Many people are looking for what you've found in Unitarian Universalism. Not letting them in on the secret is a form of stinginess.
Just a few short years ago, you might have been in that group. Now you have a religious community. But there are others, still out there, still searching for what you have found in our religious tradition.
Imagine that you’re at work or at a party and you run into one of these people who is looking. You might not know that they are looking; they might not present themselves as if they are looking, but they are. They say, “Oh, you’re a Unitarian Universalist. What’s that?” How do you respond? Really, think about what your most likely response would be. Maybe you have tucked away a few thoughts for a moment such as this, and you share them. You talk about what Unitarian Universalism means to you. There are those who seek what we have here, and it is in our power to share it with them.
Unitarian Universalism saves lives, and I mean that literally. There are people right now who are alone and hungering for a place where they will be accepted for who they are. Not letting them in on the secret is a form of stinginess.
It is so easy to take a few minutes to figure out what you are going to say the next time someone asks you what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. You might paraphrase Erica Alston, whose words appear in Articulating Your UU Faith, and say, “It’s a free-thinking liberal religion that is guided by shared values rather than a particular dogma or creed. This lets individuals claim their personal beliefs based on conscience and experience. At its core, Unitarian Universalism places an emphasis on the worth and value of every person and the interconnectedness of all things. UUs are encouraged to give life to their values, demonstrating compassion, respect, and justice, working together to make the world a better place to pass along to our children.”
It would take three minutes to get that down, or a few minutes more to write something for yourself. Not taking the time to prepare ourselves to welcome other seekers into this faith, is, in a word, stingy.
Excerpted with permission from “The Seven Deadly Sins of Unitarian Universalism,” in the March 2007 issue of Quest, published by the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Please note: newsletter on hiatus
The Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh holds a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a parish minister in Mission Viejo, California and Winchester, Massachusetts. Currently, he is a community minister who specializes in food justice.
Growing up on Star Island
Looking back on my summers spent at a beloved Unitarian Universalist retreat.
We cannot hear unless there is silence.