk?  A scarcity mentality might say yes, that there are only so many prospective UUs to go around.  An abundance mentality on the other hand would note that Unitarian Universalism in Virginia as a whole has been growing, and that growth here on the Peninsula helps our faith in other parts of the 757 area code, too.  Our efforts to change lives and to transform society will be multiplied in their effectiveness as our congregations grow together.  A scarcity mentality would hardly have permitted February’s Hampton Roads UU Revival! […]

  4. […] of potential for some imagined distant future, either.  At the end of February we held the first Hampton Roads Unitarian Universalist Revival, using every chair that Christopher Newport University could give us and filling the CNU Ballroom […]

  5. […] all, we know that the religious landscape of the United States is undergoing some huge demographic change…  (Obviously that’s different from the nuns who live in convents and come armed with wooden […]

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