I am compelled by the title of a new curriculum by Erik Walker Wikstrom, “Spirituality in Practice.” Unitarian Universalism is distinguished more by how we believe, than by what we believe. Our beliefs matter greatly; they influence our habits and our character. So we need a Practice of searching and testing our beliefs. Practice also requires an honest look at how our beliefs are demonstrated in our living. The authority of Unitarian Universalism lays in the individual’s search for truth in conversation with a religious community and Unitarian Universalist Tradition. We need to understand who we are as religious people. We have to make a Truth Claim, a snapshot of what we believe at this moment in time. And we have to test and express those claims in the living – the Practice - of our lives.

Unitarian Universalism encourages our curiosity. As a church we love to hear people express their truth. We treat opportunities to hear from folks whose theologies differ from ours as new chances to encounter the Holy. These are learning moments, and we cherish the gift to hear someone else’s formulations of what they find to be of Ultimate Concern.

The words of Rev Lisa Ward express it best. “We need to be willing to engage our knowing.” We need to explore what gives us a sense of wonder and compel that wonder to inspire our lives. “How do we relate to the world around us and does it follow our sense of truth? What gives us our strength of life? What affirmations do we have to engage ourselves in this world?” Theological literacy and spiritual practice are vital for the health of religious communities.

When we address these questions in community, in conversation with one another, with nature, science and society, informed by our Unitarian Universalist tradition, we begin to live richly as religious people practicing theology and perfecting our lives. May we always be so engaged in the search with one another.

So May It Be,

Reverend Scott Sammler-Michael

To read more about the guiding principles for Unitarian Universalist congregations, click here.