“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Growing into Love's People...

About a year and a half ago, First Universalist Church spent a year creating a new mission statement. We ended up with this: "In the Universalist spirit of love and hope, we give, receive, and grow."

In a sermon series, I spent about 5 weeks, exploring what the "Universalist Spirit" was, and how we were called to give, receive and grow as a faith community. You can listen to these sermons here, here, and here.
We kept playing with this language, and slowly, we began to believe that as a church we were called to "give" out of a sense of gratitude for all we've been given, to learn to "receive" the gifts and blessings of this life with an open heart, and to "grow" into Love's people.  

It's the "Love's People" language that really stuck. Since August, this is how we're been articulating it: 

In the Universalist spirit of Love and hope, we give, receive, and grow...As we truly live into this great exchange of giving, receiving, and growing, we come to understanding that:

We are all Love's people, held by a Love that will not let us go.
As Love’s people, we do holy work:
We welcome, affirm, and protect the light in each human heart.
We act beyond our walls for justice and equality.
           We listen with our whole being to where Love is calling us next.

The ministry of First Universalist Church is wrapped up in this statement. Our Small Groups are about building connections and "listening to where Love is calling us next." Our racial justice work (which we've just begun) is about dismantling systems of oppression so that we can truly "welcome, affirm, and protect the light in each human heart," as we work for justice. Our Universalist roots are held in this statement, as we take seriously the notion that we are called to be "Love's People" in the world...


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