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Showing posts from September, 2005

The General Assemby Object

There's been some debate in the Inquirer newspaper about the General Assembly Object . The main part of the Object is this: 'To promote a free and inquiring religion through the worship of God and the celebration of life; the service of humanity and respect for all creation; and the upholding of the liberal Christian tradition.' After much wrangling this wording was accepted in 2001. This has been controversial. Mainly people have complained about the 'God' and 'liberal Christian' bit. So we're back to the tiresome Christian - non-Christian debate. Sigh. I'd like to side-step this debate a little and approach this from another angle. First I'd like to say that it is a good thing to have an 'Object' or something similar. I don't find the word 'Object' very inspiring. 'Seven Principles' is a little pit better, but not much. But I think its worth doing the hard work of saying what we are, as Unitarians. I think it i

Elevator speech

As Unitarians, we don't have many religious obligations - but one of them is to work on an elevator speech. Yes it sounds quite American, but "lift speech" doesn't quite sound right. It is an American phrase, presumably from the business world, and I have been made to think about it by reading a sermon by William Sinkford and listening to a sermon by Gini Courter at ConCentric. These are the two most senior people in the American Unitarian Universalist Church right now. An elevator speech is basically a 30 second speech. You get in a lift with someone, the door closes, and they ask you about your Chalice badge/T-shirt/tattoo. You say, 'It's the symbol of my faith, I am a Unitarian.' 'Oh, what's that?' they say. You have 30 seconds until they get out of the lift to explain your strange faith. What do you say? I nearly had this opportunity recently. It was on my flight from Chicago to London. The person sitting next to me asked what I had be