Shared values

Shared values

Painting celebrates Arkansas congregation’s fiftieth anniversary with a depiction of its Unitarian Universalist values.

Shared values. © 2016 Jerry Offerman. Oil, 42 x 32 inches.

Shared values, © 2016 Jerry Offerman. Oil, 42 x 32 inches.

© 2016 Jerry Offerman


This painting is a depiction of our deepest values at the Unitarian Universalist Village Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. It was created to commemorate our fiftieth anniversary and was unveiled following a special service on February 14, 2016.

We believe in a balanced and open theology that values both soul and mind, rational thought and quest for knowledge.

The painting is divided into areas of intellectual, artistic, emotional, spiritual, religious, and justice attributes. While separate, all of these values are interconnected and interrelated. They are inextricably woven into the fabric of our lives. This is illustrated by the flowing waves through space, the environment, and around the flames of the chalice lamp. The components of the painting are:

The Chalice, the symbol of Unitarian Universalism, is the central figure of this painting, encompassing all of the other aspects. Our heritage as UUs is represented by the names of influential UUs throughout history on the front ring.

Ralph Waldo Emerson represents the reasonable and responsible search for truth and justice. Posed as Rodin’s The Thinker, he depicts the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and truth. His position on a mountaintop suggests the pursuit of our full potential through our intellect, morals, beliefs, and values. “All life is an Experiment” is one of Emerson’s quotes.

The Scroll represents the value and knowledge gained from those who came before us. “Cogito ergo Sum” is an excerpt from René Descartes’ famous, “I doubt, therefore I think; I think, therefore I am.”

The Galaxy/Space is emblematic of the real creation story: that we and all life come from the matter of stars. The infinity symbol represents the value of time and its part in the creation of matter. The formulas depict the interconnectedness of all things—matter, energy, time, and space.

Arts symbols depict our appreciation for and participation in the arts.

The World, flowing from Emerson’s heart and supported by hands, represents our love for our world and concern for all life and the environment.

The Olive Branch and Clasping Hands depict our pursuit of peace in personal relations and within the greater world, including racial and sexual harmony and equality.

The Presentation of Coins represents support with time, talents, and treasure. Generosity is one of our core values.

Religious Symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism depict our respect for all religions and everyone’s right and responsibility to an honest search for truth.

The Statue of Liberty personifies justice and all of the liberties and freedoms we value and respect.