Embrace the Soul ... Embolden the Spirit ...
Enrich the Community
Unitarian-Universalists believe that all life is sacred, all existence is interconnected, and that justice and compassion must be the foundation of our thoughts and deeds. Ann Creech, Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North, Roswell, Georgia.
UU is an organized religion that permits me to change my belief system without having to change my friends. - Rob Wilkes
Most religions work to get people into heaven. Unitarian Universalists work to get heaven into people. Roger Bergere, Church of the Larger Fellowship, Babson Park, Florida
Being a Unitarian Universalist means belonging to a community that accepts and understands doubts of the divine and the search for truth without imposing an unrealistic doctrine with a promise of unnecessary salvation. - Tom Bindrian, Unitarian Universalist Church, Asheville, North Carolina
Preparing such a short, concise description of our individual beliefs is not necessarily an easy thing to accomplish. But it is comparable to an anecdote concerning the learned rabbi Hillel. When asked to summarize the Torah while standing on one foot, Hillel responded. “What is hateful to you,” he said, “do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.” Is this not also similar to what Jesus said “Love one another”?
As members of Unitarian Universalism, too often we make statements about what we are not. We do not have dogma; we do not have a creed. While that is always true, it offers others nothing about who we are and what we do. Our seven principles and the religious sources from which our religion evolved are a positive description. How we interpret those principles as individuals comprises our elevator speech.
Here is mine. “Unitarian-Universalism is a liberal, evolving religion that allows each member to develop his/her individual spirituality while worshipping within a caring community. Unitarian-Universalism stresses the dignity and interdependence of each person, a reasoned search for one’s place in the world, justice in human relations and democracy within our congregations.” This is what my elevator speech is for the present. I am sure it will evolve with time, as my spirituality changes.
So, the next time someone asks you about your religion, respond quickly and confidently with the reasons you joined Unitarian-Universalism. Tell them your elevator speech!!!
THIS MONTH IN UU HISTORY – February 2017
WHAT’S IN YOUR ELEVATOR SPEECH?
The beginning of a new year is traditionally the time for new resolutions, directions and starts. In order to grow our congregation, we need to express what our chosen religion is all about when asked. Can we summarize what Unitarian-Universalism means to us in a few, simple but comprehensive statements? One way to do this is to create an “elevator speech”. This is a compact expression of our beliefs, something that can be uttered in the time it takes us to complete a short elevator ride.
[Getting on an elevator (© Ola Dusegård/iStockphoto)] Here is a selection of elevator speeches from Unitarian-Universalists that was printed in past issues of UUWorld.
Unitarian Universalism is a democratic, pluralistic religious community which encourages each individual to develop a personal religious philosophy and which emphasizes social and environmental concerns. Richard Hewitt, Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Vancouver, Washington
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