A Reflection on the affirmation words: “The quest for truth is our sacrament.”
Some Unitarian churches in the UK including the Hull Unitarians, and many UUA churches in North America, have adopted an affirmation to encompass the values that inform the congregation as a faith community. At Hull, we are reviewing whether an affirmation is appropriate, and if so what it should contain.
An affirmation is a form of ritual, and in worship, elements of ritual can help to bring us together to engage with our sense of the sacred (Arnason & Rolenz, 2008). However, for ritual to be of value it needs to be meaningful, and therefore if we are to say an affirmation, we need to know what it means to us individually, and as a community.
The phrase ‘The quest for truth is our sacrament’ often appears in Unitarian affirmations available on-line. At first sight, it may seem to be a reasonable element to include. However, unpacking the phrase raises some interesting questions, such as what do we mean by ‘sacrament’, is it a ‘quest’, and what do we mean by ‘truth’.
Read more:- A Reflection on the affirmation words
Revd Dr Ralph Catts, August, 2016.
What’s God Got To Do With It?
In this address I have drawn on a thesis submitted at Duke University in 2009 by Robert Brown.
Based on this thesis I ask a question that you may not normally hear asked in a church. For most believers in traditional religions, God exists and we accept this by faith alone.
That is why asking what has God got to do with it, will come as a shock for most people who say they are religious. This is true of all three Abrahamic religions namely Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
If we question the existence of God, does that take us beyond the boundaries of religion?
Read more:- Whats God got to do with it
Revd Dr Ralph Catts, March, 2016.
Back in 1962, Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy McClean had worked at the Cluny Hill Hotel and were thrown out of work when it closed. They moved to the Findhorn Caravan Park with three children and started a garden in which they grew amazing vegetables on sandy soil. They attributed their extraordinary success in producing vegetables to their practice of co-creating with nature. This attracted others and was the start of the Findhorn community. From the beginning there was a commitment to living in a sustainable spiritual community.
Read more:- Lessons from Findhorn
An address delivered by Revd Dr Ralph Catts at Park Street Unitarian Church, 18 October 2015.
Spiritual – not Religious, by Pastor Dr Ralph Catts
Over the past two centuries Unitarian Universalists in the UK, the USA and other countries have been evolving from dissenting Christian origins into a distinct spiritual community who recognise and appreciate what we can learn from Science as well as what we can comprehend through spiritual practice. Dr. Geoffrey Berry said to Melbourne Unitarians in April 2015, ‘Worshipping the sacred without religion should not be a problem in a secular pluralist society’ [ CITATION Ber15 \l 2057 ]. I suggest that this is a rational way to live.
Read more:- spiritual-not-religious
An address delivered by Revd Dr Ralph Catts at Park Street Unitarian Church, July 26 2015.