Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reaching Beyond Our Walls by Rev. Sue Sinnamon

The SE District Annual Meeting acknowledged two new ways we are reaching beyond our walls. One is the newest Emerging Congregation, Mutual Aid Carrboro, UU and the second is the Life On Fire gathering in the fall.

Beyond Congregations ( from The SED President’s Annual Report)

There is an exciting amount of work going on throughout our District to examine and build gatherings beyond the traditional church model. There are two (of several) premier examples of this exploration and the Board strongly endorses both of these initiatives.

Mutual Aid of Carrboro: Inspired by a group of committed young adults, Mutual Aid of Carrboro realizes that the tradition of Unitarian Universalism demands that we explore other forms of religious community through which to bring our saving message to the world. Their vision includes

  • As a covenantal people, we have a vision of a covenantal society. Relationalism—to each other, to the earth, to that which is larger than us—forms the core of our faith. This is what James Luther Adams called “becoming more fully human.” Enlarging and honoring the covenantal in life is our vision.
  • Our vision is that of religious community merged with mutual aid society. Our imperative is to manifest our values in the world, not just in one sphere of life, but in all. In addition, our members are mostly poor and working class people in need, and intentionally creating these sorts of mutual aid structures is vital.
  • We are a congregation in which we attempt to build our collective ability to catalyze change. In our UU congregations we focus on different types of growth, from numerical, to spiritual depth, to organizational maturity. The type of growth that our missional congregation is focusing on most can be called incarnational growth, that is growing our capacity to incarnate our values in the world.
  • The last part of our vision is that we become a model of a different society, of the world we dream about. Our vision is to experiment with different models of living and of relationship that can serve as models for positive change in society.

They are SED’s newest Emerging Congregation! See the online UUA directory for contact information.

Life on Fire: The purpose of "life on fire" is to gather people who want to live missional lives and provide the inspiration and support for them to take the next steps. The Life on Fire conference will run Friday, September 13 to Sunday September 15 at Oak Ridge UU Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The format will be that of the "un-conference"-- As well as these ad hoc, need-based conversations and experiences, the weekend will include a stream of spiritual direction running through it, allowing attendees to explore their own journeys. In addition, with the support of musician Matt Meyer, "Life on Fire" will include several chances for inspiring large-group worship. Join the Facebook page, Life on Fire 2013.

These are exciting , growing , adventures in Unitarian Universalism. I encourage, implore you to support these ventures by attending, making contributions so others may attend and spreading the good news!