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Soul Matters @ OUUC

October 2016                                                                                             

In This Issue
  • Sara's Reflections
  • Defying the Nazis Screening
  • Words of Wisdom
ouuc chalice

“We Unitarian Universalists have inherited a magnificent theological legacy. In a sweeping answer to creeds that divide the human family, Unitarianism proclaims that we spring from a common source; Universalism that we share a common destiny. That we are brothers and sisters by nature, our Unitarian and especially our Universalist forebears affirmed as a matter of fact: Unitarianism by positing a single God, Universalism by offering the promise of a shared salvation.” 

- Forrest Church, UU Minister, from an essay in The World Nov/Dec. 2001


"Who are these Unitarian Universalists, standing around the coffee table on Sunday mornings, discussing last night's movie and next Fall's election; reviewing the morning's sermon, designing tomorrow's educations, storming over next century's oceans? They are Joyful celebrants of the gift of life, missing nonsense with the quest of the ages, turning secular need into concerned action, serving wine on the lawn and petitions in the foyer!"

- Betty Mills, quoted in A Chosen Faith (edited by John A. Buehrens and Forrest Church)


October's Theme: Identity

uu chalice
photo credit: UU Media Works

Sara's Reflections

Sara Lewis

If asked about your church or religion, what do you say? Who are these Unitarian Universalists? What does it mean to claim a Unitarian Universalist identity?

One of the Ends adopted last year is that “We expand our knowledge, deepen our understanding, and strengthen and live our Unitarian Universalist identities”. What does that mean and how do we do that?

Let's start with expanding knowledge, specifically of Unitarian Universalism. Our history, traditions, and the people who have come before us in these two-become-one denominations are fascinating. You can explore this by attending the screening of Defying the Nazis this month, or signing up for the UU history course that will be offered in November, or through the many wonderful books available through the UUA bookstore or our OUUC library.

The second part of the Ends statement is that we deepen understanding. How is that different from expanding knowledge? Well, I see the distinction as breadth vs. depth, facts vs. application, and knowledge vs wisdom. To deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalism, you could join with others in a Circle of the Spirit and practice listening and articulating thoughts around our monthly themes. You could work on your “elevator speech”, or what you would want to say to someone if you had to define Unitarian Universalism in the space of an elevator ride. Or you could engage with the spiritual practice or theology books available through the UUA bookstore.

And, finally, the Ends statement asks us to strengthen and live our Unitarian Universalist identities”. There are definitely a few things you can do here! Because symbols matter, you might want to proudly display some UU swag: jewelry, bumper stickers, Tshirts, etc. And because we are an interdependent people, being active and attending OUUC and other UU gatherings regularly will strengthen your own identity as a Unitarian Universalist. But we are not simply a people of T shirts and worship services. We are also a people who put our faith into action, and OUUC’s Faith in Action ministry can help you do that!

This month, as we explore our theme of Identity, look at how many ways you can expand your knowledge, deepen your understanding, and strengthen and live your Unitarian Universalist Identity! If you want to share what you do and any thoughts or insights with others, you can join us in the Soul Matters at OUUC facebook group, as well.

"Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War" October 13, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at OUUC. In February 1939 Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, and Martha Sharp, a trained social worker,  boldly commit to a life-threatening mission in Europe to assist refugees. This Ken Burns' documentary is told through the words of witnesses to the Holocaust. Discussion will follow the showing.

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Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
2315 Division St NW
Olympia, Washington 98502

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