(Using the visit of the magi to advocate that religious traditions should accept input from other traditions, leading to a review of the six broad sources from which Unitarian Universalists look for guidance and inspiration.)
Speaker: Paul K. Davis
Democracy is sacred to Unitarian Universalists. This is concretely expressed as one of our values: “The right of the conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large”. But democracy is not a simple word, it is a complex … read more.
This past year we experienced a great pandemic, perhaps the twentieth or so in recorded history, and it continues. Like previous disease pandemics, it was accompanied by a pandemic of illogic, untruth and selfishness. Let us work, during this new year and new presidential administration, … read more.
My education would lead one to believe modern civilization developed in Europe, after the Middle Ages, and then spread to most of the rest of the world. I have learned that this is a big distortion. I now conclude that civilization has been progressively developing … read more.
In 1847 a young Quaker woman became the first internationally acclaimed American astronomer. Maria Mitchell was the product of ripples through time which I will trace, beginning with her immigrant ancestors. One of them, Peter Folger, even learned Native American languages to properly negotiate and … read more.
There are times when we long to return to normal. If we are smart, we realize it will not be the old normal but a new normal. So, what will change and what will be the same? We cannot always know what will change, but … read more.
In my younger days I was perplexed by the mystery of whether the many species of life originated by evolution, as my school books said, or by separate creation, as my church said. This led me to the mystery of how one answers such a question. In tackling those two mysteries, I realize I was choosing between two world views. I was choosing the possibility of advancement instead of idealization of the past; I was choosing progressive change instead of quick fixes; I was choosing the ability of any individual to learn and con-tribute, instead of submitting to authority. And I have found grandeur in this view of life.
Abstract: Sometimes, in life, when we are trying as hard as we can to accomplish an important goal, the best way to proceed is to let loose, and accept help from people and from nature.
Work is what we have to do to earn our way in our society. But work can also be a spiritual experience! “Whistle While You Work” exemplifies a positive attitude toward work. As Unitarian Universalists we believe in “encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations”. Though the encouragement is occurring here in our congregation, the spiritual growth can occur in our whole lives, including our work. I will draw from my work life, my mother’s work life, and what I have learned from others, to show ways work can be uplifting.
I hold democracy sacred. It is our fifth Unitarian Universalist principle. But what is democracy, and how do we accomplish it? It is not static, but, as our principle says, it is a process. We use it in our congregation, and also in other voluntary organizations. We use it in our civil government. Thousands of years of experience indicates it is neither perfect nor easy, but we still don’t know of anything better. In this two-part series I will draw from my experience and reading to discuss the process of democracy, both in voluntary organizations (looking inward, on June 10) and in our government (looking outward, on June 17). I will emphasize the need for procedure and compromise, the emptiness of democracy without positive values and goals, and the occasional need for civil disobedience.