A New Myth for our Congregations

Who told us that we were powerless? Why do we so often believe that we are?

This past year, our board voted to add our congregation’s name to an Amicus Brief connected to the legal action in support of equal marriage. That amicus brief, joined the legions of actions taken over the centuries, and brought about an honest to goodness victory. The ban on same sex marriage in Virginia was declared unconstitutional. Our congregation played a role in the years preceding and in the pivotal final gesture. Our power helped to move a mountain.

It's time we stopped believing in our powerlessness. It's time we stopped downgrading our faith and our faith tradition.

“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth,” says the poet Jalal al din Rumi. Unitarian Universalists too often downplay our capacity. We imagine ourselves a “small” religion, with few adherents and little power. We believe that only a small segment of the population can be drawn to our worship, our community, our vision. We “story” ourselves as weak, and we live into that story. It’s time... in fact it’s long past time, for us to do some new myth making.

A friend asks you: “what kind of church do you attend?”

What story will you tell?

A. "I go to a small church that isn’t really like a church, where you can believe anything you want.”

B. "I love my congregation - it’s exactly what I always imagined a congregation could be. We are asked to live our own faith in acts of justice and love. The result is a community that transforms our world as it transforms our lives."

Which story is more true? Why do we so often say “A,” when “B,” spills our truth with much more grace and power? Are we afraid of our capacity? Are we embarrassed by our love?

Don’t be satisfied with the stories that sound more like apologies than proclamations! When we ache, our congregation consoles us. When we grieve, our congregation grieves with us. When we falter in unknowing, the wisdom of our tradition gives us hope. When we commit to acts of justice, we move mountains.

In Myth Making,

Rev. Anya