Thursday, 23 April 2015 00:00
|May 3 Cindy Scott will lead a Jazz Fest Vespers Service: The Spirituality of Music According to Beethoven, "Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." Join CCUU as four prominent New Orleans musicians share songs,readings,and their personal perspectives on the role music plays in their own spirituality. With Spencer Bohren (spencerbohren.com), Aurora Nealand (auroranealand.com), Brian Seeger (brianseeger.com), and Cindy Scott (cindyscottmusic.com). (Donna Jean will be your worship associate for this service.)
May 10 GNOUU Retreat Worship or a CCUU service on Mother's Day, The Mother You Honor We will gather to honor and remember our mothers. Whether the mother you honor is your biological mother or someone else who filled the role of the mother for you. Bring your memories and reflections along with a picture of your mother. This will be an intergenerational service. (Elizabeth Anne will be your worship associate.)
May 17 Deanna Vandiver: Tradition, Transitions, and Transformation A Unitarian Universalist denominational historian has described our faith as "the Protestant Reformation that never stopped". Our faith holds a common understanding that revelation is ever unfolding. What then is the role of Tradition in our faith and in our lives? How does it support and challenge the transitions and transformation of our lives? (Sky Stewart will be your worship associate.)
May 24 Melanie Morel-Ensminger: Beyond Traditional Morality; Are We Actually Getting Better? Many conservatives, with traditional views of right and wrong, feel that the world in general is getting worse, that people are becoming less moral and less concerned with right and wrong. But is that really true? How should we religious liberals see the arc of the universe? (Ilea Jones will be your worship associate.)
May 31 Jane Mauldin: Using the "G" Word in Polite Company Unitarian Universalists have long been uncomfortable with traditional theological language because, as one man said, "To attempt to name the thing is to limit it." Nevertheless, today we'll jump headlong into the question: When and if we use the "G" word, what are we saying? Who or what is this "God" we are addressing? Is it an idea? A force? A process? An absurdity? There are as many ideas as there are Unitarian Universalists, and the Rev. Dr. Jane Mauldin will explore a few of them with us in an attempt to joyfully reclaim theological language from those who would limit its meaning. (Shirley Peak will be your worship associate.)
Saturday, 28 March 2015 00:00
April 26, Revelation Is Continuous. Rev. Jim takes his second look at Revelation by reflecting on Unitarian scholar and theologian James Luther Adams, “Revelation is Continuous.” This will be Jim’s last service before his month of study and childcare.
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 19:46
Rev. VanderWeele attended the First UU service where anti-choice protestors disrupted worship. This letter was written in response. 40 local faith leaders signed on to say that the Space for Worship is Sacred.
Letter: Time, space for worship sacred
On Sunday morning, July 20, the sacred time and space of a historic New Orleans congregation was violated. As congregants of First Unitarian Universalist Church, founded in 1833, held a moment of silent prayer to grieve a young woman of the church who had died the previous week, protestors from Operation Save America began to harangue the minister and spew words of hate to and at the congregation. In shock, but with increasing pain as these diatribes continued, the congregation listened quietly as protestors vilified and insulted them. Soon, though, the protestors were ushered out of the church.
As this was happening in the sanctuary, other protesters, holding grotesque images, massed around the windows of the church nursery, screaming at the babies and toddlers. Youth were told they were “going to hell” and that their family members were suffering from illness due to their sins. The church members responded by singing words of love, justice and freedom to counteract this hateful rhetoric.
For religious communities in the United States, the freedom to worship is a deeply cherished right. Whatever our faith, whenever we worship, the right to worship as we choose was fought for by our ancestors and is vital to all today. Along with this freedom comes the right to disagree, which is one part of the pluralism created by our religious freedom.
But all of us agree that no one has the right to desecrate the sacred worship time and space in order to express their disagreement. The undersigned people of faith do not agree on everything. In fact, some of us only agree that we have the right to disagree. But that is enough. No congregation, whatever their views may be, should have their sacred worship time and space violated. Not ever. Not by anybody.
I and 39 other local religious leaders by this letter call on the larger community to stand with us, with hearts joined on the side of love and in opposition to religious terrorism.
The Rev. Jim VanderWeele, New Orleans
The Rev. William Barnwell
The Rev. Paul Beedle
The Rev. Claire Vonk Brooks
The Rev. Gary Brooks
Pat Bryant, co-moderator, Justice and Beyond
The Rev. Callie Winn Crawford
Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn
The Rev. Jeff Conner
The Rev. Rob Courtney
The Rev. Don Frampton
The Rev. Lauren Frazier-McGuin
The Rev. Joann M. Garma
Vanessa Gueringer, vice president, A Community Voice
Michael G. Hackett, deacon, Diocese of Louisiana
The Very Rev. AJ Heine
The Rev. Henry L. Hudson
The Rev. Eronica C. King
Rabbi Ethan Linden
Rabbi Robert H. Loewy
The Rev. Dr. Jane Mauldin
The Rev. Priscilla Maumus
The Rev. Herbert McGuin, III
Rabbi Barbara Metzger
The Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger
Max Niedzwiecki, convener
Tom Paine, pastor
The Rev. Fred Powell, III
The Rev. Tony Rigoli, OMI
The Rev. Darcy Roake
Minister Norbert Rome
The Rev. Mitchell Smith
Dr. William Soileau
The Rev. William H. Terry
The Rev. William Thiele, Ph.D.
The Rev. Jennie Thomas
The Rev. Ron Unger
The Rev. Deanna Vandiver
The Rev. Tom Watson
The Rev. Dwight Webster, Ph. D.
What Is Unitarian Universalism?
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 19:10
Unitarian Universalism began within the Christian Church as two separate heresies: belief in the oneness of God (Unitarianism) and belief in universal salvation (Universalism). These ideas, though preceding it, gained followers after the Protestant Reformation in the 1500's and were widely taught in the United States in the 1700's at Harvard College and within the congregationalism of the Pilgrim church.
In 1785 King's Chapel in Boston was the first American church to declare its Unitarianism. Through the years as they were affected by transcendentalism and the rationalist humanists, Unitarianism and Universalism grew further from traditional Christianity and closer to one another and officially merged in 1961.
From their founding both Unitarianism and Universalism were non-creedal, claiming freedom of belief as a basic value. The authority for our individual beliefs is the evidence of our local experience refined through reason and spirit and tested in community. Although those beliefs may range from liberal Christianity to naturalistic humanism, it is probably true that nearly all of us can agree to these four statements:
Each of us has the right and the responsibility to seek his or her own truth.
Our faith, although it may transcend reason may not be contrary to it.
We respect all people for their individual worth without regard to color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation.
We must focus on the needs and purposes of this life rather than an afterlife in which some of us may believe, but for which we have no evidence.
This only scratches the surface, there is a wealth of information about Unitarian Universalism available on the web site of the Unitarian Universalist Association.