“Beware the faith that does not trouble the world.”
Steve Garnass- Holmes
Welcome to the month of renewing faith. There are many ways to define faith beyond the traditional idea of trusting in a deity or higher power. For me, one understanding of faith is trusting in the capacity for human goodness and the work we can do together. Despite violence and injustice in the world, there are people doing good. I see good happening in our faith community not only in the Welcome Circle that supports an Afghan family, in the generosity of those committed to restocking the BeLoved Pantry or those volunteering with UU the Vote, but also those who give of their time and talent to work with children and youth or participate in committees that do the work of the congregation. There are also many of you engaged in the community, living out your values there. It is a both/and engagement. We are grounded in this UU community, held in love and challenged to deepen our spirituality so that we can engage beyond our four walls or zoom boxes.
Renewing faith. What an appropriate theme for the month when we launch the Annual Giving Campaign to support and deepen the work of this congregation. As we begin to gather in person and continue our virtual gatherings, it is a good time to wonder what this faith community means to you; to consider how you renew your commitment to the possibilities that await this congregation as you call a new minister and revisit your mission. What an exciting time! I invite you to consider these questions (or create your own) to explore your engagement with this congregation.
Why did you decide to attend the first time, in person or on-line?
What do you value most about this congregation?
Think of a time when your engagement with this congregation made you feel alive, vibrant and engaged? What were the circumstances? What was your role?
How has this congregation made a difference in your life?
What is this congregation known for in the community?
When has this congregation let you down (because we’re human)?
What 3 wishes for the future of this congregation do you have?
As you reflect on what this faith community means to you, I invite you to consider how your time, talent, presence and resources can contribute to joyfully imagining what the role of UU Asheville is in this pandemic time. We have a learned a lot these last two years about what matters and what isn’t working in our society. Many of us were finally jolted into understanding the true and insidious depth of white supremacy and racism with the death of George Floyd and so many others. We were called to work for racial justice. We became more aware of the glaring inequities when the pandemic disproportionately affected Black and other marginalized communities. Opportunities are knocking at our door. Who do we want to be? Can we be audacious and creative in exploring what our call is in 2022?
Are we called to trouble the world, in a good way? I hope so,
Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development