Please Note

Check the calendar to see which of our community fellowship activities are currently happening during the Coronavirus Epidemic, some are opportunities to connect through Zoom. You may also wish to check out our Facebook page.

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Beacon – Monthly Newsletter

Sent on the first of every month, the Beacon opens with an overview of the coming month’s Sunday Services, then shares detailed news of UUCGT activities from our Board, Staff, and Committees. The last page is always a detailed calendar of all the events and meetings in the coming month. The Beacon is edited and composed by Amanda Mangiardi; the deadline for next month’s issue is the 24th of the current month; send your questions to jomangiardi@hotmail.com 

Flash – Weekly Newsletter

Our weekly e-newsletter, sent from the UUCGT Office, shares detailed info about the weekend’s coming Services, especially the Sunday morning Service, along with quick updates from Music, Religions Education, and whichever standing or ad hoc Committees are busiest at the time. The Flash includes links to our online calendar, a weekly Bulletin Board, and usually some fun or thought-provoking images, thoughts, and quotes.  Our Office Administrator puts the Flash together; e-mail the office at office@uucgt.org

Safe Harbor group of volunteers
Safe Harbor group of volunteers
Safe Harbor group of volunteers

Rev. Alex’s Coffee Corner

Cathy Harrington

Dear Ones: In this Soul Matters month of Pluralism, you might be left wondering… What the heck does that even mean?! Out of all of the new values proposed in the UUA’s Article II Study Commission’s re-draft of our bylaws as an Association, I hear from many that this value holds the most confusion. What does pluralism entail? What are some examples of pluralism in action? Where do we see pluralism both between other faith traditions but also within our own?

The dictionary nerd that I am, according to Merriam-Webster, “pluralism” is described in a variety of ways: holding two or more positions at one time; the state of being plural; a multitude of realities rather than one ultimate reality; a society in which diverse peoples maintain cultures or interests within the wider civilization or over-
arching culture. The UUA’s Article II Study Commission describes it in this way in their report:

“We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, experience, and theology. We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We embrace our differences and commonalities with Love, curiosity, and respect.”

Pluralism is not just an individualist approach to maintaining your own identity, belief, or culture. It necessitates  some kind of interweaving. It involves this core aspect of embracing ways we are the same and are yet different while holding Love, curiosity, and respect for one another. Pluralism calls out to us: How do I hold who I am while I also hold who you are?

Pluralism is a term in some circles to describe relationships between other traditions and faiths. Beyond coexistence, religious pluralism asks us to accept that there is a multitude of religious ideas and beliefs in society. One faith tradition or teaching cannot be the sole source of truth. Instead, “truth” is further revealed when we embrace differences by recognizing how we are the same. Though, we also do this by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. The special space of pluralism occurs when I can be secure in who I am while allowing you to express what you think, feel, and believe.

In your life, where do you notice pluralism showing up? What happens to your beliefs as you encounter new ones, especially ones that are quite different to you? How does your faith or spirituality shift in this space?
Where do you find it built up or even challenged?

Within Unitarian Universalism, our pluralism has been around for a long time. Since the early church, our movement has incorporated thoughts, beliefs, and ideas from many strands. Each time, we seem to arrive at the
same conclusion: one religion can’t say it all. There is more out there than can be surmised in one doctrine, creed, or statement. Likewise, each of us finds ourselves in peculiar intersections between identities. Unitarian
Universalism is the only identity that seems to allow me to draw spiritual meaning where I find it and to not have to claim a camp. That’s what’s so precious about a pluralism like ours. I am free to explore and discern. Re-
gardless of what I believe, I know that it’s our values that we all agree on and share.

With deep faith and love,

Reverend Alex Jensen