From the Minister’s Study – March 2021

chalice art with wordsWhat is it that brings Unitarian Universalists together? After all, ours is a faith which doesn’t require us to hold the same answers to life’s big questions and yet, here we are, creating community. On the home page of the Canadian Unitarian Council’s website it states that “We are people of many paths who are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history, and spirituality, but are aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good.” We are bound together by our desire to make a difference in the world.

This desire to make a difference is the spark burning within each and every one of us and it calls us to put our faith into action. We find hope in knowing that we can contribute to a world where we wish to see more peace, justice, and equity. Although we each take actions to help make this world a better place, there is also comfort in knowing that this community of people is also committed to this work and we are never doing it alone.

Our religious tradition weaves together seekers of all kinds and this month, we are doing some self-reflective work of our own. As a community which strives to be intentional about welcoming all people, we have to take an honest look at ourselves: who is missing here and why? What can we do to make the circle wider still? How can we be intentional as we create our spaces so that other travellers on the journey know that this place was also made with them in mind? We can come to love this place because it has been a welcome landing place for us – how can we extend that welcome to others?

My desire for you this month is that you take some time to connect to your sense of curiosity. It is our curiosity that helps us learn about another person’s experience, especially when it differs from our own. Curiosity helps us move out of our assumptions and imagine new possibilities. When we are curious, we are able to stay in the conversation, we learn the how to stay engaged in the messy work of relationship building, and we allow ourselves the grace of making mistakes knowing that we will have the skills to come back into covenant, into relationship.

Informed by our curiosity, let us put our faith into action starting right here with this beloved community. How can we truly make this place one of welcome for all people and become models for our city and the wider world? What is your piece of the work to do and can you give yourself permission to engage in it with an open mind? Take this as your blank permission slip, not that you needed one from me or anyone else, to get messy as we continue to transform ourselves and the world.

To paraphrase one of our hymns: There is more love, peace, hope and joy out there, and together, we are going to keep on until we find it.

In love and faith,

~ Nicole