Imagine you are on an elevator and someone asks you to explain Unitarian Universalism. That hasn’t happened to you (yet)? Would you be able to summarize our faith tradition in the time it takes to reach your floor? In this “for instance” you are NOT riding up to the top of the Empire State Building. I recently wrapped up a three-part “Elevator Speech” class that is part of our Adult Religious Education Curriculum. There were nine participants and we worked together to come up with our own, unique summaries of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.
The importance of covenant, respect for others, awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings, and the ability to value differing opinions all came out as important aspects of being UU. Each participant had a unique take on what living into the fullness of her/his faith meant. We all recognized the importance of our eight principles in helping to keep us each in right relationship with one another.
As one who came from a progressive Christian tradition (the United Church of Christ) this class was fascinating to me because the Unitarian Universalist church expands even wider than what I’ve witnessed elsewhere. The slogan “Deeds not Creeds” became part of my own elevator speech. I couldn’t help but wonder what the world would look like if we all could follow this open-hearted faith.
I want to quote Paul Rasor, a UU Minister who described his experience of Unitarian Universalism: It invites us to live with ambiguity without giving in to facile compromise; to engage in dialogue without trying to control the conversation; to be open to change without accepting change too casually; to take commitment seriously but not blindly; to be engaged with the culture without succumbing to the culture’s values.
We are going to hold further “Elevator Speech” classes. I hope you can join in.