1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:12,000 2 00:00:12,000 --> 00:00:14,200 Speaker 1: People often say that we've always 3 00:00:14,200 --> 00:00:16,270 been Unitarian Universalists but we just 4 00:00:16,270 --> 00:00:17,960 didn't know what to call it. 5 00:00:17,960 --> 00:00:20,530 Speaker 2: We were a mixed marriage, Jewish 6 00:00:20,530 --> 00:00:21,940 and Congregationalist. 7 00:00:21,940 --> 00:00:25,810 And we just tried Unitarianism. 8 00:00:25,810 --> 00:00:28,100 And we came for our children. 9 00:00:28,100 --> 00:00:30,350 And we stayed for ourselves. 10 00:00:30,350 --> 00:00:33,380 Speaker 3: I grew up in Texas to a Muslim community. 11 00:00:33,380 --> 00:00:35,890 And so, a lot of the community life 12 00:00:35,890 --> 00:00:37,610 was centered around the mosque. 13 00:00:37,610 --> 00:00:40,670 I feel like, with Unitarian Universalism, 14 00:00:40,670 --> 00:00:44,200 I'm able to get that really strong and important, I think, 15 00:00:44,200 --> 00:00:46,550 feeling of building beloved community. 16 00:00:46,550 --> 00:00:48,440 Speaker 4: Everyone here knows who I am. 17 00:00:48,440 --> 00:00:50,980 They know who the woman I've been in a relationship 18 00:00:50,980 --> 00:00:52,450 with 15 years is. 19 00:00:52,450 --> 00:00:54,920 They appreciate that relationship. 20 00:00:54,920 --> 00:00:56,000 And they respect it. 21 00:00:56,000 --> 00:01:00,000 And I'm encouraged to come and be me. 22 00:01:00,000 --> 00:01:05,655 And that is the first place I've ever been able to be me. 23 00:01:05,655 --> 00:01:07,030 Barbara Hamilton-holway: I invite 24 00:01:07,030 --> 00:01:12,950 you to join me in appreciating the unspeakable beauty of what 25 00:01:12,950 --> 00:01:16,040 happens here week after week. 26 00:01:16,040 --> 00:01:32,090 [HYMN] 27 00:01:32,090 --> 00:01:34,080 Speaker 5: So when people ask me, "What 28 00:01:34,080 --> 00:01:35,550 is Unitarian Universalism?" 29 00:01:35,550 --> 00:01:39,510 I like to pull out the first principle of the inherent worth 30 00:01:39,510 --> 00:01:41,240 and dignity of every person. 31 00:01:41,240 --> 00:01:43,700 Greg Stewart: We have a spectrum, theologically, 32 00:01:43,700 --> 00:01:46,560 that runs from Christianity and Judaism 33 00:01:46,560 --> 00:01:49,080 to atheism, agnosticism. 34 00:01:49,080 --> 00:01:51,780 Speaker 6: We are not the kind of church that says, 35 00:01:51,780 --> 00:01:54,710 if you don't believe in our god, you're going to hell. 36 00:01:54,710 --> 00:01:57,376 Bill Hamilton-holway: People who come out of a variety of faiths 37 00:01:57,376 --> 00:02:00,590 can come together here knowing that their particular way 38 00:02:00,590 --> 00:02:02,440 of understanding truth and meaning 39 00:02:02,440 --> 00:02:04,372 will be appreciated and accepted. 40 00:02:04,372 --> 00:02:06,580 Shana Lynngood: This is a place where you're welcome, 41 00:02:06,580 --> 00:02:10,600 where you're invited into fuller relationship with yourself, 42 00:02:10,600 --> 00:02:13,730 with the spirit of life, with other people, 43 00:02:13,730 --> 00:02:17,106 to build a better world and to build a better you. 44 00:02:17,106 --> 00:02:19,450 Speaker 7: You walk in the door and it's like, Hi. 45 00:02:19,450 --> 00:02:20,220 Who are you? 46 00:02:20,220 --> 00:02:20,840 Come in. 47 00:02:20,840 --> 00:02:22,990 And immediately, you feel that you have 48 00:02:22,990 --> 00:02:24,520 inherent worth as a person. 49 00:02:24,520 --> 00:02:26,353 Speaker 8: It's just the most amazing thing, 50 00:02:26,353 --> 00:02:29,282 to be nourished body and soul by a community. 51 00:02:29,282 --> 00:02:30,740 Speaker 9: People in my generation, 52 00:02:30,740 --> 00:02:34,350 they'll say they're spiritual but they're not religious. 53 00:02:34,350 --> 00:02:36,220 They don't like organized religion. 54 00:02:36,220 --> 00:02:37,840 And the UU church-- I mean, yeah. 55 00:02:37,840 --> 00:02:38,940 It's a church. 56 00:02:38,940 --> 00:02:41,270 But it's non-creed oriented. 57 00:02:41,270 --> 00:02:42,670 It's open. 58 00:02:42,670 --> 00:02:43,400 It's welcoming. 59 00:02:43,400 --> 00:02:46,310 Speaker 7: I can bring my atheist mother here, 60 00:02:46,310 --> 00:02:51,440 and my Catholic ex-husband, and my modern orthodox-trained 61 00:02:51,440 --> 00:02:52,600 Jewish children. 62 00:02:52,600 --> 00:02:55,234 And we're just all loved. 63 00:02:55,234 --> 00:02:57,150 Greg Stewart: This liberal religious tradition 64 00:02:57,150 --> 00:02:59,220 has a very distinctive message. 65 00:02:59,220 --> 00:03:01,710 And it is attracting people that haven't been hearing it 66 00:03:01,710 --> 00:03:02,502 elsewhere. 67 00:03:02,502 --> 00:03:03,710 Speaker 2: It was liberating. 68 00:03:03,710 --> 00:03:04,840 It was freeing. 69 00:03:04,840 --> 00:03:07,570 It was challenging-- all those things 70 00:03:07,570 --> 00:03:10,040 that I was looking for in a religious place 71 00:03:10,040 --> 00:03:18,527 and a religious community. 72 00:03:18,527 --> 00:03:20,360 Speaker 10: Once you start to have children, 73 00:03:20,360 --> 00:03:23,670 it's nice to have someone else trying to teach them 74 00:03:23,670 --> 00:03:25,192 similar moral values, you know? 75 00:03:25,192 --> 00:03:26,900 So it's really nice to have it reinforced 76 00:03:26,900 --> 00:03:29,140 by a community in which you feel comfortable 77 00:03:29,140 --> 00:03:32,217 and you feel like these values are truly shared and important. 78 00:03:32,217 --> 00:03:34,050 Speaker 11: My oldest is now in third grade. 79 00:03:34,050 --> 00:03:36,610 And so she's starting to get into more of the conversations 80 00:03:36,610 --> 00:03:41,060 about social justice, about neighboring faiths, about what 81 00:03:41,060 --> 00:03:43,160 other people believe, about starting 82 00:03:43,160 --> 00:03:47,931 to identify what is important to her and what is her beacon. 83 00:03:47,931 --> 00:03:49,680 Speaker 6: We kind of believe in community 84 00:03:49,680 --> 00:03:52,480 outreach and helping us become better 85 00:03:52,480 --> 00:03:54,590 by helping the community. 86 00:03:54,590 --> 00:03:56,600 Vail Weller: In Unitarian Universalism 87 00:03:56,600 --> 00:03:59,550 we have a responsibility, which is to provide people 88 00:03:59,550 --> 00:04:03,380 the opportunity to do the work that it takes to figure out 89 00:04:03,380 --> 00:04:05,080 what their beliefs are. 90 00:04:05,080 --> 00:04:07,380 Dan Harper: We also want them to have 91 00:04:07,380 --> 00:04:10,040 respect for the interdependent web of all existence. 92 00:04:10,040 --> 00:04:12,450 So that will be a part of our religious education. 93 00:04:12,450 --> 00:04:15,710 We want them to have respect for themselves 94 00:04:15,710 --> 00:04:17,160 and for their bodies. 95 00:04:17,160 --> 00:04:19,807 So we do do comprehensive sexuality education 96 00:04:19,807 --> 00:04:21,390 with children, which we feel is a part 97 00:04:21,390 --> 00:04:22,594 of their spiritual growth. 98 00:04:22,594 --> 00:04:24,760 Speaker 12: Gives you, like, a whole new perspective 99 00:04:24,760 --> 00:04:27,240 of how other people think and how other people to feel. 100 00:04:27,240 --> 00:04:31,280 And I think it just makes you a nicer person. 101 00:04:31,280 --> 00:04:33,100 Speaker 13: The trend, more recently, 102 00:04:33,100 --> 00:04:37,890 is for us to name our religious education Lifespan Faith 103 00:04:37,890 --> 00:04:42,720 Development because we recognize that it's a process that 104 00:04:42,720 --> 00:04:46,625 occurs throughout our lives, regardless of our age 105 00:04:46,625 --> 00:04:54,529 and stage. 106 00:04:54,529 --> 00:04:57,070 David Sammons: One of the things that people don't understand 107 00:04:57,070 --> 00:04:58,850 about our movement is that it does really 108 00:04:58,850 --> 00:05:01,190 have a very rich historical past, 109 00:05:01,190 --> 00:05:03,920 not only roots that go back to the beginning 110 00:05:03,920 --> 00:05:07,690 of the Reformation in Europe, and a very rich history 111 00:05:07,690 --> 00:05:10,430 in the United States and colonial America. 112 00:05:10,430 --> 00:05:12,930 Gini Courter: I think what I want folks in our congregations 113 00:05:12,930 --> 00:05:14,870 to know is that if there's a candidate 114 00:05:14,870 --> 00:05:16,790 for the great American faith, it is us. 115 00:05:16,790 --> 00:05:19,650 Take a look at who signed the Declaration of Independence, 116 00:05:19,650 --> 00:05:21,400 and you see our names there. 117 00:05:21,400 --> 00:05:24,390 Three of the first six American presidents were Unitarian. 118 00:05:24,390 --> 00:05:27,567 And I'm pretty proud of the country that we helped build. 119 00:05:27,567 --> 00:05:29,650 Bill Clark: This faith-- the more I learn about it 120 00:05:29,650 --> 00:05:32,910 and discover-- is ingrained in the values 121 00:05:32,910 --> 00:05:35,330 that the American constitution was put together with. 122 00:05:35,330 --> 00:05:38,097 It's about acceptance and tolerance and liberty 123 00:05:38,097 --> 00:05:39,055 and freedom to believe. 124 00:05:39,055 --> 00:05:41,880 And I think it's inherent in who we are 125 00:05:41,880 --> 00:05:44,430 as citizens of this country. 126 00:05:44,430 --> 00:05:46,870 David Sammons: Most of the idea of Universalism-- 127 00:05:46,870 --> 00:05:50,100 although it had some roots in England-- 128 00:05:50,100 --> 00:05:52,750 is really indigenous to our own country, 129 00:05:52,750 --> 00:05:55,540 very simple, plain folks-- mostly farmers 130 00:05:55,540 --> 00:05:58,190 and tradespeople-- who really did 131 00:05:58,190 --> 00:06:03,020 believe that a loving God wouldn't damn people to hell. 132 00:06:03,020 --> 00:06:07,160 Unitarians-- although they also believed in a benevolent god-- 133 00:06:07,160 --> 00:06:09,610 put more stress on what William Ellery 134 00:06:09,610 --> 00:06:11,865 Channing called character. 135 00:06:11,865 --> 00:06:14,260 He called it salvation by character. 136 00:06:14,260 --> 00:06:16,760 He said what matters isn't what you believe. 137 00:06:16,760 --> 00:06:18,370 It's how you live your life. 138 00:06:18,370 --> 00:06:21,340 And Ralph Waldo Emerson and all those other luminaries 139 00:06:21,340 --> 00:06:25,160 from the 19th century in the Unitarian side of our movement 140 00:06:25,160 --> 00:06:26,459 made that kind of assertion. 141 00:06:26,459 --> 00:06:28,000 Chris Walton: For both the Unitarians 142 00:06:28,000 --> 00:06:31,270 and the Universalists, the people in the church 143 00:06:31,270 --> 00:06:34,090 had a moral obligation to reform society. 144 00:06:34,090 --> 00:06:37,940 And so, it wasn't simply about getting your soul 145 00:06:37,940 --> 00:06:38,740 right with God. 146 00:06:38,740 --> 00:06:43,750 It really had very much to do with helping your society live 147 00:06:43,750 --> 00:06:45,410 up to its highest principles. 148 00:06:45,410 --> 00:06:48,840 So by the mid 20th century, the Unitarians and Universalists 149 00:06:48,840 --> 00:06:51,230 saw that they had more and more in common. 150 00:06:51,230 --> 00:06:55,340 And in 1961, they formed the Unitarian Universalist 151 00:06:55,340 --> 00:06:59,852 Association and brought their two traditions together. 152 00:06:59,852 --> 00:07:06,970 [HYMN] 153 00:07:06,970 --> 00:07:09,770 Greg Stewart: Our philosophy is, be out into the world six days 154 00:07:09,770 --> 00:07:10,470 a week. 155 00:07:10,470 --> 00:07:17,450 And then come in here and tell us how that informs your faith. 156 00:07:17,450 --> 00:07:19,100 Donald Robinson: We are about trying 157 00:07:19,100 --> 00:07:22,030 to improve the conditions in which a lot of people 158 00:07:22,030 --> 00:07:25,742 live and make the world and our community a much better place. 159 00:07:25,742 --> 00:07:27,450 Chris Walton: The Unitarian Universalists 160 00:07:27,450 --> 00:07:30,650 sent more ministers to Selma to join Martin Luther 161 00:07:30,650 --> 00:07:33,696 King in the civil rights march then 162 00:07:33,696 --> 00:07:36,011 than any other denomination. 163 00:07:36,011 --> 00:07:38,510 Speaker 14: That's one of the things I love about my church, 164 00:07:38,510 --> 00:07:41,226 is that, you know, activism and social justice 165 00:07:41,226 --> 00:07:42,350 are part of the principles. 166 00:07:42,350 --> 00:07:44,560 But then they are really lived out. 167 00:07:44,560 --> 00:07:47,570 Speaker 3: Fighting classism, sexism, homophobia, 168 00:07:47,570 --> 00:07:49,540 working on environmental justice-- 169 00:07:49,540 --> 00:07:52,130 really kind of creating the world we want to create. 170 00:07:52,130 --> 00:07:52,770 Gini Courter: I think that there are 171 00:07:52,770 --> 00:07:54,990 folks who are coming to us right now in larger 172 00:07:54,990 --> 00:07:58,570 and larger numbers because they're looking for faiths that 173 00:07:58,570 --> 00:08:00,085 really respect the earth and have 174 00:08:00,085 --> 00:08:02,670 a stake in the environmental movement. 175 00:08:02,670 --> 00:08:06,300 And that's always been one of our values. 176 00:08:06,300 --> 00:08:09,550 Speaker 15: Our elected leaders will 177 00:08:09,550 --> 00:08:14,530 be able to hear us if we can speak from our hearts. 178 00:08:14,530 --> 00:08:16,540 Speaker 16: We're really trying to move forward 179 00:08:16,540 --> 00:08:18,980 as a congregation or as a community. 180 00:08:18,980 --> 00:08:21,410 And so it's really exciting to be a part of something 181 00:08:21,410 --> 00:08:25,000 that is very progressive and that is engaged and active. 182 00:08:25,000 --> 00:08:27,300 Speaker 17: This church, from its inception, 183 00:08:27,300 --> 00:08:31,540 has been interested in changing the world. 184 00:08:31,540 --> 00:08:35,220 Speaker 18: "I don't have a minute to hate," she cried. 185 00:08:35,220 --> 00:08:41,530 "I'll pursue justice for the rest of my life." 186 00:08:41,530 --> 00:08:48,110 May we go and do likewise. 187 00:08:48,110 --> 00:09:12,032 [HYMN] 188 00:09:12,032 --> 00:09:13,740 Shana Lynngood: If you want a tradition-- 189 00:09:13,740 --> 00:09:17,070 a religious tradition-- that respects you and challenges you 190 00:09:17,070 --> 00:09:20,430 at the same time to be your best self in everything 191 00:09:20,430 --> 00:09:23,062 you do in your life, then this is a tradition for you. 192 00:09:23,062 --> 00:09:24,770 William Sinkford: Let us commit ourselves 193 00:09:24,770 --> 00:09:28,690 to living out our theology. 194 00:09:28,690 --> 00:09:30,950 Let us celebrate being part of a reasonable 195 00:09:30,950 --> 00:09:35,230 and a passionate faith, a faith that requires us to engage 196 00:09:35,230 --> 00:09:38,050 deeply with moral questions. 197 00:09:38,050 --> 00:09:41,420 This work is difficult. And the discoveries 198 00:09:41,420 --> 00:09:43,990 will be different for each of us. 199 00:09:43,990 --> 00:09:46,600 But we must always remember that it 200 00:09:46,600 --> 00:09:51,790 is through our most human quality, the ability to love, 201 00:09:51,790 --> 00:09:55,420 that we can touch the divine. 202 00:09:55,420 --> 00:09:56,780 So may it be. 203 00:09:56,780 --> 00:09:57,748 And amen. 204 00:09:57,748 --> 00:10:05,976 [HYMN] 205 00:10:05,976 --> 00:10:09,730 [INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC] 206 00:10:09,730 --> 00:14:10,244