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Personal Theology

It is a blessing each of us was born.
Every human being is a gift to the universe from the universe. We are all a part of the web of life and as such we are good. We are sacred in our diversity, our creativity, and human frailty, and our mistakes. Our acts of love and pleasure are celebrations of the blessing of life and as such are sacred. We human beings are not just reliant on the planet: animal, vegetable and mineral, but we are a part of and a result of it. The miracle of our birth is both the same as the miracle of the paramecium and vastly more awesome. "Our children, are not our children, they are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself" Khalil Gibran

What each of us believes about God is a piece of the truth.
The word God is a cypher that holds the dreams and hopes and highest ideals for humanity. My personal understanding of God is as the spirit of life and love that is both the still small voice within each person calling us to our best selves and the invitation toward life, creativity, uniqueness, and complexity that is a part of every moment. I often use the word God and the words Love or Universe interchangeably.

It matters what we do with our lives.
What we do is neither necessary nor sufficient for salvation, but it does matter. We have a responsibility that goes with the gift of life and love. We may fulfill that responsibility differently, but in any case we are called to aid and abet life, creativity, uniqueness, and complexity and to love all the parts of the web of life. Dysfunctional, harmful, life destroying, or otherwise stultifying acts and systems are evil and we owe it to our universe to work to undo, heal, or transform them. Learning, growing, healing, and loving are the proper work of every person.

We don't have to do it alone.
Our salvation is not a personal experience, but a community experience. Through community we have the opportunity to fulfill our responsibilities to life and to receive the love of the universe. Our family, friendships, congregations, towns and cities, states, and countries are the communities that allow us to grow personally and to transform as a community.

(Headings adapted from a "Chalice Camp" song, by Laila Ibrahim and the Reverend Sheri Prud’homme.)

How do I relate to others' theologies? 
Our UU superpower is that we can do simultaneous translation, as though we are in a spiritual U.N., when talking about our beliefs and using words of personal resonance and reverence. This is a standard of behaviour, not of belief. I expect other Unitarian Universalists to abide by the covenants they commit to, to keep the promises they make. I expect Unitarian Universalists to act as though every person has worth, even if that is not their belief. And I expect Unitarian Universalists to support the free and responsible search for truth and meaning for every person.  I also expect Unitarian Universalists to be human,  I know darn well that I am human and do not always live up to my own expectations, so we need to practice forgiveness. Holding each other accountable, in love, is a part of what we do. So if a Pagan is putting down the beliefs of a Humanist I will find a way to re-affirm our covenant, or if an Atheist is making fun of a Deist, they too are to be held accountable for respectful behaviour.