rev Claudia JiménezWhat a juxtaposition of programs! Let’s begin with Theology Ablaze. Last night a group gathered via Zoom after Vespers for theological reflection on the topic of forgiveness. We explored questions such as:

  • Is forgiveness an opportunity? An obligation? A necessity?
  • What stories of forgiveness in the media or in our lives surprise us and why?
  • Are there times to be a moral unforgiver?
  • How does our Unitarian Universalist faith inform our understanding of forgiveness?

There was deep listening, questioning, and vulnerability in the search for understanding of forgiveness in our lives and the larger world.  This communal inquiry is a reminder that we do not build our theology alone. It is done in community. As we share insights, experiences, and beliefs, we learn from each other. Sometimes our beliefs are challenged in the process.  Ultimately, our connection to each other is strengthened as we recognize shared values as well as differences of opinion.

This fourth Wednesday Zoom gathering is part of the Theology Series that was started last year to invite us to consider theology in a broad sense: examining our understanding of what is of ultimate significance in our lives, and as UU theologian Paul Razor wrote, “examining our actions in the world and our justifications for them.” We have been using “Theology Ablaze” by Tom Owen-Towle for background and discussion questions on a variety of theological topics.

Next week, March 30, is a fifth Wednesday so we will have an additional Theology Ablaze session. Our theme will be covenant, a central tenet in our non-creedal faith. We will explore the types of covenants we have and how our covenants can be more inclusive. Before the program, there will be a Vespers celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility co-led by Ruth Christie and me. I hope you join us.

Finally, if you are struggling with the concept of faith, theology, worship, and other religious words, I invite you to consider attending next month’s Adult Faith Development Program “The Haunting Church: Owning Your Religious Past” which invites participants to reflect on their religious journey. What do you leave behind? What do you bring to the present? What do you redefine? We will meet via Zoom, Monday evenings 7-8:30 pm, April 11, 18, 25, and March 2. Contact me to register.

My ministry with you is rooted in supporting you on your faith development journey. It is a journey of accompaniment as we find meaning and are held accountable in community. Whether you are new to UU Asheville or a long-time member, I encourage you to engage in our programs and be part of this caring community supporting each other as we figure out how to create a more loving world in the midst of so much grief, loss, and violence.

In faith,
Rev. Claudia, Minister of Faith Development