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The Free and Responsible Search

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

Black scale balance The Fourth Principle of Unitarian Universalism beckons us to take up a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Over the coming weeks, as we dig into May’s theme of “Truths & Lies,” we’ll explore just what this search entails. For my sermon this Sunday, I’ll be reflecting on how we are called to balance freedom and responsibility as we seek to make meaning of our lives and deepen our understanding of what, for each of us, is true. New member Rilla Clark will also share her testimony. And Gabrielle Byrnes will offer to us all her rendition of MaMuse’s powerful song, “We Shall Be Known.” And Catherine Lake will lovingly remind us that it is time to turn in our pledges, if we haven’t already. (Deepest gratitude to everyone who helps to financially sustain the work of our congregation.)

As you’ve likely heard, the CUC National Conference will take place in mid-May—held this year, of course, online. A regular highlight of this gathering of UUs from across Canada is the Confluence Lecture. This year, the lecture is being presented in a wonderfully creative way; and it is open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you register for the conference. The 2021 Confluence Lecture, titled “A New Premise” will be delivered by Reverend Anne Barker, the minister of the Westwood Unitarian Congregation in Edmonton. Anne, who I greatly admire for her tender persistence in calling us to deeper ways of being, will be asking us to imagine our future in “a less familiar way.”

Video of the lecture, which is divided into four shorter segments, is already available for viewing. In between segments, Anne is asking each viewer to reflect on a series of questions. On May 14th, the first night of the Annual Conference, rather than repeating the lecture, Anne will facilitate a national conversation about the themes of the lecture. I hope you’ll take time in the coming couple of weeks to view and reflect on the video. And, even more, I hope this reflection will aid you in your own search for truth and meaning!

In faith and love,
Shawn

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