Mission of the Social Justice Committee:
- To provide leadership to the Membership in expressing liberal religious ethics in action.
- To promote community action on social issues to help support the principles, purposes and resolutions of Unitarian Universalism.
- To make information available to the Fellowship and surrounding communities about social justice issues.
- To encourage social action at local, state, national and international levels.
Mardi Gras event
Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
|Unitarian Universalist Association|
American Civil Liberties Union-Wisconsin
Southern Poverty Law Center
Defines the rights protected by the Constitution
of the United States are the rights of natural persons
only (not corporations) by creating 28th amendment
of the US Constitution.
According to Garrison Keillor, the first white folk to have spent much time in Lake Wobegon were Unitarian missionaries from Boston who had come west to "convert the Indians to Christianity by means of interpretive dance."
Fiction, of course -- Unitarian Universalists don't have missionaries -- but the interpretive dance part could be true. Dance, as a form of worship, is not unknown in modern-day Unitarian-Universalist (UU) churches.
While not just anything goes in Unitarian Universalist churches, no conditions of fellowship are imposed, no profession of faith is demanded. Because of this, Unitarian Universalists often have no ready answer when asked, "What do you believe?" Whatever the answer, it is always personal, for each communicant must speak from his or her own experience and conviction.
This may sound casual, but it is not. As Richard S. Gilbert, ,parish minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York, has written, "People who enter our doors take religion seriously. Yet," he continues, "few people enjoy their religion as much as Unitarian Universalists. We have the good grace to know there are no final answers to the questions that never wear out, and that a sense of humor is required before the capriciousness of the cosmos and the tragi-comedy of human existence."
Further, the Rev. Mr. Gilbert points out, "it is an exhilarating experience to be grappling with the ultimate questions in a company of seekers. Our openness to the quest is not indifference to the truth, but the realization that seeking it may find us on different paths. It is not necessary that we discover identical answers, but that we find at least tentative answers that are our stays against confusion."
William Channing Gannett, a 19th Century Unitarian cleric, in his "Things Commonly Believed Among Us," listed the following:
- We believe that to love the Good and to live the Good is the supreme thing in religion;
- We hold reason and conscience to be final authorities in matters of religious belief;
- We honor the Bible and all inspiring scripture, old and new;
- We revere Jesus and all holy souls that have taught men truth and righteousness and love as prophets of religion; We believe in the growing nobility of Man;
- We trust the unfolding Universe as beautiful, beneficent, unchanging Order; to know this order is truth; to obey it is right and liberating and stronger life...
The flaming chalice is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. The lighting of the candle by the children of the congregation is an integral part of the service at the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. As the flame catches, everyone recites:
"We light this candle for the light of truth;
We light this candle for the warmth of love;
We light this candle for the energy of action."
Despite the emphasis on love, controversy is not uncommon in Unitarian Universalist congregations: Early Unitarians considered Transcendentalists heretical. Unitarian Christians were appalled when the "Humanist Manifesto" was published in 1933. Yet the denomination has survived intact. That is the Unitarian Universalist miracle -- that atheists and theists, humanists and agnostics, Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives can all worship together at the same time in the same place.
"It is not that we have no beliefs," writes the Rev. Mr. Gilbert. "lt is that we choose to mix our beliefs in the caldron of other beliefs to see if the brew might not be improved. What we are as a religious community far transcends any difficulty we have in expressing it."