SUBMITTED BY SONDRA MERRICK -- IOWA LAKES UNITARIAN FELLOWSHIP
Maybe you have heard of Unitarian Universalism, or UU, and wondered, "What is that all about?" Here's a little information about us.
In our fellowship, we're not really focused on settling things. In fact, our coffee mugs say, "Where all your answers will be questioned!" You're as likely to hear poetry by Rumi, contemporary musicians or names in the newspaper cited as you are Christian or Jewish scriptures.
We are a community of Christians, Buddhists, humanists, agnostics, atheists and people who celebrate multiple religious traditions. We are a community of journeyers and spiritual adventurers. We believe that faith is, ultimately, to be experienced in how you live. We have no creeds or dogmas, but we do invite one another to reflect on how our lives hold up when looked at through the eyes of our values, love being central among those values.
Are our actions creating more love on the planet? Are we helping each other? Are we kind? Are we making the world more just? Though we have as many opinions on the subject of what happens after death as we do on anything else, you won't find many people here who talk about hell. We believe that most hell is suffered here on this planet.
Of course we don't get into the business of electoral politics or supporting candidates. But we are a community of activists related to our values: Supporting marriage equality; protecting the earth from degradation, standing up for human rights for people regardless of economic status, immigration status, gender identity and every other descriptor used to dehumanize or ignore people.
We think the universe is a complex place, and that gay and lesbian couples, transgender and bisexual people and multiracial and multicultural families are part of the great gift of human diversity that makes life interesting. You will find members of this community from all walks of life, who experience love in their lives in very different ways.
We talk a lot about something we call "the interdependent web of all existence." That is to say, we understand ourselves as completely inseparable from and bound up with the earth. We believe that we need to be grateful for this wonderful gift and show our gratitude through good care and respect.
Whatever your truth, people here will be eager to learn from you about it and we will be equally eager to share our own truths with you. We are interested in your journey and your story. We believe that you bring unique wisdom and gifts.
Come try us out! We hope you will find this to be a safe, nurturing community where you can be your most authentic self.
Adapted with permission from original essay by Rev. Meg Riley on "Quest for Meaning," Church of the Larger Fellowship.