The youngest generation michael hornsby congregation
- Publication date
- Michael hornsby, congregation, experience, the youngest generation, unitarian universalist, sermon
The youngest generation michael hornsby congregation: The experience of living this faith in community isn't passed down from the oldest generation to the youngest generation and so forth in a neat and tidy fashion.
- 2022-06-07 16:17:41
- Internet Archive Python library 3.0.1
- You may have noticed this week some of you that one of our members posted an article on are closed member facebook page. Called choosing a stubborn love why i returned to my mostly-white unitarian universalist congregation. Michael hornsby the author of the article. Shared the experience of discovering his congregation for the first time. He writes it seemed my family had found a spiritual home. And we wasted no time becoming active in congregational life. We scooped ice cream organized potluck dinners help set up the annual halloween party. Served as greeters and ushers and service leaders. Enco facilitating the beloved conversations workshop. Hornsby's abiding commitment continues for years. Leading to his eventual election to his congregation board of trustees. Yet. Hornsby shearer's that nevertheless. I was never allowed to forget. That i was an outsider. There were several occasions when white people seem to think. I might be amused by a joke. About my skin color. Or about black lives matter. One white woman joke in my daughter's presents. That i scared her. You were even times when white people would start a conversation about race with me. Before even saying. Good morning. After years of relentlessly being shown inward and an action that he was an outsider. Ormsby left. His congregation. And after a time of searching and reflection over a year of distance and prayer. He concludes. First and foremost. I am a unitarian universalist. I explored other churches in the area. I am only truly comfortable following unitarian universalist principles. No other religion was a good fit for my spiritual needs. For me i truly aspire to be more loving in my heart. So i will go back. And try again. Mayuyu beliefs will not be so easily abandoned. The way i interpreted hornsby's article. He came back to his unitarian universalist congregation. Because he felt deeply connected. To the part of our face that goes beyond individual wants and personal searches for truth. Connected to something about our faith. That white people cannot own. Or interpret. Or welcome others into exclusively. It's hornsby said. I am only truly comfortable following you you principles. Buddy list one more reason why his stubborn love took him back to his congregation. In his words. I need human in-person connection. To look people in the eye shake hands. And give and receive friendly and braces. The pain and the beauty of michael hornsby's commitment. Both strike me. Opinion of course. Is that hornsby is kept at arm's length. From the heart of the community he loves. He finds himself predominantly in the company of white people who don't want to make room for his full humanity. If it means looking a long time in the mirror. What a painful way to experience a community that you belong to. The overwhelmingly beautiful and courageous and compassionate thing. Is that he stays. And continues to give and love for the sake of something larger than his individual experience. What a way to live our faith. I think many of us are drawn to unitarian universalism because of the individual search for truth and meaning that we hold so dear. But for those of us who stay in this face. I don't think that it's primarily that individual search that keeps us. Coming back. Perhaps that something more than our individual experience is what's called our living tradition. You may have noticed earlier when we picked up our gray hymnals to sing. That i didn't coin that phrase it's been used to refer to unitarian-universalism for quite some time and star singing in the living tradition. Typically we talked about being a living tradition because we are a religion without a creed. And the way we approach our ultimate truth is expected to evolve over time. In fact very little about our faith is fixed or written in permanent ink. With all this. Flexibility and change. How exactly does our shared sense of what matters most. Get passed down. Through people of course. Through writing and books. But also through relationships and conversations. Through meetings. Your congregation singing songs together. In this more literal sense of the living tradition our fee is passed down by living human beings. From generation to generation. Of course. The experience of living this faith in community isn't passed down from the oldest generation to the youngest generation and so forth in a neat and tidy fashion. More that our faith is constantly passed between and among generations as it's handed down. All of us in this congregation regardless of our age share a history with the lives that were here before us. We belong to the same motion. It's true that we pass on our fear and our bias. In our egos and our need to be right. But the living tradition. Is that something more than our individual experience. It's what we passed down when we aren't thinking of ourselves alone. We aren't putting ourselves above another. It's when we lift up our relatedness. Most profoundly. That we pass along truths that have a life. Of their own. Growing up in a unitarian universalist congregation i understood the truth that are most alive for us to be. That there is promise there's possibility in every human soul. Regardless of anyone's actions or inactions. Love is not a limited resource save for one group over another. And the work to make the world as it should be won't end with us. But it's ours to do. No one spelled out unitarian universalist history or theology for me until i read about it in seminary. Our faith was passed to me by the people in my community. Do relationships and conversations and singing songs together on sunday morning. Our faith was handed down to me while playing on my congregation softball team. When i was seven with oliver he was in his 80s. Who commiserated with me as we both inevitably struck out again and again at every came. Myrna who was a stand-in grandmother for our congregations children bringing cakes or pies to potluck with this huge sign that said children only. Barb and chris who were the coolest twenty and thirty-somethings i could imagine. Bar with her combat boots and chris with his in-depth knowledge of david bowie. How they sat with my youth group multiple times a week. Listening to us figure out who we wanted to be and how we wanted to change the world. And even the saturday work parties that my parents dragged me to and in retrospect i enjoyed. Where we would we'd and plants around the congregational grounds and then people of all ages. Eat pizza together. As a kid i learned are faced by watching adults live it. And more and more as an adult. I learn our faith by watching our kids and youth live it. We can read about unitarian universalist history and theology in books and resonate with it. We can read about people who lived our faith a long time ago or who live it hundreds of miles away from us. But i agree with michael hornsby i need human in-person connection. To look people in the eye to shake hands and give and receive friendly embraces. Because it isn't only our ultimate truths that we want to pass down. It's also the experience of the community that lives by them. It's that experience of community that we want our children and their children's children to have long after we are gone. As we stay together and our family dedication ceremony. We will hold before you and your children the shared values of this congregation. And will seek to embody those ideals in the lives we live. And our prayer. Is that we may build a community in which our children grow old. Surrounded by beauty embraced by love. And cradled in the arms of peace. Our living tradition is that something more than our individual experience. It's the ultimate truths and shared experience we passed down when we aren't thinking of ourselves alone. Kathleen and i. Have had our minds on the living tradition this summer as we begin thinking about what it might be like to start a family ministry here. We want to offer programming and worship and events that will invite families to discover deeper spiritual meaning collectively as a family. We want to provide opportunities for families to explore how to claim their role in the work of societal and environmental transformation. We want to provide times for families to build better community with one another and the congregation as a whole. Not parents caregivers grandparents experiencing congregate congregational life in one place. And children and youth in another. But altogether. And we are inviting everyone into this joyful work of building a family ministry here. Whether or not you hear that phrase family ministry and think that applies to me we need you. Because one person one generation one segment of our congregation can't carry our living tradition alone. It's in our coming together that we keep our faith. Alive. A feat that reminds us that there is promise there is possibility in every human soul. But love is not a limited resource save for one group over another. And the work to make the world as it should be will not end with us but it is ours to do. We need all of us. Because it's not only our ultimate truths we want to pass down. But the experience of a community that lives them. Blessed be. Amin.