Thursday, December 4, 2008

7 Principles in 7 Days: Part Three

In honor of the created holiday "Chalica," I'm doing a series of posts on the Seven Principles this week. This is my post for Wednesday, although since it's after midnight it is actually Thursday. Late board meeting--what can I say?

Day Three: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.

One of the things that I love about our faith is that it doesn't stand still. We're always open to new revelation, always moving forward.

One of the most tragic and moving events of this year for Unitarian Universalists was the shooting at the Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville. One of the things we saw in the aftermath of the event was the third principle in action. The church community responded with grace, dignity, and compassion. And churches all across the community there responded to them. And churches all across the nation responded.

At our church, one member said to me after our vigil how important it was that we had lit a candle not only for the victims, but for the shooter. This is a measure of our faith, that we continue to honor his worth and dignity even in the wake of a tragedy of his making.

Our churches need to be places where we can continue this spiritual growth, even during the hard times, especially during the hard times. Today my donation goes to the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, given in my husband's honor. He's someone I know who has endured a lot in life, and rather than close off his search in response to it, rather than grasp for easy answers, it sent him searching deeper, through Christianity and Paganism, until he found a home in Unitarian Universalism. And, of course, the search is never done.

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