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The following is offered, tongue-in-cheek:
“You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma of which we find the ultimate meaning in our interpersonal relationships.”
“Who left a burning question mark on my front lawn last night?”
Unitarian Universalism is a religion founded on the principles of A, B, and C, where A, B, and C are principles that you happen to believe in. Many come to worship here, including Hindus, Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists, Heretics, Furs, Pagans, Witches, Judeo-Christians, Buddhists and Loyal Servants of Odin, High Father.
In 1961, there was a general agreement among the leadership of the churches that combining would provide their congregations with questions to all of their theological answers. A committee was established, whose model became a guideline for all church actions to become: twenty churchmembers sat in a circle to discuss the ecological implications of merging their churches, fifteen debated labor practices and minimum living standards for the employees of companies that the church buys products from, eleven discussed paint colors and which archaic drinking vessel should become the church symbol, and one went off on her own and did all of the work necessary for the merger. All references to particular creeds and beliefs were struck from the church bylaws, and all church copies of the Ten Commandments were relocated to federal courthouses. The meeting was closed with a prayer to "anyone who happens to be out there, or not."
While the initial merger was a success, hostility to the Unitarian societies began to spread among Christian denominations, most prominently in the south. Dozens of incidents were documented where mobs clad in robes and speaking Aramaic burned question marks in the lawns of Unitarians. Sierra Club headquarters were bombed, and a dozen churches were razed -- leading to great consternation among Unitarian churchgoers about the amount of trees that would have to die in order to rebuild.
To this day, Unitarian Universalists struggle with issues such as discrimination, community recognition, lack of available people to serve on committees, lack of available parking spaces, and how to wake up early enough to make coffee for the Sunday service.
Most UUs take an easy going approach to church attendance. That is, if you feel like it, you can show up. If not, then you can be there in spirit. Unfortunately for many churches, a person's spirit generally does a poor job of providing financial support for the congregation.
The church has no formal recruitment process for obtaining new members in contrast to a number of other denominations. Most people stumble upon a local church by accident when they get lost looking for the new all-natural organic pet department store that set up shop nearby. When they see all the cars in the parking lot with bumper stickers such as "Curb your dogma at the door", they are mislead into entering the sanctuary with Fido in tow during Sunday service. Most congregations are so used to this phenomenon that no attention is paid and the person quickly feels at home among the fellow vegan tofu-eating hemp-wearing pet-lovers.
- No killing trees or cute animals. Or people. Or anything else. But foremost, trees and cute animals.
- The five sacraments are Dedication, Marriage, Memorial Service, Argument, and Voting. A sixth sacrament regarding the exclusive use of consensus committees for decision making was debated by a committee at the 1992 General Assembly meeting. However, no consensus could be reached on the subject.
- Easter is the day that Jesus rose from the grave and ... saw his shadow, went back in and we get six more weeks of winter?
- It's Adam and Eve, OR Adam and Steve, OR Lilith and Eve. Other options added as necessary.
- "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" was a foreshadowing allegory about Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America".
- No burning of heretics, or there will not be anyone left in the religion.
- Do not burn witches or there will not be anyone around to tell us what to do during a solstice or equinox.
- Many gods and/or one God at most.
- There has been no official decision however if any of the above is true.
|Stop laughing. That's really what it's called.|
(The Flaming Chalice should not be confused with The Goblet of Fire of Harry Potter fame, though there are a lot of his fans in the religion.)
What to Expect During a Service
Hymn: "We Gather Together To ... Gather Together"
- Jesus Christ may or may not have risen today,
- Whether or not he did is pretty difficult to say,
- Let's discuss all sides of the issue thoroughly,
- We can take a vote! And then we'll see,
Holy book: "Roberts' Rules of Order"
Opening Prayer: "Dear God, if there is a God, if you can, save my soul, if I have a soul."
Common Worship Activities:
- Announcements - these must take at least 20 minutes per service
- Blaming the Fundamentalists
- Bragging about one's IQ level
- Bragging about one's children's IQ level
- Meditation (snoring is permitted - all forms of worship are welcome, including knitting and if you are the feral child of an attendee, running in circles screaming)
- "Joys and Concerns" - a time during service to stand up and talk about how thankful you are that your kitten did not get killed when your fundamentalist neighbor cut down a tree, and to express your deep grief over the death of the tree. During this time, it is acceptable to perform an interpretive dance to more deeply convey your grief. Also, a time to make more announcements and discuss the reigning controversy of the moment in the congregation.
- (The actual sermon, If there is any time left.)
- "Discussion" (which can take some interesting tangents)
- Coffee hour in the basement (at least as long as the service)
- [Don't forget "Discussion"]
List of most common committees (with number of members)
- The Love Committee: 37
- The Peace Committee: 49
- The Love & Peace Committee: 86
- The War & Peace (novel) Committee: 11
- The Committee Committee: 9
- The "Committee Committee" Commitee: 9
- The Youth Committee: 69
- The Youth-Adult Committee: 12
- The "Children & Youth" Adult Committee: 11
- Harry Potter and the Committee of Readers: 63
- The Lightbulb Committee: 62
- The What-Colour-Should-Our-Roof-Be Committee: 45
- The Gay Committee: 35
- The Lesbian Committee: 35
- The Gay & Lesbian Committee: 70
- The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Committee: 82
- The Conference Committee: 15
- The Flowers-On-The-Front-Desk Committee: 23
- The Woman Committee: 78
- The Man Committee: 2
- The Life, Universe and Everything Else Committee: 42
- The God Committee: TBD
Famous Unitarian Universalists
- Oscar Wilde
- Allah's True Prophet Muhammad (perhaps questionable) (Not if you actually read the Koran properly. It's just too easy for someone with twisted sensibilities to read their own warped beliefs into virtually any holy book.)
- Dalai Lama
- God (Known by any number of names and genders, including Sophia)
- Goddess (Arguably just another name of God unless you believe men can not see the female side of God without adding dess to the name.)
- Lao Tzu