A multifaith, spirit-filled congregation devoted to love and justice.

Last Sunday we visited our new neighborhood UU congregation, the First Parish in Cambridge, MA.

After registering our daughter for childcare and getting her settled, we found our way to the sanctuary.

I was happy to see visitor cards for guests to fill out including the URLs for the congregation’s primary website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

In the booklet orienting people to the congregation, Unitarian Universalism and their ministry & programs – located in the pews as well – I found the following description of the congregation.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since…

[We are] a multifaith, spirit-filled congregation devoted to love and justice.

Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of Beloved Community, we are moving joyfully into a multiracial, multicultural, justice-making future. We embrace all ages, races, classes, abilities, sexual orientations, gender presentations, and ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Honoring all the faith traditions of the world, we support each person’s journey to wisdom and spiritual growth.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on the journey of life, we welcome you into our hearts.

Coupling multi-faith with visions of MLK’s dream did a fabulous job of lodging the point deep in my brain.  That’s the power of a good visual!

The word “multi-faith” is one I haven’t seen many congregations using.  It does serve to clarify that “Hey, this isn’t just another old New England Christian church.”  I think it is an important distinction for us to make.

Does your congregations use the word multi-faith?   Something else?  What do you think of that word?

This is an important question to consider.

How do we talk about Unitarian Universalism, our congregations, our ministry so people immediately get that we are more pluralistic?

Any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “A multifaith, spirit-filled congregation devoted to love and justice.

  1. I decided to check out a purportedly non-denominational church about five years ago. I saw a banner on the side of their building that said “a Spirit filled Fellowship” or something like that. 35 years ago that phrase would have appealed to me, but no longer as it usually is a reference to pentecostal, charismatic practices. I attended the service anyway that day and the minister’s wife (co-minister) said something like that if you were visiting for the first time, welcome home. I certainly did not feel welcome, partly because they used anti-gay language in the service, quite different than what I stand for.

    I think it is a little silly to say wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome here. The UCC does that to some degree and I think it is a bunch of crock, for any spiritual communitgy to say such things.

  2. We talk being a theologically diverse community. We have our mural (of religious symbols) front and center every week to walk the talk. When we ask new members what attracted them, that’s the single most common answer from the new UU’s (as opposed to UU’s who moved here.) (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

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