Airborne Pigs and the Living Tradition of Unitarian Universalism

You may view a video of this service HERE.

Pigs may just fly when it come to Unitarian Universalism!  Our faith is known as the Living Tradition, and one thing we know about life is that it’s only constant is change.  Yes, Unitarian Universalism continues to evolve and grow, maintaining its relevancy to our times, and the latest potential change is the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Article II Study Commission. It also involves a JETPIG (who knew?!). This service will explore the ways in which we, as UUs, will lean into the aliveness of our tradition through use of the democratic process, and I’ll even tell you what a flying pig has to do with our future.

For a copy of the Article II proposal – see below.

About the Speaker:

The Rev. Sarah Gettie McNeill serves the Unitarian Universalist Association as the Professional Development Programs Manager. In this role, she supports religious education and music professionals and their credentialing and certification programs.  Former ministries have included congregational religious education and hospital chaplaincy in various locations across the country.  She currently works remotely from her home in Bloomington, Indiana where she lives with her husband Landon, her children Elijah and Lucas; and a house full of friendly, furry critters.

Article II Proposed Revision – Purposes and Covenant

Section C-2.1   Purposes

The Unitarian Universalist Association will devote its resources to and use its organizational powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes. Its primary purposes are:

  • to assist congregations in their vital ministries
  • to support and train leaders both lay and professional
  • to foster lifelong faith formation and spiritual development
  • to heal historic injustices
  • to support and encourage the creation of new Unitarian Universalist communities 
  • to advance our Unitarian Universalist values in the world

The Unitarian Universalist Association will actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love.

Section C-2.2   Values and Covenant

As Unitarian Universalists, we covenant, congregation-to-congregation and through our Association, to support and assist one another in our ministries. We draw from our heritages of freedom, reason, hope, and courage, building on the foundation of love.

Love is the power that holds us together and is at the center of our shared values. We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.

Inseparable from one another, these shared values are: 

  • Interdependence. We honor the interdependent web of all existence. With reverence for the great web of life and with humility, we acknowledge our place in it.
    We covenant to protect Earth and all beings from exploitation. We will create and nurture sustainable relationships of care and respect, mutuality and justice. We will work to repair harm and damaged relationships.
  • Pluralism. 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.
  • Justice.  We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all thrive.
    We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression. We support the use of inclusive democratic processes to make decisions within our congregations, our Association, and society at large.
  • Transformation. We adapt to the changing world.
    We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.
  • Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope.
    We covenant to freely and compassionately share our faith, presence, and resources. Our generosity connects us to one another in relationships of interdependence and mutuality.
  • Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and worthiness.
    We covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to build and sustain fully accessible and inclusive communities.

Section C-2.3. Inspirations

Direct experiences of transcending mystery and wonder are primary sources of Unitarian Universalist inspiration. These experiences open our hearts, renew our spirits, and transform our lives. We draw upon, and are inspired by, sacred, secular, and scientific understandings that help us make meaning and live into our values. These sources ground us and sustain us in ordinary, difficult, and joyous times. We respect the histories, contexts, and cultures in which these sources were created and are currently practiced. Grateful for the experiences that move us, aware of the religious ancestries we inherit, and enlivened by the diversity which enriches our faith, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.

Section C-2.4 Inclusion

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect. We strive to be an Association of congregations that truly welcome all persons who share our values. We commit to being an Association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.

Section C-2.5 Freedom of belief

Congregational freedom and the individual’s right of conscience are central to our Unitarian Universalist heritage.

Congregations may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long as hey do not require that members adhere to a particular creed.