November, 2016 What does it mean to be a community of story?

Story is an important theme for Unitarian Universalists. In many congregations an early “getting to know you” question is “How did you find your way here?” It’s not a question about directions, but rather an invitation to tell a story. While some people are raised Unitarian Universalist, more often people have a story to share of their questioning and seeking on their way to Unitarian Universalism. They’ve let childhood expectations and illusions go, sometimes at great personal cost, in order to find experiences, teachings, and commitments that feel truthful and real to them. Such stories reveal the narratives of life journeys of meaning making, awakening, service and activism. As individual as the stories are, the journey shared is the essential bond among Unitarian Universalists. We do not choose to believe alike, but we choose to walk the journey together.
I wish we spent more time together sitting in circles sharing our stories and listening to each other- learning, revealing our sorrows and fears, and being emboldened by each other’s deep humanity. A community that encourages sharing from the essential truths of our lives will grow in resilience, harmony, and clarity of mission. Starhawk expressed the vision this way,
Somewhere, there are people
to whom we can speak with passion
without having the words catch in our throats.
Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us,
Eyes will light up as we enter,
voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power.

This could be a good time to ask, how has your story continued to evolve since you were first invited to share it? How are you continuing to come into your own power? What do you need? Sometimes we act as if arriving at a Unitarian Universalist identity is the destination. Truly the quest for meaning and more truthful and joyful commitments in life continues on. Where is that journey calling you today?

I look forward to hearing your stories,
Rev. Frances