Essentially, this is where they landed:
We can follow the teachings of Jesus because they are deep, powerful, and transformative teachings, and they show us a new way to be human, to care for one another, and those outside our "tribe," whether they're man or woman, young or old, Jew or gentile, immigrant, exile, or outcast. We can follow Jesus (and his teachings) for this reason, not because he is God, and not because we must believe in his death and resurrection for our salvation. (This is the essential Unitarian claim. And of course, we're invited to follow the teachings of others, as well, as they help us live into our full humanity.)
We can trust that "God" loves the whole creation. Everyone is held in that love. We don't have to prove anything to be worthy of that love. And in turn, because we are loved, we are called to love fiercely, to persist in love, to turn love into justice in this world. Ultimately, love wins. (This is the essential Universalist claim.)It's continued to evolve, of course, but these claims essentially boil down to these one liners:
"We believe in the idea of one God (Unitarianism) and no one left behind (Universalism)."
"We believe in a love beyond belief." (Love trumps every boundary, barrier, or ideology that human beings construct.)
"We don't have to think alike to love alike." (This is from Frances David, a 16th century Unitarian.)
Or simply: Love wins. (Love transforms us, and calls us into new ways of being, that nothing else does. At the end of the day, love is more powerful than fear, or even death.)
So here's the reflection question for today: "If you identify as a Unitarian Universalist, how do you name the good news of our faith? What is the good, saving news, of our Unitarian Universalist tradition?"
I'm looking for something deeper than, "It's the community," or "You can believe whatever you want (not true!)," or "It's the social justice work..." Lots of places have community and do social justice work. In your own words, what is the good theological news of Unitarian Universalism?
...I almost shared my list of what I think some of the good news is, but I've decided to wait, to see what shows up in the comments section, and then I'll add my two cents worth.