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Sunday, June 29, 2003

More than words.

From yesterday's Boston Globe story on the "vocabulary of reverence" debate with the Unitarian Universalist Association (gathered this weekend in Boston for the General Assembly):

They're all here this weekend — the Christians and the Jews, the Buddhists and the Wiccans, the theists and the atheists, and the agnostics and the humanists — all members of one religious denomination not sure how it feels about God.

There's a lot more in this excellent article, including a quote from a friend: "I would like for Unitarian Universalists to be able to express, in inspirational language, what it is that moves and guides us through the world," said Melissa Quirk, 25, of Cambridge.

Simple Gifts, by P.S. GordonThe most wonderful surprise of this General Assembly has been the reminder that expressing what is inspiring and compelling about liberal religion does not have to be so verbal. Last night's art-and-music service, "The Seven Principles Are Not Enough," by the Rev. Marlin Lavanhar (a classmate of mine from Harvard Divinity School) and two adult choirs at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the largest congregation in the UUA, introduced an extraordinary way to share the liberal "good news" without handing somebody a flier or wallet card or even launching into an "elevator speech." Last year, the Tulsa church commissioned a painting that would illustrate in concrete ways the key themes, values, and sources of their tradition. The painting hangs in the church's foyer — a 21st-century iconographic representation of liberal religion. You should have heard the choirs perform (and you can, in fact, buy a recording!), but you really must read about the painting and its symbolism.

Also in the news: the Rev. John Buehrens talks to the Globe about his new book on the Bible for skeptics, seekers, and liberals — and you can read an essay adapted from his book in the new issue of UU World: "Why Bother with the Bible?"

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 29 June 2003 at 8:15 AM

Previous: Pluralism in practice.
Next: Perfect pitch.

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