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A note from Rev. Shawn: An Invitation to Go Deeper

From time to time, I meet people, completely unattached to a Unitarian congregation, who explain to me that they are, in fact, Unitarians. While that may be true in terms of belief and outlook, I question whether the claim holds up in practice. To put it plainly, I’m not convinced one can be a Unitarian all alone. I believe ours to be a faith that comes alive in community. Our theological beliefs are honed through dialogue. And our principles are enlivened (and tested!) through our relationships. Without these practices, our faith can become largely theoretical.

It’s often said that what we get out of our congregations is directly related to what we put in—what we invest, in terms of our time, our energy, and our financial resources. So, as we move into this first autumn together, I invite you to deepen your involvement at UCV. (Now, if you’re already serving on three committees and singing the choir, this message isn’t necessarily for you!)

Through the course of this year, Kiersten Moore and I will be leading three one-month units of a program called Creating Theology Together. Each unit begins with a half-day retreat on a Saturday or Sunday, followed by three Wednesday night gatherings. The units, which build on each other, will be offered in the fall, winter, and spring. We are hoping for significant participation from the congregation, so please consider whether this is a form of faith exploration that you might weave into your life this year. You can find more information about the program, as well as the registration form, here.

As well, we invite you to join a small Covenant Group for monthly exploration of the themes we will explore this year through Sunday services and other areas of life at UCV. I will be curating the “Soul Matters” materials and will share these resources for your reflection through the course of the month. Each packet will contain a collection of readings, a possible spiritual exercise, and discussion questions to consider. These materials will anchor the group conversations later in the month. You can find more information about these groups and the form to indicate your interest here. We hope, if there is a strong response, to launch new groups in different parts of the city and on various days of the week.

May this be a year of deep and meaningful engagement for us all—and a reminder that we best discover what it means to be Unitarians together!

In faith and love,