We define faith as the process of finding and making meaning out of our lives and the world, understanding that we all find and make meaning in different ways. Our fourth principle calls us to “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” and we intentionally draw upon a diverse body of wisdom, as we explore our Six Sources. As we continue ever forward on our spiritual, ethical and religious journeys, the Sources ask us to examine the wisdom of the world religions, results of science, personal experience of life’s mystery, and the words and deeds of those who exemplify compassion, justice, and the transforming power of love. We embrace the use of reason on our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Unitarian minister Ralph Waldo Emerson said of preaching that a minister should share of his life – “life passed through the fire of thought.” The same can be said of the Unitarian Universalist journey as whole; ours is an examined faith, one that includes many doubts and questions and a commitment to growth and learning on the journey. We don’t view faith and reason as opposites, but instead consider them as complementing and supporting one another. Similarly, while acknowledgment of and respect for each individual’s beliefs is of high importance to us, we also recognize and value the power and importance of religious community. New thoughts, ideas and perspectives shared between us help each of us to deeper understanding. Indeed, our time together is enriched
Our church welcomes all people without regard to age, race, national origin, ableness, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We welcome people of diverse theological perspectives, including atheists, agnostics, theists, and polytheists. We welcome those who identify as Pagan, secular humanist, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Hindu, religious humanist, Muslim, Jewish, and more. We draw the line at theologies that encourage violence, harm or oppression towards other people – we believe each individual’s right to safety, security and happiness trumps other people’s right to beliefs of their choice. When we say we practice inclusivity, we mean it. We do our best to welcome everybody, and, we are also aware we are imperfect. When we recognize that we are falling short, we do our best to change our attitudes and behaviors. It is for this reason that our national organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), created the Welcoming Congregation program. Unitarian Universalist congregations were saying we were welcoming to the LGBTQ community, but unfortunately folks who were attending found us falling short of our of ideals, despite our professed support. The UUA thus created a program to help each congregation who elected to participate do a better job of actually living into the verbal proclamations we were making, and become more truly welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Our church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Muncie, is proud to have completed this program and officially be a Welcoming Congregation since 2003. You are welcome here.
Our second principle calls us to “justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” We are strongly committed to putting our beliefs and values into action, and so we work hard to effect change and bring justice and healing to our hurting world. The picture of our flaming chalice, the unofficial adopted symbol of Unitarian Universalism, may seem like an odd choice at first glance for living justice – but the flaming chalice as a symbol actually has its roots in social justice. The Unitarian Service Committee (USC), prior to the merger with Universalism (see Our History for more background information), was very active in trying to ferry Jewish people to safety during World War II. Part of the necessary logistics, during this time of intense spying and betrayal, was ensuring that written communications and documents were authentic, and so the USC asked Austrian artist Hans Deutsch to create a symbol that could be used to verify that communications were authentic. Deutsch created the flaming chalice, and while no official vote was ever taken, Unitarian Universalists nationwide have adopted it as the symbol of our faith. Read a more detailed version of the history of the flaming chalice here. Locally, our church is very engaged with social justice issues, and have chosen to focus our efforts on hunger, environmental justice, LGBTQ equality, and racism. Those are only the official task forces of the congregation though – as a community of individuals, our social justice work spreads