Posts Tagged scripture

Embracing Our Identities

UUFP Blog

For all that is our life! by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard

This time last year there were a couple of a widely shared articles criticizing Christianized versions of the Passover seder.  In “Why Christians Should Not Host Their Own Passover Seders”, for example, Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy describes how, as a Christian woman married to a Jewish man, she has become a “safe person” for her fellow Christians to ask about Judaism.  As such, she has been approached by Christians who want to hold Passover seders.  “Their logic,” she notes, “is that since Jesus was celebrating Passover during the week when he was arrested, tried, executed and resurrected, in a desire to be more Christ-like, they too should celebrate the holiday.”

While understanding that desire, Cynamon-Murphy goes on to make the case that Christians hosting their own seders do more harm than good, from ignoring thousands of years of persecution of…

View original post 736 more words

Leave a Comment

Letter to the Editor, February 18th 2014

(UPDATE: This was published in the letters section of the February 23rd issue.)

To the Editor, Daily Press:

Sunday’s article about Judge Wright Allen once again affirms the old canard that scripture and church doctrine are opposed to any form of marriage but that between one man and one woman.

But this isn’t just a duck, but a fish, too.

Individual religious beliefs may motivate how we act as individuals — as was the case for myself and twenty-three other people of faith when we gathered at the Newport News Circuit Court on Valentine’s Day to witness for marriage equality — but it’s a red herring to imply that religion should determine how our society should act.

Wright Allen is a judge of the law, which in the United States is defined not by the Bible but by the Constitution.

Comments (1)

An Eclectic Approach to Scripture

Given the Unitarian Universalist commitment to “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning” we have a suitably broad sense of what constitutes “scripture”.  In fact, you probably won’t hear the word itself too often, except in generic terms that include such texts as the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching and the Analects of Confucius.  We are open to finding truth and meaning, after all, not just in the scriptures of the world’s religious traditions, but also in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and the poems of Mary Oliver, in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Jorge Luis Borges’ short fiction.  A Unitarian Universalist library, for that matter, is as likely to include Starhawk as Meister Eckhart, The Humanist Manifesto as The Feminist Ethic of Risk.  The word “eclectic” would be an understatement!

This diversity of wisdom and inspiration, of course, is reflected in the sermons you’ll hear on Sunday mornings in Unitarian Universalist congregations.  Freedom of the pulpit is one of our basic values, allowing — indeed, encouraging — preaching that expresses personal and religious views and commitments without fear or favor.  That freedom extends, of course, to the choice of topic and readings, message and music, all of which are intended to work together to produce a Sunday service that is relevant, informative and uplifting.  But given such a wealth of possibilities, where does the preacher start in selecting each sermon’s topic?

Traditions that draw upon a single source of scripture often follow a “lectionary” or similar multi-year schedule of readings; sermons or homilies are then based on those readings, allowing the tradition’s stories to be told and retold and reinforcing the sense of community through shared identity.  For similar purposes, Unitarian Universalist congregations are increasingly turning to monthly themes to guide the planning and writing of sermons.  There is no specific list of readings through which to work — after all, how many years would be enough to get through everything at the UUA Bookstore, let alone the world’s literature? — but three or four services on a related topic allow us to engage in that free and responsible search for truth and meaning with a month-long conversation about some aspect of what it means to be human in a religious community.

Such monthly themes are often connected in an arc that takes some particular theological path during each church year.  As we travel together the paths of our lives, such themes can help us to co-create a dynamic community that celebrates life and searches for truths, drawing upon every text, poem and song that offers us meaning and insight.

Comments (3)

%d bloggers like this: