Moments & Meetings

“Each experience of love nudges us toward the Story of Interbeing, because it only fits into that story and defies the logic of Separation.”

-Charles Eisenstein


What is Our Great Story? It was a question pondered by the handful of Unitarian Universalist Ministers and Seminarians I gathered with around a lunch table this past week at the UU Congregation in Montclair, New Jersey, where the first ever UU Preaching Conference was held.

If Christians have the cross and resurrection, Jews the Exodus story of liberation, and Buddhists the journey to enlightenment, then what is the story that we UU’s tell in worship each week?

A great story is core to worship. It is embodied through ritual and story, song and ceremony.

Perhaps, we surmised, our work is to tell a new story of Interbeing– one that moves us from isolation to wholeness, from separation and division towards Beloved Community. And yet, our forms of worship and meeting spaces do not always embody the new story we wish to tell. High altars and Protestant-style orders of service reflect a theology that is not quite our own.

But sometimes we get it right. This past Sunday I had a moment of realization while sharing worship down on the floor with all of you.  First you moved me with your heart-felt personal stories and testimonials in our weekly sharing of joy and sorrow. You spoke the good news – confession and absolution, prophecy and witness, commitment and hope- in the midst of our troubled lives and world. Yes friends: you told the sermon.

Then, you poured your dirt– some of it barren in need of blessing, some of it rich with the story of homecoming, all of it blended together in love.And bless we did: at first my own hands kneading the dirt like dough. And then together – children and elders- joined in that muddy mess. And I thought- ah, yes- THIS is our story. THIS is our theology. We move from one to many and we bless the world together.

Thank you friends for sharing that earthy worship moment with me. Your soil has been entrusted to UUC gardeners, Christopher Mann and Andrew Damon, who will be planting something sweet and lovely to bless our space and share together.

I look forward to joining with you again this week in our shared creative worship as we continue to tell a new story while also honoring the old. This week we celebrate Passover. I wish all our Jewish members and friends Chag Pesach Sameach! What lessons might we learn today from this story of liberation? Let’s figure it out together.  See you on Sunday!

Rev. Terri