Dear Ones- Welcome to October! This month our twin themes will be (1) Our seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle: Respect for the Interdependent Web of All Existence, of which we are a part, and (2) Courage.
I believe firmly that these two themes connect very well, don’t you?
In the book The Seven Principles in Word and Worship, Rev Forrest Gilmore writes: “Our seventh Principle may be our Unitarian Universalist way of coming to fully embrace something greater than ourselves. The interdependent web—expressed as the spirit of life, the ground of all being, the oneness of all existence, the community-forming power, the process of life, the creative force, even God—can help us develop that social understanding of ourselves that we and our culture so desperately need. It is a source of meaning to which we can dedicate our lives.”
As a people grounded in both science and religion, we know that all the elements of our world are deeply connected. On a “macro” level, plants need sunlight and rain to grow, entire species of animals are dependent on mosquitoes as a food source, global climate change affects both air and sea. Even on a “micro”, sub-atomic, level this is also true. Barbara Merritt, in her essay on our Seventh Principle, writes of Bell’s Theorem in Quantum Physics. She writes: “Take two paired photons, one charged positive, one negative. Alter the polarization of one from negative to positive, and instantaneously the other photon changes its charge. Separate the two photons with 8,000 miles and six feet of lead, and, again, the moment that one charge is changed, the bonded pair responds in kind.”
Everything in the Universe is connected!
Have you ever had one of those moments when the profundity of that statement sort of “hit you over the head”? Every once in a while, something happens that shakes me out of my usual sleep-walking through life and I have one of those moments that brings a new focus for me.
Recently, I was having a conversation with someone who said to me that they believed deeply in the power of prayer. Now, those of you who know me as the humanist I am will know that I don’t think about prayer very much. I recognize the power of meditation on calming the mind, but I reject the idea that some supreme power will bend to my will because I flatter it, or beg it, or whatever.
So I wondered how this person, who shares many of my beliefs, could believe in prayer.
And then I had one of those moments…I realized that, if I truly believe in our Seventh Principle, I must believe that, on some level, when I think something- call it prayer, or intention, or good thoughts, or whatever- that thought is generating some infinitesimal amount of energy, and that energy is, in turn, affecting the Universe in some way, because everything in the Universe is connected! I have to tell you, it was a powerful realization for me (you’re probably going, well, of course.) But for me it was one of those “aha” moments- and a humbling one, as well, I might add.
Our UU faith encourages self-reliance and independence, and these are certainly excellent qualities. But I also think that they are sometimes emphasized at the expense of our Seventh Principle. There is clearly a tension between the two: independence vs connection, self-reliance vs beloved community. So as we go through this month, as Fall comes to DelMarVa, I urge you to notice in greater detail just how deeply connected we are- both to our world and to one another.
Because (say it with me!) “Everything in the Universe is connected!”
Our programming and our themes will, hopefully, inspire you to do just that:
On Oct 7th Worship Associate Sue Bromm and I will be doing a Blessing of the Animals service. I urge you to bring your cherished companion animals, pictures of beloved pets, or an object that reminds you of them to us, so that both of you might feel blessed and connected.
On Oct 14, Worship Associate Page Kimball and guest Fred Edwords will explore Humanist values, and the courage it takes to hold onto those values in our world today.
On Oct 21, Vicky Demos, Michele Corron, and Worship Associate Ron Pagano will be looking at “Just Migration”.
And on Oct 28, Sue and I will be honoring our Earth Centered heritage with a focus on Samhain.
Please stop by the UUFS table at Salisbury’s 3rd Friday on Oct 19, and don’t forget to go to www.uufs.net when ordering from Amazon.com- it’s an easy way to donate to our fellowship!
It’s all connected!
Wishing you peace and blessings,