“Love is the spirit of this church...” But love is more than a noun; it’s also a verb — an action verb! UUFP's February 25th sanctuary services were replete with love in action! Through stories, responsive readings, meditation and personal testimony, we explored what it means to answer the call of love in our own lives. And since "Love" always bears repeating, the following article is the first of several we plan to share with you.
Answering the Call of Love
Our Caring Committee has visited people in the hospital, handled childcare and driving for doctor's appointments, visited people recovering from a fall, and more than once collected gifts of furniture and household items. And loving hands have prepared too many meals to count in support of surgeries, injuries, deaths, births, & illness. Also, on more than one occasion, The Caring Committee has galvanized into action providing food, drink, serving and clean up for memorial services taking place at or away from our fellowship.
You'll probably hear some version of the following popular Unitarian Universalist (UU) saying [Blake Covenant, adapted] more than once this morning. And there's good reason for that!
"Love is the doctrine of this church,
UU minister Meredith Garman of the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation in White Plains, NY, asks if "liberal religion says love is its doctrine. What does that mean?" He goes on to point out that "Love isn’t doctrine. Doctrine is a list of beliefs, the approved interpretation, the creed, the dogma. Unitarian Universalism is creedless. We don’t have doctrine."
According to Garman: "You want to know what we believe? We believe that religion isn’t about what you believe. Religion is about how you live: the ethics and values that guide your life. Religion is about community: the people you come together with, and the rituals you share that affirm your connectedness. And it’s about – call it the sense of transcendence. Or maybe don’t. Call it awareness of interconnection. Call it awe, wonder, beauty. And a deep sense of the abundance of life at a level beyond what the intellect alone can grasp." In other words, according to Reverend Garman, "Religion is about experience – those certain kinds of experiences we call “religious experience.”
Service to others, for many of us, is a big part of our religious experience! It gives us so much more than it asks of us! To serve is to make manifest everything we believe!
I'd like to say this, by way of recruitment for our Caring Committee. You are all members of this committee by virtue of membership in our beloved community. If you would like to receive the call/email when there is a need, please make sure I have your email address and your phone number. It’s that simple. Don't cook? No worries! You can take pizza, a salad and bread from Costco, or ready-made items like hummus or chicken salad. You can even do breakfast items, or snacks! Like to send cards to folks? See me. Have a garage full of stuff, or maybe just one chair, which may benefit someone less fortunate? Willing to give someone a ride to the doctor’s office? In other words, there's a way for everyone to get in on the act of serving humankind in fellowship and answering the call to love!
The February 25th services were offered through collaboration between the Sunday Services Committee and the Music Committee, with special music provided by the ChorUUs!
Wish to read other testimonials from the worship services that day? Click the following:
Love's Table is Large, with more to follow.