The Heart of UU

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The Heart of UU

I have been involved in my wife's UU church for a couple of years now. And I never really did understand what would make such a church tick. I've read the seven principles. I've asked and gotten the standard answers. But I still thought "People who believe in everything really don't believe in anything", or "it is all just intellectual".

Then sitting in the last plenary session of GA I heard something that made a difference. The moderator was talking about issues of raceism. And she talked about finding the point of pain and then staying in it. Staying there until ....

And I suddenly got it. As she talked about "This village may be the only village that could..." all the social work and everything else in the UU church dropped into place.

Yes UU's have seven or more principles they believe in. But that is just head knowledge. What makes those beliefs and others a religion is the work of spiritual discipline. The spiritual discipline to follow those principles until issues are uncovered. Then the spiritual discipline to struggle with those issues and process them. The spiritual discipline to stay in the hard place and work the issue. Not just staying superficial, or brushing over issues with broad platitudes, but getting dirty with them.

And not necessarily figuring it all out, but processing it and being willing to process it again. Having faith, believing, that discipling oneself to stay in the issue is better, of more value, of higher virture, is a greater spiritual work or calling than just accepting ready made, superficial answers, or having life arranged to avoid the issue entirely.

I can believe in a religion that redefines work on our selves and our relations with each other as our spiritual duty. Not for the benefits of getting ahead or that we are happier in life, but as the work of our souls.

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Acknowledgments is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative