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Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 1

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Melinda Sayavedra & Marilyn Walker, 2004/2005 Acknowledgments: This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Special thanks to Meg Green and Louise Ferrell who took the time to carefully copy edit this curriculum workbook. Any mistakes that remain are the responsibility of the authors. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profitmaking manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism was written to help Unitarians and Universalists everywhere gain a broader and deeper understanding of our shared faith. It was written so that Unitarians and Universalists worldwide might recognize the diversity of our faith and also what unites us. It has been our aim not only to inform but to help individuals connect with one another. With this in mind we have included • exercises that ask participants to reflect on what Unitarian*Universalism means to them and consider what it might mean to other Unitarians and Universalists from other places • small group worship services in a covenant group format • additional activities to honor other ways of learning and of connecting with one another and to add variety and fun to group meetings English is the common language among ICUU member groups and is the native language of the authors so this work is written in American English. It is our hope that it will be translated into other languages in the future. Although we have attempted to write articles from a neutral perspective, cultural biases are difficult to avoid completely as we are all products of our culture. We have tried to use the words of ICUU group members whenever possible. Again, we hope that in the future authors from other cultures will create workbooks and curricula on Unitarianism and Universalism that we may all share. In our research, we found a great deal of information about some member groups and very little about other member groups. We were able to make personal contact with informants from some member groups but not other member groups. Thus, units in this curriculum workbook vary in length and detail. This does not reflect on the richness and depth of the traditions covered but rather the amount of information we were able to dig up in the amount of time available. As volunteers, we worked on this curriculum in addition to our other work. It has been a labor of love, a gift to our religious community, and we hope as time goes by others will add to the information gathered so far for a fuller picture of international Unitarian*Universalism.


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 2

How to Use this Curriculum Workbook In designing this workbook, we tried to consider many ways, settings and timeframes in which it could be used, including • by an individual wanting to study international Unitarian and Universalism independently • by a lay-led congregation for study and for worship services • as a weekly class for adults for anywhere from 6 weeks to a full year • by congregations or individuals preparing to visit or host members from their partner church or attend an ICUU-sponsored event • by individuals designing worship services • in a retreat or workshop setting where discussion, hands-on activities and worship are interwoven over several days • as a curriculum for high school-aged groups (ages 14-18) interested in learning more about international Unitarian*Universalism and U*U history • by covenant groups for use in small group ministry There are 16 units (subject to change) in this curriculum. The units are presented roughly in order of each tradition’s founding. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism has been designed to be used in a variety of settings and timeframes. It is not expected that groups will work their way through the curriculum from Unit 1 to Unit 16, start to finish. Each unit was written to stand independently and units may be studied in any order; however, we strongly recommend that all groups begin with Unit 1: The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism to get an overview of the ICUU and end with Unit 16: Tending the Garden for closure. Each unit consists of two or three sessions. Each session can stand independently and will take from one to two hours (or more) depending on whether the group chooses to include an additional activity from the list provided in each unit. If groups are not planning to do an additional activity, the material in one session can be covered in about an hour to an hour and a half. For each session, handouts should be distributed in advance of the meeting time so that participants will be able to read and reflect on the material and be ready for discussion and other activities. Once the facilitator or group has decided on the number of weeks they wish to use the curriculum, they can select which units or sessions they would like to study. Some possible alternatives are: • Unit 1; a unit about a group with whom your congregation has a partnership; and Unit 16 (approximately 7 sessions). • Unit 1; a unit about a large member group; a unit about a medium-sized member group; a unit about a small and/or emerging group; and Unit 16 (approximately 10-11 sessions). • Unit 1; a unit about a member group in Europe; in Asia; in North America; in Africa; and Unit 16 (approximately 15 sessions). • Unit 1; units about member groups from countries participants have visited or have some connection with; and Unit 16. • Unit 1; a unit about a member group with a long history; a unit about a member group with a not quite as long history; a unit about a new and/or emerging group; and Unit 16 (approximately 11 sessions).


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 3

• only the informational/discussion sessions of selected units omitting the additional activities and the Small Group Worship • only the Small Group Worship services • informational/discussion sessions plus additional activities of selected units omitting the Small Group Worship services The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism includes • information on the history and context of ICUU member groups • information on the beliefs and practices of ICUU member groups • orders of service for small group worship • a table of contents within each unit • a list of additional activities for each unit • a list of resources and references for each unit • checklists for facilitators preparing to lead a session • step-by-step directions for facilitating a session • handouts for participants Each unit in the curriculum workbook includes the following types of exercises

Tilling Tilling activities are used as warm-ups to stimulate thinking about topics related to the reading that will follow. Tilling activities are meant to be done by individuals at home before reading the article and later discussed at the group meeting.

Planting The “Planting” articles in this curriculum workbook are meant to inform and stimulate individuals to reflect on the diversity of international Unitarian*Universalism.


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 4

Hoeing Hoeing activities offer opportunities for further reflection on information covered in the article and for connecting what was learned to our own lives, thoughts and feelings. Most of the Hoeing activities are meant to be done by the individual at home after reading the article and then shared at the group meeting.

Harvesting Harvesting activities are those additional activities designed for more informal ways of learning and connecting with one another, and to add variety and fun to the group gatherings. These give further insight into the culture and history of member groups and may be especially useful if you are planning to host or visit a U*U group from another country.

The Tool Shed The Tool Shed is a handout of references and resources, including many online resources, for those who wish to delve deeper into a study of international Unitarian*Universalism on their own.


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 5

Small Group Worship The Small Group Worship consists of two parts: a brief explanation, and sometimes additional reading, to prepare for the Small Group Worship service and a separate file which contains an Order of Service for the Small Group Worship service, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. Many of the hymns, and readings in the Orders of Service are from Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The authors of this workbook are not yet very familiar with the hymnals and worship materials used by Unitarians and Universalists around the world. Naturally, if you have access to worship materials and hymns from other U*U traditions, we encourage you to use them in place of what we have suggested.

Sermon Some units include a sermon to be used at the Small Group Worship service by the facilitator.

Story Some units include a story.

* The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or� to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 6

List of Units (subject to change) Each unit consists of two files. One file contains the background information with accompanying exercises and instructions for preparing and facilitating the group meetings, including the Small Group Worship. The other file contains an Order of Service for Small Group Worship. Unit 1. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism: The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) Session 1: History and Context/Principles and Purposes Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Unitarians and Universalists Around the World (Your Own UU Journey) Unit 2. Unitarianism in Transylvania: The Oak Tree Session 1: History and Context Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Session 3: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Transylvania (What is God?) Unit 3. Unitarianism in Hungary: A Sister Oak and Tulip Session 1: History and Context Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Session 3: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Hungary (A Hungarian Communion Service) Unit 4. Unitarianism in Poland: The Corn Poppy Session 1: History and Context Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Session 3: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Poland (What is Truth?) Unit 5. Unitarianism in the United Kingdom Session 1: History and Context Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Session 3: Small Group Worship Order of Service: United Kingdom Unit 6. Unitarian Universalism in the USA: The Trillium Session 1: History and Context Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Session 3: Small Group Worship Order of Service: USA (Teach Your Children Well)


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 7

Unit 7. Unitarianism in Canada Session 1: History and Context Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Session 3: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Canada Unit 8. Unitarian*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia: Gentiana (Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan and Indonesia) Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Austral-Asia (Nature and Religion) Unit 9. Unitarianism in India: The Orchid Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: India (The “life blood and soul� of your Life) Unit 10. Unitarianism*Universalism in Western and Central Europe (The Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, EUU) Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Western and Central Europe Unit 11. Unitarianism in Pakistan: Fountain Grass Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Pakistan (Bringing Comfort and Gladness) Unit 12. Unitarian Universalism in the Philippines Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Negros, Philippines Unit 13. Unitarian*Universalism in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe: Angelica (Russia, Latvia, Finland, Norway, Iceland) Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Scandinavia & Eastern Europe (What is religion?) Unit 14. Unitarian*Universalism in Africa Session 1: History and Context/Practices and Beliefs Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Africa Unit 15. Unitarian*Universalism in Latin America Session 1: History and Context/Beliefs and Practices Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: Small and Emerging Groups and Latin America


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism An Overview of the Curriculum and How to Use It p. 8

Unit 16. Tending the Garden: Concluding Unit Session 1: ICUU: Common Ground Session 2: Small Group Worship Order of Service: One Garden, Many Flowers (Thoughts on the Garden)


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism ICUU Member Groups: Chronological Order p. 9

Countries where Unitarian and Universalist Groups Exist (roughly in order of their founding) 1568 th

Transylvania/Hungary

mid 16 century mid 17th century

Poland Ireland/England (as non-conformists)

1774 late 18 century 1795

United Kingdom USA Madras, India

1842 mid 19 century

Canada Australia

1867 late 19th century late 19th century

South Africa New Zealand Japan

th

th

1876

Germany (as Free Protestants; legally changed named to Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft in 1950)

1887 1900 1919

Khasi Hills, India Denmark Nigeria

1930 1954

Czech Republic Philippines

1960s Mexico (mostly from the United States) 1982 European Unitarian Universalists 1991 Pakistan 1992 1993

Sri Lanka Latvia

1994 1995 1996

Russia ICUU founded Finland

1997 1997

Argentina Brazil

2000 Spain 2000 Bolivia 2003* Burundi, Indonesia, Norway, others 2004* Puerto Rico, Cuba 2005* Croatia, Estonia *date of contact with the ICUU


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism ICUU Member Countries: Grouped by Membership Size p. 10

ICUU Groups by Size (as of 2002) Large Groups (4000+ members) USA (160,000) Transylvania (80,000) Hungary (25,000) Indian Council of Unitarian Churches (10,000) United Kingdom (7800): England (4000)/ Scotland (300)/ Wales (1500)/ Ireland (2000) Canada (5000+) Medium-sized Groups (100-1600 members) Germany (1600) Philippines (1000) Czech Republic (600) Australia (400) and New Zealand (100) Denmark (170) European Unitarian Universalists (120) from 4 congregations: Belgium, Paris, Germany, Netherlands; and members-at-large from Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Spain, France, etc. South Africa (100) Small and/or Emerging Groups (<100) Poland (80) Russia (15)) Latvia (15-20) Finland (22) Mexico (25, mostly from the United States) Argentina (20) Spain (55) Nigeria (unknown) Pakistan (unknown) Japan (unknown) Sri Lanka (unknown) Brazil (unknown) Bolivia (unknown) Burundi (unknown) Indonesia (unknown) Norway (unknown) Puerto Rico (unknown) Numbers are from Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists and from the ICUU website www.icuu.net retrieved August 2004.


Garden of Unitarian*Universalism How to Use This Curriculum Workbook p. 11

Recommended Resources Following are useful resources for doing some of the Additional Activities listed in each unit in the workbook and for creating Small Group Worship services. Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World by Don McEvoy (2003). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. This book presents personal stories of 61 founders and leaders of Unitarian and Universalist movements around the world. These engaging stories are written in the first person and offer great opportunities for dramatization or illustration. The book is available from Humanunity Press, 703 Stratford Court #11, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA. You can also contact the author at Donmitzimac@aol.com The book is available in quantity at special discounts for your group or organization by contacting the author. And there are â&#x20AC;&#x153;No Rights Reserved. Believing that knowledge and information belong to the entire human family, you are authorized to reproduce the contents of this in any form or means of your choosing with no further permission from the author.â&#x20AC;? A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Edited by Andrew Hill, Jill McAllister, and Cliff Reed. (2002). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists www.icuu.net Much of the information in this workbook came from this source which contains speeches given by ICUU members about their history and traditions. Naturally, there is more information in the book than we could possibly include in this workbook. One and Universal: Prayers and Meditations from Around the World. Edited by John Midgley. (2002). Boston: Skinner House Books www.uua.org/skinner This little book is full of chalice lightings, prayers, readings and meditations from U*U traditions around the world. A nice source for developing worship services. Singing the Living Tradition. Edited and published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, USA (1993). Boston: Beacon Press. We (the authors of this workbook, The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism), are not yet very familiar with the hymnals and worship materials used by Unitarians and Universalists around the world, but we have found that for American Unitarian Universalists this is a wonderful resource for hymns, readings, chalice lightings and prayers. Others may also find it useful. Naturally, if you have access to worship materials and hymns from other U*U traditions, we encourage you to use them in place of what we have suggested. Partner Church Council website at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ From the Partner Church Council website, you can get a great deal of information about Unitarians and Universalists around the world, and also download their Partner games, designed for kids but enjoyable and informative for all.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 1, p.1 The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


ICUU p. 2

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) Table of Contents for Unit 1 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History and Context/Principles and Purposes Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (with pre- and post-reading activities) Additional Handout: The ICUU Principles and Purposes Additional Handout: The ICUU Logo Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 4 p. 4-5 p. 6-9 p. 13 p. 10-11 p. 12 p. 14

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Unitarians and Universalists Around the World The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 15 p. 15 p. 16 p. 17

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


ICUU p. 3

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 covers the history and context and the principles and purposes of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) as well as providing a list of ICUU member groups and a description of the ICUU logo. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of the ICUU and Unitarians and Universalists everywhere. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit and to decide which session(s), or parts of a session they want to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 14) to do as a group after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit in one meeting to discuss the readings first and then move on to participate in a Small Group Worship, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat) and the interests of the group. The group may include an additional Harvesting activity between the discussion and the Small Group Worship service, or after the Small Group Worship service, or at a separate meeting time. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


ICUU p. 4

The ICUU I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT/PRINCIPLES AND PURPOSES/LOGO Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (p. 6-9) and accompanying pre-reading questions (p. 13), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out the in advance article, The ICUU Principles and Purposes (p. 1011), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, The ICUU Logo (p. 12), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p.17) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 14) to do after your discussion or Small Group Worship service. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite/Remind members to bring a cutting from a tree, plant or flower that represents them and/or their origins (or a drawing of the tree, plant or flower) for display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Add an international flair to it by displaying artifacts from countries around the world where Unitarians and Universalists are represented. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a world map or globe to display or locate ICUU member and emerging member countries. ___ Provide a vase for display of participants’ flowers and plants or have a picture of a bouquet or garden. ___ Have world music playing in the background. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with flowers, drawings, etc. to put them on display perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: O hidden life that vibrates in each atom, O hidden light that shines in each creature, O hidden love that embraces everything in unity, May all who feel one with Thee Know that for this very reason we are one with all the others. (in Portuguese) O vida oculta que brilha em cada átomo O luz oculta que brilha em cada criatura, O amor oculto que tudo abrange na unidade, Possa todo aquele que se sente um contigo Saber que por isso mesmo é um com todos os outros. - Annie Besan, adapted by Paulo Ereno, Unitarian Universalists of Brazil


ICUU p. 5

3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 14) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the articles and look over their notes. 5. Ask members to share their answers to the exercise, Tilling, p. 6. Were they surprised to learn that Unitarian*Universalism exists in some of the countries listed in the article? (Hoeing, p. 10). Locate these countries on a world map or globe. 6. Ask members what surprised or intrigued them about the ICUU (Hoeing, p. 13). 7. Ask members to share what plant or flower they chose, or would choose, to represent who they are and also why they chose that particular plant or flower (Hoeing, p.13). 10. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they had from the article. 11. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: This church does not demand all people to think alike, but to think uprightly, and get as near as possible to truth; it does not ask all people to live alike but to live holy, and get as near as possible to a life perfectly divine. May it be so. - Theodore Parker, 1841, USA (adapted). 12. Gather for an Additional Activity from Harvesting, p. 14 (if your group decided to do so): planning and planting a garden or flower box, making international greeting cards to sell, making chalices, eating, making a collage, locating ICUU member groups on a world map bulletin board display â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


ICUU p.6

A Garden of Unitarian*Universalism: The ICUU Handout: The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism

Tilling Write the names of as many countries as you can where you believe Unitarian*Universalism exists.

Planting Now read the following article on the history and context of the ICUU. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism To attend a meeting of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) is truly like stepping into a beautiful garden full of an extraordinary variety of trees, plants and flowers – some of the species exotic, others quite familiar – and yet all part of the same garden. No matter where in the world you come from, as you listen to representatives from the various ICUU member and emerging member groups describe how they are organized, their beliefs and practices, and their histories, the diversity of our international Unitarian*Universalist movement stands out. You may even find yourself wondering what, if anything, you have in common with some of the groups. But the more you listen, the more you are able to discern what Unitarians and Universalists all over the world share. It is a seed – the seed from which all Unitarian and Universalist traditions have grown – the seed of free inquiry. The seeds were planted at different times, in different soils, under different climates and endured different weather conditions. Thus, each seed has blossomed into something quite unique in appearance. This seed of free inquiry also keeps Unitarian*Universalism a dynamic religion, one that is open to new information, new questions, new ideas, new truths – no matter where you find it in the garden. So, unlike a jigsaw puzzle or a mosaic, both of which present images of diversity within unity, the garden is constantly changing. New flowers or trees may sprout at any time as is happening with Unitarian*Universalism in countries such as Spain, Argentina, Latvia, and Kenya. And these new plants will look different from the other plants in the garden given their soil, climate and weather. Established trees and flowers in the garden put on new growth without endangering their basic structure. Thus, as an image for diversity within unity, the garden is an accurate metaphor for international Unitarian*Universalism. The ICUU is a young organization, having sprouted in 1995. However, the seed was planted a few years earlier. Prior to that time, Unitarians and Universalists from different countries met mostly at meetings of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF), an interfaith group of liberal religious organizations. For over a century, Unitarians have taken the lead and been actively involved in the IARF. As Canadian Unitarian (and Secretary on the ICUU Executive Council for many years) Ellen Campbell writes, “There were some unfortunate results from this. One was that IARF has been perceived to be a predominately Unitarian group, and has been hampered in its own development because of that. The other is that Unitarians and


ICUU p.7

Universalists in North America have not had a sense that ours is more than a largely North American movement” (Campbell, 2001). In her article, Together, Our Vision Widens, Ms. Campbell goes on to describe how the ICUU began. “In 1988, David Usher, a young Unitarian minister in England, proposed to the British General Assembly that a "World Unitarian Council" be established. The motion was passed unanimously, and at the next IARF Congress, a meeting of Unitarians was held to discuss it. It had support from some groups, including Canadians, but the largest (and wealthiest) group represented there, the UUA, was opposed” (Campbell, 2001). Six years and a new president later, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) of the United States sanctioned the idea. An international committee was formed to plan and carry out an inaugural meeting in 1995 and the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists had set roots! Naming the organization proved a bit difficult. How does one succinctly cover Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist in a name? That first international committee was satisfied that “Unitarians and Universalists” was sufficient to cover both. This was sometimes abbreviated “U-U”, the dash (-) standing for “and/or”, a visible linking of our U-U world (McAllister, 2002). Canadian Unitarian Mary Bennett offered another option: “U*U”, also standing for Unitarian and/or Universalist. In this curriculum we have used the asterisk option (U*U). The asterisk resembles a flower and reminds us to view our international movement as the ever-changing garden that it is. At this time there is no official designation being used by the ICUU. Although it is a global movement and English is the language most shared in common, English is not the first language of most members. Members whose first language is English are deeply grateful to those members who speak more than one language and thus make communication easier (McAllister, 2002). There are several categories of membership in the ICUU. As of March 2004, there were 19 groups with full membership, one group with provisional membership, one group with associate membership and four emerging groups as well as other closely related groups. The full member groups range in size from the United States with around 160,000 members and over 1000 congregations to Finland with one lay-led congregation of 22 people. Some Unitarian and Universalist traditions are quite old; others are just taking root. Transylvanian Unitarians can trace their roots back to 1568 while the newest provisional member, Spain, was organized in 2000 (www.icuu.net, 2004). The theology, practices, history and organizational structures of U*U’s vary around the world. In Lagos, Nigeria, the Unitarian Brotherhood Church, established in 1919, conducted services in the Yoruba language, and used native drums in their services. In Hungary and Transylvania, elected Bishops head the church and Unitarians there describe themselves firmly as Christian. In Germany, Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft was re-established in 1950 as a deliberately lay-led movement with a strongly humanist theology. The European Unitarian Universalists are actually several lay-led groups that meet annually in a retreat setting. In the Philippines, faith healing is an important part of the religious practice (www.icuu.net, 2004). The ICUU has provided a forum for Unitarians and Universalists worldwide to come together and understand each other. Early interactions among international Unitarians and Universalists often resulted in misunderstandings. David Keyes in his book, Most Like an Arch: Building Global Partnerships, writes about the early Partner Church program that established partner congregations between North America and Transylvania and Hungary. Those early partnerships experienced difficulties when it was discovered that partners assumed Unitarianism


ICUU p.8

was one thing and found that their partners saw Unitarianism as something quite different. Many North Americans perceived themselves as more theologically “advanced” and were disturbed by what they perceived as racism, sexism and hierarchy in the partner churches they visited. Hungarian Unitarians were hurt that North Americans did not understand their history nor appreciate their struggles as an ethnic minority (Campbell, 2001). Money was an issue often misunderstood and what partnership really meant was sometimes hard to define. Great credit must be given to the Partner Church Council (PCC) which helped partners work through these misunderstandings and continues to educate all Unitarians and Universalists on what it means to be a partner and how best to help each other. Their continued work in matching partner congregations, extending partnership to more and more international U*U’s and in developing educational materials is important work. The Partner Church Council and the ICUU work handin-hand to help the cause of international understanding among U*U’s. Symposiums and meetings sponsored by the ICUU have brought international U*U’s together where deep sharing and listening can take place. Like the PCC, the ICUU has experienced misunderstandings and difficulties along the way. Ellen Campbell tells a story of the development of the ICUU purposes: In the first draft, the statement did not include the phrase ‘to serve the Infinite Spirit of Life and the human community.’ The day after we had agreed on the wording, Arpad Szabo from Transylvania said, “I can’t go back to my people with a purpose that doesn’t include ‘to serve God.’” And Lene Shoemaker from Denmark responded, “I can’t go back to my humanist congregation with a statement that does include it!” We brainstormed for a wording that would satisfy all of us. When the phrase ‘the Infinite Spirit of Life’ emerged, Jill McAllister asked Arpad, “Would ‘the Infinite Spirit of Life’ work for you?” Arpad answered with a smile, “Yes - but of course you know I will translate it as ‘God.’” For me, that was a moment of recognition - that in a religion without a creed, in which we ‘build our own theology,’ we are always translating theological concepts into our ‘own language.’ She goes on to describe difficulties that came up “about more mundane but also important matters. Originally we talked about ‘one country, one vote,’ but the UUA, which was providing most of the funding, was not willing to settle for that. A compromise gave larger organizations 3000 and up - two votes - not a veto, but a bit more clout” (Campbell, 2001). There have been other disagreements and difficulties for this young organization and times when it seemed this fragile plant might not survive. Yet the desire to reach out and connect with one another is very strong and despite differences, the organization continues to grow. The ICUU benefits both its members and the larger Unitarian*Universalist movement. Some benefits are obvious such as the leadership development programs in Germany, Sri Lanka, Hungary and India, the international youth conferences in Transylvania and the Khasi Hills, conferences and study tours to New England and the Philippines, and a Michael Servetus commemoration in Switzerland. ICUU members have developed and shared worship materials and have arranged visiting ministers to congregations in countries without ministers. The ICUU has worked with the Partner Church Council to expand the partnership program. The ICUU has held symposiums, one of which led to the publication of a book about member countries, their theologies and practices (Hill, 2002). Such benefits are tangible and easy to see. But there are other less visible but no less important benefits to ICUU members, as described by Ellen Campbell:


ICUU p.9

For those communities which have [experienced] or are experiencing persecution, the very presence of an international Unitarian organization is supportive. For the Transylvanians, who were isolated and oppressed by the Ceausescu regime, and are still seen as an undesirable element by right-wing Romanians, connection with the outside world is a lifeline. For the Czechs, international support provided both concrete help and the emotional and spiritual support to enable them to carry on their struggle to regain their status as a religious community and their building. Pakistani Unitarian Indirias Bhatti, who attended an ICUU-sponsored symposium in Britain in June 2001, reported that Unitarians in Pakistan are ostracized by their families, friends and neighbors and have had difficult financial crises because they have left Christianity. He said, “[ICUU support] is making me free from the fear and threats of death …” He looks forward to a time when “we can worship openly instead of secretly, where we can practise our Unitarianism without being treated as a heretic…”(Campbell, 2001). Of course, many groups are not persecuted but still need the recognition and support that an international body can provide. Many small groups are emerging, often as a result of the Internet. The ICUU provides a route through which these small, emerging groups can receive materials, get assistance and support, and make connections with other Unitarians. In 2000, small groups from Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia met in Sorato, Bolivia. This community grew to include many other U*U groups and individuals from Latin America (including Cuba and Puerto Rico) who, with the help of the ICUU, met in San Nicolás, Argentina in January of 2005 to organize as an official umbrella group for U*Us in Latin America. Also in 2005, groups from Estonia and Croatia made contact with the ICUU. “In Russia, two groups have formed, one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg. Just as in Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, the fall of Communism has enabled people to practice religion openly, but there are uncertainties. Traditional national religions often expect the restoration of their previous status, and evangelical missionaries are flocking into these countries. Where do Unitarians fit in these religious demographics? Again, the presence of an international Unitarian body enables them to share their experience, and to build on the experience of others” (Campbell, 2001). In much of western Europe state churches still exist. Under the state church system if you are born in that country, you are automatically a member of that state church unless you provide documentation otherwise. And even then, you can only claim one of the recognized religions. In many of those countries Unitarianism is not recognized as a religion. But the ICUU helps members of these U*U groups feel recognized in the world and supported. What do the larger, well-established and recognized Unitarian and Universalist groups have to gain from being part of the ICUU? They gain a deeper and broader understanding of our faith and begin to appreciate the turbulent history of this faith and what our Unitarian and Universalist forebears have experienced to keep it alive. They have the opportunity to see the movement afresh through the eyes of emerging groups who have recently discovered our liberal faith. They, like the others, will discover aspects of the garden they may never have seen before. Just as each plant adds to the beauty of the garden, each member of the ICUU adds to the beauty and richness of our religious movement. Our contact with each other enriches our lives and each of us gains a better understanding of what it means to be a Unitarian*Universalist in the world.


ICUU p.10

A Garden of Unitarian*Universalism: The ICUU Additional Handout: ICUU Principles and Purposes ICUU Principles and Purposes We, the member groups of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, affirming our belief in religious community based on • liberty of conscience and individual thought in matters of faith • the inherent worth and dignity of every person • justice and compassion in human relations • responsible stewardship of the earth’s living system • and our commitment to democratic principles declare our purposes to be • to serve the Infinite Spirit of Life and the human community by strengthening the worldwide Unitarian and Universalist faith • to affirm the variety and richness of our living traditions • to facilitate mutual support among member organisations • to promote our ideals and principles around the world • to provide models of liberal religious response to the human condition which uphold our common values. According to the ICUU Bylaws, any Unitarian*Universalists, having established themselves as a group, with regular and formal meetings may apply for membership by submitting a request and required documentation such as their Constitution, bylaws, a record of meetings, etc. The ICUU Executive Council reviews requests, and if a group meets the criteria set forth in the ICUU policy, it is welcomed as a provisional member and invited to send representatives to the next General Council meeting. Full membership is voted on by the entire Council. This process takes at least two years and often up to four years because the entire Council meets only once every two years. This also gives provisional members the opportunity to demonstrate their unity, stability, and effective administration before being granted full membership. It is the policy of the ICUU to promote the formation of a single member group per country. If more than one established group exists in a country and they do not wish to merge fully, the ICUU will encourage them to form a single “umbrella body” on the model of the Indian Council of Unitarian Churches. If for reasons of tradition and practice, groups from the same country wish to remain independent, then they may seek ICUU membership separately, but this must be by mutual consent on the part of the groups concerned (ICUU Policy Summary).


ICUU p.11

The Member Groups of the ICUU as of May 2004 Full Members of ICUU Australia: Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Association, www.anzua.org Canada: Canadian Unitarian Council, www.cuc.ca Czech Republic: Religious Society of Czech Unitarians, www.unitaria.cz Denmark: Danish Unitarian Church, www.unitarisme.dk Europe: European Unitarian Universalists, www.euu.uua.org Finland: Unitarian Universalist Society of Finland, www.netlife.fi/users/anti.pelkola/uu Germany: Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemein, www.unitarier.de Great Britain: General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, www.unitarian.org.uk Hungary: Unitarian Church in Hungary, www.unitarius.hu India: Indian Council of Unitarian Churches Nigeria: Ijo Isokan Gbogbo Eda Unitarian Brotherhood Church Philippines: The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines Poland: The Unitarian Church in Poland - Kosciol Unitarianski Romania: Transylvanian Unitarian Church, www.unitarius.ro Russia: Moscow Unitarian Advocates South Africa: Unitarian Church of South Africa, www.unitarian.co.za Sri Lanka: Unitarian Universalist Association of Sri Lanka United States: Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, www.uua.org Provisional Members Spain: Sociedad Unitaria Universalista de EspaĂąa, www.suue.org Emerging Members: Emerging groups are moving towards full or provisional membership and are deemed to be reasonable prospects but do not yet fulfill all of the conditions. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil Latvia: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Latvia in Riga Puerto Rico: Los Unitarios Universalistas de Puerto Rico, http://www.uupuertorico.org/ Associate Members: Associate membership is open to groups or organizations with beliefs and purposes closely akin to those of the ICUU but by the nature of their constitutions, purposes, or limited fields of work, are not eligible for full membership, or which do not wish to become full members now or in the foreseeable future. Northern Ireland: Ulster Unitarian Christian Association (NSPCI Church). Several other Unitarian*Universalist groups worldwide have expressed interest in having contact with the ICUU: Croatia Estonia France: L'Assemblees Fraternelles des Chretiens Unitariens de France France: L'Association Unitarienne Francophone et Ă&#x2030;glise Unitarienne de France Iceland: Icelandic Unitarian Fellowship Indonesia: Indonesia Global Church of God Ireland: Unitarian Church in Dublin and Unitarian Church in Cork. Both are members of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Japan: Representatives of two Japanese Universalist Churches and two Japanese Unitarian groups, have informally agreed to forming a Coordinating Council. Norway: Unitarkirken (The Unitarian Christian Church in Norway), http://eunitarforbundet.org/


ICUU p.12

A Garden of Unitarian*Universalism: The ICUU Additional Handout: The ICUU Logo

The ICUU Logo The official logo of the ICUU was adopted at the council meeting in Prague in May 2003. It was created by noted Czech graphic designer, Ondrej Smerda. In the design, the dual flame represents Unitarianism and Universalism. It is a moving, dynamic flame to depict our dynamic faith. The chalice is also a traditional symbol of our movement and in this very open bowl shape, it also signifies our openness to all of humanity as well as to the divine. The rounded base of the chalice represents Earth, our world. The lettering is in a font originally developed for printing Bibles that is clearly legible in small sizes. The color version of the ICUU logo, with or without a surrounding circle, is depicted in two colors: the flame in light red to symbolize life itself and fire, one of its elements; and the chalice and letters in dark blue, symbolizing our blue planet with both sky and water, also elements of life. (Hess, 2003)


ICUU p. 13

Hoeing 1. What surprises or intrigues you about the ICUU? Be prepared to share your ideas with the group.

2. The ICUU has been described as a diverse garden. What tree, flower or plant would you choose to represent you and/or your origins in this garden? Why? Bring a sample of your flower, plant or tree or a drawing or photo of it, to the group meeting.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 14) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


ICUU p.14

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. Use self-hardening clay, or other material, to create chalices together to represent each ICUU member group or unit you will be studying, to be used at the appropriate group meetings. Or design and make one International Chalice to be used at all of your group meetings. 2. Make a timeline on which the group can fill in founding dates of Unitarian*Universalism around the world. Display the timeline on a bulletin board for your congregation. You can find founding dates on the ICUU website at www.icuu.net or in the book, A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. edited by Andrew Hill, et al. (2002). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. See references, p. 17. 3. Read and discuss one or both short stories about Arius and Michael Servetus from McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press, pages 1 to 9. Though the term Unitarian did not come into use until the 1560s, Arian and Servetus had decidedly “Unitarian” views. 4. Plant a mini-garden together in a large pot or planter box. Dedicate this “garden” to Unitarian*Universalists all over the world. Label it as such. Bring your mini-garden to each of your group meetings as a reminder that you are part of a larger movement. 5. Learn how to say Unitarian and/or Universalist in all the different languages represented by ICUU members and emerging member groups. (Hint: the ICUU website at www.icuu.net may be a good place to start your hunt.) In addition, learn to say “Thank You” or “Peace” in these languages. There are on-line dictionaries that might help. Make greeting cards using these words. Sell the cards and donate the money to help fund ICUU programs. 6. Have an international potluck. Ask members of the group to bring a dish from any one of the ICUU member or emerging member group countries. 7. Make an ICUU collage. Visit websites of ICUU member groups. Download images, photos, chalices and words to include in the collage. Members who have visited ICUU member countries or have attended any ICUU-sponsored functions might include photos from their trips. Also include images of flowers, trees and plants on the collage. 8. Using a current map of the world, label countries where Unitarian and Universalist groups are found. As you learn more about each group, you may add information such as founding date, name of founder, number of members, etc. 9. If members of your group have attended an ICUU-sponsored conference, meeting or workshop, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


ICUU p.15

The ICUU II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance Small Group Worship – ICUU (p. 16), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. These will be handed out when you meet for Session 2, the Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – U*U’s Around the World which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 14) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring a flower, or cutting from a plant or tree that represents them to create a bouquet (or a drawing or photo of the plant) to display at the Small Group Worship service. Have a vase of water ready. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship for the ICUU is based on a covenant group format which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. If your group has made an international chalice for your meetings (see Harvesting, p. 14), use it. Have matches handy. ___ Prepare a vase for the flowers and cuttings members will bring to create a mixed bouquet and/or have on display already, a mixed bouquet or a photo of a mixed bouquet or garden. ___ Have “world music” playing in the background. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that fits the theme of the service. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 14), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service Distribute handouts for your next meeting if appropriate. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the activities listed for this unit (See Harvesting, p. 14) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from including planting a mini-garden.


ICUU p.16

Handout: Small Group Worship – ICUU After you have read the articles and reflected on the ICUU, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – Unitarians and Universalists Around the World http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.. Bring a flower or cutting from a tree or plant that represents you to add to a bouquet for display at the service. The Small Group Worship for the ICUU is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another. ❀❀❀


ICUU p.17

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Campbell, E. (Sept. 2, 2001). Together, Our Vision Widens. Retrieved May 12, 2004 from http://firstunitariantoronto.org/Sermons/together_our_vision_widens.htm Canadian Unitarian Council. Retrieved May 2004 from www.cuc.ca General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. (2004). Unitarians Worldwide Retrieved March 28, 2004 from http://www.unitarian.org.uk/worldwide_p-r.htm Hess, L. (ed.). (July 2003). The Global Chalice. Newsletter of the ICUU. ICUUed@uua.org Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Retrieved March 28, 2004 from www.icuu.net. McAllister, J. (2002). Preface to Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Thandeka (2002). â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Foundâ&#x20AC;? in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Unitarian Universalist Association (eds). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press.


International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Resources: The hymns can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. The chalice lighting, prayers, and readings are from One and Universal edited by John Midgley, published by Skinner House Books, Boston, 2002 for the ICUU. www.uua.org/skinner

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Unitarian Universalist Funding Panel.

Unitarians and Universalists Around the World

Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.

We affirm our belief in religious community based on liberty of conscience and individual thought in matters of faith, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice and compassion in human relations, responsible stewardship of the earth’s living system and our commitment to democratic principles. based on the Principles of the ICUU

12/2005


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Sitting in Silence

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Hymn (#212 Jacob’s Ladder)

Chalice Lighting

O God of life, we come to your refuge. We pray to you. As you have made the earth to give crops, the sun to give light and heat, moon and stars for guidance, and the same air to breathe for all human beings, we pray that you will shower the blessing of love and unity for all humanity.

Samina Tufail Gill Pakistan

Hymn

Here we seek and find our history. Here we seek and find our history. Here we seek and find our history, sisters, brothers all.

From you I receive,

We will all do our own naming. We will all do our own naming. We will all do our own naming, sisters, brothers all.

(#402) Sung at most To you I give, ICUU gatherings Together we share,

And from this we live. Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly the high or low point of your life this past week.

Reading

The Ground in Which We Sow As sowers we go out to sow, to sow the seed of our liberal faith. But we are conscious that the ground in which we sow can vary from place to place.

Clifford M. Reed United Kingdom

For some, the hard, stony ground of the secularized society. For some, the fertile ground of people seeking refuge from regressive religion. For some, the unbroken ground where our seed is new and the task is to just get rooted at all. Some face the choking weeds of religious and political hostility; others are plagued by parasitic growths that sap their strength. Everywhere the ground is different, but the seed we sow is resilient. It has survived and thrived in many fields. It has sprouted anew where once it was uprooted and trampled. For our seed to flourish it must adapt to new environments, changing climates; it must have an inner diversity, the ability to exploit new niches, new opportunities. For our seed to flourish we must nurture the germ at its core – the open heart and the open door; the germ of the open, loving spirit. This is the spirit that creates communities for meeting human need, free from the narrowing creed, the rigid ideology, the oppressive institution. Our seed, when truly rich in the values we affirm, will root and grow – yielding harvest for the human spirit and the world’s wholeness.

We Are Dancing Sarah’s Circle We are dancing Sarah’s circle. We are dancing Sarah’s circle. We are dancing Sarah’s circle, sisters, brothers, all.

Sharing How did the seed of our faith get sown in you and under what conditions has it grown? How has it been nurtured? In other words, describe your journey as a Unitarian*Universalist. Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen. Discussion This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared. Hymn (#346)

Come, Sing a Song with Me Come, sing a song with me; come, sing a song with me; Come sing a song with me that I might know your mind. And I’ll bring you hope, when hope is hard to find; And I’ll bring a song of love, and a rose in the wintertime. Come share a rose with me; come share a rose with me; Come share a rose with me, that I might know your mind. And I’ll bring you hope, when hope is hard to find; And I’ll bring a song of love and a rose in the wintertime. (Add your own verses)

Extinguishing the Chalice Unitarian Brotherhood Let us have the mind to help each other in all our days, Church of Nigeria in order to show our belief as true lovers of religious (adapted) freedom.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 2: Transylvania

Unitarianism in Transylvania The Oak Tree

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Transylvania p. 2

Unitarianism in Transylvania: The Oak Tree Table of Contents for Unit 2 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History and Context Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: A Story of Strength and Endurance (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 4 p. 4 p. 5-8

Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: A Life-Centered Movement (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 9 p. 9 p. 10-14

Session 3: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 3 Facilitating Session 3 Handout: The Bells are Calling Us to Worship

p. 15 p. 15-16 p. 17-18

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 19

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 20-21

Sermon for the Small Group Worship (for use by facilitator only)

p. 22

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service for Session 3 is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


Transylvania p. 3

Unitarianism in Transylvania: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into three sessions. Session 1 covers the history and context of Unitarianism in Transylvania. Session 2 covers beliefs and practices of Transylvanian Unitarians. Session 3 is a Small Group Worship service based on a traditional Transylvanian Sunday service. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit and to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. In addition, for Sessions 1 and 2, the group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 19) to do after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover more than one session at a group meeting, depending on the time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat), and the interests of the group. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Transylvania p. 4 History and Context

Unitarianism in Transylvania I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, A Story of Strength and Endurance (p. 5-8) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 20-21). ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 19) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Transylvania to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate Transylvania. ___ Display an oak branch, oak leaves and/or a photo of a beautiful oak tree. ___ Have Hungarian folk music or music by Béla Bartók or another Hungarian composer, playing in the background. (Bartók was a Unitarian.) ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: We kindle our chalice flame as a symbol of the light in every heart. – Anonymous 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an activity from Harvesting (p. 19) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 5. Locate Transylvania on a map or globe. Ask members what they knew about Transylvania before they read the article (Tilling, p. 5). 6. Ask members to share their ideas and questions from the article. 7. Ask members to share what surprised them about the history of Unitarianism in Transylvania (Hoeing, p. 7). 8. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Go in peace and be makers of peace. – Anonymous 9. Gather for your Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 19) – Bible study, map exploration, playing the Partner Church game, cooking, dancing, painting banners, listening to the travel experiences of others – whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Transylvania p. 5 History and Context

The Oak Tree: Unitarianism in Transylvania Handout: A Story of Strength and Endurance

Tilling Before reading the following article, locate Transylvania, Romania on a map or globe. Write down what you know about Transylvania, its geography, history and culture.

Planting Now read the article about the history and context of Transylvanian Unitarianism. As you read, write down ideas and questions in the margins for possible discussion later. A Story of Strength and Endurance A logical first place to start a tour of the Garden of Unitarian*Universalism is with a look at Unitarianism in Transylvania. The responsible search for truth and meaning, for freedom in matters of faith has been planted far and wide, but the seed planted in Transylvania has endured for over four hundred years. Like an oak tree, it has grown deep roots and a sturdy trunk with strong branches. New branches form, old branches put on new growth. Transylvanian Unitarianism has weathered many storms and, in spite of often unfavorable conditions, continues to grow in strength and beauty. Transylvania is located in central Europe between Hungary and the Carpathian Mountains. It is a mostly rural area in the northeast corner of Romania. ‘Transylvania’ means ‘the land beyond (or through) the forest.’ The Reverend Harold Babcock describes Transylvania as “a land of rolling green hills and beautiful valleys, of small, red clay tile-roofed villages and walled, medieval cities. The beautiful, snow-capped Carpathian Mountains loom in the distance. It is a poor place economically, but rich in the beauty of its land and in its friendly and hospitable people” (2001). For more than a thousand years, though ethnically diverse, Transylvania was part of an autonomous Hungarian region. (For historical maps of Transylvania, see the online text of E. M. Wilbur’s Our Unitarian Heritage at http://online.sksm.edu/ouh/book.html). Although the region is now part of Romania, 30 to 40 percent of Transylvania’s population is Hungarian. In Romania overall, only about seven percent of the population is Hungarian (about 2 million out of a population of more than 22 million); 89 percent of the population is Romanian; Roma (Gypsy), Germans (Saxons), Ukrainians, Russians and Turks make up the remaining four percent. After Hungary’s defeat as part of the Axis powers in World War I, the Treaty of Trianon called for Hungary’s partition, and in 1920 Transylvania became part of the modern nation of Romania. Following the treaty, the Hungarian, German, Roma, Jewish and other non-Romanian ethnic groups of Transylvania became the subjects of systematic “non-violent” cleansing. “Romania has mostly managed to avoid the ethnic violence of other Balkan nations;” (Babcock, 2001) however, other methods of controlling or destroying the Hungarians and their culture have


Transylvania p. 6 History and Context

been used. Forced relocation of Romanians into Transylvania and Hungarians out of Transylvania to tip the ethnic balance in that region was one method. A process of literally destroying villages that were predominantly Hungarian was another method. Bözödújfalu, a town near the village of Korispatak was flooded by the construction of a dam a few miles away. The dam was not designed to make electricity; it was designed to make a resort lake and flood out several Hungarian villages. “It is chilling to see, when the water level is low, the spire of a church reaching heavenward from the depths of the lake” (McAllister, 1998). A former resident of the destroyed village placed a memorial plaque to the community that used to live there. The plaque reads, “Here Jews and Christians, Unitarians and Catholics, Hungarians and Romanians lived together in harmony.” “Because most of the positions of power in Romania are held by Romanians, life can be challenging for the Hungarian minority. Even in remote villages, the local police officer is almost always a Romanian, though practically everyone else in the village is Hungarian and speaks Hungarian” (Babcock, 2001). As recently as 1990 in the town of Tîrgu Mûres, Hungarians who were protesting for greater use of the Hungarian language in schools and on printed government materials, were attacked by Romanian extremists who support the use of violence against minorities (Willis, 2001). Five people died and over 250 were wounded. However the Hungarians of Transylvania “are survivors. In the last century alone, they survived World War I, the annexation of their country by Romania, the rise of Nazism and World War II, and the fall of the Iron Curtain. They endured the terrible years of Soviet Communism, culminating in the 1989 overthrow and execution of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, one of whose goals had been to eradicate ethnic Hungarian culture in Romania” (Babcock, 2001). Ceausescu prohibited the teaching of Hungarian in schools and all public use of the Hungarian language and of Hungarian names for cities and towns. He shut down Hungarian newspapers. He forbade Hungarians from giving their children Hungarian names at baptism and the wearing of traditional Hungarian dress. He moved hundreds of thousands of Moldavian and Wallachian farm and factory laborers into Transylvania, while forcibly relocating Hungarians from their homeland to other parts of Romania (Kaplan, 1993). This repression was directed at Hungarian Unitarians as well. For many years, the Unitarian Theological School in Kolosvar (called Cluj-Napoca in Romanian) was allowed only one new ministerial student per year so that many village churches were without ministers. Opportunities to study or publish books were almost entirely eliminated. The Unitarian Church in Brasov was not allowed to put a sign on the exterior of its building unless they paid a $3,000 tax, which they could not afford. “We Unitarians are among those who are seen as aliens in our own country, enemies of the dominant Romanians and a scourge in society. Our Unitarian ancestors were the first people in the world to proclaim religious tolerance and freedom of conscience as law … when John Sigismund was king of Transylvania in 1568, he had the power to force Unitarianism on to others; instead, he offered them the right of choice. Yet today, his descendants are the targets of ethnic cleansing and religious intolerance in our own land. After 433 years of proclaiming it as a law, we still wait for tolerance” (Gyero, 2001). “Among the Hungarian population in Romania, three religions have been traditionally practiced: Roman Catholicism, Protestant Reformed Calvinism (sometimes referred to as Presbyterianism), and Unitarianism. Only Unitarianism is indigenous” (Babcock, 2001). There are presently about 80,000 Unitarians in Transylvania. Hungarian Unitarians are a double


Transylvania p. 7 History and Context

minority in Romania by being both Hungarian and Unitarian. The small German minority in Romania practices Lutheranism. Most Romanians are Eastern Orthodox. There are some Roma (Gypsy) Unitarians and a handful of Romanian Unitarians, mainly through ethnically-mixed marriages. Hungarians in Romania would like to preserve their native language and cultural values. “Not surprisingly, the Hungarians stick together regardless of their religious affiliations.” (Babcock, 2001). Several Unitarian Church buildings are shared with Reformed congregations. The Unitarian seminary in the Transylvanian city of Kolosvar is a joint venture with the Reformed Church (Babcock, 2001). Unitarianism in Transylvania traces its roots directly to the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s (for a detailed history of Unitarianism in Transylvania, see Wilbur, 1925 or Howe, 1997). The first use of the name “Unitarian” occurs around 1600 in Transylvania. The greatest hero of Transylvanian Unitarianism is the reformer Dávid Ferenc (pronounced Da-veed Ferenc), also known as Francis Dávid, who lived from 1510 to 1579. “A brilliant and charismatic leader, Dávid is most famous for his role in the 1568 Diet of Torda, which resulted in the great Edict of Torda, the first known declaration of religious toleration, and a document which allowed the ‘heretical’ Unitarians to practice their religion as one of the so-called ‘four received faiths’ of Transylvania” (Babcock, 2001). Dávid was originally a Catholic who thought his way through to Protestantism and eventually to the unitarian (as opposed to trinitarian) point of view. “It was his eloquent statements for the Oneness of God which convinced the Transylvanian king, Zsigmond János (John Sigismund), to adopt a Unitarian perspective, and to subsequently issue an Edict of Religious Toleration, which gave Transylvanians the freedom to practice religion as they chose to – Catholic, Protestant, or Unitarian. This proclamation for religious freedom was radical for its time and place and, sadly, lasted only as long as John Sigismund was king” (McAllister, 1998). After Sigismund died, Francis Dávid was imprisoned as a heretic and died in captivity in a cave-jail. Unitarianism did not end, however. Even though Unitarianism became illegal, the tree that had been planted, and those who tended it, were too strong to die out. “We would like others to understand and honor our traditions and our struggle to stay alive for such a long time under such horrific conditions” (Székely, 2003). “The history of Unitarianism in Transylvania is one of both advances and setbacks, but mostly of remarkable survival. It has survived numerous political and religious upheavals, and even a long period when any ‘innovation’ in its practice was strictly forbidden by the ruling authorities. It is perhaps this latter factor which gives Transylvanian Unitarianism its character and feel. There is something ancient and solid about Transylvanian Unitarianism which is both profound and comforting” (Babcock, 2001).

Hoeing What surprised you about the history and culture of Transylvania? Be prepared to share your thoughts with the group.


Transylvania p. 8 History and Context

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 19) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


Transylvania p. 9 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarianism in Transylvania II. BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies of and hand out in advance the article, A Life-Centered Movement (p. 10-14), and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies of and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 20-21) in advance, if your group hasn’t received it already. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 19) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Transylvania to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe depicting Transylvania. ___ Display an oak branch, oak leaves and/or a photo of a beautiful oak tree. ___ Have Hungarian folk music or music by Béla Bartók, or other Hungarian composer, playing in the background. (Bartók was a Unitarian). ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: We kindle our chalice flame as a symbol of the light in every heart. – Anonymous 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 19) for next time, if appropriate. If you are doing the Small Group Worship service, you will probably not have time for an additional activity next session. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 5. Ask members how they defined Christian before they read the article (Tilling, p. 10). 6. Ask members whether and how their definition of Christian changed after reading the article (Hoeing, p. 13). 7. Ask members to compare their Unitarian*Universalist church or fellowship with a Transylvanian Unitarian church (Hoeing, p. 13). 8. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they had from the article. 9. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Go in peace and be makers of peace. - Anonymous 10. Gather for an Additional Activity – Bible study, map exploration, playing the Partner Church game, cooking, dancing, painting banners, listening to the travel experiences of others – whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Transylvania p. 10 Beliefs and Practices

The Oak Tree: Unitarianism in Transylvania Handout: A Life-Centered Movement

Tilling Transylvanian Unitarians identify themselves as Christian Unitarians. How would you define Christian? What beliefs must a Christian hold?

Planting Read the following article about beliefs and practices of Transylvanian Unitarians. As you read, make notes in the margins of thoughts or questions that you might like to discuss later. A Life-Centered Movement Theologically, Unitarianism in Transylvania is theistic. “It is a Protestant, non-dogmatic, Christian denomination, and a liberal and progressive religious community. Transylvanian Unitarians do not believe in the Trinity of God; God is one, both in essence and in person. But above all, God is Love. We think that the purpose of our life is this: with Love of God and neighbors, with free will and unselfish duty we must create happiness for all creatures on Earth” (Rezi, 2001). “We are theist and we consider ourselves Christian because we consider Jesus as our teacher, master, and prophet. We would like to live as he taught us. Once Jesus was asked what is the main teaching of religion? He replied, ‘Love God, and love your neighbor’” (Székely, 2003). Transylvanian Unitarians believe that Jesus was human, and a prophet of God. The idea that Jesus died on the cross as a divine sacrifice finds no place in Transylvanian Unitarian belief; Jesus was a leader and a wise teacher, not a savior. Hungarian Unitarians believe that Jesus’s teachings about love, compassion and justice are more important than all ideas and dogmas about his life (Rezi, 2001). When you visit a Transylvanian Unitarian church you will not see any crosses or pictures of Jesus because the tradition is clear that Jesus was not God. “Egy Az Isten” (pronounced edge oz eeshten) - God is One - is carved over almost every door. The religious symbol is not the Flaming Chalice, though because of the international connections through the Partner Church Program and the International Council of Unitarian and Universalists, many, if not most, Transylvanian Hungarians recognize the Flaming Chalice as a Unitarian symbol. The symbol for Hungarian Unitarians, both in Transylvania and in Hungary, is the dove and the serpent, reminding people to be wise as the serpent and gentle as the dove. It is a symbol far older than the Flaming Chalice. (To learn more about the symbol, see Unit 2: Unitarianism in Hungary).


Transylvania p. 11 Beliefs and Practices

The Bible is held in great reverence as a source of truth and a guide to human beings. To Transylvanian Unitarians, it is an inspiration from which ethical and spiritual encouragement can be drawn. It is not accepted blindly or literally, but under the guidance of reason and conscience. For Unitarians everywhere religion is a matter of deeds, not creeds. Transylvanian Unitarians are no exception. “The real purpose of religion is not to prepare people for another life, but to inspire them to live this life as it ought to be lived. This is why Transylvanian Unitarianism is a life-centered religious movement” (Rezi, 2001). Worship is very important to Transylvanian Unitarians. For us in Transylvania, worship is the reality, the act of being religious, and we consider worship to be the most important part of our religious life… Our Unitarianism is theistic Unitarianism, based not on the dogmas of Christianity, but on the values. The values of Christianity provide the main features of our worship. This means that in our worship the main purpose is to open up the spirit towards the divine and to create some connectedness with the transcendent; while at the same time being connected with fellow worshippers, worshipping together with us. For us worship is not simply joyful, happy, tolerant, (and) easy-going…when we think about holy and divine things, we tend to be serious. This is the seriousness of compassion and of being in love. So for us worship is to celebrate and to feel this celebration as something which lifts us beyond ourselves and connects us to our higher self and to the higher reality. The structure of our worship is focused. So we have prayers said by the minister and we have many hymns. Our tradition is the European Christian tradition where worship is led by the minister, but in our new liturgy, being Unitarians, we try to involve members of the congregation more with saying certain prayers together, and by allowing them space to participate. Since we are the heirs of the rationalist and humanist heritage, the sermon remains the main part of our worship pointing us towards the divine and the transcendent. In my conviction, worship is a unique opportunity for everyone to find himself, to find the ‘other’ person, to find the divine, and through the divine to find the spirit of life. So that’s why, when I’m leading worship, when I’m taking part in worship, even when I’m joyful, even when I’m laughing, or whatever I’m doing, I feel the seriousness of worship. (Kovacs, 2001)

Preaching in the church is predominantly practical rather than doctrinal. Study and practices are based on the Protestant Bible, the Transylvanian Unitarian hymnbook and other books deemed useful. The hymnbook includes hymns from the 16th century through the ages to recent times. Folk songs may be sung at special church occasions. The order of service is usually an introductory hymn, a second hymn, a prayer, recitation of the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father, a third hymn, a Bible reading (related to the sermon), the sermon, a silent prayer, a closing prayer, and a blessing. Services other than Sundays and holidays include baptisms (christenings), confirmation, Lord’s Supper (communion), wedding ceremonies and funeral services. All of these serve to strengthen the spiritual, moral and religious life of Transylvanian Unitarians. Most Unitarians in Transylvania are Unitarian because they were born into Unitarian families, but it is through baptism that they become publicly recognized as members of the


Transylvania p. 12 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarian Church. “Baptism does not make anyone a Christian. Baptism is merely a solemn expression on the part of parents and godparents that they appreciate their Christian Unitarian faith and want their children to grow up and live in that faith too” (Rezi, 2001). At ages 14 to 16, Unitarian youth are confirmed in the church. Through confirmation they become independent members of the church and assume responsibility before God for their deeds and faithfulness. Preparing for confirmation can be a one to two year process. It involves, among other things, learning the church catechism. (See Hungarian Catechism at http://www.unitarius.hu/english/catechism.html) The Unitarian catechism is not a set of binding beliefs, or dogma, but a study of the Bible and Unitarian history and how these can guide their lives. The process of confirmation serves to strengthen their faith. The Lord’s Supper, or communion, is the liturgy through which Jesus’s life, work and death are remembered. It is celebrated with bread and wine four times a year: at Easter, Pentecost, on Thanksgiving Day (the last Sunday of September), and on Christmas Sunday. The ritual is done in memory of Jesus and the Last Supper. Emphasis is on remembering Jesus’s words to his community and on following his example in our own lives by creating a compassionate human community. It is a powerful and moving ritual, but is not viewed as a sacrament. In the Transylvanian Unitarian catechism there is a short credo that is often recited at the closing of special services such as a funeral service: I believe in One God, the creator of life, our caring Father. I believe in Jesus, the best child of God, our true teacher. I believe in the holy spirit. I believe in the vocation of the Unitarian Church. I believe in forgiveness and in eternal life. Transylvanian Unitarianism is Christian but not trinitarian. God, Jesus and holy spirit are separate entities. Jesus was the son of God as we are all children of God. Holy spirit is the divine in each of us and in the world. Transylvanian Unitarians have hope that there is ‘life eternal’ but “stop short of expressing definite knowledge of the what or where of such existence. For many it [eternal life] is a positive belief that Life itself is eternal and that the soul is immortal” (Rezi, 2001). Unitarians in Transylvania are called to worship by the ringing of the church bell. They come together in community every Sunday and for holidays and special events. The holidays they celebrate remind us once again of the oak. Religious holidays are old and well-rooted. They are connected mostly with Jesus’s life and are celebrated at Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. Services for these holidays are held for three days. The week before Easter, beginning on Palm Sunday, is called Faith Strengthening Week. During this week, there may be a church service every evening with a guest minister who may even be from a different denomination. Other holiday celebrations are more like the branches and leaves of the oak, new growth. Not as old as the religious holidays but special and nurtured just the same. These holidays include January 24, in honor of religious freedom; March 15, in remembrance of the Hungarian revolution of 1848-49; Thanksgiving; Day of the Dead on November 1; November 15, the memorial day of Francis Dávid’s death; the last day of the old year and the first day of the new year, Mothers’ Day (the first Sunday of May) and, one of the newest leaves, Partner Church Sunday (the third Sunday of March).


Transylvania p. 13 Beliefs and Practices

Ministers from all denominations, including the Unitarian church, are allowed to offer religious education in the public schools for students in each grade during the school week. At the church, there is religious education on Saturdays. Some churches have Sunday school too. Again, the old co-exists with the new. Children learn stories from the Bible; they learn about Jesus’s life and teachings. They hear the story of Francis Dávid and other prominent Unitarians in Transylvania. They also learn about the life of other famous Unitarians worldwide and about historical and international figures who, with their lives and work, enriched humankind, people such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Schweitzer. Stories of the lives of the founders of other religions are also included in their lessons. Children are taught in traditional ways but also in new ways modeled on North American religious education programs. Children sometimes perform in church on holidays: reciting poems, singing songs, performing short dramas. There is great change happening in the church, but it is not change that cuts away at the solid tree that is Transylvanian Unitarianism. Rather, new branches and leaves are forming. In 1990, women entered the seminary and many young ministers graduated. Partnerships between Transylvanian and British and North American churches have been very successful and brought new ideas and practices. Lay-persons have been invited to join the church leadership. Conferences and leadership trainings are being held. There is a Women’s Association, men’s choirs, mixed choirs and a thriving youth movement (Székely, 2003). Transylvanian Unitarianism is moving forward, open to change and innovation. The Reverend Dr. Rezi Elek describes Unitarianism as “a religious movement which has demonstrated the ability to absorb and synthesize new ideas and insights.” He feels that “the power of Unitarianism is and will be its openness to change” (2001). But Unitarians in Transylvania are also protective of their deep-rooted religious traditions and with good reason. As the Reverend Harold Babcock states, “There is much to be learned from Transylvanian Unitarians, not least of which is the powerful and courageous depth of their convictions which has allowed them to survive through the good times and the bad for over four hundred years, but also the great poetry and passion of their faith. Religion is their life; it informs their lives on a daily basis” (2001). Transylvanian Unitarians describe themselves as life-centered. They value life and an action-oriented faith. They “welcome new knowledge of every kind, combat superstition and ignorance, foster the spread of wisdom and understanding, and seek always to weave a web of human brotherhood the world over, with the threads of love, truth, and sincerity. Unitarianism, at its best, is ‘religion-in-life,’ an expression of the divine possibilities of life here and now – and further” (Rezi, 2001). Unitarianism in Transylvania has old, strong roots, a sturdy trunk, flexible branches and supple, new leaves.

Hoeing Does Transylvanian (Hungarian) Christian Unitarianism fit your original definition of Christian? How is it the same? How is it different? How does your Unitarian*Universalist church, fellowship or group compare with a Transylvanian Unitarian church?


Transylvania p. 14 Beliefs and Practices

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 19) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


Transylvania p. 15 Small Group Worship

Unitarianism in Transylvania III. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 3 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, The Bells are Calling Us to Worship (p. 17-18) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make a copy for yourself of the sermon on p. 22 for use in the Small Group Worship. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 20-21) in advance, if your group doesn’t already have it. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. These will be for distribution when you meet for the Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarianism in Transylvania, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Bring the list of Additional Activities (Harvesting) from the next unit to be studied, if appropriate. ___ Invite members to bring items from Transylvania to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 3 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for participants to experience a service based on a traditional Transylvanian service. It is a time for both self-reflection and for connecting with one another. After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. Consider setting the room up with a pulpit for the facilitator with participants facing the pulpit. Men and women might be seated on different sides of the room as is traditional in a Transylvanian church. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display an oak branch, oak leaves and/or a photo of a beautiful oak tree. ___ Photos of Transylvanian villages and Unitarian churches might also be used and are available at http://www.unitarius.hu ___ Have Hungarian folk music or music by Béla Bartók or another Hungarian composer, playing in the background. (Bartók was a Unitarian.) Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Readings Although it may not be traditional to do so, consider doing the readings as responsive readings. Or ask a member of the group to read aloud. Sermon (page 22) Read the sermon at the appropriate time during the service. Do not hand it out for members to read. Although it is not part of a Transylvanian service to discuss a sermon during the service, as part of Small Group Worship, we use this activity to help members


Transylvania p. 16 Small Group Worship

make deep connections with one another. Members may choose to share their thoughts or remain silent. Check-In/Announcements In a Transylvanian church this would be a time to make announcements concerning congregational life. We are extending this part for members to share what is happening in their lives right now as well as to set aside a time for you, the facilitator, to make announcements regarding the next group meeting or plans for after the Small Group Worship service or for providing handouts for the next session.


Transylvania p. 17 Small Group Worship

Unitarianism in Transylvania Handout: The Bells are Calling Us to Worship After you have read the articles and reflected on Unitarianism in Transylvania, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship The order of service for this small group worship honoring Transylvanian Unitarians follows the order of service of a typical Sunday service in a Transylvanian Unitarian church. To prepare for the Small Group Worship, first read The Bells are Calling Us to Worship. Bring an item from Transylvania if you have one, for display at the service. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers, readings, and the brief sermon. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another. The Bells are Calling Us to Worship The outline for the Small Group Worship is based on the Transylvanian Unitarian liturgy described below. Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. A. The time of the service: Sunday morning services ordinarily begin at 11:00 AM. Church bells call worshippers to gather, beginning at 10:00 AM and ring at half hour intervals prior to the start of the service. This call to worship varies from village to village and bells may be rung on the quarter hour instead. B. The liturgy of the service: Members may enter the church until the end of the third bell ringing and sit in the pews. When the bell ringing stops, the minister enters the sanctuary and sits in the minister’s pew; the congregation remains seated or stands up, as local custom requires. 1. Members stand to sing the first hymn. 2. Members sit while singing the main song. Everybody sings. 3. At the end of the song, the minister goes to the pulpit. Members stand while the minister says a prayer which may be five to six minutes in length. 4. This is followed by the Lord’s Prayer. It is said by the minister, although members may chose to recite the prayer with the minister. 5. Members stand to sing another hymn, the middle song. 6. The minister will introduce a reading from the Bible: “Believers gathered to worship, sisters and brothers, dear friends! The main idea of my sermon is from [for example], the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 10.” The minister may read the text twice.


Transylvania p. 18 Small Group Worship

7. The sermon will be based on the reading and will be approximately 20-25 minutes long. 8. Members stand for a closing prayer which may last about two minutes. The prayer is said in an encouraging, stimulating, urging style. After the prayer, members sit down. 9. The minister then introduces time for silent prayer or meditation, for example, “God is Spirit and those who worship, must worship in Spirit and truth (John 4,24); let us hear the voice of the spirit, and pray in silence, deeply inside.” A minute of silence is ended by the minister saying, “Amen.” 10. Announcements about congregational life are given: what kind of services happened last week, what happened in the life of the congregation and what is coming up. 11. The minister gives a benediction asking God’s blessing on the congregation, for example, “May the love and blessing of God, be and remain with all of us for ever. Amen.” The minister comes down from the pulpit and sits in the pew. 12. Members sit while singing a closing song. 13. Members leave the church sanctuary following local customs; usually the minister leaves first, and at the entrance of the church greets the members and shakes their hands.

Resource: Leta, S. (2000). Liturgy. Petrosani Unitarian Church homepage. Retrieved February 4, 2004 from http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/rodin/727/petrosani/13e.htm

❀❀❀


Transylvania p. 19

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. God is One (Edgy Az Isten) is carved or painted on many Transylvanian Unitarian churches. Design, make and display a banner that illustrates your personal or church theology. 2. Francis Dávid moved from Catholicism to Lutheranism to Calvinism to finally emerge as a Unitarian. Read his story in Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World by Don McEvoy. (2003). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press, p. 23-26. Draw, write about or simply describe your religious journey and share it with the group. If the group is large you may want to divide into smaller groups to share your stories. 3. Learn more about Béla Bartók at http://www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/belabartok.html This site includes MIDI files of some of his music. Listen to some of his music. Find out whether anyone in your group is a musician and is willing to perform some Bartók, or listen to recordings together. 4. Play the Partner Church Game focusing on Transylvania. This can be downloaded from the Partner Church website at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Although originally designed for children, adults enjoy playing it too. 5. Cook Hungarian food. There are many recipes on the Internet. You can find some at http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/4887/ 6. Learn some Hungarian folkdances. Listen to Hungarian folk music. MIDI files of Hungarian folk songs are available at http://w3.enternet.hu/sandor64/songs/songs.htm 7. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with Transylvania, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 8. (For use after Session 2: Beliefs and Practices) Design a service for your congregation that is similar to a Transylvanian Unitarian service. Which hymns will be sung? Which prayers will be said? On what story or reading from the Bible will you base a sermon? See the Partner Church Council website for ideas for services: http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ 9. (For use after Session 3: Small Group Worship) Draw a line, imaginary or real. Label one end “Completely Comfortable”, the other “Not at all Comfortable”. Ask members to place themselves anywhere along the continuum to answer the question: How comfortable did you feel with the content of the Small Group Worship service? Why? 10. Your own ideas.


Transylvania p. 20

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Babcock, H. (June 3, 2001). The Transylvania Connection. Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://www.frsuu.org/serm43.htm Bumbaugh, D. (2000). Unitarian Universalism: a narrative history. Chicago: Meadville Lombard Press. Bumbaugh, D. and B. Bumbaugh. (October 5, 1997). The Directive in Unitarian Universalist History: Transylvanian Heresy. Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://www.uc.summit.nj.uua.org/Sermons/DEB/971005.html Erdö, J. (n.d.). Major dates from the history of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church. Retrieved February 2, 2004 from http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/rodin/727/petrosani/dates.htm Gyero, D. (March 25, 2001). A Happy New Millennium for Transylvania. Retrieved Feb. 3, 2004 from http://www.uua.org/uupcc/docs/gyero-concord.doc Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Howe, C.A. (1997). For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europe. Boston: Skinner House Books. Kaplan, R. (1993). Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Kovac, I. (2002). “Worship – Transylvania.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 264-66). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. McAllister, J. (1998). The Partner Church Program: Unitarianism in Transylvania and North America, a sermon for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, Oregon, unpublished. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Rezi, E. (2002). “Transylvanian Unitarian Theology at the Dawn of a New Century.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 59-71). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Székely, K. R. (2003). The Unitarian Church of Transylvania (personal correspondence). Wilbur, E.M. (1925). Our Unitarian Heritage. Boston: Beacon Press. Also available online from Starr King School for the Ministry. Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://online.sksm.edu/ouh/nav,index.html Willis, T. (2001) Romania: Enchantment of the World. New York: Children’s Press. Unitarian Universalist Association (eds). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press.


Transylvania p. 21

Unitarian Universalist Historical Society. (April 24, 2003). Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://www.uua.org/uuhs/index.html and http://www.uua.org/uuhs/UUresources/UUresources.html#FUU


Transylvania p. 22 Sermon

Facilitators should download and have ready the Order of Service for Transylvanian Unitarianism Small Group Worship, which is a separate file. http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

Sermon (For use by the facilitator) Transylvanian Unitarianism by the Rev. Dr. Elek Rezi, 2002 “…First of all, Unitarianism in Transylvania theologically is entirely Christian. We consider that the one purpose of real religion is not to prepare people for another life, but to inspire them to live this life as it ought to be lived. We consider that religion is a matter of deeds, not creeds. We believe in the existence of one God. This statement is based on Jesus’s teaching expressed firmly in his discussion with the lawyers, “The Lord our God is the only Lord” (Mark 12:29). God is eternal. There is no beginning or end to the life of God. While people have held many views about God, God has never changed, God is Spirit (pneuma) (John 1 4:24), and the invisible reality of the universe. Transylvanian Unitarians do not believe in the Trinity of God; God is one both in essence and person. But above all, God is LOVE. (1 John 4:16). The world is God’s creation; that is why in the world of God everything has its place, ways and duties. That is why we must protect our world and do our best to make it more beautiful, more full of gratitude and richer. We believe that human beings are the noblest creation of God. God has blessed them with certain talents, virtues and values. These are: Faith, which keeps us in relationship with God, and which is the fundamental aspect of peace in our hearts. Reason, which is the ability to gather knowledge to think and to form opinions about God, ourselves, our neighbours and the world (universe). Conscience, which is the spiritual talent which guides our actions, and encourages us for good, but restrains us from evil. Free will, which is that spiritual gift by which we can make choices in our life, but which requires our responsibility. Love, which is the most precious of the values that we have. It works in us to three directions: Love to God, Love to human beings, and love to the world or universe. We think that the purpose of our life is this: with Love of God and neighbours, with free will and unselfish duty we must create happiness for all creatures on the earth.” The full text of this talk by the Reverend Dr. Elek Rezi can be found in Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). “A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century.” Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. pp. 59-71. ❀❀❀


Check-In Announcements

What has been happening in your life lately? Announcements regarding our next meeting.

Benediction Numbers 6:24-26

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn his face towards you, And give you peace.

Closing song (Hymn #123)

Spirit of Life Spirit of Life, come unto me, Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion. Blow in the wind, rise in the sea; Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice. Roots hold me close; wings set me free; Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.

In Hungarian:

Isten lelke, jöjj el hozzánk. Ald meg szivünk, minden öszinte nagy álmát. Jöjj a széllel, a tengerben, Vezesd lelkünk, za örök igazság utján. Szárnyakat kapsz, szabad leszel. Isten lelke, jöjj hozzánk, jöjj hozzánk.

Hungarian pronunciation: Ish-ten lel-keh, yey el hoe-zahnk, Ahld meg see-vünk, minden ö-sin-teh nahdj ahlmaht. Yey ah sail-lel, ah ten-gehr-ben, Veh-zesht lel-künk, ahz ö-rok ee-goz-shahg ut-yahn Sar-nyah-kot kops, sa-bod leh-sel Ish-ten lel-keh, yey hoe-zahnk, yey hoe-zahnk. Extinguish the chalice

Go in peace and be makers of peace.

Resources: The reading God is One can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. Reading 566. All of the hymns are from Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. The chalice lighting is from McAllister, J. and C. Reed (eds). (2001). I See You Too: When Unitarian/Universalists Gather for Worship: a collection of worship materials from around the world. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. 12/2005 http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

Transylvania

His majesty reaffirms that in every place the preachers shall preach and explain the gospel, each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation likes it, well; if not, no one shall compel them for their souls would not be satisfied. But they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve…[no one] shall abuse the preachers on account of their religion…nor allow any to be imprisoned or removed from his post on account of his teachings, for faith is the gift of God. From the Decree of Religious Tolerance, known as the Edict of Torda – enacted at the Diet of Torda in 1568 by King John Sigismund of Transylvania.


Call to worship

Ringing of the bell

Chalice lighting

We kindle our chalice flame as a symbol of the light in every heart.

Opening song

The Bell Alleluia (Hymn #383)

Main song

Love will Guide Us

(Hymn #131)

Love will guide us, peace has tried us, hope inside us, will lead the way on the road from greed to giving. Love will guide us through the hard night.

Prayer 1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:9-13 (Join in or just listen)

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors And lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil. Amen

Middle song (Sung to the tune of Hymn #371)

From all who dwell below the skies, Let songs of faith and hope arise, Let peace, goodwill on earth be sung, Through every land by every tongue.

Reading

In this world there have always been many opinions about faith and salvation. You need not think alike to love alike. There must be knowledge in faith also. Sanctified reason is the lantern of faith. Religious reform can never be all at once, but gradually, step-by-step. If they offer something better, I will gladly learn. The most important spiritual function is conscience, the source of all spiritual joy and happiness. Conscience will not be quieted by anything less than truth and justice. We must accept God’s truth in this lifetime. Salvation must be accomplished here on earth. God is indivisible. Egy As Isten*. God is one. (*Hungarian, pronounced: Edge Oz Eeshten)

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love never ends; love is kind; love is patient; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. As for prophecy, it will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect, but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then - face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

God is One by Dávid Ferenc (Francis Dávid) Adapted by Richard Fewkes

Sermon

Transylvanian Unitarianism by the Rev. Dr. Elek Rezi (The sermon is in Unit 2, on p.22 of the curriculum, The Garden of Unitarian-Universalism)

Reflections on the Sermon Take time to reflect on the following questions. Draw or write your thoughts in a journal or on a piece of paper. What is God to you? How does your view of God inform how you live? Sharing Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen. Silent Prayer John 4:24

God is Spirit and those who worship, must worship in Spirit and truth. Let us hear the voice of the spirit, and pray in silence, deeply inside.

(Service continued on back)


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 3: Hungary

Unitarianism in Hungary A Sister Oak and Tulip

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Hungary p.2

A Sister Oak and Tulip: Unitarianism in Hungary Table of Contents for Unit 3 Preparing for this Unit Session 1: History and Context Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: The Struggle to Survive (with pre- and post-reading activities) Handout: Map of the Dismemberment of Hungary Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: A Life-Informing Tradition (with pre- and post-reading activities) Handout: The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 3 p. 4 p. 4 p. 5-8 p. 9 p. 10 p. 10-11 p. 12 p. 13-14

Session 3: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 3 Facilitating Session 3 Handout: The Unitarian Meaning of the Lordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supper

p. 15 p. 15-16 p. 17-19

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 20

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 21-22

Sermon for the Small Group Worship (for use by facilitator only)

p. 23-24

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service for Session 3 is a separate document and must be downloaded separately http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


Hungary p.3

Unitarianism in Hungary: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into three sessions. Session 1 covers the history and context of Unitarianism in Hungary. Session 2 covers beliefs and practices of Hungarian Unitarians and information about the Hungarian Unitarian symbol. Session 3 is a Small Group Worship/Communion service based on a traditional Hungarian Communion service. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit. and to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. In addition, for Sessions 1 and 2, the group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 20) to do after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover more than one session at a group meeting, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat), and the interests of the group. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Hungary p.4 History and Context

Unitarianism In Hungary I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, The Struggle to Survive (p. 5-8) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 21-22) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 20) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Hungary to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate Hungary. ___ Display an oak branch, oak leaves and/or a photo of a beautiful oak tree. ___ Display some tulips, and/or a photo of tulips and anything with a tulip motif. ___ Have Hungarian folk music or music by Béla Bartók or another Hungarian composer, playing in the background. (Bartók was a Unitarian.) ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: Life is a gift for which we are grateful. We gather in community to celebrate the glories and mysteries of this great gift. – Marjorie Montgomery 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 20) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 5. Locate Hungary on a map or globe. 6. Ask members how they originally answered the true/false statements (Tilling, p. 5). Ask members what surprised them about the correct answers to the exercise (Hoeing, p. 8). 7. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they have from the article. 8. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16 9. Gather for an Additional Activity (p. 20) – making and playing a catechism game, map exploration, Partner Church game, cooking, dancing, discussing passages from the Bible, listening to the travel experiences of others – whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Hungary p.5 History and Context

A Sister Oak and Tulip: Unitarianism in Hungary Handout: The Struggle to Survive

Tilling Write T for true or F for false next to each statement below. ___ 1. Hungary’s borders have not shifted since the end of the 18th century. ___ 2. Hungary is a western European country both in location and culture. ___ 3. Unitarian children were once forcibly removed from their homes and made to attend Catholic schools. ___ 4. Many Hungarians chose to immigrate to bordering countries after World War I. ___ 5. Unitarians in Hungary are very different from Unitarians in Transylvania.

Planting Before reading the following article, you might want to read or re-read the article in Unit 2 about the history of Unitarianism in Transylvania. We also strongly recommend Charles Howe’s book For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europe for more details. (See references, p. 24). Now read the article on the history and context of Unitarianism in Hungary. The Struggle to Survive Unitarianism in Hungary cannot be understood separately from Transylvanian Unitarianism. Unitarianism in Hungary has a direct relationship with Unitarianism in Transylvania although it did not spring up as if from an acorn dropped by the oak of Transylvanian Unitarianism; rather the two share a common root stock that is over four centuries old. A cutting from the oak tree of Unitarianism in Transylvania was brought to present-day Hungary by people who became immigrants in their own country. Hungary is a mostly flat, land-locked country in the center of Europe. Located in the Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia, the Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria. Present-day Hungary covers an area of 93,030 sq. km. (35,919 sq. mi.). However, for most of its history, Hungary was much bigger. Hungary first emerged as a country in the late 9th century when the Magyar people, a tribe of nomadic herdsmen, settled there. Stephen became Hungary’s first king in 1000 C.E. In a political move, he adopted Roman Catholicism for Hungary rather than Eastern Orthodox as the state religion thus placing Hungary as part of the west rather than the east. The Protestant Reformation movement against the Catholic Church that began in the early 1500s in other parts of Europe quickly spread to Hungary. Many Hungarians became Protestants and Unitarians. During its long history, Hungary has been subject to “domination, occupation and devastation by neighboring powers” (Esbenshade, 1994). In 1526, after the Battle of Mohacs,


Hungary p.6 History and Context

Hungary was partitioned: central Hungary fell under Ottoman Turkish rule; western Hungary was taken over by the Austrian Hapsburgs, a Catholic ruling family of Europe; and Transylvania became a semi-independent (mostly Protestant) principality under the Ottomans but ruled by Hungarian nobility. For Hungarians, Transylvania became the symbol of the survival of Hungarian spirit and culture. The princes of Transylvania who maintained this semi-independent state were mostly Protestant, so Protestantism became identified with the struggle for Hungarian independence against the Catholic Hapsburgs (Esbenshade, 1994). In fact, Transylvania was the main stronghold of Protestantism in that part of Europe, and “the only European country where Roman Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, and Unitarians lived in mutual tolerance” (NationMaster.com, 2003). However, in spite of the peace treaty of 1526, war continued between the Ottomans and the Hapsburgs. In 1606, a new peace treaty was signed between the Austrians and the Turks. While Transylvania remained under the rule of Hungarian nobility, the Hapsburgs controlled most of Hungary. They used the growing Catholic Counter-Reformation movement in Europe against Protestants to punish Hungarian desires for independence. During Hapsburg rule, Hungary became a primarily Catholic country (Esbenshade, 1994). By 1686 the Ottoman Turks were completely driven out of Hungary. Transylvania continued in vain to battle the growing Austrian influence. By 1711 Austrian control was definitively established over all of Hungary and “the princes of Transylvania were replaced by Austrian governors” (NationMaster.com, 2003). For centuries the Austrians ruled over Hungary. It was never a peaceful time, and Unitarians, in particular, struggled to survive under Catholic rule. Their church buildings and schools were seized or closed down illegally and without compensation. Unitarians holding government posts were ousted. Their protests were ignored. Under this oppressive environment, the Unitarians “withdrew more and more from public life into their own small circles” (Howe, 1997). Under the reign of Maria Theresia (1740 to 1780), Unitarian ministers were prohibited from making converts, marrying a non-Unitarian to a Unitarian, publicly debating religious questions, going outside their parishes to perform pastoral duties, giving religious instruction to children, building or repairing churches or publishing books without royal approval. In Koloszvar, Unitarian schools were closed and the children required to attend Catholic ones; in other towns children were removed by force from their homes and enrolled in Catholic schools (Howe, 1997). During the long Hapsburg reign, the tulip, which was brought to Hungary by the Ottomans and is now the national flower of Hungary and a common motif used in Hungarian folk art, became a symbol of nationalism and the desire to be free of the Austrian empire. The tulip is a fitting symbol for Hungarian Unitarians in our garden, along with the oak, for Hungarian Unitarians were among those who suffered the most under Catholic Austrian rule. They continually struggled for restoration of rights and freedoms. After Maria Theresia’s death in 1780, Unitarians experienced a renaissance of sorts. Under Joseph II and later his brother Leopold II, Unitarians were restored many of their rights and the church grew and flourished. In the first part of the nineteenth century, Hungarian (Transylvanian) and British Unitarians learned of one another’s existence. Connections were made which are still in place today. Later, American Unitarians also established ties with their fellow Unitarians in Hungary. These connections proved especially important when, in the 1850s, the Austrian government, in an effort to permanently weaken the Protestants, and the


Hungary p.7 History and Context

Unitarians in particular, set a minimum salary scale for teachers that the Unitarians couldn’t cover. Before the government could take control of the Unitarian schools and establish a Catholic curriculum, British Unitarians raised enough money to meet the salary requirements and even sent a delegation to deliver it in person (Howe, 1997). Still, Hungarians resented Austrian rule and on March 15, 1848, young Hungarian intellectuals led a revolt to restore Hungarian independence. They declared their independence and formed a national government at Budapest. One of the leaders of the revolution was János Pálfy, a Transylvanian Unitarian who was elected vice-president of a united TransylvanianHungarian parliament. The movement grew until 1849, when, with the help of the Russian army, Austria was able to quash it. “The Unitarians, like all Hungarians, suffered heavy losses of both life and property” (Howe, 1997). However, the Austrian government was never able to destroy the fierce independentmindedness of the Hungarian people. They continued to press for rights and freedom. It was during this time that Unitarians in Budapest were finally given the right to practice their religion freely. Although it was not until 20 years later in 1867 that the first steps towards setting up a Unitarian parish in Budapest could be made. Organizational leadership and ministerial training was still centered in Transylvania. In 1869, the Unitarian bishop from Koloszvar in Transylvania, József Ferencz, preached the first public Unitarian sermon in Budapest, an event still celebrated among Unitarians there. Also during this time several Unitarian churches were established in the part of Hungary that lay outside of Transylvania, the first in that region for more than a century. The long-tended cutting from the oak could finally take hold in soil outside of Transylvania. Budapest became an important center of Unitarianism, second only to Koloszvar in the Transylvanian part of Hungary. In 1890, the construction of the First Unitarian Church in Budapest was completed. And in 1896, Budapest was the site of an International Conference of Unitarians (Howe, 1997). Meanwhile, troubles with the Hungarian people coupled with military losses against Italy and Prussia led to a dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy from 1867 to 1918. Under the dual monarchy, the Hapsburg rulers granted the Hungarians full internal independence except in the areas of finance, foreign affairs and defense (Lundrigan, 2002). Under these conditions, Hungary entered World War I on the losing side of the Germans. When the war ended, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was dissolved and the Treaty of Trianon was drawn up. Many modern Hungarians are still suffering from the effects of this treaty. Signed in Paris in 1920, it reduced Hungarian territory by more than two-thirds and the seized land was distributed among neighboring countries. Hungary was forced to give up almost 72 percent of the country’s land area. (See Map of Dismemberment of Hungary, p. 9 or at http://www.hungary.org/users/hipcat/trianon.htm). The population of Hungary went from 18 million to 8 million. Nearly 64 percent of Hungary’s population became subjects of other countries overnight. Millions of Hungarians suddenly became “immigrants” even though they had not moved an inch. Among them were tens of thousands of Unitarians from the Transylvanian region. These Hungarians, forced to adopt new nationalities, have generally been subjected to harsh laws that seek to limit if not eliminate altogether many basic human rights (Lundrigan, 2002). The development of the Unitarian Church was also interrupted by the Treaty of Trianon. The Unitarian Church found itself on Romanian territory and was subjected to a Romanian ecclesiastical authority. Many Unitarians decided to emigrate to Hungarian territory. Far from


Hungary p.8 History and Context

Koloszvar, Unitarianism in Hungary had to develop organizational forms independent of its mother-church (Kelemen, n.d.). Germany annexed Austria in 1934. Under Hitler’s rule, Hungary was given back land it had lost under the Treaty of Trianon including Transylvania in 1940. In return, Hungary had to send troops to fight with the Germans. Meanwhile Hungary’s leaders, realizing that Germany was losing the war, opened secret negotiations with the Allies. Hitler found out and the German army occupied Hungary in March 1944 installing fascist supporters in positions of power. The Soviets invaded later that year freeing the country from fascist rulers but setting up their own hold over Hungary (NationMaster.com, 2004). After WWII, Hungary had to surrender any land that it had reclaimed since 1938 and with the help of Soviet occupying forces, Hungarian communists took power. Under Communism most Hungarians did not practice their religion or did so secretly. Unitarians met in secret, behind closed doors and shuttered windows. Hungarians resented communist rule and in 1956 a revolution erupted in Budapest. This was met with Soviet military intervention. But Hungarian resistance continued, gradually eroding communism in Hungary. When Hungarian officials cut the barbed wire at the Hungarian-Austrian border in early May 1989, it made only minor international headlines. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Hungary was completely free of Soviet military presence. With democracy restored, Hungarians began the process of reorganizing their government and establishing closer ties with western Europe including joining the European Union in 2004. Hungary currently has a population of over ten million people. Nearly 90 percent are descendents of the Magyar people. The other ten percent is made up of Roma (Gypsy), Germans, Serbs, Slovaks and Romanians. As a result of the country’s tumultuous history about 5 million ethnic Hungarians live in other countries. Two million live in Transylvania in Romania; 80,000 of these are Unitarians. Of the ten million Hungarians living in present-day Hungary, seven million are Roman Catholic; over two million are Protestants, mostly Calvinist and Lutheran; Jews number around 100,000; there are roughly 35,000 Eastern Orthodox and 15,000 Unitarians. Approximately 80 percent of the Unitarians living in Hungary are refugees and immigrants (and their descendants) from Transylvania (Kászoni, 2003). The oak tree planted by these immigrants is growing and flourishing with Unitarian churches well-established in Budapest and in many towns outside of the capitol. Although they now have their own bishop and are organized independently from the Unitarians in Transylvania, Unitarians in present-day Hungary continue to maintain close spiritual ties with the Transylvanian Unitarian community (Kászoni, 2003).

Hoeing Look back at your answers for the True/False in Tilling. Do you need to change any of your answers? Do any of the answers surprise you?


Hungary p.9 History and Context

Retrieved May 2004 from http://www.hungary.org/users/hipcat/trianon.htm

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting ( p. 20) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need to participate. ❀❀❀


Hungary p.10 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarianism in Hungary II. BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, Beliefs and Practices: A Life-Informing Tradition (p. 12), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out the article accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol (p. 13-14), in advance. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 21-22) in advance, if your group hasn’t received it already. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 20) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Hungary to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe depicting Hungary. ___ Display an oak branch, oak leaves and/or a photo of a beautiful oak tree. ___ Display tulips and/or a photo of tulips and anything with a tulip motif. ___ Have Hungarian folk music or music by Béla Bartók or another Hungarian composer, playing in the background. (Bartók was a Unitarian.) ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: Life is a gift for which we are grateful. We gather in community to celebrate the glories and mysteries of this great gift. – Marjorie Montgomery 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 20) for next time, if appropriate. If you are doing the Hungarian Communion Service, you will probably not have time to do an additional activity next time. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article, A Life-Informing Tradition (p. 12) and look over their notes. 5. Ask members if religion is at the center of their lives and whether they can imagine circumstances that might change this one way or another (Hoeing, p. 12). 6. Allow members to reread the article, The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol (p. 13-14) and look over their notes.


Hungary p.11 Beliefs and Practices

7. Ask members what they thought the rock and crown symbolized in the Hungarian Unitarian symbol and whether they could identify passages from the Bible on which some of the symbols are based (Tilling, p. 13). 8. Ask members to share their answers from Hoeing (p. 14) regarding writings that inspire them. 9. Ask members to share the religious symbol they created (Hoeing, p. 14). If members did not create a symbol, you may want to bring materials for them to do so as your additional activity. 10. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16 11. Gather for an Additional Activity – making personal religious symbols, Bible study, map exploration, Partner Church game, cooking, dancing, painting banners, listening to the travel experiences of others – whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Hungary p.12 Beliefs and Practices

A Sister Oak and Tulip: Unitarianism in Hungary Handout: A Life-Informing Tradition

Tilling Because Unitarianism in present-day Hungary grew from a cutting from the oak of Unitarianism in Transylvania, beliefs and practices are very similar. Read or re-read A Life-Centered Movement in Unit 2 about the beliefs and practices of Transylvanian (Hungarian) Unitarians.

Planting Read the following passage that explores what religion means to Hungarian Unitarians. A Life-Informing Tradition The Reverend Barbara Pescan, an American Unitarian Universalist minister, in a sermon to her congregation reflected on a statement made by Hungarian minister, Josef Kászony who asked, “How is it that American Unitarians can hold their religion so far from the center of their lives?” (Pescan, n.d.). This question tells us a great deal about Hungarian Unitarians (as well as a great deal about American Unitarian Universalists, or at least how they are perceived). Religion is an integral part of the lives of Hungarian Unitarians. It informs how they live on a daily basis. The Rev. Pescan goes on in her sermon to explore the idea that many Americans are “as likely to experience our religious climate as freedom from religion as they are freedom of religion” (Pescan, n.d.). For Hungarian Unitarians who have struggled for centuries for the right to practice their religion and hold their beliefs, this attitude can seem cavalier and even dangerous to survival.

Hoeing Write a response to the following questions. Is your religion at the center of your life? Explain. Can you imagine circumstances that might change this one way or the other?


Hungary p.13 Beliefs and Practices

Handout: The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol

Tilling The Bible is a major guiding force for Hungarian Unitarians. In fact, their symbol of the dove and the serpent is supported by Bible verse. Look at the image of their symbol. The dove reminds people to be gentle as the dove and the snake to be wise as a serpent. What do you think the rock stands for? Are you able to identify from which passages of the Bible these symbols are based on and supported by? What does the crown mean?

Planting Read the following description of the Hungarian Unitarian symbol written by the Reverend Kinga-Réka Székely of the Petrosani Unitarian Church. The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol by the Rev. Kinga-Réka Székely

In Matthew's gospel, Jesus is equipping his friends for ministry. He is commissioning them to go out on their first solo mission to spread the Good News of God's love and acceptance. “I am sending you out,” Jesus says, “like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” For us Unitarians, this has been our reality and formula for survival. So, in our symbol you will found the serpent, curved to form a circle. This symbolizes the whole, the perfect, and suggests that we encourage a whole and complete knowledge of God and world. No branch of learning, no advances of science are out of bounds for our exploration. Within the circle is the rock, symbolizing the wise person who built a house on the rock; again Matthew's gospel tells us: “The rain fell, the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.” We have built our faith on the solid rock of the teachings of Jesus - not a Jesus who is a deity beyond comprehension and credulity - but on the teachings of a very human Jesus, a friend who walks with us, a sage who offers us sound counsel.


Hungary p.14 Beliefs and Practices

Standing upon the rock, inside the circle made by the snake, is a dove. It is the symbol of peace, innocence, new life. To us, it means that we must be a gentle people, hurting no one, working always for peace and cooperation. The final element of our symbol is a great, jewel-encrusted crown. It is the crown of the only Unitarian king in history, King John Sigismund of Transylvania, who proclaimed religious freedom and tolerance at the Diet of Torda in 1568, at a time when all over Europe intolerance and persecution dominated religious life. And so the Diet of Torda became a beacon for religious liberty, establishing freedom of the pulpit, sowing the seeds of congregational policy and religious freedom for everybody, protecting the ministers from abuse by church hierarchies, asserting that “Faith is the gift of God” and that “there is no greater mindlessness and absurdity than to force conscience and the spirit with external power, when only their creator has authority for them” (Székely, n.d.).

Hoeing Are their any passages or parts of the Bible from which you draw particular strength or meaning for your life, or that inform you how to live to your highest self? What are they?

Are their other writings, religious or secular, from which you draw strength or meaning for your life or that inform you how to live to your highest self? What are they?

Design a religious symbol that would serve to inform and guide you, that would illustrate what you stand for. You may choose to draw it, create a three-dimensional depiction or describe it in words. Be prepared to share your symbol with the group.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 20) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need to participate. ❀❀❀


Hungary p.15 Small Group Worship

Unitarianism in Hungary III. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 3 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, The Unitarian Meaning of the Lord’s Supper in Hungary (p. 17-19), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make a copy for yourself of the sermon on p. 24 for use in the Small Group Worship. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 21-22) in advance, if your group doesn’t already have it. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. These will be handed out when you meet for the Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarianism in Hungary, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Invite members to bring items from Hungary to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Bring Communion wine or juice and bread, and a table cloth to cover them. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. ___ Bring the list of Additional Activities (Harvesting) from the next unit you plan to study, if appropriate. ___ Print a copy of the sermon, (p. 23-24) for use at the Small Group Worship. Facilitating Session 3 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for participants to experience a service based on a traditional Hungarian Communion service. It is a time for both self-reflection and for connecting with one another. After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. Set up the communion table (“God’s table”) and place on it the communion bread and wine. Cover the table setting. This will be removed as part of the service and replaced after communion. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display an oak branch, oak leaves and/or a photo of a beautiful oak tree. ___ Photos of Hungarian Unitarian churches might also be used and are available at http://www.unitarius.hu ___ Have Hungarian folk music or music by Béla Bartók or another Hungarian composer, playing in the background. (Bartók was a Unitarian.) Sermon The sermon for this unit is on pages 24-25. It is meant to be presented aloud to the group by the facilitator as a sermon, not handed out to be read silently. Read the sermon at the appropriate time during the service. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Readings and Prayers You may choose to have different members of the group lead these. You may want to make the readings responsive readings.


Hungary p.16 Small Group Worship

Communion ___ Prepare bread, white wine (or fruit juice) in advance. Although it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be done by Hungarian Unitarians, you may want to substitute fruit juice for the wine. The drink may be poured into individual cups from a common chalice during the communion ceremony. ___ Decide whether you want to have a minister or the facilitator of the group deliver the communion, or to share the role among group members, ministering communion to one another around the circle, or serve all and then take of the bread and wine simultaneously. Order of Service If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Reflections on the Service On the back page of the Order of Service are questions for reflection and time set aside for sharing. Announcements After the Small Group Worship service distribute handouts for the next session, decide on an Additional Activity from the unit you will be studying next and make other announcements as needed.


Hungary p.17 Small Group Worship

Unitarianism in Hungary Handout The Unitarian Meaning of the Lord’s Supper in Hungary. After you have read the articles and reflected on Unitarianism in Hungary, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. The order of service for this small group worship honoring Hungarian Unitarians is based on a Hungarian communion service. To prepare for the Small Group Worship service, read The Unitarian Meaning of the Lord’s Supper in Hungary. If you have objects from Hungary that you would like to display, bring them to the Small Group Worship service. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers, readings, and the brief sermon. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

The Unitarian Meaning of the Lord's Supper in Hungary (First Unitarian Congregation in Budapest, 2003)

Communion in Hungary and Transylvania does not differ in essence. If there is any difference between them, it is not from a theological point of view but may only be a difference of practice. And even in this, the differences are only formal, not essential. Communion is taken four times a year after the solemn Divine Services at Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Thanksgiving. Communion can be defined, at least in its meaning, as a true or supposed communion with God and, as such, it follows a long path in historical religious life. The roots of this ceremony are deeply implanted in the human soul, which is why Communion has a strong historical and spiritual basis. Neibelgall is probably right when he says, “In the case that the ceremonies of Christian practice disappeared one by one, the last among them would certainly be Holy Communion.” Communion has always had one special purpose: communion with divinity, to be part of God, to be in touch with God; this means that the believer wants to get materially in communion with God (thus, the bread and wine); that he/she wants to become bodily part of God by eating and drinking; and that he/she wants to get directly in touch with God, without any intermediary. Unitarian Communion is not a ceremony for obtaining redemption; it only reminds us of Jesus and his teachings, and by this, deepens our faith, our religious consciousness, and improves the vigilance of our conscience, by turning us to self-analysis and self-awareness. That means that it creates the proper mood to feel regret for and to be cleansed of our faults, to change


Hungary p.18 Small Group Worship

ourselves, to qualitatively improve ourselves. It means to feel spiritually enriched in communion with God and our fellow companions. Hungarian Unitarians take communion four times a year, after the solemn Divine Services of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Thanksgiving. It is interesting to note that when we have Communion, the number of the brothers and sisters present is three times greater than usual. Why? There are several reasons. As has already been mentioned, Communion is deeply rooted; people need something that they can obtain only through Communion. Communion is also our only permanent ceremony. And while the blessing at baptism, burial, confirmation and marriage happens, in most cases, only once in a lifetime, one may share in Communion four times each year. It is also a very concrete ceremony; here one not only hears words and abstract ideas, but also receives something one can touch, and this proves to be always much more arresting than the abstract things. Today, it also has a compensating role, especially in those people's lives who feel that they have debts towards the Church, towards God. They try to compensate the faults their conscience blames them for by sharing Communion. Communion is much more a psychological than a theological usage. It reminds us of Jesus and his teachings. This reminds each person of his/her own relationship with Jesus and the Gospel. It is a testimony to the fact that we belong to God, we want to live according to His will and we want to follow the way Jesus showed us. Communion never means an arrival; it means beginning, it means ignition. It means communion with ourselves, with God and our fellow companions. One always has to keep in mind during Communion the idea from the Old Testament, which says: untie your sandals, for the place where you are standing is sacred. It is the moment of facing God, of grasping something from His very being, the moment of His nearness. It is a revelation in faith; it means receiving God in our lives and God receiving us. In one word: communion. Bread and wine are needed for the Communion ritual. Often the bread and wine are donated by a member of the congregation in memory of a loved one. So when we remember Jesus in our communion, we remember our loved ones too. The wine is always white, never red. There is no special explanation for this. It is the practice of a tradition of 432 years. We never replace the wine with fruit juice, as may be done in Western Europe or North America. The Liturgy of the Communion Two weeks before the celebration itself, on two Sundays the minister announces the approaching occasion of Communion, which takes place after the solemn Divine Service. Standing by God's table, which holds the chalice of wine and the bread and is covered with a cloth, the minister does a reading which will support the sermon. It is read only once, not twice as is usual. The members of the congregation listen, sitting in their places. Then the Communion sermon begins, which is about eight to ten minutes. After the sermon, the minister says a prayer for those present and those who are not present, for the ill, for prisoners, for all the brothers and sisters in faith and for the whole of humankind. Then God's table is uncovered, while the minister calls those present to come and receive the Communion. Men and women, the young and the old, come together and share in the Communion. First the minister distributes it for those who serve the wine from the large chalice. During the last 45 to 50 years, in Budapest, the practice of serving the wine from small


Hungary p.19 Small Group Worship

individual cups, one for each person, has been instituted. I would mention here that there is an essence lost when a person refuses, on the pretext of being ill, to drink the wine from the common chalice. The teaching of Communion is impaired by it. The idea of unity, of community with our fellow companions, is lost with this practice. The minister says a short prayer after each group, beginning with an invocation from the Bible. When communion has been given and received by everyone, the minister gives the closing prayer, after which God's table is covered again. Then the text of the benediction is uttered and the community sings the closing hymn, after which the Communion is over. ❀❀❀


Hungary p.20

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. Learn some Hungarian folkdances. Listen to Hungarian folk music. MIDI files of Hungarian folk songs are available at http://w3.enternet.hu/sandor64/songs/songs.htm 2. Cook Hungarian food. There are many recipes on the Internet. You can find some at http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/4887/. 3. Learn about the Hungarian Unitarian Catechism: http://www.unitarius.hu/english/catechism.html or http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/rodin/727/petrosani/13e.htm. Make a matching game for one another using the catechisms and the passages from the Bible that support them. 4. Explore the history of Hungary in depth. Look at some of the resources listed in The Tool Shed (p. 21-22). Look at maps of Hungary’s changing borders. The following web site has a good map image illustrating the dismemberment of Hungary by the Treaty of Trianon http://www.hungary.org/users/hipcat/trianon.htm 5. Have group members illustrate Béla Bartók’s story in Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World by Don McEvoy. (2003). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press, (p. 37-40). Divide the story into sections. Assign each member of the group a different section to illustrate. This can be done comic strip style. When everyone has finished illustrating their assigned section of the story, put all of the illustrations together to reveal the whole story. 6. Play the Partner Church Game focusing on Hungary. This can be downloaded from the Partner Church website at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Though originally designed for children, adults also enjoy playing this game. 7. (For use after Session 2: The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol.) Re-read the article about the Hungarian Unitarian symbol. If you didn’t do so earlier, design a religious symbol that would serve to inform and guide you, that would illustrate what you stand for. You may choose to draw it, create a three-dimensional depiction or describe it in words. Share your symbol with the group. 8. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with Hungary, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 9. Read or share with one another passages from the Bible and discuss how they can inform you to live a compassionate and loving life. 10. Your own ideas.


Hungary p.21

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Esbenshade, R. (1994). Cultures of the World: Hungary. New York: Marshall Cavendish Publishing. First Unitarian Church of Budapest (n.d.) The Unitarian Meaning of the Lord’s Supper in Hungary. Retrieved February 26, 2004 from http://www.unitarius.hu/budapest/minister0.htm Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Howe, C.A. (1997). For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europe. Boston: Skinner House Books. Hungarian Catechism at http://www.unitarius.hu/english/catechism.html or http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/rodin/727/petrosani/13e.htm Hungarian Unitarians at http://www.unitarius.hu Kászoni, J. (2003). Unitarians in Hungary (personal correspondence). Kelemen, M. (n.d.). A short history of the Unitarian congregation in Budapest. Retrieved February 15, 2004 from http://www.unitarius.hu/budapest/history0.htm Lundrigan, N. (2002). Countries of the World: Hungary. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Publishing. Map of Hungary before and after Treaty of Trianon. http://www.hungary.org/users/hipcat/trianon.htm NationMaster.com Encyclopedia. (Dec. 24, 2003). Transylvania. Retrieved February 6, 2004 from www.NationMaster.com Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Pescan, B. (n.d.). Untitled Sermon. Retrieved February 26, 2004 from http://www.uua.org/uupcc/docs/pescan-sermon.doc Székely, K. R. (n.d.). The Hungarian Unitarian Symbol. Retrieved January 2004 from Petrosani Unitarian Church homepage: http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/rodin/727/petrosani/13e.htm Wilbur, E.M. (1925). Our Unitarian Heritage. Boston: Beacon Press. Also available online from Starr King School for the Ministry. Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://online.sksm.edu/ouh/nav,index.html Unitarian Universalist Association (eds). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press.


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Unitarian Universalist Historical Society. (April 24, 2003). Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://www.uua.org/uuhs/index.html and http://www.uua.org/uuhs/UUresources/UUresources.html#FUU Zsigmond, K. (Dec. 26, 1999). Communion Service Sermon. presented in Bedford, MA. Retrieved January 2004 from http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/rodin/727/petrosani/13e.htm


Hungary p.23 Sermon

Note to Facilitators: Download and have ready the Order of Service for the Hungarian Unitarianism Small Group Worship Service which is a separate file. http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

Sermon (For use by the facilitator) A Communion Service adapted from a sermon by the Rev. Kinga-Réka Zsigmond delivered in Bedford, MA, Dec. 26, 1999

Communion is based on the last Passover meal Jesus had with his disciples. Throughout his life Jesus felt called to witness to God’s love among the people, so he started the reformation of the Jewish church. After preaching and healing for three years, he had this last supper. A last moment of joy and of failure. He was satisfied to see the majority of his disciples redeemed, on the right road of life and happy about it. He also learned that there was at least one disciple who had changed his mind about him, Judas. But Jesus was determined to stay on the road. He faced his death. He knew he had to become a martyr. Unfortunately he has not been the only one since that time. Communion is a sacred moment when we look at ourselves in the light of God’s radiant love. We believe that humans are born with the double capacity of being good-hearted or evil. There is a drive in us to become whole, to become complete. So we try all kinds of things to achieve wholeness, to feel unbroken. I am convinced that our first instinct is to do good, not to be harmful. I’m convinced that we all have tried to go on in that direction. But, (there is always a but) I believe that people who fail to realize themselves in doing good, try their luck in the other direction. Being not responsible, being not compassionate, being not loving is always easier at least in the beginning. People who believe they were born with a divine spark in their hearts know that human life is a short but wonderful opportunity to experience love and connectedness. In order to do this we need moments of depth. We need to stand in silence for a moment, to look in the mirror of our conscience and in the mirror of our partner’s eyes. After doing so, if we still believe that our lives are headed in the right direction and we still feel connected to each other, we have to reinforce this feeling. Communion is a sacred opportunity to reinforce our connectedness to each other as individuals in order to reinforce our connectedness to the community we live in. But, there is another obstacle. It would be just great to find out that everything works absolutely perfectly, that everybody is happy, everybody feels - is convinced - that she is on the right road, going forth in the right direction, doing the right thing in terms of her life and in terms of the lives of the people she lives with. Wouldn’t it be great to believe that our community is the best one in terms of mutuality, interconnectedness, common sense, and a sense of responsibility? Wouldn’t that be great? To say, hey, everything is OK. Let’s have the bread and have that wine, pray a little, then go home, celebrate. Life is Wonderful! Life is wonderful, but not always. To make short a long story of hope, love, and failure, let me use a simplistic way of “fixing this


Hungary p.24 Sermon

problem.” I am convinced that life is rooted in two main sentiments: fear and love. When we experience love the world seems to enlarge. There is hope, comfort, and well being, and we feel proud and happy. But when we experience fear, fear of failure, fear of being misled, then the world shrinks and we see nothing but dangerous enemies coming after us. To fix this problem we need to get rid of our fears. Communion is a perfect time to practice a little bit of exorcism. It is a perfect time to look inward and say: “Fear, go away! Fear of getting old, fear of getting sick, fear of death, fear to start a new life, fear to be honest, fear to quest for new meaning in life, go away!” Communion is an opportunity, an invitation, to focus our lives on love. The love we can give, the love we can receive. You have to believe that there is enough love for everybody, to be convinced that (among many other things) God is love, the Spirit of Life is love. So let us chase away the fear, stay with love, have the bread and wine and feel courageous. There is a very serious problem with the idea and the practice of communion. Why? Because communion is not only a festive hour when we stand in a circle; it is not only the simple act of sharing bread and wine: it is a testimony of our community. We witness each other’s lives; we care for each other. That is why we have communion. Moreover, we have to realize that we witness the fact that we have things in common. I know this may sound harsh or authoritative for people who like the individualistic way of life better than they like community life. However, everybody has to realize that in order to have a somewhat balanced life we need both individualistic and communitarian involvements. Tony Kushner in the appendix of his play, Angels in America says, “One person alone is a fiction. There has to be at least two persons to make art or religion happen.” But communion is not only a way to prove that we have communitarian involvement. It also has to reveal the fact that people who share communion feel responsible for each other. When Jesus predicted his death, he said to his disciples, “I am going to die. You must love each other as I have loved you.” WE know that Jesus was a martyr, that he died because he did not deny his faith and his ideas. Love has to reign, he said. In politics, in churches, everywhere in society. Of course he was an idealist. He died because of this, but at least he left something for us too. Taking communion, we remember him and everyone else who taught us to love each other and feel responsible for a community of people. It is a time to remember those who love you as Jesus loved his disciples. So before you eat this bread and drink this wine, remember those persons and see where you are in the light of their bequests. Remember Jesus, who was a struggling, loving, crying human being, just like us, but who was strong enough to bequeath something universal to all of us. Honor the bread and the wine as symbols of life. Honor the community of this communion. Honor your true self. Honor the spirit of life. Amen ❀❀❀


Reflections on the Service Take time to reflect on the following questions. Draw or write your thoughts in a journal or on a piece of paper. How did you feel about this Communion service? Have your thoughts and feelings about a communion ceremony changed in any way? Have you experienced a communion ceremony in other settings, including other U-U settings or “alternative” communion ceremonies perhaps outside of a church setting?

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

Sharing Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen. Discussion This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

Resources: The hymn, readings and prayers can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. The sermon was adapted from a Communion Service by the Reverend Kinga-Reka Zsigmond that was delivered in Bedford, MA December 26, 1999 Notes The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden. 12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

Hungary

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:19-20


Call to Worship Chalice Lighting (#452) Marjorie Montgomery

Responsive Reading (#726) Robert Eller-Isaac (based on Matthew 25)

Ringing of the bell Life is a gift for which we are grateful. We gather in community to celebrate the glories and the mysteries of this great gift. I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger to you and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.

Sermon

curriculum, The Garden of Unitarian-Universalism).

Prayer

We bid you welcome, who come with weary spirit seeking rest. We bid you welcome, who come with hope in your heart. Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are on your journey, we bid you welcome.

(#442 adapted) Richard S. Gilbert

Uncovering of God’s table Blessing of the communion Luke 22:19-20

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Here is the bread of life, food for the spirit. Let all who hunger come and eat. Here is the fruit of the vine, pressed and poured out for us. Let all who thirst now come and drink.

Our Communion Service by the Rev. Kinga-Réka Zsigmond (The sermon is in Unit 3, pp. 23-24, in the

Sharing of the Communion Covering of God’s Table

We come to break bread. We come to drink of the fruit of the vine. We come to make peace.

Closing Prayer

May we never praise God with our mouths while denying in our hearts or by our acts the love that is our common speech.

Benediction (#677)

The peace which passeth understanding the peace of God, which the world can neither give nor take away, be among us, and abide in our hearts.

Hymn (#413) (Sing 3X,

Go Now in Peace Go now in peace. Go now in peace. May the love of God surround you, Everywhere, everywhere, you may go.

I come to be restored in the love of God. I come to be made new as an instrument of love. I know that I am worthy. I know that I am welcome. All are worthy. All are welcome. Come into the embrace and remembrance of this communion.

(#711) Numbers 6

or as a round)

May the Eternal bless you and protect you! May the Eternal Smile on you and favor you! May the Eternal befriend you and prosper you!

Extinguish the Chalice Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (Service continued on back) (#713) 1 Corinthians 16


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 4: Poland

Unitarianism in Poland The Corn Poppy

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Poland p. 2

Unitarianism in Poland: The Corn Poppy Table of Contents for Unit 4 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History and Context Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: Blowing in the Wind: Seeds of Unitarianism in Poland (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 4 p. 4 p. 5-8

Session 2: Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: A Truth-Seeking Tradition (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 9 p. 9-10 p. 11-12

Session 3: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 3 Facilitating Session 3 Handout: Small Group Worship - Poland

p. 13 p. 13 p. 14

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 15

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 16

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


Poland p. 3

Unitarianism in Poland: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into three sessions. Session 1 covers the history and context of Unitarianism in Poland. Session 2 covers the beliefs and practices of Polish Unitarians. Session 3 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of Polish Unitarians. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit, and to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list of activities under Harvesting (p. 15) to do after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover more than one session at a group meeting, depending on the time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat), and the interests of the group. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Poland p.4 History and Context

Unitarianism in Poland I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Blowing in the Wind: Seeds of Unitarianism in Poland (p. 5-8) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 16) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, an Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 15) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activity. ___ Invite members to bring items from Poland to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate Poland. ___ Display a Corn poppy/Shirley poppy (or other type of poppy) and/or a photo of poppies. ___ Have Polish folk music or music by a Polish composer such as Frédéric Chopin playing in the background. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: Marvelous Truth, confront us at every turn, in every guise. – Denise Levertov 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 15) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Locate Poland on a map or globe. 5. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the articles and look over their notes. 6. Ask members to share their understanding of the concept of the Trinity (Tilling, p. 5). 7. Ask members to share three statements they would include in a personal statement of religious beliefs and conduct (Hoeing, p. 8). 8. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they had from the article. 9. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: May our hearts be nourished with true friendship and our souls fed with truth. - Anonymous 10. Gather for your Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 15): cooking, illustrating your theology, reading and preparing a drama based on the life of a famous Polish Unitarian, listening to the travel experiences of others – whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Poland p.5 History and Context

The Corn Poppy: Unitarianism in Poland Handout: Blowing in the Wind: the Seeds of Unitarianism in Poland

Tilling What is your understanding of the concept of the Trinity?

Planting Now read the article on the history and context of Unitarianism in Poland. We also strongly recommend Charles Howe’s book For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europe for more details. (See references, p. 16). Blowing in the Wind: the Seeds of Unitarianism in Poland Bright red corn poppies grow wild all over Poland and, in fact, all over central and western Europe. Their seeds, carried by the wind, germinate, grow and blossom in all types of soil – good and poor. The same can be said of the seeds of freedom, reason and tolerance in matters of faith that blew into Poland and from there, spread throughout Europe. The first such recorded “seed” landed on Polish soil in 1546 in the capitol of Kraków. There, a group of Catholic Humanist theologians met in private homes to discuss ways to reform the Catholic Church. At one meeting, a non-Catholic guest from Holland, curious about the idea of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost asked, “Have you here three gods?” The evening was spent discussing the question. The seed of free inquiry began to germinate in the mind of Francisco Lismanino, a prominent leader of the Catholic Church, who after that evening, left Catholicism “to help lead the liberal anti-trinitarian wing of the Polish Reformation from which Socinianism was to emerge” (Howe, 1997). A decade later in 1556, a man by the name of Peter Gonesius from Lithuania, stated his antitrinitarian views at a joint assembly of Polish Calvinists and Bohemian Brethren using scripture to support his views. Although members of the assembly were upset by Gonesius, and he was not accepted into the Bohemian Brethren as he had hoped, seven of the sixteen ministers and several of the laypeople present were influenced by his reasoned arguments and later became antitrinitarian. Gonesius returned to Lithuania and was made pastor of a liberal Reformed congregation. Seeds were spreading and germinating. Unitarian historian Charles Howe describes the political, social and religious situation in Poland as “extremely complex during these times,” but one that was “favorable to the propagation of unorthodox religious views” (Howe, 1997). It was in this climate in 1558 that several well-known Italian anti-trinitarians including Laelius Socinus arrived in Poland. Socinus was a questioning, thinking man deeply concerned with “formulating a sound, personal theology for himself” and he had a profound impact on what was to become Unitarianism in Poland (Howe, 1997). He built a belief system that gave equal weight to reason and scripture. After his


Poland p.6 History and Context

death, his nephew, Faustus Socinus, took possession of his books and manuscripts. These writings influenced Faustus who later became the acknowledged leader of the anti-trinitarian movement in Poland. So it is that Laelius Socinus is considered the father of Polish Socinianism from which Unitarianism developed (although they identified themselves as “the brethren in Poland and Lithuania who have rejected the Trinity,” later the Minor Reform Church of Poland, still later the Polish Brethren). The term Socinian did not appear until the 1600s and then only outside of Poland. In general, the terms Socinian, Unitarian, Polish Brethren and Minor (Reform) Church are interchangeable. Even as the Minor Church had heated debates within the movement about issues such as infant baptism versus adult baptism, and the nature of Jesus (human or deity?), they inevitably agreed that “in matters of faith no one … may lord it over another, nor be forced; each should enjoy freedom of conscience” (Howe, 1997). They adopted a statement of mutual tolerance and the rights of conscience in belief and practice, with “no one wishing to impose his faith upon another, since this is the gift of God” (Howe, 1997). They never asked others to believe as they did; they asked only to be allowed to follow their own beliefs developed through question, study and reason. In 1570 due to continued challenges and acts of violence towards anti-trinitarians from both Catholics and Protestants in Kraków, the town of Raków was founded, a haven for the Minor Church and the anti-trinitarian movement. Under the leadership of Faustus Socinus, which began around 1580, a school and a printing press were established at Raków. Socinians believed (and published their beliefs) that reason must be used to interpret scripture; religion was to be found in the scriptures not in the dogmas of the church; “and the doctrines of the deity of Jesus, the Trinity, the total depravity of man, and everlasting punishment for sins, should be rejected as invalid and untrue” (Cheetham, 1962). Pamphlets issued by the press reached England, France, Germany and Holland – sowing seeds wherever they went. The Minor Church also developed what is known as the Racovian Catechism for explaining who they were and what they believed. The Racovian Catechism is not a creed or book of dogmatic instruction. It is a summary of the Minor Church doctrine, a general statement of belief and conduct, written in a question-and-answer format. The Racovian Catechism is based on scripture and emphasizes “disciplined human conduct” (Howe, 1997). In it, the doctrines of predestination, original sin, and atonement (that is, that Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sins of humanity) are rejected. The Trinity is rejected. The theology is clearly Unitarian: “God is only one person, not three;” Jesus was a human being not a deity; and “the Holy Spirit is not a person in the Godhead but a divine power at work in human hearts” (Howe, 1997). It was translated into German, Dutch and Latin, and because it was denounced as satanic by King James I of England and ordered burned by the Parliament, it was widely read. But times were turbulent as the Counter-Reformation movement of the Catholics spread throughout Europe. Toleration, though guaranteed under Polish law, did not happen in reality. In 1598, Faustus Socinus was dragged by an angry mob from his sickbed through the streets of Kraków and threatened with being burned at the stake. His books and papers were burned and he was asked to recant his religious views. He refused. The mob planned to drown him, but he was saved by a university professor who persuaded them to “turn the heretic over to him” (Howe, 1997). This kindly man later smuggled Socinus to safety. Faustus Socinus died peacefully in 1604. Shortly after his death, the Racovian Catechism of the Minor Church was published by his followers.


Poland p.7 History and Context

Despite the Counter-Reformation movement, the Minor Church grew and flourished in the early 1600s. Earl Morse Wilbur estimated at least 125 congregations in Poland. However, the guarantee of religious freedom in Poland during 1600s was often ignored and the Socinians, or Polish Brethren, were frequent victims. Under a Catholic monarchy and a powerful and aggressive Catholic clergy, the Socinians suffered destruction of their homes, churches, graveyards, schools and printing press. Many were jailed, exiled or were killed in horrific ways as martyrs. Amazingly, in spite of all they suffered they continued to hold fast to their beliefs, confident that their views “would in time prevail” (Howe, 1997). After the destruction of all their holdings in Raków, they set up shop elsewhere “promoting their faith with enthusiasm” (Howe, 1997). They continued to hold synods, ordain and appoint ministers, help individual churches and secretly print books. Socinian Unitarians continued to be restricted in their religious activities, but it was the invasions of Poland by Russia, the Cossacks, and Sweden and the subsequent change in the monarchy in 1660 that finally destroyed the Socinian Church in Poland. Unitarians had to choose between death, becoming Catholic or fleeing. They were banished from their homeland, their homes and churches plundered and burned, the women raped – all with the consent of the law. They were given a deadline of July 10, 1660 to leave or die. Those who could afford to move fled by wagon to Transylvania, but lost all they possessed to raiders at the border (Elrod, 2003). Those who didn’t turn back and head for East Prussia were warmly welcomed by Unitarians in Transylvania. Others settled in Germany where they set up active religious communities, which met in private homes since they were not allowed to advertise their beliefs publicly. Unfortunately, their numbers dwindled due to restrictions imposed by German authorities. Some Polish Unitarians managed to reach The Netherlands where the printing press was re-established and Unitarian books published again, mainly in Latin, so they could be read by literate peoples all over Europe. This diaspora had the effect of sowing the seeds of Unitarianism in western Europe just as the corn poppy has so freely spread its seeds over Europe. Throughout history, Unitarianism has been spread by the sowing of ideas and questions rather than by missionaries with answers. Even in Poland, though free thought in matters of faith was banished, the seeds merely laid dormant, only to sprout again in 1921 after World War I (ICUU, 2004). Three liberal religious groups merged: a Universalist-like group, a liberal fellowship in Warsaw and the re-established Union of Polish Brethren started by the Reverend Karol Grycz-Smilowski in 1936. This last group was later taken over by Pentecostals who needed a registered church organization to avoid being considered a sect, so the Unitarians formed a new “Union of Polish Brethren, Unitarian.” This group is active today mainly in Silesia. These three liberal religious groups merged and sought official registration to avoid being considered a sect (which has great disadvantages under Polish law) (General Assembly, 2004). World War II and Nazi occupation interrupted the re-development of Unitarianism in Poland and Unitarian teaching and religious activity were restricted. After the war, the Soviet Union took control of Poland and a communist government came to power. Religious restrictions continued until the fall of the dictatorship in 1989. In the 1990s “the traditional Unitarian streams began to consolidate and enliven their religious activity” (ICUU, 2004). The ICUU Leadership Conference in 1996 led to a merger into one organization called the Unitarian Church of Poland, or Kosciol Unitarianski. As of 2002, there were two Unitarian congregations and two layfellowships in Poland with a total membership of about 80 people. Membership continues to grow and partnerships with North American and British congregations are beginning to form through the Partner Church Council. The Unitarian Church of Poland, in many ways, is a


Poland p.8 History and Context

reawakening of a long dormant seed planted by the Polish Brethren that called for reason and tolerance in matters of faith. May it continue to grow and blossom and release its seeds to blow in the wind.

Hoeing Laelius Socinus formulated his own sound personal statement of religious beliefs and conduct. Write three statements that you would include in your own statement of religious belief and conduct. 1.

2.

3.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 15) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need.

❀❀❀


Poland p.9 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarianism in Poland II. BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, A Truth-Seeking Tradition (p. 11-12) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 16) in advance, if your group hasn’t received it already. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance an Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 15) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activity. ___ Invite members to bring items from Poland to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe depicting Poland. ___ Display corn poppies/Shirley poppies (or other kind of poppy) and/or a photo of poppies. ___ Have Polish folk music or music by a Polish composer such as Frédéric Chopin playing in the background. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: Marvelous Truth, confront us at every turn, in every guise. – Denise Levertov 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 15) for next time, if appropriate. (If you are doing the Small Group Worship service, you may not have time for an additional activity next session). Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 5. Ask members what definitions they found for Christian, Humanist and Agnostic (Tilling, p. 11). How do the dictionary definitions compare with the descriptions about the three streams of Polish Unitarianism? 6. Ask members to share other ideas and questions that came to them from the article. 7. Ask members to describe where they would place themselves in the three streams of Unitarianism in Poland (Hoeing, p. 12). 8. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: May our hearts be nourished with true friendship and our souls fed with truth. – Anonymous


Poland p.10 Beliefs and Practices

9. Gather for your Additional Activity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; illustrating Polish Unitarianism, cooking, illustrating your theology, reading and preparing a drama based on the life of a famous Polish Unitarian, listening to the travel experiences of others â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Poland p.11 Beliefs and Practices

The Corn Poppy: Unitarianism in Poland Handout: A Truth-Seeking Tradition

Tilling Look up the definitions of Christian, Humanist and Agnostic in a dictionary. After you have read the article, compare the dictionary definitions with the description of the three streams of Polish Unitarianism.

Planting Read the following article that explores the beliefs of Polish Unitarians. A Truth-Seeking Tradition About Polish Unitarianism, Czeslaw Glogowski writes, “Our religion is non-dogmatic and liberal, based on individual freedom of belief. There are three main streams: liberal Christian, humanists and agnostics” (ICUU, 2004). The main attributes of the liberal Christian stream of Polish Unitarianism are a personal and liberal belief in God as Spirit of Life or Spirit of the Universe. This includes recognition of the exceptional role of Jesus and his teachings, a belief in salvation as the goal of human life on earth achieved through ethical and dignified behavior, full of justice and compassion. The second stream, Humanism, “stresses belief in human possibilities and a conviction of the necessary and permanent improvement of our world. It fully recognizes human rights – political, religious, and moral” (Glogowski, 2002). It stresses the importance of all that is natural and secular: freedom and dignity of the human being, reason, tolerance and liberty of conscience. Interacting with these two streams is universalism, which encourages a search for truth in diverse faith traditions and inter-faith dialog. Philosophy and theology are treated metaphorically, not literally. The search is for ethical spirituality rather than for a set of detailed creeds. The third stream, Agnostics, are those “who do not want to speak of God, the deepest mystery, but who believe in the religious and ethical principles of liberal Christianity and of noble human dignity” (Glogowski, 2002). Liberty of conscience is important to Polish Unitarians. They believe the search for truth and meaning is not random or chaotic. Just as any commitment requires self-discipline so liberty of conscious must be disciplined. “Unconstrained but responsible search for Truth should be our aim” (Glogowski, 2002).


Poland p.12 Beliefs and Practices

There were three leaders of liberal religious thought in 20th century Poland. They were the Reverends Karol Grycz-Smilowski (1885-1959), Marian Lubecki (1888-1968) and Janusz Sz. Ostroski (1910-2001). Much of what we know about Polish Unitarian beliefs comes from the published works of Karol Grycz-Smilowski. Grycz sought to remind Polish society of the achievements of the Polish Brethren. He published extensively and presented at the 12th International Association for Religious Freedom in 1937. He outlined the principles of a free religious society, which, according to Grycz, cares about religious thought and life not being limited by dogmas, holy books, or the authority of tradition. Referring to the words of Jesus, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32), Grycz states, “We are not afraid of any truth – on the contrary, we welcome it cheerfully, everywhere” (Glogowski, 2002). Grycz regarded the Bible as a major source of religious teaching, especially the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-11) but saw it neither as infallible nor as revealed truth. Polish Unitarians approach the Bible critically. They feel that truth is not limited to the Bible. Everything speaks about God, about leading an ethical life: nature, science, other religious and cultural traditions. Grycz called this the Bible of Humanity. Contemplation of nature and scientific discoveries must be part of the search for Truth. If reason is a gift of God, then we must make use of it. He described God as “the fullest reality – the truth and consciousness of the universe and therefore the unity of the world” (Glogowski, 2002). Polish Unitarians believe that the human approach to divinity should be through an ethical life. Prayer for Polish Unitarians is not a set of wishes, “quite often harmful to ourselves and others,” but rather contemplation or meditation about spiritual matters, searching for unity with God, for wholeness (Glogowski, 2002). Just as their Polish Brethren forebears did, Polish Unitarians reject much of what is considered traditionally Christian – belief in Satan and hell, worship of images, elaborate rites and rituals. Instead they hold fast to “love of the idea of God or Truth, love for [other] human beings, love for everything that is alive, and love for the boundless spirit” (Glogowski, 2002). It is the love of Truth and the search for Truth with love that best exemplifies Polish Unitarians.

Hoeing Reread the description of the three streams of Unitarianism in Poland in this article. In which stream, or streams, of Polish Unitarianism would you place yourself? Why? Share your thoughts with the group.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 15) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need.


Poland p. 13 Small Group Worship

Unitarianism in Poland III. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 3 ___ Make copies and hand out Small Group Worship – Poland (p. 14), in advance. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. These will be handed out when you meet for Session 3, Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarianism in Poland which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 15) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Poland to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 3 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship for Poland is based on a covenant group format which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display Corn poppies/Shirley poppies or other type of poppy and/or a photo of poppies. ___ Have Polish folk music or music by a Polish composer such as Frédéric Chopin playing in the background. ___ Invite members to display items from Poland next to the chalice. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you are using this curriculum in a retreat or workshop setting and will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 15), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service Distribute handouts for your next meeting if appropriate. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the activities listed in this unit (See Harvesting, p. 15) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from including sharing Polish food!


Poland p. 14 Small Group Worship

Handout: Small Group Worship – Poland After you have read the articles and reflected on Unitarianism in Poland, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – Poland, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. Bring an item from Poland, if you have one, to display at the Worship Service. The Small Group Worship for Poland is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service which is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers, and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

❀❀❀


Poland p. 15

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. Read one, two or all three stories of famous Polish Unitarians Faustus Socinus, Samuel Przypkowski, and Andrew Wiszowaty, in Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World by Don McEvoy. (2003). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Prepare a dramatic rendition for your group, your congregation, the children and youth of your congregation or for a conference or workshop. 2. Learn about the Racovian Catechism: http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=45. Highlight those parts of the catechism that you would include in your own personal catechism. 3. Cook Polish food. There are many recipes on the Internet. You can find some at: http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/europe/polish/indexall.html 4. (For use after Session 2.) Reread the description of the three streams of Unitarianism in Poland in the article, A Truth-Seeking Tradition. Design a visual depiction of Unitarianism in Poland using watercolors or other media. Design it as a group or individually. Share individual designs with the larger group. 5. (For use after Session 2.) Your own theology may consist of more than one stream, flowing from the wellsprings of other religious traditions. Design a visual depiction of your theology and its streams (or its roots and branches). Explain your theology visual to the group. 6. Read from â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Unitarian Thought of Karol Grycz-Smilowski.â&#x20AC;? by Glogowski, (p. 252-264), in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: ICUU. Share with the group what most speaks to you from this article. 7. Listen to Polish folk music: http://www.intlecorner.com/poland/polsight.php3 has sound files you can listen to. You can learn about Polish dance at www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/dance/polka.html 8. Discuss what prayer is to you. How, when and for what purpose do you think praying is appropriate? On a slip of paper, write a prayer that you might recite. Put your prayer in a bowl with those of other group members; then select one that is not yours to read aloud. 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with Poland, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas. (February 2007, Special thanks to Joseph Tomczyk from Black Mountain, N. Carolina, USA for updating some of the links provided here.)


Poland p. 16

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Bumbaugh, D. (2000). Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative History. Chicago: Meadville Lombard Press. Cheetham, H. (1962). Unitarianism and Universalism. Boston: Beacon Press. Elrod, J.M. (March 20, 2003). Unitarianism. Retrieved March 26, 2004 from http://www.islandnet.com/~jelrod/uni/html. General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. (2004). Unitarians Worldwide: Poland. Retrieved March 28, 2004 at http://www.unitarian.org.uk/worldwide_p-r.htm Glogowski, C. (2002). “The Unitarian Thought of Karol Grycz-Smilowski.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (pp. 252-264). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Howe, C.A. (1997). For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europe. Boston: Skinner House Books. ICUU. (2004). Unitarian Church of Poland. Retrieved March 28, 2004 from www.icuu.net. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Racovian Catechism. Retrieved March 2004 from http://www.abccoggc.org/COGGC/gcpublications/jrad/JRAD1-3-3.htm). As of 2007, the Racovian Catechism is available at http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=45. Thandeka (2002). “The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (pp. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Unitarian Universalist Association (eds). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press. Wilbur, E.M. (1925). Our Unitarian Heritage. Boston: Beacon Press. Also available online from Starr King School for the Ministry. Retrieved January 20, 2004 from http://online.sksm.edu/ouh/nav,index.html


Resources: The hymns, and some of the prayers can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions.

Poland

The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden. “Unconstrained but responsible search for Truth should be our aim.” the Rev. Czeslaw Glogowski Unitarian Church of Poland

And the truth shall set you free. John 8:32

12/2005 http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Hymn (#402)

From you I receive, To you I give, Together we share, And from this we live.

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting

Marvelous Truth, confront us at every turn, in every guise.

Reflection

Spirit of Truth, of Life, of Power Spirit of truth, of life, of power, We bring ourselves as gifts to thee: Oh, bind our hearts this sacred hour In faith and hope and charity.

Sitting in Silence Sharing

Share your thoughts about Truth and seeking Truth. Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen.

Take a minute or two to share briefly the high or low point of your life this past week.

Discussion

This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

Prayer

From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, From the laziness that is content with half-truths, From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, O God of Truth, deliver us.

Denise Levertov (#500)

Hymn (#403)

Check-In

Responsive Reading Separate Truths Penny Hackett-Evans Each of us brings a separate truth here. We bring the truth of our own life, our own story. We don’t come as empty vessels. But rather we come as full people . . . people who have our own story and our own truth. We seek to add to our truths and add to our stories. This room is rich with truth, rich with experiences. All manner of people are here: Needy… joyful … frightened … anxious … bored. We all bring truth with us. May we all recognize the truth and the story in everyone’s life. And may we hear and honor the truths that we all bring as we gather together. Together we have truth. Together we have a story. Together we have community.

Anonymous

Hymn (#206)

Is “Truth” synonymous with God? How is “Truth” each individual’s own story? Are there any absolute truths?

Amazing Grace Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound That saved a soul like me I once was lost, But now am found, Was blind, But now I see.

Extinguishing the Chalice May our hearts be nourished with true friendship and our souls fed with truth.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 6: USA p.1

Unitarian Universalism in the United States: The Trillium

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement (see Unit 1). The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 6: USA p.2

Unitarian Universalism in the United States Table of Contents for Unit 6 Preparing for this Unit Session 1: Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: Dynamic Tension - Right Relations (with pre- and post-reading activities) Handout: The Trillium Session 2: History and Context Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Covenants, Not Creeds (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 3 p. 4 p. 4 p. 5-8 p. 9-10 p. 11 p. 11 p. 12-19

Session 3: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 3 Facilitating Session 3 Handout: UU Children and Religious Education

p. 20 p. 20 p. 21

Harvesting: Additional Activities Story

p. 22 p. 23-25

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 26

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service for Session 3 is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 6: USA p.3

Unitarian Universalism in the United States: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into three sessions. Session 1 covers beliefs and practices of UUs in the United States, and includes a description and visual of a Trillium Model for understanding the 7 UU Principles. Session 2 covers the history and context of Unitarianism and Universalism in the United States. Session 3 is a Small Group Worship service with a handout that briefly describes religious education for UU children in the United States. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit and to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. In addition, the group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 22) to do after discussing the readings in Sessions 1 and 2. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover more than one session at a group meeting, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat), and the interests of the group. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Unit 6: USA p.4 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarian Universalism in the United States II. BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Dynamic Tension –Right Relations (pp. 58) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the description and visual of The Trillium Model (pp.9-10). ___ Make copies and hand out in advance The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 26). ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 22) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from the United States to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which to locate the United States. ___ Display a nursery-grown trillium, a photo of trillium, and/or the trillium visual on p. 19. ___ Have American folk music playing in the background. Consider playing the music of American UU folk musicians, Pete Seeger, Malvina Reynolds or Fred Small. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 22) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Share thoughts on the article Dynamic Tension - Right Relations. Then play Word Salad and together write a statement or poem describing UUism in the United States (Hoeing, p. 8). 5. Discuss the Trillium description and visual (p. 9-10) as a tool for understanding the UU Principles. 6. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we are together again. – Elizabeth Selle Jones 7. Gather for an Additional Activity –dedicating yourself to a social action project, or creating a chalice bulletin board display – whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Unit 6: USA p.5 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarian Universalism in the United States: The Trillium Handout: Dynamic Tension - Right Relations

Tilling Below are the seven principles of the UUA. On the left side there are lines linking principles. Why do you think they are linked, or paired, in this way? We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote 1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person; 2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; 3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; *4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; 5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; 6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; 7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.

Planting Read the following article that explores the beliefs of Unitarian Universalists in the USA. Dynamic Tension - Right Relations There is great diversity in the theology and practices of Unitarian Universalists in the United States. American Unitarian Universalists come from many different backgrounds, and the beliefs among them are as varied as the people. There are American UUs whose personal theologies are Christian, Buddhist, Humanist, Jewish, and more. At a UU Sunday service, one might find oneself sitting with an atheist on one side, a pagan on the other, a theist in front and a panentheist behind. UUs believe there are many paths to truth and meaning. A minister in a Unitarian Universalist church will not dictate beliefs; the search for truth and meaning is for the individual. Unitarian Universalists form a religious community to support one another in this endeavor. Some have likened this to a shopping mall mentality where UUs can look over the goods and decide what suits them best at the moment. This is far from reality; the search for understanding and meaning is a deep and spiritual endeavor. It is done through study and reflection. With no one telling you what you should believe, you must ask and find answers to difficult questions for yourself. There are no pat answers. Unitarian Universalism takes work. The Reverend William Sinkford described his introduction to a UU church at age 14 this way: â&#x20AC;&#x153;No hell fire was preached from the pulpit. A personal search for meaning and a


Unit 6: USA p.6 Beliefs and Practices

commitment to justice were the messages. Even my aggressive atheism was acceptable. Not everyone I talked to agreed with me – far from it – but people wanted to hear what was in my heart. I was engaged less in debate and more in conversation in which sharing was possible, perhaps even expected…This was a place where I could bring my whole person…As a minister now, I sometimes interpret my experience in theological terms: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. Commitment to justice, equity, and compassion. The value of personal story as basis for theological reflection and religious life… The extraordinary experience of covenanted community committed to living out religious values in the world” (Buehrens, 1999). Without one creed, it can be difficult for UUs in the United States to explain their religion to others. UUs have no binding answer to which all must agree. The Reverend John Buehrens explains, “We respect the mystery more… the ultimate truth about God and Creation, death, meaning, and the human spirit cannot be captured in a narrow statement of faith. The mystery itself is always greater than its name. This, then, is why ours is a creedless faith and respect for others’ beliefs is a high value… Out of a combination of reflection and experience, each one of us shapes a personal faith. For Unitarian Universalists the individual is the ultimate source of religious authority [but…] not the only source… Individual freedom of belief exists… in dynamic tension with the insights of our history and the wisdom of our communities” (Buehrens, 1999). It does matter what we believe. The Rev. Sophia Lyon Fahs wrote, “Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies. Other beliefs are bonds in a world community, where sincere differences beautify the pattern. Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own direction. Other beliefs are like gateways opening wide vistas for exploration. Some beliefs weaken a person’s selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness. Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and enrich the feeling of personal worth…” (Fahs, n.d.). Unitarian Universalists don’t have a creed that all must profess, but they do have beliefs about how to be in the world. John Buehrens offers a list of “faith affirmations” with which the vast majority of UUs would be comfortable. They include: “Whatever we think the holy be, Creation itself is holy. Life’s gifts are available to everyone, not just the Chosen or the Saved. That which is Divine [or most precious and profound] is made evident, not in the miraculous or otherworldly, but in the simple and the everyday. The earth is our cherished home. Human beings are themselves responsible for the planet and its future. Social justice is a religious obligation. Every one of us is held in Creation’s hand – we share its burdens and its radiance – and hence strangers need not be enemies. Our only inherent enemies are violence, poverty, injustice and oppression.” (Buehrens, 1999). As a religious community, we work together to realize these values as we interact in the larger world. Unitarian Universalist values are expressed through the seven UU principles. In Essex Conversations, the Reverend Frances Manley explores the depth of the UU Principles. She says, “Our greatest challenge in religious education is to create a context in which we can experience, as a felt reality, the fullness of our humanity as radically relational individuals. One of the most valuable tools available to us in this work is our Unitarian Universalist Principles, if we read them in such a way as to reveal, emphasize, and explore the ‘principle behind the Principles’. The deep structure of the Principles reflects the reality that as human beings we are always in dynamic tension between individualism and interdependence, between autonomy and relationship. Each Principle reflects a unique balance


Unit 6: USA p.7 Beliefs and Practices

point in that tension. The meaning of human existence is to be found somehow in the fact that we are at once separate individuals of worth and dignity and interdependent parts of an indivisible whole” (Manley, 1999). Manley describes how the principles pair up naturally with each other: a principle that describes the individual’s responsibility in relating to other individuals and a partner principle that describes that same responsibility in relating to the greater community and the world. Principle 1 pairs with Principle 7; Principle 1 focuses on the individual while Principle 7 puts the individual in relationship with all creation, to something bigger than ourselves. Principle 2 pairs with Principle 6; Principle 2 focuses on justice, equity and compassion from individual to individual while Principle 6 calls us to bring these ideals to the world. Principle 3 pairs with Principle 5; Principle 3 focuses on accepting and encouraging one another in spiritual growth while Principle 5 moves these ideals to a broader context through the democratic process and the right of conscience. Our 4th principle is at the center. It grounds our religious education and informs us about what it means to be human: we affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This is a search we carry out both in the privacy of our souls and in community as we reach out to others and to life. For this curriculum, the trillium was selected to represent UU’s from the United States because it offers a useful image for visualizing these dynamics and includes the Sources from which we base our search for truth and meaning. (See Trillium Visual, p. 19). Important to understanding our religious way of life is understanding the opening phrase to our principles: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote …” What makes us a religious community is our covenant where we commit to support one another not only in the personal search for truth and meaning but in creating a just world. It is that same relational tension found in our principles that we experience in our religious lives – balancing individual spirituality and theology with relating to one another and the larger world in order to give meaning, direction and purpose to our lives. Our covenanting is being revitalized in what Thandeka, Associate Professor at Meadville/Lombard Theological School calls Covenant Group Theology. She likens it to what James Luther Adams described as “community creating power.” Covenant Group Theology is the collective energy from the group that creates power within the individual. It starts as biopower, a power that “makes each person feel that he/she is astir with creation. Next comes ideational power that enables each person to talk about what was felt using the religious language of her/his own doctrines and beliefs. Finally comes the deeply felt appreciative sense of mutual power…a power of creative interchange [that] is a feeling of ultimate inter-dependence; the awareness that one’s religious life is born as a communal event…It is the power of right relationship” (Thandeka, 2001). And it is in this renewed type of covenant in the form of covenant groups and small group ministry that many UUs are finding new depths in their religious life. In turn, they bring renewed commitment to their congregations and to living out their religious values in the world. The same dynamic relational tension that exists within the seven UU Principles also exists between Unitarian Universalists and their principles, between individuals, and between congregations when they covenant with one another; all experience more power in finding and living the fullness of their humanity.


Unit 6: USA p.8 Beliefs and Practices

Hoeing Word Salad What words or phrases come to mind after reading about Unitarian Universalism in the United States?

Toss your words out to the group. Have someone in the group record them for all to see. Then, using as many of the words and phrases as you can, work together to write a statement, short paragraph or poem that describes Unitarian Universalism in the USA.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 22) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need to participate. ❀❀❀


Unit 6: USA p.9 Beliefs and Practices

Unitarian Universalism in the United States: The Trillium The Roots The roots in our Unitarian Universalist Trillium model represent the Sources from which UUs gain inspiration and understanding, and which enrich and ennoble our living tradition. They are: Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life; Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love; Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspire us in our ethical and spiritual life; Jewish and Christian teachings which inspire us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves; Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit; Spiritual teachings of earthcentered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. The Stem The roots rise to connect to our stem, which is the oneness of God/Spirit of Life/All Creation – Unitarianism - and God/Spirit/Creation as Love - Universalism.

The Three Leaves Freedom, Reason, and Tolerance in matters of faith have been guiding forces throughout our history. These are the three leaves that ring the flower. The Center of the Flower In the center of the flower is our 4th principle, the principle that grounds our religious life: we affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This is a search we carry out both in the privacy of our souls and in community with others as we reach out to others and to life. The Petals of the Flower There are six petals on a trillium flower, an inner ring of three and an outer ring of three; they are the remaining six principles. We can look at the principles as paired – balancing one another, “expressing related concepts but reflecting a different point on the continuum from separateness to connection” (Manley, 1999). The more “introspective” principles – 1, 2, and 3 – form the inner ring of flower petals. They are: we affirm and promote 1) the inherent worth and dignity of every person; 2) justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and 3) acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. The more “outward” looking principles – 5, 6, and 7 – are represented by the outer ring of petals, or sepals. These three principles are: we affirm and promote 5) the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; 6) the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; and 7) respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. (See Trillium Visual, p. 10).


Unit 6: USA p.10 Beliefs and Practices


Unit 6: USA p.11 History and Context

Unitarian Universalism in the United States: The Trillium I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Covenants, Not Creeds (pp. 12-19) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html ___ Make copies and hand out in advance, The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 26) if your group hasn’t already received it. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 22) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from the United States to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate the United States. ___ Display a nursery-grown trillium, a photo of trillium, and/or the trillium visual on p. 19. ___ Have American folk music playing in the background. Consider playing the music of American UU folk musicians, Pete Seeger, Malvina Reynolds, or Fred Small. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: We hallow this time together by kindling the lamp of our heritage. – Albert Thelander 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 22) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Locate the United States on a map or globe. 5. Ask members to share their answers from the Hoeing activity (p. 19). 6. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith: which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come; which receives new truth as an angel from heaven. – William Ellery Channing 7. Gather for an Additional Activity (p. 22) – creating a speech choir, celebrating a feast of Thanksgiving, developing covenant groups– whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


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Unitarian Universalism in the United States: The Trillium Handout: Covenants, Not Creeds

Tilling How old are the Unitarian and Universalist traditions in America? Where and how did they start?

Planting Read the following article about Unitarianism and Universalism in the United States. You may want to refer to the chronology available at http://pbisotopes.ess.sunysb.edu/UUhistory/chronology.htm as you read. For more detailed history about U*Uism in the U.S., we strongly recommend David Bambaugh’s book Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative History, David Robinson’s book The Unitarians and the Universalists and E.M. Wilbur’s book, Our Unitarian Heritage. (See references, p. 26). Covenants, Not Creeds Unitarianism and Universalism are not new religions. Both have old roots in America. They joined to become a single denomination in 1961, but each dates back well before the United States became an independent nation. They sprouted from different sources and had distinct ways of expressing their shared values, but by the 20th century, Unitarians and Universalists realized they had much in common with one another. In America, both Unitarianism and Universalism began in New England, the northeastern part of what is now the United States. The United States is located on the North American continent between Canada and Mexico. Originally inhabited by native peoples, parts of America were colonized by the Spanish, the French and finally by the British. Thirteen English colonies claimed independence in 1776 and then fought and won the War of Independence against Britain, becoming the first United States. White Europeans and their descendents continued to claim more of the land, expanding the United States to where it now has 50 states and reaches from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. Back in 1620, America was considered the “New World” by Europeans and to it fled a group of radical Protestants, the Separatists, who were determined to worship apart from the established Church of England and form their own self-governing congregations. Today they’re known as the Pilgrims. Another group of dissenters, the Puritans, wished to purify the Church of England of its semblances to the Roman Catholic Church. It was not their aim to destroy or separate from the Church of England. They established a colony in the New World in 1630 known as Massachusetts Bay Colony and later founded churches in Boston and Salem (U-SHistory.com, 2005). However, due to the great distance between the colonies and England, these churches did separate from the mother church and by the end of the 1630s both the Plymouth Pilgrims and the Puritan colonies were Congregational denominations (Wilbur, 1925). Although both groups were strict Calvinist, neither one established creedal restrictions nor


Unit 6: USA p.13 History and Context

an elaborate structure of church governance. Instead “there were covenants in which people pledged, with God’s help, to live a Christian life in accordance with the teaching of the scriptures” (Bumbaugh, 2000). The covenant of the Salem Congregational church serves as an example: “We covenant with the Lord, and one with another, and do bind ourselves in the presence of God, to walk together in all his ways, according as he is pleased to reveal himself unto us in his blessed word of truth” (Wilbur, 1925). Over time subtle changes in the faith occurred; many of the ministers began to question the doctrines of Calvinism, particularly that of ‘election’ - the belief that before time began, God decided who would be saved, and there was nothing one could do to effect one’s own salvation. These ministers “began to emphasize God’s benevolence, humankind’s free will, and the dignity rather than the depravity of human nature” (Robinson, 1985). Even as the old beliefs faded away, there was no need to change the covenant. For many of the churches, the change in beliefs was so gradual that it is impossible to say exactly when they stopped being orthodox and instead became Unitarian (Wilbur, 1925). From the beginning, they were congregational in polity and did not demand members profess a creed but rather covenant to help each other lead an upright life. These ways of being religious together, begun in the 1600s, are still the major forces of Unitarian Universalism as practiced in America today. In the 1740s an evangelical revival dubbed The Great Awakening sought to curb the liberalizing movement within the churches. The revival “was marked by great emotional excitement, intense fanaticism, narrow bigotry, and extreme Calvinism” (Wilbur, 1925). The reaction was a stronger commitment to liberal and rational theology on the part of many New England ministers. For the next 40 years or more, anti-trinitarian, and anti-Calvinistic views continued to strengthen in New England, Pennsylvania and New York. Books and tracts, some of them written by English Unitarians, were widely read in the American colonies. Ministers and congregations became more liberal until eventually many of them were firmly anti-trinitarian and creedless. While the Congregational churches were shifting, universalist ideas were also spreading in America. George de Benneville, a refugee from France, wrote and preached that in the end, all of creation would be restored to harmony with God – universal salvation. Although he did not establish any Universalist churches, “he prepared the ground for the seed others would sow” (Bumbaugh, 2000). As an organized religion in America, Universalism began with the arrival of John Murray from England in 1770. Murray preached a message of universal salvation which spread throughout New England “in the late 18th century, largely among rural and small-town populations of middling economic status” (Robinson, 1985) – as opposed to Unitarianism which was concentrated in the larger cities and whose followers tended to be of a higher social status with more formal education. The first Universalist church was founded in1780 in Gloucester, Massachusetts by 30 women and 31 men (one, an African-American and former slave). This congregation called Murray as their minister (Bumbaugh, 2000). After the War of Independence, liberal tendencies in the Congregational churches grew steadily. But it was an Episcopal church in Boston that became the first Unitarian church in America when its minister, James Freeman, omitted from the liturgy all references to the Trinity and prayers to Jesus. “Thus in 1785 King’s Chapel, though it did not become Unitarian in name, became in fact a Unitarian church nearly a generation before other liberal churches in New England would own that name or adopt really Unitarian views” (Wilbur, 1925). In the 1790s a resurgence, or revival, of conservative Calvinism arose. Conservatives within


Unit 6: USA p.14 History and Context

the Congregational churches demanded church members be required to subscribe to creeds. This “revival” had much the same effect as the Great Awakening – the liberal movement became firmer in its support of toleration, opposition to creeds and appreciation of religious freedom. A majority of the Congregational churches in New England remained liberal. Unitarianism spread to Pennsylvania and New York. In 1794, English Unitarian Joseph Priestly arrived in the United States and founded a church in Northumberland, New York, the first in America to hold the Unitarian faith and bear its name. Meanwhile Universalism was also a growing movement. By 1785 there were enough Universalist congregations to justify calling a conference. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the author of the first official statement of Universalist beliefs. In 1790, he wrote of Universalism’s “opposition to slavery, … concern for prison reform, a passion for peace and involvement in [social reform]” (Bumbaugh, 2000). More liberal universalist views were developed by Caleb Rich who, in addition to the writings of Ethan Allen, influenced Hosea Ballou. John Murray had believed there would be punishment after death for disbelief but all would eventually “be restored to harmony with God.” Rich, on the other hand, believed “that punishment for sin occurs in this life, not some future state” (Bumbaugh, 2000). Ballou went even further preaching God was a loving deity and that “as God is unlimited, so God’s love is also without bounds. It embraces all, and because God is all-powerful, it is not possible for any human being to frustrate God’s love or God’s design” (Bumbaugh, 2000). Ballou reasoned against the doctrine of the trinity and in 1805 published A Treatise on Atonement. By 1815, “the Universalists had become unitarian in their theology and committed to Ballou’s rationalism” (Bumbaugh, 2000). “Ballou launched a vigorous press and helped the denomination spread… By mid-19th century Universalism was the sixth largest denomination in the U.S. and growing rapidly” (Murfin, 2001). At the end of the 18th century, liberals and conservatives within the Congregational Church existed in relative harmony, but a controversy developed in 1805 that caused them to split, and led the Unitarians to form an officially separate denomination (Wilbur, 1925). It began when the liberal Henry Ware was elected Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard College, where most of the ministers were educated. Conservative, or orthodox, leaders feared for the future of their viewpoint. Written debates between the orthodox and liberals ensued; individual congregations became divided. Some churches tried to shut out heresy by requiring confessions of faith for members. Members in the minority, whether orthodox or liberal, sometimes separated from the majority. The controversy ran for half a year with distinct poles developing in the Congregational church. Two important events brought a final separation. One was William Ellery Channing’s important sermon of 1819, Unitarian Christianity, also known as the Baltimore Sermon, in which he “confirmed the presence of a new theological movement, embraced the term ‘Unitarian’ and rallied the liberals together as a discrete theological group” (Robinson, 1985). The other event was a court ruling in 1820 over a split of the Congregational church of Dedham, Massachusetts, which determined that those who withdrew from a church, whether a majority or a minority, lost all claim on the property of the church. At the end of the controversy over a third of the Congregational churches of Massachusetts were Unitarian (Wilbur, 1925). Although the Universalists were by this time theologically akin to the Unitarians, the two groups did not merge. Universalist ministers were viewed by their Unitarian counterparts “as itinerants rather than part of a settled religious order;” they had less formal education overall, and their congregations consisted of “disaffected Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, and German sects –


Unit 6: USA p.15 History and Context

all of them churches serving the lower social classes” (Bumbaugh, 2000). Meanwhile it looked as though the Unitarians were pulling together as an organization. In 1825, a group of young ministers decided to organize the American Unitarian Association (AUA). The AUA began publishing and circulating Unitarian tracts, and in 1826 organized a Sunday school society (Wilbur, 1925). Their beginnings as a movement were decidedly slow, but they did manage to grow. However, “almost as soon as Unitarianism achieved an identity, it produced its own rebellion” – Transcendentalism (Robinson, 1985). Transcendentalists, “believed in the direct experience with the divine in each individual, unity with nature, and a duty for religious individuals to provide prophetic witness to the social issues of the day” (Murfin, 2001). Transcendentalists called on people to go out in the world and do good, that doing so would bring harmony and wholeness to the doer as well as the receivers. Unitarian ministers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker were among Transcendentalism’s most eloquent spokesmen. The call to look to one’s own life and actions and one’s own experiences of the sacred rather than to the past and the scriptures was too radical a view for most of the established Unitarian ministers of the time. Nonetheless, Transcendentalism spread through the denomination and beyond. Transcendentalist thought influenced American culture through the writings of Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and others. After the Civil War, “Transcendentalism successfully synthesized itself with Channing-style liberal Christianity and become the dominant strain [in the movement]” (Murfin, 2001). Many Unitarians at this time were moved to work to improve the lives of all humans. From about 1845 and into the early 20th century, Unitarians (and Universalists) such as Parker, Samuel Mays, Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Bergh, Lucy Stone, Henry W. Bellows and many others worked to abolish slavery, to improve health care, prisons, mental institutions and education systems, and to promote the rights of women. Although still embroiled in the controversies surrounding Transcendentalism, responding to other issues, in particular slavery, became a more pressing focus. When the Civil War began in 1861, “the denomination, like the whole nation, submerged much of its intellectual energy into the war effort” (Robinson, 1985). During the war, Unitarianism moved westward. Unitarian minister Thomas Starr King moved to California and was instrumental in preventing it from becoming a slave state. Ephraim Nute did the same in Kansas. “The churches began to realize that there were great things to be done for the welfare of the world, and that they were called upon to bear their full part in doing them. The war was teaching the great value of organization for effective work, and the need of an efficient organization of the churches” (Wilbur, 1925). Women were making their mark within both denominations as well. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, a Unitarian, was the first woman ordained (in 1853, at age 28) by a congregation and the first woman to perform a marriage ceremony. The Rev. Olympia Brown, a Universalist, was the first woman ordained (in 1863) by a denomination. Itinerant Universalist minister Augusta J. Chapin became the first woman in America to receive a Doctor of Divinity degree (in 1893) by Lombard College. Through the late 1800s there were increasing numbers of women ministers among the Unitarians and Universalists. Many of these women went west to churches on the frontier where ministers were needed to perform marriage ceremonies, funerals, Sunday services, etc. Many of them worked for the cause of women’s suffrage as well. These women became known as the Iowa Sisterhood (McAllister, 1998). The Unitarian and Universalist churches that these women started thrived under their direction.


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But as Unitarianism grew and members dedicated themselves to humanitarian causes, the churches had divisions. The question of whether Unitarianism was a religion that should focus on the individual and ideas, free of institutionalization, or to view itself as an institution and spread its message, loomed large. The Free Religious Movement advocated moving away from Christian faith, instead, looking more to science, while maintaining religion as a guide for living an ethical life. There was also debate on whether agnostics and atheists could be accepted as Unitarians. A substantial majority at the Unitarian Ministerial Conference in 1886 agreed that there would be no dogmatic tests, rather that all were welcomed who wished to join to “help establish Truth and Righteousness and Love in the World” (McAllister, 1998). In 1894, at the meeting of the National Conference of Unitarians, it was declared, and adopted unanimously, that the denomination would be “uncompromisingly non-creedal” (Robinson, 1985). At the same time, the Universalists were broadening their idea of universalism to include not only universal salvation, but as a church that is open to all people with the imperative to help all live a better life and create heaven on earth. Universalist Clarence Skinner wrote the Declaration of Social Principles and Social Programs in 1917, which urged Universalists to "be engaged in the world". Skinner wrote that “evil is the result of ‘unjust social and economic conditions’ and called for a religion that addressed these conditions... In the report was a call for a more democratic division of land and industry, equal rights for women, social insurance, and a world federation” (Robinson, 1985). Joseph Tuckerman, Samuel Howe, Horace Mann, Julia Ward Howe, Elizabeth Peabody, Mary Livermore and other Universalists and Unitarians took the lead in issues of women's rights, peace, education, mental health, medicine, laws for improving conditions in factories and in cities, and more. Many of these people were inspired by Transcendentalism, the Universalist Declaration and the Free Religious Movement (McAllister, 1998). When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914, the AUA called upon its churches to support the war effort, but several ministers declined. The most outspoken of these was John Haynes Holmes. Influenced by Theodore Parker, Holmes was a radical in the denomination not only for his ardent pacifism but for his views that religion should focus on social change and that religion should be concerned about humanity, not about God. “Holmes foreshadowed the great controversy of the 20th century – the Humanist Controversy” (Bumbaugh, 2000). “Disillusioned by the mass violence of WWI and the rise of totalitarianism, early 20th century Unitarians began increasingly to doubt the existence or relevance of a traditional God” (Murfin, 2001). The Humanist movement attempted “to reformulate liberal theology on completely non-theistic grounds,” (Robinson, 1985) by rejecting the idea of a supernatural being. The emphasis was on humans: human values, the sacredness of human life, and the responsibility for human welfare and progress in the hands of humans, not some supernatural being. “This sparked a lively debate, still continuing in the denomination, about the nature of the idea of God and the necessity of it to religion. In one sense the Humanists, who were led by Curtis Reese and John Dietrich, continued the radical theological impulse that had been expressed as Free Religion or Transcendentalism in earlier periods, although the Humanists, having a distinctly empirical cast to their thinking, were inclined to be less speculative in theological matters than those earlier movements had been” (Robinson, 1985). “By the 1950's Humanism was the dominant strain in Unitarianism, although as a non-creedal religion, earlier forms of liberal Christianity, Transcendentalism, and Free Thought continued to be practiced and to thrive” (Murfin, 2001).


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Humanist-theist debate continued well into the middle of the 20th century and even today is a hot topic in some congregations. The 1930s marked little growth in Unitarianism in the U.S. though a vigorous new religious education program in 1937 designed by Sophia Lyon Fahs, and the creation and success in the 1940s of the Unitarian Service Committee to help war refugees revived Unitarianism mid-century. During WWII the Rev. A. Powell Davies “pronounced five principles of modern Unitarianism: 1) Individual freedom of belief; 2) Discipleship to advancing truth; 3) Democratic process in human relations; 4) Universal brotherhood, undivided by nations, race, or creed; 5) Allegiance to the cause of a United World Community. [With this understanding of Unitarianism], a program for organizing lay-led congregations was established, and led to a period of dramatic growth … in the 1950s” (Bumbaugh, 2000). While the AUA and its member congregations were thriving, many rural Universalist churches closed after WWI when people moved to the cities leaving the churches without congregations. Universalism’s theology based on salvation for all had been picked up by mainline Christianity and so their unique perspective no longer distinguished them from other churches. “Newly resurgent fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches were successfully competing with the denomination's evangelical style of outreach especially among rural and working class people” (Murfin, 2001). Adding to the decline was a weak central organizing structure (Bumbaugh, 2000). Universalists, however, were active in the American Congress of Liberal Religious Societies, an organization dedicated to international brotherhood and understanding. In 1925 and again in 1931, the question of merging with the Unitarians was raised but the Universalists did not want to give up their identity. In 1933, the Humanist Manifesto was issued, but most Universalists did not support it. In 1935, they adopted a statement of faith that was clearly theist, but left Jesus’s relation to God unspecified and said nothing of salvation. Rather it spoke of creating the kingdom of God on earth through social justice. In 1938, Robert Cummins was chosen as General Superintendent of the Universalists. At the General Assembly in 1943, Cummins offered his vision of Universalism, which he felt could not be limited in membership: “theist and humanist, unitarian and trinitarian, colored and color-less,” all were welcomed. Not all Universalists agreed with Cummins; many preferred to retain a firmly Christian identity. However, twice the Universalists were rejected from admission to the Federal Council of Churches and thus to the larger Christian community on theological grounds. It became clear that Universalists were not considered Christian enough because they did not require a belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior (Bumbaugh, 2000). Through most of the 20th century, cooperation between the two liberal religious bodies, Unitarianism and Universalism, had been increasing. The idea of merging surfaced again in 1949 and over the next decade, many of the larger, urban churches did merge; the youth groups from both churches merged in 1953; both churches used the same religious education materials, the same hymnals and hired ministers from the same seminaries. But it wasn’t until May 1961 that the formal, official merger took place in the creation of the Unitarian Universalist Association. “What the two movements had in common, and what eventually brought them together, was their liberal doctrine” (Robinson, 1985). The 1960s and 1970s were turbulent years in the United States with the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement followed by a newly focused women’s movement. While there were Unitarian Universalists active in the peace movement and the UUA spoke out as a body against the war, there were those who withdrew their support of the church. Many UUs were active in the civil rights movement, (some such as James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo gave their lives to the


Unit 6: USA p.18 History and Context

struggle), but there was a crisis within the UUA over black empowerment and even today, Unitarian Universalist congregations are concerned with unintentional institutional racism in their organizations. The UUA developed Journey Toward Wholeness, a program designed to help congregations learn more about and address institutional racism. In the 1970s gender stereotyping and sexism within the institution were closely examined. Today there are more female UU ministers than male in the United States. UU congregations are also encouraged to look at how welcoming they are to persons of all sexual orientations. There continues to be a concerted effort to address sexism, racism, and other types of possible discrimination within the movement to make Unitarian Universalism a welcoming religious home to all. In 1981 the UU Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Federation proposed major changes to the UU principles that had been adopted in 1961. In 1984, these changes were adopted resulting in the seven principles and the sources we recognize today. Among these principles is one with an environmental focus that compels us to recognize and respect the interdependent web of all existence. The 1980s and 1990s saw growth in the UU movement. There are now more than 1000 Unitarian Universalist churches in the U.S., nearly 160,000 certified adult members and around 60,000 children officially registered in religious education classes (www.uua.org, 2005). Unitarian Universalism in the United States began as a non-creedal faith, governed by the congregation; it asked its members to covenant to help one another live up to their highest potential. This is still true today. At the heart of Unitarian Universalism in the United States is the belief that humans have the right of freedom in matters of faith, that every person has worth, that compassion is a valid guide, and that all must commit to creating a more just and peaceful world.


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Hoeing A. What surprised or intrigued you about the histories of Unitarianism and Universalism in the United States?

B. Take the following survey. Then ask other U*Us in your family or congregation the same questions. Be prepared to share the results of your survey with the group. Are there similarities in responses? What are some differences that stand out? 1. How long have you been a member of your U*U congregation or fellowship? 2. How long have you been a U*U? 3. Why did you choose to attend a Unitarian*Universalist church? 4. What do you think about Jesus? 5. What do you think happens after death? 6. What dreams, causes and institutions are most important to you and are ones you dedicate time and energy to? Why? 7. What do think is most important about being a Unitarian*Universalist? 8. Your own questions for each other, or other ideas you would like to share.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 22) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need to participate.

❀❀❀


Unit 6: USA p.20 Small Group Worship

Unitarian Universalism in the USA III. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 3 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, UU Children and Religious Education (p. 21). ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 26) in advance, if your group doesn’t already have it. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. These will be handed out when you meet for the Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarianism Universalism in the United States, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Invite members to bring items from the United States and photos of themselves as children or of the children in their life to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. ___ Bring the list of Additional Activities (Harvesting) from the next unit you plan to study, if appropriate. Facilitating Session 3 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for participants. It is a time for both self-reflection and for connecting with one another. After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display photos of children, perhaps of children in your congregation. ___ Have soft music playing in the background. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Readings You may choose to have different members of the group lead these. You may want to make the readings responsive readings. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Announcements After the Small Group Worship service distribute handouts for the next session, decide on an Additional Activity from the unit you will be studying next and make other announcements as needed.


Unit 6: USA p.21 Small Group Worship

Unitarian Universalism in the USA Handout: UU Children and Religious Education After you have read the articles and reflected on Unitarian Universalism in the United States, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – United States, which focuses on the children of our community. (http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html). To prepare for the Small Group Worship service, read UU Children and Religious Education, below. If you have objects from the United States that you would like to display, bring them to the Small Group Worship service. You may want to bring a photo of yourself as a child, or one of the children in your life to display as well. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another. UU Children and Religious Education In their religious education classes, UU children in the United States explore UU history, the seven principles and sources, the lives of famous Unitarians and Universalists, world religions, stories from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and other sacred texts, creating peace and social justice, the natural world and how to care for and protect it, and more, all through ageappropriate activities. The UUA has developed wonderful, easy-to-use materials for use with a variety of ages. But religious education in UU congregations is not about filling children with facts and figures. It isn’t only about what we teach but how we teach. William Ellery Channing wrote, “The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own…. to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life.” In 1937, the Reverend Sophia Lyon Fahs led the development of a curriculum for the religious education of children that focused on “the experience and needs of the children rather than the traditional body of religious teaching…” (Bumbaugh, 2000). The method of teaching became as religiously significant as the content. Fahs’ philosophy continues to guide religious education for UU children today. UU children learn in a variety of ways: through song, art and games. They are gently led to discover the world and their place in it through stories that stir wonder and compassion in them, through mindful walks out in nature, and through helping others by participating in social action projects such as food drives to feed the hungry. UU kids are asked their thoughts and feelings on big religious questions rather than being told pat answers. They understand that their answers may change as they change and grow. UU kids learn to live their religious values in the world by being given opportunities to do so and through the examples set by the adults in their congregation. ❀❀❀


USA p.22 Additional Activities

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. The Rev. Frances Manley describes the 4th UU principle as the one that grounds our religious education and informs us about what it means to be human. American UU Louise Ferrell sees it a little differently. She views the 1st principle as a belief statement that calls us to live out the other six principles. What are your thoughts on the 7 UU Principles? 2. Collect all of the survey results from your group and create a bar or pie graph that depicts your findings. Share this with your congregation. 3. Often at a Sunday service in the United States, children are invited to gather to hear a story. On pp. 23-24 in this unit is a story you may wish to share with the children of your congregation. Questions are included on p. 25 that they may discuss later in their religious education classes. 4. The Pilgrims celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving for having survived a year in the “New World.” Have your own Thanksgiving feast. You might want to include foods native to the Americas such as cranberries, squash, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes. Most important is to share what you are thankful for. Include what you appreciate about your U*U community. What do you get from it? What do you give back to it? 5. Create a speech choir based on the lives of famous American Unitarians and Universalists. You can get information from the UUA biography site http://www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/, and in Credo and Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World, both by Don McEvoy (see Resources, p. 26). Look up a favorite UU and become his or her voice. 6. Learn more about the history of our Flaming Chalice symbol at http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/chalice.html. Look at some chalice symbols at http://www.uua.org/CONG/chalices and at http://www.uuottawa.com/world%20emblems.htm Create a bulletin board display about the Flaming Chalice. Include international chalice lightings, which can be found at www.icuu.net. 7. If your church or fellowship doesn’t already have Covenant Groups, explore starting them. There is material available at http://www.the-ccv.org/, the website for the Center for Community Values and at http://www.smallgroupministry.net/resources/san_jose.html, sponsored by the First Unitarian Church of San Jose, California. 8. American Unitarians and Universalists have long believed in “Deeds, not Creeds”, that is, showing faith through social action. Spend one hour a week, or one hour a month, working for a cause that is important to you. Share with your group what work you will do, why it is important to you, and your plan for doing it. Support one another in your endeavors. 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with the United States, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


p. 23

Story The following story was designed to be told by a storyteller, rather than read aloud. If you have a storyteller in your congregation who would like to learn and then tell the story to the children, that would be ideal; however, it may also be read aloud. The storyteller/reader should feel free to change the names of places, characters, teams, and other details to personalize the story and engage the audience. This story may look familiar to you. It is the timeless story of the Good Samaritan …How You Play the Game by Claudia Jane Hall of Corvallis, Oregon In the small town of Marysville, soccer (football) was the favorite sport. It seemed like everyone played soccer. Every kid in town belonged to a team. Ralph and Peter were no exception. Ralph and Peter were in the same grade at school and even in the same math class. But they certainly were not friends. Peter played defense for the Purple Panthers and Ralph was goalkeeper for the Red Rockets. But being on different teams wasn’t the problem. Peter had friends who played on other soccer (football) teams. No, the problem was that Ralph’s team, the Red Rockets, seemed to win every game while Peter’s team seemed to lose more games than it won. And Ralph took every opportunity to remind Peter of this fact - in the cafeteria, on the playground, after school riding home on their bikes and especially on the playing field. Ralph liked to remind not only Peter but every member of the Purple Panthers of how often they lost. The Panthers weren’t really a bad team, although they did seem to make quite a few unfortunate passes that lost them the ball. But they didn’t like to be reminded of it, especially not by Ralph! It was the end of soccer (football) season. The Red Rockets and Purple Panthers had their last match against each other. It was a beautiful autumn morning and most of the kids were riding their bikes to the playing field. Peter was on his bike thinking that maybe, if the team really put their mind to it, maybe, the Panthers could win today. Of course, it would help if Ralph weren’t playing goalie for the Rockets. Maybe they really could win the game if Ralph wasn’t there, taunting them from the goal. But it didn’t seem likely that Ralph would miss this game. He was the kind of kid who was rarely absent from school, came to every practice and never missed a game. He was always there, standing in the goal, waiting, just waiting for the next person to come down the field with the ball to try to score a goal. He was always there, waiting and ready. As Peter was biking along, he saw Jasmine up ahead on her bike. Jasmine was one of Ralph’s teammates on the Red Rockets. Jasmine was pedaling hard, thinking to herself, If I get to the game on time today, I know Coach will let me be in the starting lineup. He told me he would let me start. I’ve just got to get there on time. And then Ralph can’t tease me about being late again. I like Ralph; he’s a good goalie, but I just hate his teasing. I really can’t be late again. Plus, if I get there on time, my grandparents will finally get to see me start. Jasmine was pedaling as fast as she could when she noticed something up ahead at the side of the road. It looked like a person, …but what was the person doing in the ditch? Then she realized it was Ralph, the goalie for her team. Gee, I hope he’s okay. I wonder if I should stop.


p. 24 But then she thought, if I stop now, I’m not going to make it to the game on time. I really want to start today. The coach said I could. Jasmine wasn’t sure what to do, but she told herself, Ralph is a tough kid. I’m sure he’s fine. As she rode by Ralph she yelled out, “Hey, how are you doing Ralph?” She didn’t get any response, but she hurried along anyway saying to herself, Ralph will be fine. Shortly after that, Simon came near to where Ralph laid in the shallow ditch along side the road. Simon wasn’t on Ralph’s team. Simon was a Purple Panther and the target of all Ralph’s jokes day after day. “Simple Simon, where’s your pie, man?” Ralph would sing out at Simon. It seemed as if Ralph took every opportunity to tease Simon: to make fun of his name, of the color of his socks, of the fact that he wore glasses, and of course, to point out loud and clear to anyone within hearing distance that Simon wasn’t … well, wasn’t exactly one of the star players on the Purple Panthers. It was true; he really wasn’t very good at soccer (football). But he had a right to be on the team and have fun like everyone else. Ralph made life so miserable for Simon. So when Simon came close to the person in the ditch and realized it was Ralph, it wasn’t hard for him to look the other way and pedal right by him without a second glance. Peter was riding to the playing field a short distance behind Simon. He had seen first Jasmine and then Simon pass right by something on the side of the road. When he got close to that spot, he slowed down and saw that it was Ralph lying injured in the ditch. Peter, like just about everybody else, was also the victim of Ralph’s jokes and teasing. He looked at Ralph lying there. I know I should stop and help him, he thought. I just don’t know if I can do it. He’s so sure of himself all the time. He can be so mean. Why should I help him? He stopped his bike. He looked at Ralph. Ralph had his head down. Peter said, “Hey Ralph. What’s happening?” Ralph looked up. Peter could see that Ralph was crying. Ralph crying!? Goalie Ralph was crying? Sobbing, Ralph said, “I slipped on the gravel and fell. I think I wrecked my bike.” Peter looked at Ralph and his bike and thought, so, here he is, big tough Ralph, but all he said was, “You want some help?” Ralph said, “If you could just help me get my bike up.” Then Peter noticed that Ralph had a big bloody gash on his knee; in fact, there was a lot of gravel stuck in that knee of his. Peter’s first thought was, gee, maybe Ralph won’t be able to play goalie today. He quickly pushed that out of his mind and thought, this guy needs some help. He set down his own bike, got out his water bottle and went over to Ralph. “You know Ralph, you should probably clean up that knee.” He handed Ralph the water bottle and helped him to his feet. Peter was worried about being late to the game. He said, “Ralph, are we going to be late for our game?” Ralph said, “Well, yeah. Probably. I’m not doing too well here.” Peter said, “Come on, give me your stuff.” He took Ralph’s backpack and slung it over his shoulder, and the two of them walked their bikes to the soccer (football) field.


p. 25 Following are questions that can be used with children. 1. What do you think happened next? 2. Do you think Ralph will behave differently now? 3. If Ralph continues to tease the other kids, was it worth it for Peter to help him? 4. Pretend you are Simon, describe how you feel about Ralph and about what happened. 5. Pretend you are Jasmine, describe how you feel about Ralph and about what happened. 6. Pretend you are Peter, tell the story of what happened on the way to the soccer (football) game to your mother. What would you tell her? 7. If you were Peter, how would you tell the story to your teammates? 8. What do you think about Ralph? about Jasmine? about Simon? about Peter?

The following questions might be used with older children and/or asked of religious education teachers and storytellers in preparation for sharing the story with children. 1. What similarities do you see between this story and the story of the Good Samaritan? 2. What is the basic message of both stories? 3. Why do you think the author changed some elements? 4. The story of the Good Samaritan was a story told to a particular group of people at a particular time in history. Discuss the context and the characters. Why did Jesus select those particular characters? 5. What do think children hearing this story and discussing it will take away with them? 6. Think of an audience you might tell this story to. How might you change the story to engage that particular audience?


p. 26

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Buehrens, J. (Ed). (1999). The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide. Boston: Skinner House Books. Bumbaugh, B. (n.d.). Augusta Jane Chapin. Unitarian Universalist Historical Society. Retrieved November 2005 from http://www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/augustajanechapin.html Bumbaugh, D. (2000). Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative History. Chicago: Meadville Lombard Press. Essex Conversations Coordinating Committee (ed.). (2001). Essex Conversations: Visions for Lifespan Religious Education. Boston: Skinner House Books. Available at http://www.uua.org/skinner Fahs, S L. (n.d.). In Singing the Living Tradition. (Reading #657). Unitarian Universalist Association (ed). (1993). Boston: Beacon Press. Hill, A, J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Manley, F. (1999). In Essex Conversations: An Invitational Consultation on UU Religious Education for the Next Century. Unitarian Universalist Association of America. Retrieved March 2005 from http://www.uua.org/re/other/essex/essex1.html#manly McAllister, J. (1998). From a curriculum about Unitarian Universalism for the religious education program of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, Oregon. Unpublished. McEvoy, D. (2001). Credo. Rancho Santa Fe, CA: Lowell Publishing. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Murfin, P. (2001). Unitarian Universalist History. Retrieved May 2005 from http://www.cucw.org/uumod.htm, Congregational Unitarian Church of Woodstock, IL. Robinson, D. (1985). The Unitarians and the Universalists. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Thandeka (2002). “The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (pp. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists U-S-History.com. (2005). Religious Groups: The Puritans. Retrieved March 2005 from http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h573.html uua.org (2004). About the UUA. Retrieved May 2005 from http://www.uua.org/aboutuua/statistics.html Wilbur, E.M. (1925). Our Unitarian Heritage. Boston: Beacon Press. Also available online from Starr King School for the Ministry. Retrieved August 2005 from http://online.sksm.edu/ouh/nav,index.html


International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Resources: The hymns and readings can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993.

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.

United States of America

It is our faith that each child born is one more redeemer. We commit ourselves to the nurture of our children. We acknowledge the divine spark within each child. May we be worthy guardians of these young lives. May we build a community in which they will grow old surrounded by beauty, embraced by love, and cradled in the arms of peace. - Robert Eller-Isaacs, USA (adapted)

12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


Sitting in Silence Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting We gather in reverence before the wonder of life. Sophia Lyon Fahs The wonder of this moment. The wonder of being together.

Sharing What do you remember about your religious education as a child? Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen.

Hymn (#338) Carl G. Seaburg

I Seek the Spirit of a Child I seek the spirit of a child, the child who meets his life naturally. the child who sings the world alive, and greets the morning sun with glee. Children are real beyond all art. May I see: Joyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gift to our heart.

Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly a high or low point of your life this past week.

Hymn (#413) (adapted) Natalie Sleeth

Reading (#652) William Ellery Channing

The Great End in Religious Instruction The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own; Not to make them see with our eyes, But to look inquiringly and steadily with their own Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth; Not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs.

Often used to sing children to their classes.

Not to bind them by ineradicable prejudices to our particular sect or peculiar notions, But to prepare them for impartial, conscientious judging of whatever subjects may be offered to their decision; Not to burden the memory, but to quicken and strengthen the power of thought; Not to impose religion upon them in the form of arbitrary rules, but to awaken the conscience, the moral discernment. In a word, the great end is to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life.

Discussion This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

Go Now in Peace Go now in peace. Go now in peace May the Spirit of Love surround you. Everywhere, everywhere, You may go.

Extinguishing the Chalice (#717, abridged) New life comes to us as a gift. George Kimmich Beach Each new life makes its demand, Exacts our attentiveness, Enlists and organizes our energies, And blesses us. May we be worthy of the gift, And glad receivers of the blessing.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 8: Unitarian*Universalist Groups of Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia

Unitarian*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia Gentiana

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia p. 2

Unitarian*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia: Gentiana Table of Contents for Unit 8 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History and Context/ Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: Sowers and Nurturers Pre-reading activity Handouts: Australia & New Zealand Sri Lanka Japan Indonesia Post-reading activity

p. 4 p. 4 p. 5-6 p. 5 p. 7-9 p. 10 p. 11 p. 12-13 p. 14

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Nature and Religion

p. 15 p. 15 p. 16

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 17

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 18-19

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia p. 3

Unitarian*Universalist Groups in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 covers the history, context, beliefs and practices of five Unitarian*Universalist groups in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of these groups. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit. They will need to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may wish to choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 17) to do together after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create more informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit in one meeting: to discuss the readings first and then move on to participate in a Small Group Worship. This will depend on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat) and the interests of the group. The group may want to include an additional Harvesting activity between the discussion and the Small Group Worship service, or after the Small Group Worship service, or at a separate meeting time. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia p. 4 Preparing for Session 1

Unitarian*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT/BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Sowers and Nurturers (p. 5-6), the accompanying pre-reading activity (p. 5) and post-reading questions (p. 14), and the articles about the U*U groups covered in this unit (p. 7-13), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 18-19) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 17) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from any of the countries covered in the unit to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate the countries of the Unitarian*Universalist groups covered in this unit. ___ Display a gentiana plant or a photo of gentiana. ___ Have music from any, or several, of the countries covered in this unit playing in the background. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: A golden thread binds us to all that has been and will ever be. Here the tender soul yearns. Here the greatest dreams are sighted. Here the sacred flame burns. – Mark Allstrom, Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Association). 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 17) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the articles and look over their notes. 6. Ask members to share and discuss answers to the pre-reading Tilling exercise on p. 5 7. Ask members to share their responses to the post-reading Hoeing exercise on p.14. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Be silent, make your mind calm and maintain it unruffled. You are the handiwork of mother earth. Consider your contribution for the betterment of humanity. – Walter Jayawardene, Sri Lanka (adapted). 8. Gather for your Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 17), if your group decided to do so: make a newspaper or radio show, listen to Unitarian radio, read Jataka tales, etc.


Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia p. 5 History and Context/Beliefs and Practice Introduction

Unitarian*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia: Gentiana Handout:

Tilling Try to match each U*U group with the correct description. Country

Descriptive information

1. Unitarian Universalism in Sri Lanka

__ a. branched from a Seventh-Day Adventist tradition.

2. Unitarianism in Australia

__ b. includes Buddhist Jataka tales as a source of religious inspiration.

3. Unitarianism in Indonesia

__ c. dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries; one prominent native-born leader of the Unitarians there graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1916.

4. Unitarianism in New Zealand

__ d. can boast that a picture of one of its famous members was featured on a note of its countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s currency.

5. Unitarianism and Universalism in Japan

__ e. appointed the first woman minister in its country and a female trade unionist as Chairperson of one of its churches.

Planting Read the brief introduction, Sowers and Nurturers. Then read about the four different U*U groups represented in this unit, p. 7-13. Sowers and Nurturers As sowers we go out to sow, to sow the seed of our liberal faith. But we are conscious that the ground in which we sow can vary from place to place. For some, the hard, stony ground of the secularized society. For some, the fertile ground of people seeking refuge from regressive religion. For some, the unbroken ground where our seed is new and the task is to just get rooted at all. Some face the choking weeds of religious and political hostility; others are plagued by parasitic growths that sap their strength. Everywhere the ground is different, but the seed we sow is resilient . . . For our seed to flourish it must adapt to new environments . . . from The Ground in Which We Sow Clifford Reed, United Kingdom


Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia p. 6 History and Context/Beliefs and Practice Introduction

The Reverend Reed’s metaphor for Unitarian*Universalism around the world gives a particularly apt description of the U*U groups in the Australian and Asian island regions. Each group has a different environment it must adapt to and work with. Their sizes and ages vary. Their beliefs and practices all look a bit different. But each grows from the seed of free inquiry. Each is tended with care and love in the hope that it may grow and flourish. In Asia, there are Unitarian*Universalist groups in India, Pakistan and the Philippines, Their histories, contexts, beliefs and practices are covered elsewhere in this curriculum workbook. (The complete curriculum is available at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html). There are also Unitarian* Universalist groups in Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Indonesia. In this curriculum, we will sometimes refer to this region as “Austral-Asia” when referring to the broad regional area in which these five groups are located. This region is represented in our Garden of Unitarian*Universalism by the Gentiana family of flowers. Like Unitarian*Universalism, Gentians are adaptable to a variety of climates and habitats: deserts, savannas, prairies, rainforests, temperate forests and even the cold tundra. Like Unitarian*Universalist groups in the Austral-Asia region, Gentians can be small and delicate (herbs), middle-sized (shrubs), or large (rainforest trees). Their flowers, like little gems, vary in color: blue, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow, just as the traditions and practices of the Austral-Asian U*U groups vary considerably. Gentians are useful to humans in many ways, as we hope Unitarianism*Universalism is useful to humans by providing a spiritual home where they can be free to question, learn, grow and change. The sowers and nurturers of Unitarianism*Universalism in Austral-Asia are careful and observant gardeners, mindful of the environment in which their seed has been planted.


Unit 8 p. 7 Australia/New Zealand

(A chalice from the ANZUA website)

Unitarianism in Australia and New Zealand Dynamic, open to change, Australia and New Zealand have long had reputations as lands of new possibilities. The same is true for Unitarianism in these countries. Australia is located southeast of Asia. New Zealand lies about 1000 miles southeast of Australia. Australia was originally inhabited by Aboriginal peoples and New Zealand by Maori tribes. Europeans began to arrive in numbers after Captain James Cook claimed Australia and New Zealand for Britain in the late 1700s. They brought with them their religious beliefs. Most of these early settlers were Protestants. Later immigrants from countries such as Italy brought a stronger Catholic presence. Continued immigration to these lands of “new possibilities” has reshaped the religious diversity of Australia and New Zealand. According to their 2001 Censuses, Christians from a variety of denominations represent the largest religious group but there are many non-Christian groups including a growing number of Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh groups. Many Australians and New Zealanders claim no religious affiliation; overall, Australia and New Zealand tend to be more secular than religious. There is no official state religion in either country. The first Unitarian to arrive in Australia was Thomas Fyshe Palmer, a Unitarian minister who had been influenced by the writings of Joseph Priestley. He established Unitarian groups in Scotland, spoke out for political reform and was “transported” to Australia for sedition in 1794 for publishing and distributing a pamphlet critical of the king. He did not start a church during his years as a political prisoner in Australia. He died in Guam on his way back home. (McEvoy, 2003). The first Australian Unitarian church was founded in Sydney in 1850. Soon afterwards communities were established in Melbourne (1852) and Adelaide (1854) (Western Australian…, n.d). Carved in wood in the Unitarian Church in Sydney are the words: “Think Truly, Speak Bravely and Act Justly” (Biester, n.d.). This sums up well the philosophy of Unitarians past and present in Australia and New Zealand who have a history rich in social activism and progressive views. The Adelaide Unitarian Christian Church (now known as The Unitarian Church of South Australia, Inc.) was founded by a small group of men who had been Unitarians in England. They called John Crawford Woods, a Unitarian minister from Ireland, as their minister. Nearly 200 people attended his first service. Among them was Catherine Helen Spence, Australia’s most famous Unitarian. She was a writer and social activist. She worked for prison and election reform, services for orphaned children, and for the women’s suffrage movement. She was the first woman appointed to a school board in Australia, and the first woman member of a hospital committee along with being a founding member of several reform councils. Her face graced the Australian five-dollar note for several years (McEvoy, 2003). Catherine Helen Spence was moved by Woods’ sermons that spoke of a just and benevolent God rather than an oppressive God “who pre-determined the destiny of mankind and foreordained most of them to eternal damnation” (McEvoy, 2003) – quite a new message for the largely Presbyterian Church of Scotland and Calvinist audience in attendance. Many of the congregants took to heart Woods’ challenge to “catch the spirit of Enthusiasm for Humanity” rather than dwell on one’s own personal salvation. Many were involved in movements promoting education and women’s suffrage (McEvoy, 2003).


Unit 8 p. 8 Australia/New Zealand

Australian Unitarians can claim the first woman minister of any denomination in Australia. Martha Turner came to Australia in 1870 from England. She was appointed minister of the Melbourne Unitarian Church in 1874 after it was discovered that she was writing many of the sermons for her brother who was acting as lay preacher (McEvoy, 2003). Throughout their history, the Unitarians of Melbourne have been involved in social justice issues. “The motto of the Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church is ‘Seek the Truth and Serve Humanity'. Unitarians in Melbourne have […] served humanity by being active in the peace movement and in other issues of social concern such as […] civil rights, the protection of state education, the movement against fascism, support for public enterprise, Aboriginal Land Rights, etc.” (Melbourne…, 2003). In New Zealand, Unitarian services can be traced back to Auckland in 1863. The first New Zealand Unitarian church was established in 1898. It was founded by and for “free-thinking people who disagreed with some of the teachings of Orthodox Christianity” (Auckland…, n.d.). Once again progressive views and social action come hand in hand with being a Unitarian. Auckland Unitarian Church history includes: in 1923, the election of a woman active in New Zealand’s trade union and women’s suffrage movements to the position of Chairperson of the Church; the first woman minister, in a New Zealand Church, Wilna Constable; members instrumental in the founding of the Sunshine Clubs for the elderly (1930s), the Mental Health Association, the Humanist Society (1960s), the Civilian Maimed Association (1970s); and active participation in organizations such as the Workers’ Educational Association, Halt All Racist Tours, Campaign for Racial Equality and Amnesty International (Holt, n.d.). Today Unitarianism is represented and organized in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Association (ANZUA), founded in 1974. For many of its more than 150-year presence in Australia and New Zealand, several of the Unitarian churches had 200 members. Membership in the once large churches dwindled following WWII, but in the 1980s new fellowships started developing in Christchurch and Blenheim in New Zealand and in Brisbane in Australia. Since 2000, fellowships have started in Wellington and Nelson in New Zealand and in Perth and Sydney in Australia. As in North America, spin-off groups sometimes form in Australian Unitarian churches as congregations grow and change. This works to meet the needs of a diverse group of people in a religion that honors diversity and a culture that is open to innovation. Total membership is now over 300 people and continues to grow. In May 2004, President of the Unitarian church in Sydney, Peter Crawford, speaking to John Russell on Australia National Radio noted that the issue in Australia “is not to convince people of our viewpoint. I think great numbers of Australians would be Unitarian in spirit and at heart; that is, they want something more than just a strictly secular world, but at the same time they don’t want to be doctrinally straitjacketed.” (National Radio, 2004). All the groups and the Association itself maintain connections with the British General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. The churches in Adelaide and Auckland are members of the Unitarian Universalist Association of the USA. ANZUA is a full member of the ICUU and the International Association of Religious Freedom. These connections are important to Australian and New Zealand Unitarians living as they do in a somewhat remote part of the world. The mission statement of ANZUA affirms the ideals of freedom, reason and tolerance; justice, respect and equality for all people; the search for greater understanding and wisdom in an atmosphere of interdependent relationship and inclusivity; and reaching out to one another and to the wider community with love and compassion (Allstrom, 2003). “The Principles and Purposes


Unit 8 p. 9 Australia/New Zealand

are not a statement of beliefs; they are more of a statement of the way that Unitarians expect to work together” (ANZUA Homepage, n.d.). Unitarians in Australia and New Zealand generally gather for services on Sundays where they “sing hymns (from British and American hymnals), listen to music, meditate or pray, listen to sermons or addresses, and drink coffee” (Allstrom, 2003). Lighting of a chalice and candles of joy and concern are often part of their services as well. Outreach plays an important role. ANZUA intermittently publishes a journal, The Unitarian Quest, and ANZUA member congregations publish their own newsletters. There are several enewsgroups devoted to Unitarianism and for many years one could receive sermons by email through the Adelaide church! One of the most innovative and exciting avenues to growth has been through Unitarian radio shows. On Sundays from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM one can listen to Expanding Horizons on Radio Adelaide (101.5 FM). It is described as “a non-proselytizing radio program about spirituality and society, religion and culture […] Following the Unitarian tradition of ‘show by deed, not by creed’, presenters aim to provide some soul-food for those people who wish to explore nonmaterialistic values, but who do not find attendance of religious services appealing or practicable” (Expanding Horizons, n.d.). The Christchurch congregation in New Zealand has also produced its own series of “Expanding Horizons” for local radio. In addition to Expanding Horizons, there is also the Unitarian Half Hour broadcast by Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church. The program is called “Seek the Truth and Serve Humanity.” It airs at 10:30 AM each Saturday on radio station 3CR. They have been broadcasting for years, and the program has become very popular. They present talks on Unitarianism and on current issues in line with their principles. “It is interesting how many people tune in but don’t [attend church]” (Melbourne…, n.d.). In New Zealand, one of the highlights on the calendar is the annual retreat at Takahanga Marae, Kaikoura, which has been held since 1998. In what must be one of the most beautiful places on the planet, UU’s from Nelson, Christchurch, Blenheim and Wellington gather for the spring equinox. Another, more recent and popular event that has drawn media attention is All Heretics Day. Other activities that New Zealand groups have been involved in are refugee support and supporting the civil union campaign. Unitarians in Australia and New Zealand, living up to the reputation of being dynamic and open to new possibilities, reaching out in innovative ways, have made it possible for this part of our Unitarian*Universalist Garden to thrive and grow.


Unit 8 p. 10 Sri Lanka

(Chalice symbol of the UUSL)

Unitarian Universalism in Sri Lanka The “Resplendent Isle,” Sri Lanka, is located 48 km. (30 miles) south of India. Since earliest times, Sri Lanka has been a multi-ethnic society. Both Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus claim to be the first colonizers of Sri Lanka but “confirmation of either claim is elusive” (http://members.tripod.com, 2004). Sri Lanka’s history is ancient, complex and intricately tied to India’s history and domination by European colonial powers. Besides the long time presence of Buddhists and Hindus, its political and religious history includes the influence of Moorish traders who were Muslim, some of who settled in the southern part of the island in the 7th century, the take over by Portuguese colonizers in the 1500s who were Roman Catholic and intolerant of other religions, then colonization in the 1700s by the Dutch who monopolized trade, brought the Dutch Reformed Church to Sri Lanka and were intolerant of the Roman Catholics as well as the urban Buddhists and Hindus, domination by the British in the late 1700s and 1800s who brought with them Christian missionaries. Sri Lanka continued under British rule until it negotiated its independence after WWII in 1947 (http://members.tripod.com, 2004). Present-day Sri Lanka is still experiencing political, ethnic and religious clashes especially between the Sinhalese majority, which comprises about 70 to 74 percent of the population, and the Tamil minority, which comprises 13 to 15 percent. Christians (mostly Catholic) make up about 8 percent of the population and Muslims about 7 percent. (http://members.tripod.com, 2004). Amongst all this turmoil between ethnic and religious groups is a small group of about 25 Unitarian Universalists. Sri Lankan UUs are passionate about Unitarian Universalism and its values. Although most of the members of this small group are Sinhalese and come from a Buddhist background, ethnic and theological diversity is welcomed. The Sri Lankan UUs get religious inspiration from the Buddhist Jataka tales, stories of Hindu gods, and from nature. A main focus for the group is environmental and social action projects. Their religion is for them a “new approach to human life and to nature” (Jayawardena, 2003). The Unitarian Universalists of Sri Lanka (UUSL) is one of the founder members of the ICUU (www.icuu.net, 2004).


Unit 8 p. 11 Japan

(The chalice symbol used by the Tokyo Unitarian Fellowship)

Unitarianism and Universalism in Japan Lying in the Pacific Ocean off the northeastern coast of Asia is the island nation of Japan. The two main religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism, which have been part of Japanese culture for thousands of years. Christianity came to Japan in 1594 but went underground when Japan closed its doors to foreigners in the mid-1600s. Two hundred years later, in 1857, Japan opened its doors to missionaries, though today only about one percent of Japanese identify themselves as Christian. Japan is basically a secular society with Buddhist and Shinto traditions and ways of thinking tightly interwoven into the culture. Unitarianism and Universalism have had a presence in Japan for about 100 years. During the first half of the 20th century in Japan there were several Universalist churches, a Japanese Kiitsu (Unitarian) Church, and the Japan Free Religion Association. Universalism came to Japan in the late 19th century through American missionaries. The missionaries and the Japanese leaders in the movement, such as the Reverend Akashi Shigetaroh (see McEvoy, 2003), “were interested in promoting liberal religion and a vision of God and of humanity about which they were enthusiastic” (Reeves, 2004). Unitarianism in Japan, prior to the Second World War, largely centered around one man, Shinichiro Imaoka, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1916. He has been called the “Emerson of Japan.” His life and work have been documented by the eminent American scholar, Dr. George Williams (Dr. George…, 2001). Imaoka lived to be over 100 years old. During his long life he had a profound impact on the development of progressive and liberal religion in Japan (Biography…, 2000). He founded a liberal secondary school in Tokyo, in which was housed the Kiitsu Kyokai (Unitarian Church) and which was the foundation of the nation-wide Japan Free Religion Association. There has been talk among Japanese Unitarians of reviving this Association Today there are two Universalist churches in Tokyo, a Unitarian Friends Circle, and the Tokyo Unitarian Fellowship, consisting of American and European members as well as Japanese. As of March 2005, there is also a Unitarian group meeting in Misawa, Japan (www.misawauu.150m.com). Cooperation among the Universalist and Unitarian groups in Japan, and between them and other organizations, is coordinated by the Unitarians and Universalists of Japan (UUJ), a committee of representatives from each of the organizations. Creation of this committee was prompted by the ICUU and its need to connect and communicate with the groups in Japan. The UUJ is not a member of the ICUU at this time. Though the Dojin (Universalist) Christian Church is significantly larger than the others, all of these organizations are fairly small in size. In addition to having special celebrations and events, the two Universalist churches hold worship services every Sunday morning at 11:00 and publish regular newsletters in Japanese. The Unitarian Friends Circle meets twice a month in a coffee shop and publishes an occasional newsletter in Japanese. The Unitarian Fellowship has programs in English once a month, typically on the 2nd Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon. They have been meeting at the International House of Japan but may move their services to the Dojin (Universalist) Christian Church in fall of 2004. Visitors to Japan may feel free to contact any of the leaders for additional information (see www.icuu.net). (Reeves, 2004)


Unit 8 p. 12 Indonesia

(Chalice designed by Sean Bolton, USA ©1997, not an official symbol of the IGCG)

Unitarianism in Indonesia An archipelago located in SE Asia between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is home to several ethnic groups and has a largely Muslim population (88 percent). About 5 percent of the population is Protestant and it was from the Protestant tradition, specifically Seventh-Day Adventist, that Unitarianism took root in Indonesia. The Indonesia Global Church of God was organized in 1994 and legitimized by the Indonesian government in 2000. The church has nine congregations in seven cities with 250 worshippers who worship every Sabbath (Saturday) at each congregation with their ordained minister running all church activities and services (www.icuu.net, 2004). Ellen Kristi Nugroho, daughter of founder Tjahjadi Nugroho, writes of Jemaat Allah Global Indonesia (Indonesia Global Church of God) the following, “The history of our church begins in 1994. Tjahjadi Nugroho, 30 years a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church in Semarang, Indonesia, attended an internal seminar concerning efforts to get the church revived. A big question came into his mind during that seminar, ‘How can we be like Christ if He is God?’ Several months later during a family Bible study, the Nugroho’s found some verses that clearly stated that Jesus is one of God’s creations (Rev. 3:14 and Col 1:15). The circle of the Bible study expanded to other Seventh-Day Adventist members. At first this Biblical discovery shocked us since, as devout Seventh-Day Adventists, we used to believe in the Trinity God. But after reading and comparing more and more verses, the new understanding inevitably got clearer. That year we abandoned our belief in the Trinity God and developed faith in the One True God as introduced to the ancestors of faith (Deut 6:4). Jesus was understood no more as God the Son but the divine messenger of God, an angel incarnated in flesh. We tried to discuss our Biblical discovery about [u]nitarianism with pastor, scholars, and leaders of the SDA, which ended in disagreement and their unwillingness to give us freedom in understanding the Scriptures. After exhausting heated, and painful discussions with them, we decided to quit the denomination. At that time, there were already several more families and persons from other cities who believed in the One True God as we do. We came into contact with the ICUU after we got information from the president of the International Council of the IARF when he visited Indonesia in 2002. Before that, we never had any contact or relationship with other UU organizations. We didn’t even know that our belief is known worldwide as Unitarianism. As of May 2003, we are pursuing membership to the ICUU. We now consist of several congregations from several cities. Most of us have Christian religious roots, especially Seventh-Day Adventist. We open our hearts to listen, to learn, to accept truth and good teachings from all traditions of faith by the measure of conscience, reason and the Bible. We celebrate the Sabbath beginning at sunset on Friday at home with an opening worship, prayers, hymns and readings from the Bible. On Saturday mornings, we gather with other families and church members for Sabbath celebration of prayer, songs, Bible study, sharing of stories and testimonies, a sermon and finally a potluck lunch.


Unit 8 p. 13 Indonesia

We teach our children how to pray, how to read the Bible, how to sing religious songs, how to serve in our church and neighborhood community. We let them socialize within our pluralistic society, answer their questions about other religions and faiths as objectively as possible and encourage them to dare to be different. We regard the Bible as a source of meaningful stories about the experiences of our ancestors of faith. Although maybe not all things told in the Bible are facts, they reflect the involvement of God in the history of human beings. In addition to the Bible, we also study the Quran, which we regard as the inspired words spoken by the Prophet Mohammad. We were born, grew up and lived in the Java island. The Javanese culture is basically very tolerant to various religious views and teachings. For ages, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have lived together side by side and sometimes blended with the native Javanese religious convictions. This religious tolerance is internalized within our church also. We strongly believe in the Bible, but we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to be fanatics. Instead, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to live in harmony with our fellow humans who have other religious faiths or traditions. We highly regard conscience and honesty as the main principles to understand the truth and knowledge. We believe that man and woman will get salvation when they live their life with their purest conscience and honesty. The more good teachings they know, the more they must do them and the more it is their responsibility to do good deeds.â&#x20AC;? (Nugroho, E.K., 2003)


Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia p. 14 Post-reading Activity

Hoeing . 1. Check your answers to Tilling (p. 5) with the information from the articles. Do you need to change any of your answers?

2. What did you find most intriguing or surprising about each group represented in this unit?

3. Are there any practices of the groups represented in this unit that you would like to integrate or adapt into your personal practices, into your faith community or into outreach? If so, what are they?

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 17) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia p. 15 Session 2: Preparing/Facilitating Small Group Worship

Unitarian*Universalist Groups in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance.Small Group Worship – Nature and Religion: Unitarianism*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia (p. 16), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies of the handouts for the next unit you plan to cover. These will be handed out when you meet for Session 2, Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Nature and Religion: Unitarianism*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia, which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 17) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from countries covered in this unit to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship honoring Unitarian*Universalist groups in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display a gentiana plant or a photo of gentiana. ___ Have music from one of the countries represented in this unit playing in the background. ___ Invite members to display items from countries represented in this unit. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you are using this curriculum in a retreat or workshop setting and will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 17), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service Distribute handouts for your next meeting if appropriate. You may want to make plans to do one of the activities listed on p. 17 following the Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from including listening to Unitarian radio, studying the Quran, and making a radio show.


Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia p. 16 Session 2: Handout for Small Group Worship

Handout: Small Group Worship – Unitarian*Universalism in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia After you have read the articles and reflected on the Austral-Asian U*U groups represented in this unit, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – Nature and Religion: Unitarian*Universalists in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html Bring an item from one of the countries represented in this unit, if you have one, to display at the service. The Small Group Worship for U*U groups in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service, which is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

❀❀❀


Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia p. 17 Additional Activities

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. Read Jataka tales and tales of Hindu gods and goddesses. You may find some at your local public library, particularly in the children’s section or at the following websites: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php3?author=babbitt&book=morejataka&story=_contents http://members.tripod.com/~srinivasp/mythology/jataka.html http://www.hindukids.org/stories/ Discuss how the morals and lessons illustrated in these stories relate to Unitarian*Universalism. 2. Listen to Expanding Horizons, the Unitarian radio show from Adelaide. Radio Adelaide provides “real radio on demand”, accessible via its website at http://radio.adelaide.edu.au. You can listen by following the links provided on that website: Click 'Listen Online'; then click ‘Radio Adelaide LIVE'). Your PC will need to have software such as Real Player installed. In order to find your local time corresponding to 8:00 AM in Adelaide, visit www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/; Click on the Fixed Time Calculator at the bottom of the page. In the resulting dialog box specify 8:00 AM in Adelaide, South Australia. 3. Plan and tape your own Unitarian*Universalist “radio” program about U*Us in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia for the children and youth in your congregation. Include music, information, questions, stories (see #4 below and #1 above), and ideas for fun activities. 4. Illustrate or dramatize one or more of the stories of Unitarian*Universalists described in Don McEvoy’s book, Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. It includes biographies of U*Us from Australia and Japan. You can order the book through the ICUU website: www.icuu.net. 5. UUs in Sri Lanka feel a deep connection to nature. Create a bulletin board display that illustrates your group’s connection to nature. Include inspirational poems or prayers, photos of native plants of your area and information on preserving local natural habitat. 6. Want to know what your Adelaide, Australia counterparts have been hearing at their services? Choose a sermon at http://homepages.picknowl.com.au/unitariansa/index.htm. 7. Like our UU brothers and sisters in Indonesia, you too can study the Quran as part of your religious study. A wonderful resource can be found at http://www.submission.org/YES/ 8. Create a newspaper that provides information on Austral-Asia U*U groups. Use information from this unit and updated information from the ICUU website news link: http://www.icuu.net/news/index.html. Include news articles, comic strips, an advice column, “ads”, etc. Be creative! Make the newspaper available to members of your congregation including the kids. Put it on your church website for others to enjoy. 9. If members of your group have had personal experience with any of the countries represented in this unit, set aside time when they can share their experiences with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia p. 18 Resources and References

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Australia/New Zealand Allstrom, Mark. (2003). Unitarianism in Australia and New Zealand. (Personal correspondence). ANZUA Homepage (n.d.). Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.anzua.org/anzua_alt/ Auckland Unitarian Church (n.d.). Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.unitariansofauckland.org.nz/ Australia Bureau of Statistics. (2002). Yearbook Australia. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/ausstatshome?openview Biester, H. (n.d.). The Unitarian Predicament. Retrieved February 2005 from http://hometown.aol.de/__121b_mA7HNJn71ahn4kGTixiNOfvbpSJBlWLu Expanding Horizons on Radio Adelaide. Retrieved February 2005 from http://homepages.picknowl.com.au/unitariansa/radio.htm Gillespie, C. (2002). Modern Nations of the World: New Zealand. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers. Holt, B.H. (n.d.). Auckland Unitarian Church New Zealand: A Brief History. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.unitariansofauckland.org.nz/ McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church. (2003). Retrieved February 2005 from http://users.bigpond.com/unitarian/ Racism No Way. (September 2003). Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cultural Diversity: Religion and Spiritual Beliefs. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.racismnoway.com.au/library/cultural/indexDiversit-3.html State Library South Australia (Nov. 2004). Catherine Helen Spence. Retrieved February 2005 from www.slsa.sa.gov.au/spence/ U.S. Dept of State. (2004). Background Note: Australia. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2698.htm U.S. Dept of State. (2004). International Religious Freedom Report 2004: New Zealand. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2004/35421.htm Western Australian Unitarian Association. (n.d.). Unitarians in Australia and New Zealand. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.members.iinet.net.au/~unitarianswa/#History%20of%20Unitarianism


Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia p. 19 Resources and References

Indonesia International Coalition for Religious Freedom. (April 4, 2004). Religious Freedom World Report: Indonesia. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.religiousfreedom.com/wrpt/asiapac/indonesia.htm Nugroho, E.K. (May 2003). The Indonesia Global Church of God. (Personal correspondence). Japan Biography of Shinichiro Imaoka (2000). Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.bookrags.com/biography/shinichiro-imaoka/ Dr. George Williams, Vita. (2001). Retrieved February 2005 from http://w3.enternet.hu/sandor64/cffr/georgewilliams/vita.htm McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Misawa Unitarian Universalists (2005). Retrieved May 2005 from www.misawauu.150m.com. Reeves, Gene. (July 2004). Unitarianism and Universalism in Japan. (Personal correspondence). Sri Lanka Jayawardena, Walter (2003). Unitarian Universalism in Sri Lanka. (Personal correspondence).

Sri Lanka – Historical and Cultural Heritage (n.d.). Retrieved September 13, 2004 from http://members.tripod.com/~hettiarachchi/history.htm Wanasundera, N. (2002). Cultures of the World – Sri Lanka. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. Other Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Thandeka (2002). “The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.


International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Resources: The hymns can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. The chalice lighting is from the ANZUA (Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Association) Mission Statement. The Norito is a Shinto-style prayer addressed to the kami (Spirits). Retrieved February 2005 from http://firstuucolumbus.org/sermons/mb19990822.htm The opening meditation and Extinguishing of the Chalice are from One and Universal edited by John Midgley, published by Skinner House Books, Boston, 2002 for the ICUU www.uua.org/skinner and from the ICUU website: www.icuu.net Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.

Here, in a remote corner of remote islands, At the very edge of world society – A world itself only a tiny speck in a vast universe Here, we meet again and meditate, and wonder And give thanks together. We have so much that we must never take for granted. May our times together quicken our awareness Of our very special blessings in what must be One of the loveliest areas of our lovely planet Earth. May we be of those who cherish the earth.

- Elspeth R. Vallance, New Zealand (adapted)

12/2005 http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Sitting in Silence

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting

Through our sharing, may we gain a sense of place in the complex web of creation and, as we radiate the joy of creative life, may we feel the spirit of freedom, peace and harmony.

Sharing Is a connection with nature part of your religious understanding and practices? If so, in what ways? Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen.

ANZUA

Hymn (#38) Eleanor Farjeon

Morning Has Broken Morning has broken like the first morning, Blackbird has spoken like the first bird. Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning! Praise for them springing fresh from the Word!

Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly the high or low point of your life this past week.

Reading

Norito, Shinto-style Prayer With reverence and a sense of awe I speak, knowing that you, oh Great Nature, are all around me like a mirror in which I can see myselfâ&#x20AC;Ś in scented breath of wind, in arc of rising sun, in branch of evergreen, in bowl of brown rice, in a wooden box of cold rice wine, in the bright eyes of all who gaze upon the looking glass of the world with me.

Mark Bellitini

I have no final name to give to you, and I try not to lay my own face on your facelessness. I do not enter into futile debates as to whether you are a you or not. I simply bow before the nourishment of the world, and the mystery that everything is, with sorrow for all who suffer, and joy with all who rejoice. May there be peace on earth wherever we human beings can and dare to have a say. May our efforts be fruitful, may our minds be bright, may our hearts beat with a tender music soft as the cherry petals of spring or the chirping air of summer evening. I speak these words with awe, in this place and no other, in this moment and no other. Hear me o kami.

Discussion This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

Hymn (#175) Alicia S. Carpenter

We Celebrate the Web of Life We celebrate the web of life, Its magnitude we sing. For we can see divinity in every living thing. A fragment of the perfect whole In cactus and in quail, As much in tiny barnacle, As in the great blue whale. Of ancient dreams we are the sum, Our bones link stone to star, And bind our future worlds to come With worlds that were and are. Respect the water, land, and air Which gave all creatures birth; Protect the lives of all that share The glory of the earth.

Benediction Maori Valediction Geoffrey Usher Australia

May the calm be widespread; May the sea glisten like greenstone; And may the shimmer of sunlight ever cross your pathway in life, now and always.

Extinguishing the Chalice Walter Jayawardene, We are the children of mother earth. Human creatures Sri Lanka, (adapted) and beasts form the soul of the earth. Our earth - the habitat of love.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 9: India

Unitarianism in India The Orchid

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


India p. 2

Unitarianism in India: The Orchid Table of Contents for Unit 9 Preparing for this Unit Session 1: History and Context/ Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: A Native Flower (with pre- and post-reading activities) Handout: Keep on Progressing (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 3 p. 4 p. 4-5 p. 6-9 p. 10-12

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship - India

p. 13 p. 13 p. 14

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 15

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 16-17

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


India p. 3

Unitarianism in India: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 covers the history and context of Unitarianism in India and the beliefs and practices of Khasi Unitarians. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of Unitarians in India. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit, and to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 15) to do as a group after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create more informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit in three meetings by focusing on the History and Context at the first meeting, Beliefs and Practices at the second meeting and the Small Group Worship at the third meeting, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat), and the interests of the group. If this is the case, the group may want to include a Harvesting activity after both the first and second sessions. Some groups may prefer not to do the activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


India p. 4 History and Context/Beliefs and Practices

Unitarianism in India I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT/BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, A Native Flower (p. 6-9) and accompanying pre-reading question, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out the article, Keep on Progressing (p. 10-12) and accompanying post-reading question, in advance. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 16-17) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 15) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from India to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. You may want to use a plaid cloth to cover your chalice table. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate Chennai/Madras and the Khasi Hills. ___ Display an orchid and/or a photo of orchids. ___ Have Indian folk music or music by an Indian musician such as Ravi Shankar playing in the background. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table, perhaps next to the chalice. 2. Chalice lighting: God is our Father-Mother. All people are his children. Both males and females like brothers and sisters, be they rich or poor. – Hajom Kissor Singh, Khasi Unitarian. 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 15) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Locate Chennai/Madras and the Khasi Hills on a map or globe. 5. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the articles and look over their notes. 6. Ask members to share their answers to the exercise, (Tilling, p. 6). What other images do they have of India? Were they surprised to learn that the Khasis are quite different from many of the images they have of India and its people? 7. Ask members to tell what “Keep on Progressing” means to them (Hoeing, p. 12). 8. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they had from the articles. 9. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Let all truths we have heard abide in us so that our lives may be worth living. – Anonymous, Khasi Hills, India (adapted).


India p. 5 History and Context/Beliefs and Practices

11. Gather for your Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 15), if your group decided to: the Partner Church game, cooking, planning a social action project, making a collage and bulletin board display, listening to the travel experiences of others â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


India p. 6 History and Context

Unitarianism in India: The Orchid Handout: A Native Flower

Tilling Make a check mark next to the words that best describe your image of India and its people. Add your own ideas to the list. ___ vegetarianism ___ saris ___ the Flaming Chalice ___ spicy curries

___ plaid clothing ___ Hinduism ___ Ganesh, the Elephant God ___ Sunday church services

Planting Now read the article on the history and context of Unitarianism in India. A Native Flower Like the orchids that grow plentifully in the area, Unitarianism has found favorable conditions for germination in the Khasi Hills. Within a radius of 50 miles in the highlands of northeast India live 98 percent (over 9000 people) of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Unitarians. (A small but important community of Tamil Unitarians exists in Chennai, formerly Madras, India. It traces its history back to 1795, when a Tamil man returned to Madras after being taken to England as a slave, having taken the name, William Roberts, and the religion, Unitarianism. (See The Tool Shed: References and Resources, p. 16.) To understand the development of Unitarianism in northeast India it is important to understand the environment in which it took root. The northeastern states of India are separated from the rest of India by the country Bangladesh. Little is known about the early Khasi people. They were a matrilineal tribal people who came to India from Southeast Asia and settled in the upland center of Meghalaya, the mountainous northeastern most part of India where Jaintia and Khasi Hills meet. The Khasis are one of numerous tribes in the region that have never been Hindu or Muslim but have always retained their own indigenous religion, Ka Niam Khasi. Before the British came in the 1800s, there were three major tribes in Meghalaya: Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia. All had independent tribal governments and traditional native religions. The Khasi speak Cherrapunjii, a dialect of the Mon-Khmer language of the Austro-Asiatic family which had no written component in India until the 1840s. The Khasi culture differs dramatically from typical images of continental India, their culture and ethnic background being more akin to southeast Asia. They are not vegetarians, they do not typically cook with spicy curries, and they do not wear saris. In fact, a visit to the Khasi Hills will leave you with the image of a marketplace filled with nuts, bananas, papayas, pineapples, vegetables of all kinds and animals, both dead and alive, for sale, and of men, women, and


India p. 7 History and Context

children wrapped in shawls made of woolen tartan plaids, remnants of the Scottish influence (Van Leer, 2004). The native Khasi religion was neither Hindu nor Muslim and had no temples or churches, holy books or ministers. It was, according to tradition, a religion based on the belief in one formless living god (UBlei) who was omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. They considered it a sacrilege to symbolize God or to picture God in any shape or form. The religion taught that through service to others, one serves God. At the same time they believed in gods and goddesses of rivers, streams, jungles, etc. Their religion was based on conciliating good, evil and ancestor spirits through animal sacrifices to these gods and goddesses. The indigenous Khasi religion is still practiced by many in the region. But whether Christian, Unitarian or Ka Niam Khasi, religion was (and remains) inseparable from all that happens in their lives. The Reverend John Rex tells us that religion is passed on within the home “through a complex traditional system of family, clan, tribal organization, and governance” (Rex, 2001). In 1835 the British imperialists built a road through the northeast region of India and made it part of the Indian state of Assam. With the arrival of the British came waves of Christian missionaries – the largest group being the Welsh Calvinists. By the early 1840s they had written the Khasi language using Roman (Western) letters and had translated the Bible into Khasi. It was not long thereafter that they opened missionary schools and created a monopoly in education. Rex points out that “with a written language tied to the imposition of colonial government, the only way for tribal people to progress was to learn to read and write by attending missionary school and enduring proselytizing” (Rex, 2001). By 1887 Christianity had established a stronghold in northeast India and had launched a large-scale evangelical movement. This period of Indian history must be seen as a remarkable period for the Khasis. Though Christianity insinuated itself rapidly throughout India, it provided a means for the development of Khasi prose, poetry, and song as well as stimulating thought on religious and spiritual matters. Christianity was soon followed by the arrival of scientific humanism and rationalistic ideas which further stimulated thought and questioning (Marbaniang, 2002). Also factoring into the broader context of the time were the 19th century social and religious reform movements which reached as far east as Shillong and Cherrapunjii in Meghalaya. Many among the reformers were Brahmos, members of a liberal Hindu movement believing in monotheism and dedicated to eliminating social abuses in India. It was into this culture that the founder of Khasi Unitarianism was born in 1865. Hajom Kissor Singh was the eldest of two sons born into a family that followed the Khasi traditional religion. Singh was well-read, inquisitive and even in his childhood, showed interest in spiritual and religious matters. He and his brother attended missionary school and at age 15 Singh converted to the Reformed faith of the Welsh missionaries. Singh’s inquiring mind propelled him to continuous study and questioning of spiritual and religious ideas and led him to become disenchanted with his adopted Calvinistic faith. He observed that the Welsh missionaries had done away with the superstitions, fear of demons, and sacrifices integral to the Khasi tribal religion only to replace them with a fear of hell. He concluded from his independent search for truth and meaning that there was no basis for belief in the Trinity or for the Calvinist preoccupation with sin, hellfire and damnation. The missionaries’ message of election, damnation and salvation – by belonging to a certain church and professing a certain creed – was, reasoned Singh, incompatible with the teachings of Jesus as he read them for himself in the Gospels (Marbaniang, 2002).


India p. 8 History and Context

“He felt further that the (Calvinistic) message, based as it was on fear, was not the one that would redeem his people, fear-ridden as they were by their own primitive demon-haunted, preChristian religion” (Marbaniang, 2002). It was Singh’s belief that the power in the teachings of Jesus would save them from their own fears and give them a new sense of dignity as members of the human race (Marbaniang, 2002). The heart of the Gospels is found in the message of divine love. This love casts out fear, overcomes evil with good, and recognizes the essential divinity and potential splendor of the human spirit. Unable to persuade his fellow Christians that the essence of Christianity was to be found in Jesus’s way of life and values rather than in a scheme of salvation by blood or by faith, Singh broke away to seek “the true religion of Jesus, the love of God” (Lavan, 2001). Finding a spiritual home in neither the traditional Khasi religion nor in the religion of the missionaries, Singh continued his study and his questioning, inviting conversations with others about his nascent beliefs. Drawing on traditions from both the Christian and tribal religions, he formed a “new” religion which he called a Religion of One God (“Ka Niam Mane Weiblei”). Singh’s new religion was created at a time when Christian missionaries were making inroads in these northeastern highlands, undermining, criticizing, disparaging and threatening traditional Khasi culture and religion – an interesting climate for a new religion to take root. Orchids in the Khasi Hills grow on trees, mossy rocks and on the ground, getting the nutrients they need to thrive in a variety of ways – from soil, from insects, and from decaying leaves that fall among the root masses. The same can be said of the development of Unitarianism in the Khasi Hills. Singh’s new religion thrived by taking nutrients from both the tribal customs and from Christianity. Singh maintained the core of the Khasi traditional belief system including the covenant requiring Khasis to follow a code of clan behavior in all personal, family, clan and tribal matters, but omitted beliefs and practices such as the reading of omens and animal sacrifice. Singh’s religion of one God provided many Christian elements to Khasi religion as it had been practiced: churches, a liturgy, Sunday services, and group worship (Rex, 2001). And yet the new religion was neither the tribal religion nor Calvinism, just as the orchid and its nutrient sources are not the same. Due to the seed of free inquiry and reason, Singh’s religion blossomed into a flower quite separate from its hosts. When in his early 20s, Singh learned from a Brahmo convert that he was not alone in his belief in one beneficent God. Jope Solomon told him that in Calcutta there was an American Unitarian minister, Rev. George Appleton Dall, who held beliefs like his own. There ensued an eager exchange of letters and through those and the writings of William Ellery Channing (which Mr. Dall had sent him), Singh discovered that there were many others, called Unitarians, who shared his faith. He thereafter called his faith “Ka Niam Unitarian” (The Unitarian Religion). Singh did not immediately start a society of Unitarians but, as would have been the tradition, began by gathering friends into his home for religious discussions. Until his untimely death in 1886, Dall continued to write and send Unitarian publications to Singh. Singh was bereft at Dall’s death and worried that without his friend and mentor he would not be able to continue his work. “I confess that I have got great light from him,” he wrote in his diary; “I hope to further the cause of Unitarians in the Khasi Hills but now that my helper has died it will be very difficult to do this alone” (Lavan 2001). But he was not alone. It wasn’t long before Singh was in regular communication with Jabez T. Sunderland, editor of the Unitarian Magazine, the publication of the American Unitarian Association. Sunderland became a source of major assistance to the Khasi Unitarians. Funds he


India p. 9 History and Context

solicited for them were used to print copies of Singh’s book A Book of Services and Hymns in the Khasi Language in 1892. On September 18, 1887, an anniversary date Khasi Unitarians still celebrate, Hajom Kissor Singh led his first church service in his home. One woman and two men joined as the first members of this new church. By 1899, under Singh’s leadership, Khasi Unitarians numbered 214 with average attendance at services of 148. Although the state of Meghalaya, where the Khasi Hills are located, is primarily Christian (Unitarians make up only one percent of the population), today the Khasi and Jaintia Hills Unitarian Union includes thirty-two scattered congregations in Meghalaya and Assam with a growing membership of over 9,000 people; quite a land of orchids! Almost all these churches maintain non-sectarian pre-primary schools for the children in the village. There is a quarterly newsletter published by the Unitarian Union. In 1987, though separated by hundreds of miles and very different cultures, the Khasi Unitarians and the Christian Unitarian Church of Chennai joined to form the Indian Council of Unitarian Churches. Since its infancy Khasi Unitarians have maintained relationships with Unitarians around the world, first through the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) and then through ongoing connections with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the British Unitarians, and now through the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) which was founded in 1995 (Rex, 2001). Extending its outreach further, the Khasi Unitarians hosted an ICUU-sponsored international youth conference in 2003.

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India p.10 Beliefs and Practices

The Orchid: Unitarianism in India Handout: Keep on Progressing Keep on Progressing Though Hajom Kissor Singh, the founder of Unitarianism in the Khasi Hills, was never ordained, he devoted his life to preaching, starting churches, and growing the religion he started. He provided strong leadership and by example set the precedent for lay-led rather than clergy-led services. Today, ministers in the Unitarian Union are called Church Visitors. Each is responsible for 3-5 congregations. Church Visitors are usually unpaid volunteers with some special training. Efforts are underway to develop standardized training for Church Visitors. Sunday is the day of worship for Unitarians in the Khasi Hills. This day of worship begins at 7:00 AM when the children gather for the Children’s Worship service which they conduct themselves. Children’s Worship is followed at 10:30 by Sunday School classes. Worship for all begins at 1:30 in the afternoon. Each service is comprised of readings, hymns, prayers and a sermon given by a member of the congregation who is the service leader for the day. The evening is spent in “home service” which begins at 6:30 PM. A different family hosts the service each week. On Wednesday nights there is a special service and Saturday night services are held for and led by young people. Sunday school classes use lesson plans which are the same for all Khasi Unitarian churches and which are in some measure based upon The Book of Brief Questions about Unitarianism, written by Hajom Kissor Singh and his colleague U Robin Roy. The Unitarian Union is currently working to improve teaching methods and to expand curriculum materials in Sunday schools. In The Book of Brief Questions about Unitarianism Singh defined Khasi Unitarianism in terms of duty to God, to fellow humans and to oneself. John Rex outlines Brief Questions in the following way: “[it is] divided into six chapters that are intended to give instruction in the Khasi Unitarian faith. The first two chapters deal with the subject of God, and these are considered essential training for children. Three of the middle chapters deal with duty: our duty to God, fellow humans and ourselves, making it clear that Unitarianism, as with the tribal Khasi religion, is a dutiful religion. The final chapter deals with sin, which is defined as not doing one’s duty or going against the commands of God” (Rex, 2001). Unitarianism does not build its movement on creeds or dogmas, but on the continuing search for truth and understanding. Of prime importance, then, is the use of reason and conscience. Therefore this faith must be seen and experienced as a dynamic faith, adapting to changes brought about through discovery and new experiences. The principles of Unitarian faith in India that sustain this dynamic, strong community of believers are as follows: UBlei - There is only one ever-loving God who creates and sustains the universe. As we are all God’s children it is our duty and responsibility to “cultivate universal human brotherhood, love and peace. We are also to promote concord and harmony and go hand in hand with science” (Marbaniang, 2002). A committed belief in the forgiveness and the love of God overlies all. As American minister Eva S. Hochgraf (who lived and worshipped with the Khasi Unitarians for five months), informs us that this is not the western Judeo-Christian


India p.11 Beliefs and Practices

concept of God, but their own original tribal understanding of God – a motherfather, creative, nurturing, ever-present force of love in their world. God’s word is not only found in Biblical scripture and holy books but can be found in the universe itself which is God’s creation and in all things created which are his words. Significant to the belief in God is the Khasi Unitarian belief in the Fatherhood and Motherhood of God. This concept is deeply rooted in traditional Khasi culture and faith which is matrilineal and commands Khasis to know maternal and paternal relations and follow a strict clan behavior (Van Leer, 2004). Jesus is seen not as the actual son of God but as a great teacher and a leader to follow. His two teachings were to love God and to love fellow humans. The Bible was written by God-searching people and has both truths and errors in it. Holy books from other religions can help gain a better understanding of God. But for Khasi Unitarians the words of God are not confined to holy books. Truth is not static but ever-evolving (Van Leer, 2004). Heaven and hell are not geographic locations but states of being here on earth, states of mind and states of the soul. Salvation depends on our character and how we live this life. “Live a good life, spreading the love of God and you will experience heaven. Live a life of doing wrong, and your life will be hell” (Hochgraf, 2001). In the service of humankind we strive to be kind and honest, causing harm to none. The chief concern of humankind is the present, Khasi Unitarian Plielad Lyngdoh tells us. “It is seen as our duty to make this world and ourselves the very best we can become. Humankind is erring and floundering but always aspiring” (Lynghdoh, 2002). The flaming chalice is a symbol of Unitarianism used lavishly in the Khasi Hills: atop buildings, in windows, on gates, even knit into sweaters. In illustrations it is frequently seen with the phrase (adopted by Singh), “To Nangroi” (TOO-nahng-ROY) which means “Keep on Progressing” – a simple command but one which demands a lot from those who wish to follow it.


India p.12 Beliefs and Practices

Hoeing As a religious affirmation, what does “Keep on Progressing” mean to you?

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 15) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


India p.13 Small Group Worship

Unitarianism in India II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance Small Group Worship – India (p. 13), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies of the handouts for the next session you plan to cover. These will be handed out when you meet for Session 2, Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarianism in India which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 15) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from India to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 3 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship for India is based on a covenant group format which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. A plaid tablecloth would be appropriate. ___ Display an orchid and/or a photo of orchids. ___ Have Indian music such as the music of Ravi Shankar playing in the background. ___ Invite members to display items from India next to the chalice. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you are using this curriculum in a retreat or workshop setting and will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 15), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service Distribute handouts for your next meeting if appropriate. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the activities listed in this unit (See Harvesting, p. 15) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from including playing the Partner Church Game about Khasi Unitarians.


India p.14 Small Group Worship

Handout: Small Group Worship – India After you have read the articles and reflected on Unitarianism in India, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – India http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. Bring an item from India, if you have one, to display at the service. The Small Group Worship for India is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service which is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

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India p.15

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. According to Khasi Unitarian belief, “The chief concern of humankind is the present.” What are your thoughts on this outlook? Plan a social action project for your group or congregation that reflects this concern of the present. You might organize a food drive, collect personal care items, volunteer at a soup kitchen, clean up a public beach or park, raise funds for a charity. 2. Play “Partners! In Khasi Hills.” This game can be downloaded from the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church web site: www.uua.org/uupcc/re/introductions/khasi-hills-lesson-plan.htm. While this was originally created for use with young people, adults will enjoy it as well. 3. Illustrate or dramatize one or more of the stories of famous Indian Unitarians or of British Unitarian women who chose to work in India from McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press, pages 125- 140. You can divide into smaller groups, each group working with part of the story, and then get back together to share the illustrations or dramatizations. 4. Before your next group meeting, search the Internet for more information about NE India, the Khasi Hills, and Khasi Unitarians. Collect facts, photos and images to bring to the next meeting for a collage or poster designed by the group. Display your finished product on a bulletin board in your church or fellowship. 5. Khasi Unitarians have a religious affirmation “To Nangroi” which means “Keep on Progressing.” Come up with a phrase that would serve as a religious affirmation for you or for your congregation. Design a chalice symbol to go with your affirmation. 6. Design a worship service for your congregation in honor of Khasi Unitarians. 7. Prepare a Northeast Indian dinner. There are many recipes on the Internet. You can find some at: http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/europe/india/indexall.html http://recipes.indiaserver.com/north-indian-recipes.html. 8. Find out more about the history of Unitarians in Madras/Chennai. See McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press, p. 125- 128. British and American Unitarians declined to send missionaries to Madras when a Unitarian group was first developing there in the early 1800s which was a great frustration to Moodelliar Vellzha (William Roberts). Discuss the notion of Unitarian missionaries in the past and today. 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with India, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


India p.16

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. (2004). Unitarians Worldwide: India. Retrieved March 28, 2004 from http://www.unitarian.org.uk/worldwide_p-r.htm Hochgraf, Eva S. (Sept. 30, 2001). Journey to the Khasi Hills. A sermon. Retrieved April 15, 2004 from http://www.uuaa.org/sermons/sermons_Eva.htm India Meghalaya Information. (n.d.) Retrieved April 15, 2004 from http://www.1upindia.com/states/meghalaya/ International Council of Unitarian and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian Church of India. Retrieved March 28, 2004 from www.icuu.net. Lavan, Spencer. (Sept. 4, 2001). Hajom Kissor Singh. A sermon. Retrieved April 15, 2004 from http://www.cvuus.org Lavanhar, M. (June/July 1995). “Unitarians of India.” UU World. Also quoted in sermon by Rev. Johanna Nichols. See reference below. Lyngdoh, Plielad (2002). “Unitarian Theology in India” A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 156-162). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Marbaniang, P. G. (2002). “Unitarianism in Northeast India” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 252-264). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Nichols, Johanna (Nov. 4, 2001). Unitarians of India. A sermon. Retrieved April 15, 2004 from http://www.cvuus.org/sermons Northeast India Unitarian Union Homepage: http://www.uunei.com Pariat, D. (2002). “Chennai (Madras), India.” A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 228-230). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Rex, J. (March 2001). “Khasi Unitarians of India.” Quest. Available from www.uua.org/clf/quest/archives2001.html www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/hajomkissorsingh.html Rex, J. (n.d.). A Big Picture of our Faith. Retrieved April 15, 2004 from www.communitylink.gopbi.com “Society-Khasi.” (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2004 from http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk/EthnoAtlas/Hmar/Cult_dir/Culture.7852


India p.17

Thandeka (2002). â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.â&#x20AC;? in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Van Leer, L. (2004). Khasi Unitarians, a sermon for the Unitarian Church in Bozeman, Montana, unpublished.


Resources To hear the music to the chant Building Bridges, visit http://www.cyberus.ca/~phoenix/hedra/chants.htm The hymns can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. The chalice lighting, prayers, and readings are from One and Universal edited by John Midgley, published by Skinner House Books, Boston, 2002 for the ICUU. www.uua.org/skinner The prayer on the front cover is a translation of a song sung by members of Holdeen India Programme which is dedicated to bringing an end to the slavery and poverty endured by bonded laborers in India. The Holdeen Program is supported by the UUA and other international U*U groups. This song is used with permission from the author. You can learn more at http://www.uua.org/ga/ga03/2051speech2.html The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.

Our Prayer of the Day

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists India

This is the dream of my life May it come true May the children of human beings Live with human dignity May no one sell their bodies To quell the pangs of hunger, And may my inner urge ever be To destroy oppression May the flowers yet to bloom Not be trampled underfoot May every breath I take Help new flowers to bloom May I never be weak, vulnerable And powerless May I find within myself The strength to contain storms The night that has just passed Was the longest and darkest Let the emerging rays Live forever in the huts of poor May those who have no food And no dignity, be my inspiration May every step I take today Be in the service of that God This is my prayer May it come true May the children of human beings Live with human dignity

12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

Vivek Pandit


Call to worship Ringing of the chime Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Homily

Chalice lighting We light this chalice, large enough to contain all we bring – all Anonymous our differences, all our lives – as a symbol of our hopes, and a beacon of light to guide us toward our visions. Hymn (#276)

Prayer Khasi Hills, India (adapted)

Song (sing as a round)

Reading Khasi Hills, India

Onderson Mowrie writes, “In everything, [a Khasi] is made to feel the closeness of the creator and to see the moving Hand beyond his natural life, beyond his individual ego, something other than the needs and interests of his vital and physical nature. It [religion] is not the cloak or robe that we put on but the very life blood and soul of our race.”

Oh Young and Fearless Prophet O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee; Your life is still a summons to serve humanity, To make our thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd, To stand with humble courage for truth with hearts unbowed. Let us be thankful for being able to be here together, And may we hold in our thoughts those who are not. Let us attend to the words we sing and speak and hear, That they may help us to live better lives. And in the spaces and the stillness Let us feel the Divine Presence – with us and in us always. Building Bridges Building bridges between our divisions, I reach out to you and you reach out to me With all of our voices and all of our visions Friends, we shall make such sweet harmony Oh God, Lord and Master, a thousand thanks to you; Lord, the Keeper of human life and Law Giver To all our human existence in the world – Under heaven and over the earth, You have given us our clan and its ancestral allegiance, Our custom, our covenant and the sustaining power to Keep intact our unity of kinship. Manifold are our commitments and our Frailties are increasing more in your sight. I will only raise my thanksgiving to You By exalting Your Holy Name. But love and pity are Yours, guidance and guardianship, Yours; Sustain and assist us. Show us the way and path, that we may do well, Grow healthy and prosperous; That we may increase in race, within our clan embrace, Oh God, infinite and almighty in all things, I bow down my head at your feet.

The Reverend Eva Hochgraf says,“Khasis have a love affair with God…God is that important in their lives. This is true of all Khasis. Though, like us they don’t have any creed to become Unitarian, they all do believe in God…they can’t conceive of a person who couldn’t or wouldn’t believe in God…they feel sorry for those who don’t believe in God.”

Sitting in Silence Sharing

How do you respond to the reading and the information about Khasi Unitarians and their relationship to their Creator? What is the “very life blood and soul” in your life? Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen.

Discussion

This is a time to respond supportively to what another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

Closing Prayer Show us the right path to follow in your footsteps. Keep us Unitarian Church always safe, to walk aright and to draw closer to your mighty Congregation, presence. Madras, India (adapted)

Closing hymn (#298)

Wake, Now, My Senses Wake now my senses, and hear the earth call, Feel the deep power of being in all; Keep, with the web of creation your vow, Giving, receiving as love shows us how. Wake, now my reason, reach out to the new; Join with each pilgrim who quests for the true Honor the beauty and wisdom of time; Suffer thy limit, and praise the sublime.

Extinguishing the Chalice Khublei (koo blay) Now turn to your neighbor and say "Khublei." It means, God bless, also hello and good bye.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 10: Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p.1

Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe The Sunflower

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2006) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 10: Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p.2

Unitarian*Universalism in Central & Western Europe: The Sunflower Table of Contents for Unit 10 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History and Context/ Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: Planting: Food for the Soul Tilling: Pre-reading activity Handouts: Czech Republic Germany Denmark Spain EUU Hoeing: Post-reading activity

p. 4 p. 4 pp. 5 p. 5 pp. 6-8 pp. 9-12 pp. 13-16 pp. 17-19 pp. 20-22 p. 23

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship – Flower Communion

p. 24 p. 24 p. 25-26

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 27

The Tool Shed: References and Resources (including websites for U*U groups in France)

p. 28-31 p. 29

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ❀❀❀


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 10: Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p.3

Unitarian*Universalist of Western and Central Europe: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 covers the history, context, beliefs and practices of various Unitarian*Universalist groups in Western and Central Europe. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship Flower Communion service in a covenant group format in honor of these groups. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit. They will need to decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may wish to choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 27) to do together after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create more informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some activities are geared towards younger participants. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit over three sessions depending on their time frame and the interests of the group. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


U*Uism in Central and Western Europe p. 4

Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT/BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Food for the Soul (p. 5), the accompanying pre-reading activity (Tilling, p. 5) and post-reading questions (Hoeing, p. 23), and the articles about the western and central European U*U groups covered in this unit (p. 6-22) or ask members to access them online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (pp. 28-31). ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 27) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials as needed. ___ Invite members to bring items from any of the countries covered in the unit to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate the groups covered in this unit. ___ Display a sunflower or a photo or painting of a sunflower. ___ Have music from any, or several, of the countries covered in this unit playing in the background. ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table. 2. Chalice lighting: May this flame burn and remind us that each of us can offer goodness and love, and that each of us can be a blessing to the world. - Rev. Petr Samojsky, Religious Society of Czech Unitarians. 3. Check-In/Announcements: a. Give everyone an opportunity to tell their name and a high or low point of their week. b. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 27) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Ask members to share and discuss answers to the pre-reading Tilling exercise on p. 5 5. Ask members to share their responses to the post-reading Hoeing exercise on p. 23. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Ein Licht, das in mir wirket still lässt mich die ganze welt erkennen. Ich weiß nicht, was es ist und will; in Ehrfurcht will ich’s göttlich nennen. —H. Thoma, Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft A light that silently works in me allows me to know the world in its entirety. I don’t know what it is or what it wants; with awe I’ll call it divine. – H. Thoma, German Unitarian Society. 6. Gather for your Additional Activity from Harvesting (p. 27), if your group decided to do so.


U*Uism in Central and Western Europe p. 5

Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe: The Sunflower Handout: Food for the Soul

Tilling In 16 century Europe, as in many places, it was felt that political unity and power could only be achieved when there was also religious conformity. Thus religion played a significant role in politics throughout the history of Europe. Write down three things you know about the role of religion in the history of western and central Europe. Be prepared to share your thoughts with your study group. th

Planting Read the following introduction below. Then choose one country or group to learn more about and read the appropriate article. Be prepared to share what you learn with your study group. Please note that some articles are longer and more detailed due to availability of information. Food for the Soul Unitarian*Universalism and its values are not new to western and central Europe. Seeds of our liberal religion were planted there long ago by individuals committed to free thought and the use of reason in matters of faith. Their ideals have endured and spread, under sometimes very difficult political and religious environments, through the work of many dedicated individuals. In Europe, there are Unitarian groups in Transylvania, Hungary, Poland, and the United Kingdom as well as Unitarian*Universalist groups in Scandinavia and in several eastern European nations. Their histories and beliefs are covered elsewhere in this curriculum. (The complete curriculum is available at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html). There are also U*U groups and individuals in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. In this unit, you will learn more about the U*U groups in the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, and Spain as well as about the European Unitarian Universalists, a group with individuals from many European nations, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, France and Sweden. Information about the long-established, thriving U*U groups in France will be added to this unit in the fall of 2007. In the meantime visit their websites, which are listed on p. 29 of this unit. Our western and central European Unitarian*Universalist groups are being represented in our Garden of Unitarian*Universalism by the sunflower, which also happens to be the symbol of Unitarianism in the Czech Republic. Sunflowers grow all over Europe. They are hardy, strong and beautiful and so are a fitting symbol for Unitarian*Universalism and the individuals who tend our liberal faith in Europe. Sunflower seeds and oil are an essential part of the diet of many Europeans, providing food for the body as Unitarian*Universalism provides food for the soul in countries where there is often a great deal of indifference to organized religion. It is to the committed and hardworking individuals of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s U*U movement in Europe that this unit is dedicated.


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p. 6

(The symbol of the Unitarians of the Czech Republic)

Unitarianism in the Czech Republic Although the Czech Republic, founded in 1993, is one of the world’s youngest countries, its culture and identity go back centuries. The Czech Republic sits in the heart of Europe sharing borders with Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland. Its history is marked by periods of occupation and control by the Hapsburg dynasty, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. The Czech people have forged a strong national identity through these hardships that can be seen in their art, literature and music (Milivojevic, 2004). Christianity was brought to the Czech region in the 9th century. In the 10th century, the region came under the control of the Holy Roman Empire, and Roman Catholicism became widespread for the next three hundred years. In the 15th century, inspired by English theologian John Wycliffe (Wicklef), Jan Hus attempted a Catholic Church reformation. Hus’ execution in 1415 fueled a strong Reformational and national movement related to the origin of the Utraquist Church and Brethren Unity (Samojsky, 2005). The Utraquists were moderate followers of Jan Hus who believed that the Eucharist should be administered to the people under both forms – bread and wine, a controversial issue at the time. “Unlike the militant Taborites (also followers of Hus), the Utraquists were moderates and maintained amicable relations with the Roman Catholic Church” (Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d.). Czechs firmly maintained their Reformation stand for two hundred years although they remained part of the Holy Roman Empire. In the 17th century, the Hapsburg empire forced Catholicism on Reformational Czechs. Their religious freedom was regained gradually over the next centuries through such acts as the Toleration Patent of 1781, in which non-Catholic Christians were allowed freedom of public worship (Macartney, 1962). But it was not until 1918, when Czechoslovakia came into being, that Czechs were completely free to worship as they chose. When a communist government took over in 1948, the state was officially declared atheist and all forms of religion were restricted. Freedom of religion was reestablished in 1989 after the Velvet Revolution and fall of the communist government. However, today most Czechs (60 percent) do not practice any religion. Czech Unitarian minister Petr Samojsky believes this stems from a general distrust in religious institutions, which began in the 15th century and continued under the Hapsburg empire in the 17th century. Samojsky adds, “According to the 2001 Czech National Census, 27 percent of the population is Roman Catholic and two percent are Brethren. However, Czechs’ spiritual expression takes many forms in their daily life” (Samojsky, 2005). There are nearly 450 Unitarians in the Czech Republic in three active congregations in the cities of Prague, Brno, and Plzen and a fellowship in Liberec (www.icuu.net, 2005). “ … the traits of Unitarianism can be identified long before the Reformation and afterward as well. Various religious movements emerged which rejected the belief in the Holy Trinity and miracles, affirmed freedom of faith… and emphasized the use of reason in religion” (Dittrichová, 2002). Czech Unitarianism as an organized, formal group had its beginnings in Prague in 1922 as the Religious Liberal Fellowship. It became Unitarian in name in 1930 under the leadership of Dr. Norbert Capek [pronounced Chah-peck], who had been influenced by American


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p. 7

Unitarianism and who had returned to his native country from the United States following WWI. Dr. Capek was a prolific writer, lecturer and composer of Unitarian hymns, as well as a practical psychologist. He also created the Flower Communion service that many U*U congregations all over the world now celebrate (www.icuu.net, 2005). In Prague, he attracted a large number of religious liberals to Unitarianism. By 1932, Prague was the center of the largest Unitarian congregation in the world with more than 3000 members (Dittrichová, 2002). Unitaria, a Unitarian complex in Prague containing worship space, meeting rooms, offices, and accommodations, was built with the help of both the British and American Unitarians (General Assembly of Free and Christian Churches, n.d.). Czech Unitarianism maintained a strong presence during the Nazi occupation of WWII. Even after Dr. Capek was arrested by the Nazis in 1941 and executed a year later at Dachau concentration camp, the Czech Unitarians carried on. And later, when other Czech Unitarians were also persecuted and arrested, the group continued to meet and worship. Dr Karel Haspl and Dr. Dusan Kafka led the Czech Unitarians, continuing the work started under the leadership of Dr. Capek (General Assembly of Free and Christian Churches, n.d.). However, when a communist government took power in 1948, forbidding all churches to organize Sunday schools and youth meetings, and adults attending worship services feared dismissal from their jobs, commitment to Unitarianism, as with other religions, declined (Dittrichová, 2002). Czech Unitarian, Ivana Fiserová in a speech delivered to First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto in January 2004 spoke of life under communism: “I lived the major part of my life in the communist regime. Such a life was cut off by the oppression of the natural spontaneity in socializing, but even worse was that people could not practice their religion in public as a natural part of their life. There was established an animosity against religion: a part of the materialistic ideology and propaganda was to diminish the meaning of religion and spirituality; and there were sanctions introduced against those who were not loyal to the regime. The era of Stalin in the early 1950s was…[one] of the most aggressive and oppressive. Nevertheless, at that time, as a pre-school child, I had the most important spiritual and religious experience in our church: the Flower Communion, the only ritual of the Czech Unitarians, originated by the founder of the church, Norbert Capek in 1923. Since my childhood I have carried that experience with me as a model of the congregation which loves, provides a safe environment, cares, and enables its members to experience free spirit. Religion was truly lived in that community. Naturally, after the fall of the communist regime there were many, including me, coming back to the church with a desire to experience the same spirited community. Our earlier spiritual experience in our church became our life-long foundation for the rest of our life in the totalitarian regime. But at our comeback there was not a trusting, loving and caring community any more. The web of relationships within this community was partly rotted, because people did not attend the church in the past four decades, and partly destroyed by animosity and mistrust embedded into society by the horrors we experienced. Unfortunately, our hope to find that ideal church failed.” (Fiserová, 2004) In 1991, an emigrant from the USA, Vladimir Strejcek, was appointed the Unitarian minister in Prague with hopes that he would be able to bring new life to the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians. Instead, according to Czech Unitarian Iva Kocmanova, “… he seized control


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p. 8

of the society in the middle of his ‘ministry’ and occupied the Unitarian Headquarters (Unitaria) in Prague, expelled from it the Prague congregation, organized … an illegal General Assembly, and passed a new undemocratic constitution. The IARF therefore cancelled its contract with him. At that crucial moment the Ministry of Culture, in spite of prior full information and a warning from the legal Unitarian bodies, registered the illegitimate document as the new constitution of the CUA (Czech Unitarian Association) giving Strejcek official recognition in our country” (Kocmanova, 1998). A top-level delegation of UU leaders from all over the world tried to sort out the situation. The delegation met with members of the Ministry of Culture, which, although they interfered by accepting the illegitimate registration in the first place, ironically defended themselves… “with the argument that nothing can be done by the Ministry because it would be an interference into the internal matters of a religious society, which is prohibited by law. [UUA] President Buehrens commented on the finished negotiation that it seemed as if they were taking part in Franz Kafka's The Trial” (Kocmanova, 1998). The Prague Unitarians were locked out of their own church, but they kept up their church life in a refuge of a friendly church, the Church of the Hussites, for seven years until they were able to re-establish their legal and material status and recover their precious church building at 8 Karlova in the heart of Prague (Fiserová, 2004). The 41-year Communist era and the institutional difficulties that followed dramatically reduced the number of Czech Unitarians. The Prague church was without a minister until fall 2002. But today Czech Unitarians are seeing new life in their churches. Although slow, there has been growth in the last few years including a few children. International connections have always been important to the Czech Unitarians and that is still true today. Since their founding, they have been members of the International Association of Religious Freedom (IARF), and have maintained close relations with British and American Unitarians. The Religious Society of Czech Unitarians is also a founding member of the ICUU. The Administrative Headquarters for the ICUU was located in the Prague Unitaria until 2006. Currently, services are held on Sundays in all of the Czech congregations. The Prague Unitarian Congregation offers worship services in English twice a month on Thursday evenings. The congregations in Prague, Brno and Plzen also publish monthly newsletters. Most Czech Unitarians believe in God, or Ultimate Reality. To respect what is beyond us and consider a responsibility to something higher than ourselves underlies this belief. They focus on personal development and developing a personal theology that enhances their life and relations with self, others and Ultimate Reality. There is also a focus on service to others. “Dr. Capek included this principle as a characteristic of Czech Unitarianism, [and certainly embodied it himself (Miller, 2002),] when he said, ‘Religion begins with service to others’” (Dittrichová, 2002). Dr. Haspl continued this legacy saying, “‘We should cooperate with others for the public welfare, and we should help others, because the tasks and the needs of life cannot be handled by an individual isolated from the whole. Service for others is a test of our religion and the backbone of our religious life.’” (Dittrichová, 2002). Although the past has been one of hardships, Czech Unitarians, like their symbol the sunflowers, stand strong and proud, gently turning toward a light, bright future.


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe, p. 9

(The symbol of German Unitarians, Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft)

Unitarianism in Germany Germany is located in the western part of central Europe and borders the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and nine other European countries. In its early history, Germany consisted of some independent Germanic (and in the south, Celtic) tribes. These tribes co-existed with the Roman Empire despite conflicts. As the Roman Empire weakened, the Germanic tribes formed kingdoms and in 476 CE, when the Empire collapsed, the Franks ruled by King Clovis, became the dominant Germanic kingdom. Clovis’s conversion to trinity-based Catholicism (as opposed to the non-trinitarian Arianism of the southeast Germanic tribes) contributed to the widespread conversion to Catholicism (Paul, MJ, 2006). Under Charlemagne (768 to 814 CE), the Frankish empire greatly expanded and conquered tribes were converted to Catholicism. In spite of the division of the empire in the late 9th century, France and large parts of western Germany, including Austria, were firmly Catholic. In 1517, Martin Luther, a German monk, challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. He denounced the authority of the pope and the special status of the clergy, posting his 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg to protest these and other abuses in the Catholic Church. In doing so, Luther changed the course of European and world history and established the second major faith in Germany - Protestantism. Today Christianity remains the dominant religion in Germany (about 66%). Weekly attendance at services is generally low with less than 20 percent of members attending. Most church members attend church only for important ceremonies marking life transitions (U.S. Dept of State, 2003). About 6% of the population comes from other religions while about 28% are unaffiliated with a church or religious organization. In principle, Germans enjoy freedom of religion. The text of the Constitution of 1949 states: “There exists no State Church.” However, due to concordats between most of the German States with the Vatican and State Treaties with the Protestant Church, many members of other religious groups and those unaffiliated with a religious organization feel that the Catholic and Lutheran churches have privileges not afforded to others (Paul, MJ, 2006). If small and medium-sized religious denominations fulfill certain requirements, they may request "public law corporation" status, which, among other things, entitles them to levy taxes on their members that the State then collects for them. Many religious groups have been granted public law corporation status (mainly in the 1950s and 1960s). Religious and weltanschauung (worldview) organizations enjoy tax-exempt status if the requirements are met. During the last few years courts have been more reluctant in granting that requested status (Paul, MJ, 2006). Unitarianism is considered a religion in Germany. The Unitarian movement in Germany involves three distinct communities. All three German Unitarian organizations are members of the International Association of Religious Freedom (IARF) (McEvoy, 2003; IARF, n.d.). 1. Unitarische Kirche in Berlin (UkiB) was founded in 1948 by the Rev. Hansgeorg Remus (1908 – 1983). Remus was the descendant of an East Prussian family of Protestant ministers, who can trace their roots back to the Gwiazdowski family who converted from Catholicism to Unitarianism in 1580. The family was


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expelled from Poland in 1658, but was able to take refuge with the House of Brandenburg Prince in East Prussia. For the other two communities, the word ‘Unitarian’ must be traced back to the thinking and influence of the Rev. Rudolf Walbaum (1869 – 1948). In 1909, Walbaum became the fourth minister of the Freie Protestanten (Free Protestants) in Alzey/Rheinhessen (founded in 1876). A key event during his ministry was his attendance at the Fifth World Congress for Free Christianity and Religious Progress (later known as the International Association for Religious Freedom, or IARF) in Berlin in 1910. In a talk about “Christians and Freethinkers,” he used the word “Unitarian” as a way of characterizing the religious beliefs of his community, namely as non-trinitarian. Walbaum stressed that he and his congregation firmly rejected “the dogma of the divinity of Christ and the Trinity of God. We are basically Unitarian …” (Walbaum, 1910). He promoted this idea in his periodical (established in 1911) and in his essay “Was ist Unitarismus” (1915). 2. Unitarische Freie Religionsgemeinde in Frankfurt/Main was founded in 1845. Clemens Taesler (1887 – 1969) was a minister of the Freireligioese Gemeinde Frankfurt/Main from 1918 to 1962. He read Walbaum’s essay and in 1915 published his own thoughts affirming religious Unitarianism. Following Walbaum’s outreach in 1926, Taesler founded the Deutsche Unitarierbund in 1927. After Walbaum’s death in 1948, Taesler renamed his community Unitarische Freie Religionsgemeinde (Unitarian Free Religious Community) Frankfurt/Main. 3. Walbaum’s Religionsgemeinschaft Freier Protestanten was based since 1876 in Alzey/Rheinhessen. It was registered under private status in 1902 and under the status of public law corporation from 1928 to 1945 (Paul, MJ, 2006). After WWII American and British Unitarians supported Walbaum in his efforts to open the doors of Free Protestantism widely to religious liberals throughout Germany (Moeller, 2001). In 1950, the “Religionsgemeinschaft Freier Protestanten - Deutsche Unitarier” (Religious Community Free Protestants – German Unitarians) changed their name to Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft (DU). In two states, DU succeeded in attaining public law status, but in other states, Unitarian groups are registered on the basis of private law, as associations, or, in rare cases, as a foundation. In 1954, the majority of the Alzey district members split off from the nation-wide community of DU for various reasons, to the regret of DU. The Alzey group continued to call itself “Unitarian” until 1996. Since then they have been renamed as a “Humanist” congregation. (Paul, MJ, 2006) Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft is the only Unitarian group in Germany to belong to the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) (Wikipedia, 2005) and its practices and beliefs are the focus of the rest of this article. There are approximately 1600 Unitarians in 26 lay-led congregations in the Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft (www.icuu.net, 2004). This German Unitarian Community “is deliberately a lay-led movement which tends toward scientific and philosophical humanism, while acknowledging other faith traditions.” Members are free to develop their own religious beliefs but “they agree on a number of (democratically resolved) basic ideas about religion, the divine, life, human beings, and community” (www.icuu.net, 2004).


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These basic ideas, agreed upon in April 1995, include that: 1) religiousness is part of human nature and enables us to relate to life as a whole and to search for meaning; 2) it is through individuals’ life experiences that “they come to conclusions that give them an idea for the conduct of their life and thus constitute their religion;” 3) all of existence is connected and constitutes a wholeness; and 4) there is a creative power at work in the world - “in and around ourselves, we feel the same creative power, which many of us think of as divine” (Deutsche Unitarier, n.d.). Members of the Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaf believe that “individuals develop in an element of tension between striving for independence and a need for love and security [and that] … people want communities which offer them security and which they can help to shape” (Deutsche Unitarier, n.d.). This is just one reason that congregations are lay-led and maintained through the voluntary effort of all members. German Unitarians view life as a “continuous, self-creative sequence of origination, growth, change and decay” all of which is interdependent. Life is held in reverence and diversity is respected and valued. “Death is the end of human life. There is no certainty about what follows. This awareness strengthens our endeavours to live our lives consciously and meaningfully. Each person leaves traces which outlive one’s death” (Deutsche Unitarier, n.d.). They believe that each person is responsible for what he or she does and does not do to “oneself, to other people, and to the world around oneself.” German Unitarians recognize that “we live in nature and are part of it. Hence we feel obliged to treat it with respect even if personal sacrifices are required.” German Unitarians are proud to be part of a religion that “is open to new knowledge and new experiences” (Deutsche Unitarier, n.d.). (The complete document outlining the basic ideas of German Unitarians in English can be found at http://www.religio.de/unitarier/gg-e.html). The symbol of the DU, agreed upon in 1968, gives some insight into their thoughts on life. Although the symbol resembles an ancient Germanic rune, it was not designed with that in mind and bears no connection to it. The symbol has been likened to a wheel, a star, and a double peace sign but most German Unitarians see in it the Tree of Life (Lebensbaum), with roots planted firmly in the earth and branches reaching toward the sky. The lines jetting out represent birth and death, living and dying and, where they meet, reflection on life and death. The circle represents infinity; the universe; a circle that encloses everything, giving us security; a beginning and an ending that join smoothly. Christina Puhlmann calls it “a faith statement in picture form” (Puhlmann, 2003). German Unitarians mark life’s passages: birth, Coming of Age, weddings and death, in community. Small groups meet in members’ homes or rent space for weekly worship and discussion. At these gatherings, a candle is lit to start the ceremony. This is followed by music, poetry, more music and a speech, or address, usually on a philosophical question. Then there is more poetry, more music and part two of the speech, followed by poetry and music, extinguishing the candle, announcements and tea hour (Paul, A., 2003). In Hamburg, young adults and families gather every other month for “Brunch and Brain,” where they discuss a chosen topic (Jantz, 2003). German Unitarians base their religious study on many different types of books and writings. “We learn from all. Sunday speeches are like collecting honey” (Jantz, 2003). Music is such an important part of their religious expression that DU commissioned the arrangement of a song in 1993, Ich möchte gerne Brücken bauen (I Want to Build Some Friendly Bridges).


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The bridge metaphor is a fitting one for German Unitarians. German Unitarian Antje Paul writes, “To build bridges means, for me, to support mutual understanding among people. It also means to accept the differences between human beings and to realize these differences as an enrichment to our lives – like in the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists” (Paul, A, 2003). German Unitarians have constructed many bridges. Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft (DU) is a founding member of the ICUU and, since 1975, a full member of the IARF. It is also part of an umbrella organization with the Humanists and Free Thinkers of Germany, Dachverband Freier Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften (DFW). The DU congregation in Frankfurt/Main has a partner congregation in Transylvania and a number of DU members belong to the European Unitarian Universalists. The German Unitarians publish a bi-monthly periodical and manage a modern conference center at Klingberg/Baltic Sea. There is an independent youth organization supported by DU and the Social Services Network of DU, which, for forty years, has focused on helping others. Thirty-five years ago, the ‘Unitarian Academy’ was established to focus on a wide variety of topics and issues related to Unitarianism in a broader sense. (Paul, 2006). “A bridge can be a symbol for coming together. In some sense everybody could be a bridge, if he or she has an open mind to the mind of others. We all are part of one human community. If we want to enjoy a world worth living, we best attain this goal by practising peace and understanding among each other” (Paul, A, 2003).


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(The symbol of Danish Unitarians, Unitarisk Kirkesamfund)

Unitarianism in Denmark Denmark, in northwestern Europe, shares a border with Germany to the south but is otherwise surrounded entirely by water. During its early history Denmark consisted of organized farming communities and small villages. By 750 C.E., the country had unified under a central power. Like its neighbors, Norway and Sweden, Denmark was part of the Viking culture from about 800 to about 1100 C.E. Part of that culture included belief in and worship of the Viking gods and goddesses. Viking raids brought Denmark into contact with Christianity. When Harold I Bluetooth (Harald Blåtand) was baptized in 965, Christianity began to take hold; Catholicism became the established religion in Denmark. Over the next several hundred years, the Catholic church grew rich and powerful. The Protestant Reformation was first introduced in Denmark in the 1520s. Its influence grew and civil war broke out in 1533. After three years of war, Lutheranism became the State-supported religion in 1536 and remains so today (Ministry of Foreign Affairs …, n.d.). The Constitution of Denmark stipulates that the Evangelical Lutheran Church is the established Church of Denmark and “shall be supported by the State” (Stenbæk, n.d.). However, the Constitution also provides for freedom of religion for its people, with the exception of the king, who must belong to the Lutheran church. As in other Scandinavian countries, Danish citizens are assumed to belong to the State (Lutheran) Church and at infant baptism, are considered as continuing to belong to the Lutheran Church until their death, even if they never attend church. Danes who do not wish to pay Church taxes or remain members of the Lutheran church must cancel their membership in person (Shoemaker, 2003). The State church enjoys some privileges that other faith groups in Denmark do not. The Lutheran church is the only religious organization that can receive funds directly through the tax system. Individuals can choose not to contribute; however, some portion of the wages of ministers of the State church are subsidized by the government and do not come out of the voluntary tax. So all citizens, in essence, support the Lutheran church to some degree. Members of other religions argue that the system is unfair and inequitable. Changes to the system would require changes to the Constitution (US Dept of State, 2003). Members of the State Church may also take advantage of free services for weddings, funerals, and other life transition events; nonmembers have to pay out of pocket for these same services (Shoemaker, 2003). Approximately 84 percent of the population of Denmark belongs to the national Evangelical Lutheran Church (Stenbæk, n.d.). However, surveys indicate that few Danes actually attend church on a regular basis. Most Danes do mark life transitions such as christenings, confirmations, weddings and death in ceremonies and rituals done through the Church (Pateman, 1995). Danish Unitarians Lene Lund Shoemaker and Ole Andersen feel that “Danes, in general, tend to be humanistic in orientation just like the rest of Scandinavia. This, however, often leads to a somewhat negative orientation toward religion of any kind, especially toward fundamentalism. Many belong to the Danish Lutheran State Church more out of tradition than faith, and there seems to be a growing interest in exploring religious alternatives” (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). Other Christian and non-Christian religious organizations are represented and officially recognized in Denmark. Islam is the largest of these with an estimated 150,000 members,


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followed by the Roman Catholic Church with 35,000 members (US Dept of State, 2003 and Stenbæk, n.d.). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark notes on its website that “Among the numerically smaller, but characteristically Christian congregations mention must […] be made of […] the Unitarian Church in Copenhagen (The Free Church Congregation), which in 1907 was expelled from the National Church on account of its denial of certain central Christian doctrines” (Stenbæk, n.d.). As in several other northern European countries, Unitarianism is not officially recognized as a religion in Denmark; it is defined as a religious philosophy (Shoemaker, 2003). Unitarians are a very small minority in Denmark. “A large percentage of Danes, most likely, function within a Unitarian value system, but these are often the people who have come to the conclusion that religion is of little or no use. So, the Unitarian challenge in Denmark is two-fold: inform about the existence of our liberal, non-dogmatic, anti-fundamentalist, pro-common sense, and pro- thinking-for-yourself religion; and change people’s minds about the value of religious involvement” (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). The Free Church Society, or Danish Unitarian Church, was founded in Copenhagen in 1900. One of the founders, and its first president, was a dynamic woman from a wealthy Danish Unitarian family, Mary B. Westenholz. (Mary’s maternal grandmother was a British Unitarian). As the 19th century came to a close, Mary Westenholz and her friend Theo Berg felt the time was ripe to start a Unitarian church in Denmark. Berg was impressed and moved by the articles and lectures of Uffe Birkedal, a liberal religious minister of the State Church who often found himself at odds with Church leaders for questioning prevailing dogma and with the Danish Department of Defense and the Church for his outspoken pacifism. Unable to reform the Church from within, Birkedal “resigned from the ministry in 1893 and became administrator of an Adult Education Facility” (McEvoy, 2003). In 1900, Westenholz and Berg founded the Free Church Society and named Birkedal its first minister. Birkedal published a book in 1901 Belief and the Unbelievable, in which he argued that the only really honest response to questions regarding the origins of life and what happens after death is that we don’t know – a firmly agnostic response to religious questions. Official Church leaders were incensed by this assertion, but Birkedal found many clergy members willing to hear these challenges. Westenholz and Birkedal hoped that this willingness might lead the State Church to become more tolerant of liberal theology and “to encompass Unitarian views” (McEvoy, 2003). Their efforts had quite the opposite effect. They “were accused of being destructive,” of tearing down rather than building up. In response, Birkedal pointed out that tearing down can be a way of cleaning up, that Jesus was known to tear down; Jesus worked to rid Judaism of layers of human-made traditions that he felt merely separated human beings from God. The Unitarians sought to do the same within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. In spite of their outspoken and heartfelt attempts to liberalize the Church from within, in 1907 the Danish Supreme Court ruled that the Unitarians were a completely separate faith since, among other things, they did not believe in the Trinity (McEvoy, 2003). In the early years of the 20th century, there were three Unitarian congregations: one in Aarhus (established by Norwegian Unitarian Kristofer Janson (see Unit 13 of this curriculum), one shortlived congregation in Odense, and the one in Copenhagen. As of 1938, only the Copenhagen congregation remains. They worship in a beautiful building, Unitarernes Hus, erected in 1927, which was built under the leadership of Thorvald Kierkegaard with extensive help from composer Edvard Grieg’s widow, Nina, a concert singer and pianist, who donated her talent to


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help raise money for the organ for this permanent home for the Copenhagen Unitarians. Kierkegaard was originally a member of the Aarhus congregation but was persuaded by its minister, P.P. Hoegsted, and by Birkedal, and Westenholz to pursue a theological degree and start a third Unitarian congregation. Kierkegaard received his degree in 1918, but due to the declining health of Birkedal, instead of founding a new congregation, Kierkegaard took over the ministry of the Copenhagen congregation (McEvoy, 2003). Kierkegaard served as minister from 1918 to 1965. “He was a very charismatic leader and had a great following” (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). After Kierkegaard’s death, Unitarisk Kirkesamfund (the Unitarian Church), had some shortterm ministers who, it turned out, were actually liberal Lutherans rather than true Unitarians. “Unable to find a minister who was both Danish and Unitarian, the members decided to become a Fellowship” with lay-leaders (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). Although originally the Danish Unitarian church was liberal Christian with a focus on the teachings of Jesus, God the Father and the Golden Rule (Love thy neighbor), the 100 families and 135 supporters today (www.icuu.net, 2004) hold a variety of beliefs including religious humanism, pantheism, agnosticism, atheism as well as liberal Christianity (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). Danish Unitarians, as stated in their statutes, “recognize and support individual search for truth and meaning – responsible only to God and one’s own conscience. The right to personal truth is essential in religious matters, and anyone acknowledging this is eligible for membership in our church” (Shoemaker, 2003). “To us, anyone is a Unitarian who demands the right to think for him or herself, and grants the same right to others. We strongly feel, that if we all saw things the same way, we would no longer be Unitarians. We promote a free and responsible search for ‘truth’ and meaning, where each person is responsible to his or her own conscience and his or her concept of ‘God’ or ‘The Divine’. We believe that all religious works are human attempts to explain the unexplainable, and should be seen as such. However, we also believe that elements of great value can be found in the teachings of all religions, as well as in many other places, such as scientific works, literature and art. We, therefore, refuse to limit our search according to any outward authority. We value personal growth as well as personal and global responsibility” (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). There is a strong emphasis on human rights within our movement (Shoemaker, 2003). “As the only Unitarian church in the country, we see it as our goal to try to encourage all kinds of Unitarian ideologies. However, the trend seems to be moving towards a broader perspective, with Christianity becoming less significant. There also seems to be a growing interest in the concept of reincarnation in Scandinavia; this interest is reflected in our church as well” (Andersen and Shoemaker, 2004). The Unitarians in Copenhagen hold services every other Sunday at 2pm. (Sunday services are not held in the summer. Instead the Danish Unitarians hold an Open House every Wednesday afternoon). They are fortunate to have a very active music group, headed by their organist, which is dedicated to including lots of music at the services. Traditionally, four hymns may be sung at a service. There are two Danish Unitarian hymnals, but they also enjoy a variety of international songs and music. “The music group and other guest musicians perform at services, sometimes with very ‘unusual’ instruments like African drums and bagpipes” (Shoemaker, 2003). The church is beautifully decorated with many flowers and candles. There is usually a sermon delivered by one of the four lay-pastors. Each has a very different style and theology making for wonderfully diverse services. Silent meditation is part of every service. Following the service from 3 to 5pm there is what the Danish Unitarians call “Debate Café”. A moderator


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facilitates debate on the sermon topic. Coffee and pastries are served during the debate. Often guest speakers are invited to hold a service and share their points of view. English-speaking guests are provided an interpreter when possible (Shoemaker, 2003). In addition to services every other Sunday, the Danish Unitarians celebrate the solstices and equinoxes. The winter solstice celebration includes a candlelight service while the summer solstice celebration includes a Flower Communion. Each year they hold a Christmas party in early December. In the summer, they enjoy a Summer Outing – a simple ceremony at the church followed by a day trip out to the countryside for a shared lunch. In October, all of Copenhagen celebrates “Copenhagen Culture Night.” The Unitarians participate offering music, activities, and a café starting at 6pm and ending with a Midnight Service for Peace. Several new members have joined the church having been introduced to it through the “Culture Night” (Shoemaker, 2003). Although currently there are not a lot of children in their congregation, they do offer Child Blessings for babies and Youth Blessings for children around 14 years old. The Youth Blessing entails a three-month period of study about Unitarianism and world religions, visiting other churches, discussions with one of the Unitarian lay-pastors and a ‘welcome into the community’ ceremony. The Blessing ceremonies have also attracted a few new members to the Unitarian church (Shoemaker, 2003). For adults there are evening workshops on a variety of topics including ‘Building Your Own Theology’. A bimonthly publication, Unitaren, addresses liberal religious topics as well as keeps members and friends informed of events. Adults are also welcome to participate in the Danish Inter-religious Forum, which meets once a month at the Unitarernes Hus (Shoemaker, 2003). The Danish Unitarian Church is a founding member of the ICUU, a member of the British General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, the International Association of Religious Freedom and the Church of the Larger Fellowship (Anderson and Shoemaker, 2004 and www.icuu.net, n.d). The Danish Unitarians offer a hopeful alternative to those who seek a community in which to explore what it means to be human in an open-minded search. Like sunflowers, which turn towards the light, Danish Unitarians seek the light within each individual and in humanity as a whole.


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(Chalice symbol of the Unitarian Universalists of Spain)

Unitarian Universalists of Spain Spain is bound to the east by the Mediterranean Sea, to the north by the Bay of Biscay and France and to the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. Its geography has played an important role in both its political and religious history. “One of the characteristic features of the early history of Spain is the successive waves of different peoples who spread all over the Peninsula. The first to appear were the Iberians, a Libyan people” (www.sispain.org, n.d.). Later came the Celts, then the Phoenicians, followed by the Greeks, and then the Carthaginians. Rome invaded Spain in 206 BCE and expelled the Carthaginians. The Romans ruled for the next 600 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, several different Germanic tribes, including the Visigoths, entered Spain. The Visigoths, who were Arians (i.e. non-Trinitarian Christians), expelled the remains of the Roman government and later also the other Germanic tribes. The majority of the population remained Catholic however, although there was some presence of older pagan traditions, a growing Jewish community and some “heretical” Christian groups (de Marcos, 2005). Arab armies crossed into Spain from the south early in the 8th century. They swiftly conquered the country except for a section in the north, which would become important in the “Reconquest” about 800 years later. Muslim rulers reigned from 711 to 1492 (www.sispain.org, n.d.) The “Reconquest” of Spain refers to a centuries-long process in which the Spanish Christians “reconquered” territories under Muslim rule. The “reconquest” was completed in 1492 when the Christians took control over Granada (Mackay, n.d.). At that time the ‘Catholic Monarchs’, Ferdinand and Isabella, reigned over Spain. In addition to trying to drive out the Muslims, Ferdinand and Isabella expelled all Jews who refused to accept Christianity. The Spanish Inquisition, which started in 1480 and wasn’t fully abolished until 1830, “sought to complete the religious purification… by driving out Jews, Protestants and other non-believers” (Library of Congress, 2001). All those of “unitarian” belief were made to convert, were exiled or were killed. Among them was a man by the name of Miguel Servet, (Michael Servetus in English), who wrote, among other things, On the Errors of the Trinity. Michael Servetus (1511-1553) was persecuted by both Catholics and Protestants because of his non-orthodox ideas about the Trinity. He first sought refuge in France and later in Switzerland. He was burned as a heretic by John Calvin in Geneva. He refused to recant his unitarian beliefs and thus became the first martyr of Unitarianism. Some liberal reformers, who were struggling for freedom of conscience and beliefs, were inspired by Servetus's work and his sacrifice. These reformers found safe haven in Poland and Transylvania, where they founded the first Unitarian congregations in the 16th century (http://suue.iespana.es/index.html, n.d.). Spain, however, remained under Catholic control for the next several centuries. Catholicism became the state religion in 1851 when the Spanish government signed an agreement with the Vatican. This pact was renounced in 1931. During the Franco regime (1937 to 1975) the Catholic church saw their privileges restored; it was the only religion to have legal status; other worship services could not be advertised, and only the Roman Catholic Church could own property or publish books. Catholic religious instruction was mandatory, even in


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public schools. Changes in the close relationship between the Catholic church and the Spanish government began to take place in 1976 under the reign of King Juan Carlos. The1978 Constitution confirmed the right to religious freedom and began the process of disestablishing Catholicism as the state religion. There is no state religion now; however, the Catholic Church enjoys some privileges unavailable to other faiths (Library of Congress, 2001). Between 80 and 90 percent of Spaniards identify themselves as Catholic; however, very few attend church regularly and many don’t believe in the Catholic teachings but celebrate the rites of baptism, marriage and first communion in the church. About 12% of Spaniards identify themselves as atheist or agnostic. Overall, Spanish society has become more secularized in the last thirty years. Minority religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, Evangelicals and Jews account for about 1.4% of the population (Wikipedia, 2005). Although not yet considered an official religion in Spain, Unitarian Universalists do exist there and are spreading seeds of our liberal faith all over the Peninsula and beyond. The Sociedad Unitaria Universalista de España (SUUE), or Unitarian Universalist Society of Spain, was founded by Jaume de Marcos Andreu. De Marcos was born in 1961 in Barcelona and raised in the Catholic tradition. When he was in his twenties, he started a spiritual journey in search of a new religious home. “In 1989 he discovered Unitarian Universalism quite by chance while looking for information in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He quickly joined the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) and became active in the European Unitarian Universalists (EUU), attending several religious retreats in central Europe. In 1992 he was one of the founding members in Spain of the Movimiento Universalista Nueva Era, a liberal non-denominational group that fostered interfaith dialogue and religious freedom” (UUHS, 2004). In 1996 and 1998, he participated in UU Leadership Seminars sponsored by the ICUU in Klingberg and Frankfurt, Germany (UUHS, 2004). Finally, in 2000, de Marcos started the SUUE, which became a full member of the ICUU in November 2005. In October 2004, the SUUE hosted a symposium in honor of early Unitarian martyr, Michael Servetus. Unitarians from all over the world attended. The SUUE has applied for formal recognition from the Spanish government. In addition to his work in Spain, de Marcos is helping to coordinate the creation and development of Spanish-speaking Unitarian Universalist groups in Latin America through the Spanish UU website http://www.uuhispano.net and two mailing lists in Spanish devoted to Unitarian Universalism. In January 2005, he participated in a leadership role at a Leadership Training seminar in San Nicolás, Argentina. This training, sponsored by the ICUU, brought together UUs from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba and other parts of Latin America. As of 2004 there are about 55 individuals in the SUUE (www.icuu.net, 2004). There are three groups, two in Madrid and one in Barcelona; and a "National Congregation" that helps connect and provide information to individuals from the rest of country. There are prospective new groups in Murcia, Sevilla and the Northern Region. There are individual UUs in other Spanish cities, but no other organized fellowships at this point. The SUUE website lists individuals who have expressed interest in creating UU congregations in other parts of Spain. The Congregación Unitaria Universalista de Barcelona (CUUB), which formed in 2000, organizes biweekly meetings, lectures and other religious and social activities and collaborates with interfaith groups in other cities. They meet every other Thursday. Meetings are in Spanish, but speakers of other languages are warmly welcomed if they wish to join, and some members of the Barcelona congregation speak English.


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Organized in 2003, the Congregación Unitaria Universalista de Madrid, which meets in a meditation room of a medical center, has recently split into two groups to better meet the needs and interests of the members. The leader of the split-off group is interested in building a Christian-based Unitarian church and in focusing energy on the movement for the religious and political rights of the gay community. The Unitarian Universalists of Spain affirm and promote the following principles: The free and responsible search for truth and the meaning of life; Acknowledgement of the worth, dignity and rights of all people; Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; Mutual acceptance and encouragement to spiritual growth of its members; The use of the democratic process; The goal of a world community based upon freedom, peace and justice; Respect for the interdependent web of Life. “In plain words, our Declaration of Principles means: that we seek truth through our individual freedom (against dogmatism); that all people deserve respect in their individuality and identity (against discrimination); that justice, fairness and solidarity should rule human relationships (against injustice); that we meet respecting our diversity (against intolerance); that we are organized according to the democratic method (against totalitarianism); that we want that humankind lives together in peace (against war); that we want to live in a sustainable world (against the destruction of the environment)” (http://suue.iespana.es/index.html, n.d.). The SUUE recognizes and honors liberal religious historical figures of Spain such as Servetus, Blanco White (www.uua.org, 2004), and the Krausists, a group of liberal free thinkers in the mid-1800s who promoted education, scientific reasoning, a spirit of tolerance, sound ethical principles and moral integrity (UNESCO, 2000). “Religious liberalism has been a part of the history of our country in spite of all difficulties and repression. The SUUE honors this tradition and wants to deepen and renew it in our time” (http://suue.iespana.es/index.html, n.d.). With the help of some very fine gardeners, Unitarian Universalism is spreading and thriving in Spain.


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(Unofficial symbol of the European Unitarian Universalists)

European Unitarian Universalists European Unitarian Universalist Anthem (sung to the tune of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy)

by the Reverend Mark Bellitini From the bright strand of Gibraltar to the Baltic, gray as slate. From green slopes in Transylvania to great London’s squares of state, Our free forbears, questing, speaking, Singing, writing, roamed this land. Living in their lives the message, “One is God, live out your stand.” From the flame that took the Spaniard to the flame within our hearts Runs a golden thread of courage binding science, stroy, art. And we now with pride remember Rakow’s book of studied peace, Near the Vistula first opened, then within our souls released. From loud echoes of the sermons David preached before his court, Through tough text of young Spinoza, scandalizing Holland’s port, Runs a road, a marvel highway, leading all the way to us; May we humbly, wisely, gladly take up now this ancient trust. Freedom, Reason, Tolerance and… Yes, the love that fear can’t rend, Are the way-signs on that roadway, bearings leading to its end, Where we’ll find what all the prophets Spoke in verse or lived in deed. Means and ends are also ONE, as flowers sing within their seed. Bellitini’s song takes us on a journey through Europe and through European U*U history. Written for the European Unitarian Universalists (EUU), the song is a reminder of what unites this group. The EUU is an English-speaking community of UUs living across Europe, representing ten different countries. They are mostly North Americans residing permanently in Europe with a growing number of European nationals (Breedlove, 2003). The EUU was founded in 1982 as “a support network and community for UUs living in Europe. About half of the over 200 members, in addition to belonging to the EUU, belong to local, lay-led fellowships that share resources and programs including religious education” (http://euu.uua.org, n.d.). There are active fellowships in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Most of these “meet at least once a month for worship and in between for other spiritual and social activities” (Hertz, G. and Thomas, 2003). Within these fellowships, life transitions are marked and celebrated. (Contact information and links to the websites of some of these fellowships are available on the EUU homepage at http://euu.uua.org). “The remaining members are spread over most of the countries of Europe” (http://euu.uua.org, n.d.), and may not live near a fellowship. The EUU is organized by a Coordinating Committee consisting of officers, representatives of fellowships, and representatives for members-at-large.


Unitarian*Universalism in Western and Central Europe p. 21

As a group, the EUU’s main activity is a twice-yearly retreat. The retreats, held in varying locations, begin on a Friday evening and continue through a Sunday worship service and lunch. For EUU members the retreats are often the highlights of their year. One of the main events of the weekend is the “theme talk” on Saturday morning. The speaker is often, though not always, the guest minister for the Sunday worship service. The weekend is filled with fun and meaningfilled activities. There is wonderful music, including an ad hoc choir, a long and meaningful intergenerational sharing of joys, concerns and milestones-since-the-last-retreat, lay-led workshops on a variety of topics, and visits to cultural and historical sites nearby. Stories and songs are taken from a variety of sources to reflect the diversity of the community. There is usually a guest minister or other guest speaker for worship and a full religious education program for kids and teens. Many families attend the retreats primarily so that their children can take part in the religious education activities (Thomas, 2003). The kids and youth put on a performance on Saturday night. Often babies will be dedicated, weddings will be celebrated and Coming of Age for Youth will be commemorated during the retreats. Participants are welcomed and encouraged to mark and celebrate life passages with this warm and open community. EUU member Gretchen Thomas living in Sweden likens the retreats to “a family reunion where newcomers are always welcome” (Thomas, 2003). Elizabeth Breedlove, who lives in Spain, adds, “We particularly welcome and encourage visitors to our retreats!” (Breedlove, 2003). EUU member Maggie Goodwin residing in Paris writes, “I’ve watched babies grow into children, children into teens, teens into adults. I’ve shared joys and heartaches with so many warm and wonderful people… This, for me, is the magic of our twice-a-year retreats” (EUU, n.d.). (For information about the EUU retreats, visit the EUU website at http://euu.uua.org). A recent addition to events that bring members of the EUU together is that of a winter solstice celebration in Germany and a very successful joint retreat with Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft that both groups hope to have more of in the future. But the EUU is more than just a coordinator of retreats for its members; it is a religious community. The members of EUU provide inspiration to one another. Past participant, Riet Hartsuijker of the Netherlands, valuedthe “communication about ethics, beliefs, and skills in living one’s beliefs and the offering of mutual support” found in the UU movement (EUU, n.d.). John Hertz living in Vedbaek, Denmark writes, “It’s all about right and wrong. Ethical questions pervade every aspect of human life, and I don’t think people should have to wrestle with them in isolation” (EUU, n.d.). He and his family find community in the EUU. Martha Hicks of Bielefeld, Gemany and Neil and Nanette Johnson of Toulouse, France tell of how grateful they are to have a community in which to raise their children with “the values of tolerance and independent thinking” and openness to learning from all religions (EUU, n.d.). For North Americans moving to Europe for jobs or personal reasons, the EUU provides a religious home-away-from-home (Schwartz, n.d.). The EUU has helped make it possible for individuals from eastern European countries to attend retreats as a way of giving them contact with other U*Us. Additionally, guest speakers for the retreats often visit fellowships around Europe leading worship services or giving talks (Hertz, 2006). The EUU also publishes a quarterly newsletter, the UNIfier, to help keep members informed and connected. The EUU is a founder member of the ICUU and has close ties with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in the United States and with the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free


Unitarian*Universalism in Western and Central Europe p. 22

Christian Churches of Britain and Ireland. Many individuals are also members of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People and even fellowships come and go, but I like to think that EUU will continue for a long time yet, facilitating opportunities for each of us to find what we currently need, be it spiritual renewal, intellectual challenge, or the pleasure of being with those who share our ideas and idealsâ&#x20AC;? (Goodwin, n.d.).


Central and Western Europe p. 23

Hoeing 1. Share what you learned about a U*U group from central or western Europe with your study group.

2. Imagine that you have the opportunity to become a member of one of the U*U groups described in this unit and that there is no language barrier. Which group would you join? Why? What do you feel you would most gain from the experience? What personal talent or gift could you offer to share with them?

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 30) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need.

❀❀❀


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe p. 24

Unitarian*Universalist Groups in Central and Western Europe II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance Small Group Worship Flower Communion (pp. 2526), or ask members to access it online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies of the handouts for the next unit you plan to cover. These can be handed out when you meet for Session 2, Small Group Worship. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Flower Communion, which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 27) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Ask members to bring a cut flower for use in the Flower Communion. You may also want to bring a few extra in case some members forget or are unable to bring a flower. ___ Invite members to bring items from countries covered in this unit to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship honoring Unitarian*Universalist groups in Central and Western Europe is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display sunflowers or a photo or painting of sunflowers. ___ Have ready a vase of water large enough for members to put their cut flowers in. ___ Have music from one of the countries represented in this unit playing in the background. ___ Invite members to display items from countries represented in this unit. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead it comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that has a similar theme. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed on page 27, you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service Distribute handouts for your next meeting if appropriate. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the activities listed in this unit on page 27 following this Small Group Worship.


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe p. 25

Handout: Small Group Worship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe After you have read the articles and reflected on the Central and Western European U*U groups represented in this unit, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Unitarian*Universalists in Central and Western Europe, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html The Small Group Worship in honor of U*Us in Central and Western Europe is a Flower Communion Service. To prepare for the Small Group Worship service, read an abridged version of The Flower Communion, by Reginald Zottoli, below. The complete article and information on creating a Flower Communion service for your own group or congregation is available at http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/flowercommunion.html. Bring a cut flower to the gathering for use in the Flower Communion. If you have objects from any of the countries represented in this unit that you would like to display, bring them to the Small Group Worship service. The Small Group Worship for U*U groups in Central and Western Europe is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another. The Flower Communion (abridged) by Reginald Zottoli (http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/flowercommunion.html)

The Flower Communion service was created by Norbert Capek [pronounced Chah-peck] (1870- 1942), who founded the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. He introduced this special service to that church on June 4, 1923. For some time he had felt the need for some symbolic ritual that would bind people more closely together. The format had to be one that would not alienate any who had forsaken other religious traditions. The traditional Christian communion service with bread and wine was unacceptable to the members of his congregation because of their strong reaction against the Catholic faith. So he turned to the native beauty of their countryside for elements of a communion that would be genuine to them. This simple service was the result. It was such a success that it was held yearly just before the summer recess of the church. People were asked to bring a flower of their choice, either from their own gardens, or from the field or roadside. When they arrived at church a large vase stood waiting in the vestibule, attended by two young members of the Church School. Each person was asked to place their own flower in the vase. This signified that it was by their own free will they joined with the others. The vase that contained all the flowers was a symbol of the united church fellowship.


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe p. 26

The young attendants helped with the arrangement of the bouquet. Later they carried the vase up to the front of the auditorium and placed it on a table there. Dr. Capek then said a prayer, after which he walked over and consecrated the flowers while the congregation stood. The two attendants then took the vase back out into the vestibule. After the service, as people left the church, they went to the vase and each took a flower from the vase other than the one that they had brought. The significance of the flower communion is that as no two flowers are alike, so no two people are alike, yet each has a contribution to make. Together the different flowers form a beautiful bouquet. Our common bouquet would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community, it would not be the same without each and every one of us. Thus this service is a statement of our community. By exchanging flowers, we show our willingness to walk together in our search for truth, disregarding all that might divide us. Each person takes home a flower brought by someone else - thus symbolizing our shared celebration in community. This communion of sharing is essential to a free people of a free religion. When the Nazis took control of Prague in 1940, they found Dr. Capek's gospel of the inherent worth and beauty of every human to be, as Nazi court records show, "...too dangerous to the Reich [for him] to be allowed to live." Dr. Capek was sent to Dachau, where he was killed the next year during a Nazi "medical experiment." This gentle man suffered a cruel death, but his message of human hope and decency lives on through his Flower Communion, which is widely celebrated today. It is a noble and meaning-filled ritual. â?&#x20AC;â?&#x20AC;â?&#x20AC;


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe p. 27

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. Debate like the Danes! Choose a topic of interest to debate and a moderator to facilitate. Remember the coffee, tea and pastries that are part of the tradition! 2. Host a weekend retreat like the EUU. Invite members of your congregation and/or members of other U*U congregations in your area. Consider choosing units and activities from The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism for use at the retreat. Offer a variety of activities by carefully selecting ideas from the Harvesting sections. You might want to select one or two Small Group Worship services from this curriculum to include as well. 3. A commemoration in honor of Spanish-born unitarian Michael Servetus was held in Geneva, Swizterland in 2003 sponsored by the ICUU. Choose a famous international U*U from McEvoy’s Credo International, the UU Historical Society or other source. Then create a ceremony and celebration in honor of that famous U*U. Invite your congregation to join you in honoring this ancestor of U*Uism. 4. Many isolated Unitarian*Universalist groups and individuals are able to connect with our religious community through the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Visit its website at http://www.uua.org/clf/index2.html. It’s an amazing resource for any U*U anywhere, young or old! If you are a francophone, visit http://www.rfuu.net/ to connect with other Frenchspeaking Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists. 5. The Hungarian, Czech and German Unitarians all have symbols of our shared faith that are not flaming chalices. Design a symbol of U*Uism that is meaningful to you and that is different from your tradition’s symbol. 6. Lay-led groups are fairly common among U*Us all over the world. Imagine that you have been asked to lead a service for your group or congregation. What would you include and why? Are there things you would change about the services you now attend? Are there things that you would maintain? Share your ideas. Consider actually leading a service. 7. The German Unitarians commissioned a song, Ich möchte gerne Brücken bauen (I Want to Build Some Friendly Bridges). The EUU has its own anthem. (See p. 20). The Danish and Czech Unitarians also have many native hymns. Together compose a song that focuses on a theme or topic that is important to you. If you have any musicians in the group, they might compose the music, otherwise, you could choose a familiar tune to write new lyrics to. Perform your song for your congregation or group. 8. If your congregation doesn’t already celebrate a Flower Communion each year, consider starting this lovely tradition in your church or fellowship. There is information and a wonderful service already designed at http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/flowercommunion.html 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with any of the countries covered in this unit, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe p. 28

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Czech Republic Dittrichová, J. (2002). Czech Unitarianism at the Dawn of the 21st Century in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Hill, A. et al (eds). pp. 196-202. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Encyclopedia Britannica online. (n.d.). Utraquists. Retrieved September 2005 from http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9074565. Fiserová, I. (2004). Testimony delivered to the First Unitarian Church of Toronto. Retrieved from http://www.firstunitariantoronto.org/testimony/testimony_ivana_fiserova.htm in August 2005. Fiserová, I. (2005). Personal correspondence. General Assembly of Free and Christian Churches. (n.d.). Czech Republic. Retrieved from http://www.unitarian.org.uk/worldwide_a-c.htm in August 2005. Kocmanova, I. (April 1998). Cherishing Our Unitarian Communities: Hope in Prague. An address to the IARF British Chapter, British General Assembly Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://www.theopenmind.org.uk/about/Prague.html August 2005. Macartney, CA. (1962). Hungary: A short history. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Excerpt retrieved September 2005 from http://www.hungarianhistory.hu/lib/macartney/macartney11.htm Milivojevic, J. (2004). Czech Republic. New York: Children’s Press. Miller, J. (2002). Flower Communion: a sermon on the origins of the Flower Communion and the life of Norbert Capek for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, NY. Retrieved from http://www.revjm.com/flower_communion.htm August 2005. Pivec, L. (2003). Personal correspondence. Prague Unitarian Congregation. (n.d.). Worship Services. Retrieved from http://www.unitaria.cz/Praha/welcome.htm August 2005. Religious Society of Czech Unitarians. (n.d.) at http://www.unitaria.cz/ Homepage of the Czech Unitarians. Roux, L. (2204). Countries of the World: Czech Republic. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Publishing. Samojsky, P. (2005). Personal correspondence. www.icuu.net. (n.d.). Czech Republic. Retrieved August 2005.


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Denmark Andersen, O. and L. Shoemaker. (Feb. 2004). A short overview of Unitarianism in Denmark. Homepage of the Danish Unitarians. Retrieved November 2005 from http://home10.inet.tele.dk/unitar/inetuk.htm Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. (n.d.). Danish History. Retrieved October 2005 from http://danishhistory.denmark.dk/ Pateman, R. (1995). Cultures of the World: Denmark. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corp. Shoemaker, L. (2003 and 2006). Personal correspondence. Stenbæk, J. and G. Leksikon (n.d.). Church and Religion. Retrieved November 2005 from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark website at http://www.denmark.dk/portal/page?_pageid=374,520478&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL U.S. Dept of State. (December 2003). International Religious Freedom Report – Denmark. Retrieved November 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24354.htm www.icuu.net. (n.d.). Denmark. Retrieved November 2005. European Unitarian Universalists Breedlove, E. (2003). Personal correspondence. EUU. (n.d.). What the EUU means to me. A pamphlet published by the EUU available from the EUU. Goodwin, M. (n.d.). In What the EUU means to me. A pamphlet published by the EUU available from the EUU. Hertz, G. and G. Thomas. (2003 and 2006). Personal correspondence. http://euu.uua.org. (n.d.). European Unitarian Universalists. Homepage of the EUU. Retrieved December 2005 from http://euu.uua.org. Schwartz, W. (n.d.). In What the EUU means to me. A pamphlet published by the EUU available from the EUU. France Association Unitarienne Universalist de Paris Ile-de-France (AUUPIDF) website at http://unitariens-pidf.ifrance.com/unitariens-pidf/ Correspondance unitarienne. L'unitarisme contemporain dans les pays francophones ouesteuropéens. http://prolib.net/unit/cu002.contemp_jcb.htm - haut Église Unitarienne de France (EUF) website at http://www.unitariens.org Fraternité Uniterienne de Nancy website at http://www.unitariens.org Regroupement francophone unitarien universalist (RFUU) a virtual UU group for French speakers. (http://www.rfuu.net/). UUFP (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris) website at http://www.uufp.info/


Unitarian*Universalism in Central and Western Europe p. 30

Germany Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft. (n.d.). Die Deutschen Unitarier. Homepage of the German Unitarians. Retrieved October 2005 from http://www.religio.de/unitarier/start.html General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. (n.d.). Unitarianism Worldwide. Retrieved October 2005 from http://www.unitarian.org.uk/worldwide_g-i.htm IARF (n.d.). Members: Germany. Retrieved October 2005 from www.iarf.net. Jantz, W. (May 2003). Unitarianism in Germany. (Personal correspondence). Lord, R. (2004). Countries of the World: Germany. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Publishing. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Moeller, E. (2001). Letter to the Reverend William Sinkford. Retrieved October 2005 from http://www.uua.org/news/91101/german.html Paul, A. (May 2003). Personal correspondence. Paul, MJ. (January 2006). Personal correspondence. Puhlmann, C. (March 2003). The Unitarian Symbol: an argument. Retrieved October 2005 from http://www.unitarier.de/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=5 U.S. Dept of State. (2003). International Religious Freedom Report – Germany. Retrieved October 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24410.htm Wikipedia (2005). Unitarianism: Germany. Retreived October 2005 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarianism#Germany. www.icuu.net. (n.d.). Germany. Retrieved November 2005. Spain de Marcos Andreu, Jaume. (August 2005). Personal correspondence. http://suue.iespana.es/index.html. (n.d.). Sociedad Unitaria Universalista de España. Retrieved January 2005. Homepage of the Spanish Unitarians. Kohen, E. and ML Elias. (2003). Cultures of the World: Spain. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. Mackay, A. (n.d.). “The Reconquest.” Reader's Companion to Military History. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/mil/html/mh_042700_reconquestof.htm Sí Spain. (n.d.). History of Spain. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.sispain.org/english/history/hisintro.html Library of Congress Country Studies. (2003). Report on Religious Liberty in Spain. Retrieved January 2005 from http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/estoc.html (Chapter 2: Religion). UNESCO International Bureau of Education. (2000). Francisco Giner de los Raos. Retrieved January 2005 from www.ibe.unesco.org/International/Publications/Thinkers/ThinkersPdf/ginere Unitarian Universalist Historical Society (UUHS). (2004). Unitarian Universalist Biographical Dictionary: Jaume de Marcos. Retrieved January 2005 from


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http://www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/authors/jaumedemarcos.html Wikipedia. (January 2005). Spain: Religion. Retrieved January 2005 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain#Religion www.uua.org. (2004). José María Blanco White. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/authors/jaumedemarcos.html Other Church of the Larger Fellowship. (n.d.). http://www.uua.org/clf/index2.html Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Thandeka (2002). “The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Zottoli, R. (n.d.). The Flower Communion. Retrieved December 2005 from http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/flowercommunion.html.


International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Resources: The meditation on the front page is from I See You Too: When Unitarian/Universalists Gather for Worship, A collection of worship materials from around the world. Prepared for the meeting of the ICUU, Prague, 2003. Edited by Jill McAllister and Cliff Reed. The hymns and readings can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. Central and Western Europe

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.

Flower Communion Service

All around us, the world is born anew. Flowers and trees are audibly rejoicing. The birds are singing hymns in praise of the miracle. We are all part of this mystery. Lene Lund Shoemaker - Denmark (from Spring Equinox Meditation) Autour de nous, le monde est né de nouveau. Les fleurs et les arbres réjouissent. Les oiseaux chantent du miracle. Nous sommes aussi une partie de ce mystère. (French translation) Todo alrededor de nosotros, el mundo nace de nuevo. Las flores y los árboles gozan audiblemente. Los pájaros cantan himnos elogiando el milagro. Todos nosotros somos parte de este misterio. (Spanish translation)

12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell. Place your flower in the vase provided.

Sitting in Silence

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting

We light this candle as a symbol of the light within every human heart. Encendemos esta vela como símbolo de la luz que existe en todo corazón humano. Vi tander dette lys som et sumbol pa det lys som findes i ethvert menneskehjerte. Wir enstunden diese kerse als ein sumbol fur das licht im Herzen jedes Menschen.

Consecration of the Flowers (#724, Norbert Capek) Infinite Spirit of Life, we ask thy blessing on these, thy messengers of fellowship and love.

(Spanish) (Danish) (German)

Hymn (#8) Norbert Capek (Translated by Richard Boeke)

Mother Spirit, Father Spirit Mother Spirit, Father Spirit, where are you? In the sky song, in the forest sounds your cry. What to give you, what to call you, what am I? Many drops are in the ocean, deep and wide. Sunlight bounces off the ripples to the sky. What to give you, what to call you, who am I? Mother Spirit, Father Spirit, take our hearts. Take our breath and let our voices sing our parts. Take our hands and let us work to shape our art.

Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly a high or low point of your life this past week.

Reading (#723) Norbert Capek (adapted)

Flower Communion Prayer In the name of Providence, which implants in the seed the future of the flower and in our hearts the longing for people to live in harmony; In the name of the highest, in whom we move and who makes the mother and father, the brother and sister, lover and loner what they are; In the name of the sages and great religious leaders, who sacrificed their lives to hasten the coming of mutual respect – Let us renew our resolution – sincerely to be real brothers and sisters regardless of any kind of bar which estranges us from each other. In this holy resolve may we be strengthened knowing that we are God’s family; that one spirit, the spirit of love, unites us; and endeavor for a more perfect and more joyful life. Amen.

May they remind us, amid diversities of knowledge and of gifts, to be one in desire and affection, and devotion to thy holy will. May they also remind us of the value of comradeship, of doing and sharing alike. May we cherish friendship as one of thy most precious gifts. May we not let awareness of another's talents discourage us, or sully our relationship, but may we realize that, whatever we can do, great or small, the efforts of all of us are needed to do thy work in this world. Flower Communion It is time now to share in the Flower Communion. Select a flower from the vase that is different from the one you brought. As you take your chosen flower, note its particular shape and beauty. It is a gift that someone else has brought to you; it represents that person's unique humanity, and therefore deserves your kindest touch. Let us share joyfully in this Unitarian*Universalist ritual of oneness and love. Sharing What are your thoughts on the Flower Communion as compared to a traditional communion ritual? Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen. Discussion This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared. Extinguishing the Chalice Herbert Napiersky While still a single light lights up Germany all the world's darkness, there will be joy on earth that makes us strong for life. (Translated by Henning Solang noch ein Licht erhellt Hraban Ramm alle Dunkelheit der Welt, wird's auf Erden Freude geben, die uns stark ins Leben stellt. Benediction Take your light into the world. Be beacons of love and joy for all of humanity.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Pakistan

Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Orientale)

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Pakistan p. 2

Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan: Fountain Grass

Table of Contents for Unit 14 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History, Context, Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: Unmasking the Fears (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 4 p. 4 p. 5-9

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship

p. 10 p. 10 p. 11

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 12

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 13

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


Pakistan p. 3

Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 explores the history, context, beliefs and practices of Unitarian Universalists in Pakistan. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of the Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit. Decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 12) to do after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit in one meeting to discuss the readings first and then moving on to participate in a Small Group Worship, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat) and the interests of the group. The group may include an additional Harvesting activity between the discussion and the Small Group Worship service, or after the Small Group Worship service, or at a separate meeting time. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Pakistan p.4 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan I. History, Context, Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Unmasking the Fears (pp. 5-9) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 13) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 12) to do after your discussion or Small Group Worship service. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Pakistan for display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up two chalices. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a world map or globe on which to locate Pakistan. ___ Display a bouquet of ornamental grasses, especially Pennisetum Orientale, or a photo of ornamental grasses. ___ Have Pakistani music playing in the background. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session in order to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants. 2. The Pakistani UUs light two chalices at services, one is lit by a male, the other by a female. If possible, have a male and female each light a chalice and share in reciting the chalice lighting. Chalice lighting: O God, as the flame of light brings light and warmth to us, we pray that this same light and warmth may penetrate our hearts and minds and take away all darkness and coldness of doubts, and make us tolerant and patient, so that oneness can be generated among us, your children. Amen. – Samina Tufail Gill, Pakistan 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 12) for next time, if appropriate. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 5. Ask members to share their answers to the Tilling exercise, p. 5. What do they know about Pakistan, and what fears do they think they might have if they lived in Pakistan? 6. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they had from the article. 7. Ask members whether they hold beliefs that are different from their family’s beliefs. Do they often remain silent about them with family? Invite them to share what those beliefs are and how it makes them feel to withhold them from loved ones (Hoeing, p. 9). 8. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the two chalices: Dosatoo hawsilla rakkho. Rasta aksar dashwar hot haay. Rasta kabie bee saaf nahinh hota haay. Aur chobainh barrhi taiz hainh. Hawsila rakkho. Aur Barinn mainh aiak aur sachhaie haay, Toum akalaay nahinh hoo. Take courage friends. The way is often hard. The path is never clear, and the stakes are very high. Take courage. For deep down there is another truth. You are not alone. –Wayne B. Arnason. 9. Gather for an Additional Activity from Harvesting, p. 12 (if your group decided to do so): mask making, cooking, writing and performing a skit, designing a game, etc.


Pakistan p.5 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

The Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan Handout: Unmasking the Fears

Tilling Write down everything you know about Pakistan: its history, geography, culture, religion, etc. Fears are part of life but may differ depending on where you live. Based on what you’ve written about Pakistan, what fears do you think you might have if you lived there?

Planting Now read the following article. Unmasking the Fears Pakistan, located north of India and south of Afghanistan is mostly dry, hot desert. In this harsh climate grows a lovely grass, Pennisetum Orientale, or Fountain Grass. It is a vigorous and tenacious grass that, in spite of its often inhospitable environment, blossoms with soft, pink flowers that glow with a lovely, fluorescent light. Like Pennisetum Orientale, the Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan glow with a light of compassion and understanding despite the difficult, fearful conditions in which they practice their faith. “Pakistan was created out of bloodshed and conflict” (Sheehan, 1994). Pakistan’s modern beginnings came in 1947 after the end of British rule in India. Originally the land was inhabited by an advanced civilization, known as the Indus Valley civilization, which had disappeared by 1700 BCE. The Aryans then came to inhabit the Indus Valley. Their years became known as the Vedic era (1600 BCE) and during this time Hinduism developed in the area (Compton, 2003). In the 6th century BCE, Buddhism, and later Jainism, developed on the south Asian subcontinent. For the next several centuries, the land was occupied by peoples from different parts of Asia: the Indians of the Mauryan empire, the Greeks of Bactria, the Huns, the Arab Muslims in 711 CE and the Turks, and much later, 1526 to 1760, the Moghuls (Sheehan, 1994). Islam came to the subcontinent in the 8th century brought by Sufi wanderers. The area of northern India/Pakistan was a Muslim state from 1325 until 1526 but it was not a theocracy. Hindus and Muslims shared the land although not always peacefully. Sikhism also developed in the area during the end of this time period. In the 1520s Portuguese sailors and missionaries arrived in the southern parts of the subcontinent bringing Christianity, followed by the Dutch in the 17th century and then by the British (Compton, 2003). India became a colony of Britain in 1858. By the 1920s, stirrings of resistance to British rule had started. At the same time the Muslim League began to develop its idea of an independent Muslim Republic in northwestern India. Mohandas Gandhi and others carried out their campaign of non-violent resistance to British rule. Those working in the Indian National Congress, including Gandhi and Muslim leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, envisioned one India of Hindu-Muslim unity. However, Jinnah later became unhappy with Gandhi’s leadership and advocated for a separate homeland for India’s Muslims. So in 1947 when India finally won its independence from Britain, it became two countries. Jinnah was given territory, some in the northwest of India and some in the northeast, to establish Pakistan, which is Urdu for “the land of the pure.” (In 1971, the northeast territory, again with much bloodshed, became independent of Pakistan. This country is now known as Bangladesh.) In 1947 at the birth of the “two nations,” many Hindus in Pakistan moved south to India and many Muslims in India moved to Pakistan. Islam was the basis for the creation of this separate state but was not expected to serve as the


Pakistan p.6 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

model of government. In his inaugural address, Mohammad Ali Jinnah said, “You will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State” (Library of Congress, 1994). The International Religious Freedom Report found that “the Constitution of Pakistan provides for freedom of religion, and states that adequate provisions shall be made for minorities to profess and practice their religions freely; however, in practice the government imposes limits on freedom of religion. According to the Constitution, the country is an Islamic republic, and Islam is the state religion. Under the Constitution, both the President and the Prime Minister are to be Muslims, and all senior officials are required to swear an oath to preserve the country’s ‘Islamic ideology’. Freedom of speech is provided for; however, this right is subject to ‘reasonable restrictions’ that can be imposed ‘in the interest of the glory of Islam.’ Actions or speech deemed derogatory to Islam or to its Prophets are not protected” (U.S. Dept of State, 2003). According to Amnesty International, “religious minorities […] are routinely subject to discrimination. The government has permitted discriminatory laws to remain on the books, failed to enforce laws prohibiting discrimination, allowed individuals to be arbitrarily detained, and failed to ensure that those responsible for abuses are held to account” (Amnesty International USA, 2004). The most recent census, taken in 1998, estimates that 96% of the population of Pakistan is Muslim. The majority of Muslims are Sunni; an estimated 10% to 15% of the Muslim population is Shi'a. Only 1.69% of the population is Christian. The majority of Christians live in rural areas, tend to have less formal schooling and often work as laborers. Christian missionaries during the British empire concentrated much of their effort on converting low-caste Hindus, so many of today’s Christians remain in the professions of their low-caste Hindu ancestors. About 2% of Pakistan’s population is Hindu and 0.35% are “other” including Ahmadis (a group which considers itself Muslim but doesn’t believe Mohammad was the last prophet; the Pakistani government does not recognize Ahmadis as Muslim and forbids them to call themselves Muslim or use Islamic greetings), Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Baha’is, tribes whose members practice traditional indigenous religions, and those who do not wish to practice any religion but remain silent about that fact. Social pressure is such that few persons would admit to being unaffiliated with any religion. Religious minority groups believe that they are underrepresented in government census counts. Official and private estimates of their numbers can differ significantly. Missionaries are allowed to operate in Pakistan. Proselytizing (except by Ahmadis) is permitted as long as there is no preaching against Islam and the missionaries acknowledge they are not Muslim (U.S. Dept of State, 2003). It is in this climate that the Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan practice their religion. They are a very small group with hopes of growing. They live in Punjab, the largest province in the country. It contains almost half of the country’s total population. While Sunni Muslims are the vast majority in Punjab, more than 90% of the country’s Christians also reside there, making them the largest religious minority in the province. Approximately 60% of Punjab’s Christians live in rural villages. The largest group of Christians belongs to the Church of Pakistan, an umbrella Protestant group consisting of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Lutherans; the second largest group belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. The rest are from different evangelical and church organizations (U.S. Dept of State, 2003). Unitarian Universalism took root in Pakistan in 1991, not through missionaries but through self-reflection and study by individuals. One of the co-founders of the Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan (there were several) is a man by the name of Inderias Dominic Bhatti. Bhatti was raised Catholic. “As a young man, he became a leader in the Catholic church and even went to seminary” (Lavanhar, 2001). He was strongly interested in Liberation Theology, which teaches the importance of supporting the poor and oppressed against the wealthy and tyrannical. During his seminary studies he wrote two major papers, one on the notion of the evil spirit. In it, he blamed the traditional teaching of an evil spirit working in the world for many of the phobias among the faithful. He concluded that a true religion should be a liberating force in life, not a cause of tension, guilt, fear, and feelings of sinfulness. The second paper was a critical


Pakistan p.7 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

analysis of the rule of celibacy for the clergy. It was this paper that resulted in his being advised to leave seminary. He joined a Catholic social service organization but Bhatti’s liberal views didn’t sit well with the agency and he was asked to leave (McEvoy, 2004). He was approached by other liberal individuals who suggested that together they start a church where their views could be voiced. At the library of the American Center in Lahore, Pakistan, Bhatti perused a dictionary on world religions (www.icuu.net, 2004). “In it, he read about the Unitarians and Universalists, and realized immediately that he had been one all his life, but that he hadn't known it. He sent away for books on Unitarian Universalist history and theology. And he shared what he learned with his family and friends. Eventually he started traveling out to some of the Christian villages where he had relatives and told the people about this new church he wanted to establish” (Lavanhar, 2001). Bhatti and the others began holding meetings. “As Bhatti went around the country professing his Unitarian Universalist ideas, he took many risks. But he limited his conversation to Christians to avoid being accused of trying to convert Muslims, a crime that is punishable by death” (Lavanhar, 2001). In an address to the ICUU in 2001, Bhatti tried to explain the situation of Pakistani UUs, “…please remember that we live in a fundamentalist Muslim country with certain fears, threats, temptations, cowardliness, self-centeredness and even hypocrisy sometimes […] Your continuous friendship will one day unmask the fears...” He likened UUs in Pakistan to the early Christians fleeing to the catacombs, growing in silence, all but invisible for many years (Bhatti, 2001). Being Christian in an Islamic republic provides one kind of challenge but being a UU in Pakistan has another challenge as well, that of being a liberal Christian in a conservative Christian environment. Guilt, shame and sinfulness are often emphasized in the Christian churches around them. UUs hope to counter these fears and stresses with love, understanding and comfort. Pakistani Unitarian Universalists have come from various Christian backgrounds; most are former Catholics. Choosing Unitarian Universalism as their faith has resulted in them being socially ostracized and disinherited by family and tribe, which has been very painful for them (Bhatti, 2001 and Naz, 2003). Being disinherited can mean homelessness for a family. This pressure has also resulted in some Unitarians hiding their religious beliefs from family and friends who would not understand. They remain Unitarian Universalists in secret. Bhatti and the other UUs of Pakistan express only understanding and compassion to those Unitarian Universalists in their midst who remain invisible and silent. Membership has waxed and waned due in part to the issue of poverty. Churches that can provide social services and financial support to people are able to attract and keep members. Initially the Pakistani Unitarians were able to attract members through this kind of support but when the money ran out, many members left to join churches that could offer them continuing financial incentives. There have also been threats and persecution of UUs by fundamentalist Christian groups resulting in several UU leaders leaving the country and driving others away from Unitarian Universalism. These are the harsh realities that Pakistani UUs live with. In spite of this, their faith continues to be one of love and service. Their theology includes that God is the creator of the Universe; that God loves all human beings; that God is the way, the truth, and the life for all humans not just Christians; that God moves through human togetherness and love; and that there is no original sin (Bhatti, 2001). They believe every human is born with the togetherness of male and female; that Jesus was a human who found divinity within himself, and that there is no eternal punishment (McEvoy, 2003). They have no fixed and ultimate creed but worship includes words of comfort to help them find release from human tensions, fears and phobias, guilt and feelings of sinfulness (Bhatti, 2001). Bhatti and other UUs frequently find themselves counseling Christians who are ridden with guilt for actions deemed sinful and evil by their churches and families. One Unitarian leader wrote of a very poor agricultural laborer from a small village in Hafizaabad. During the Lenten season, Christians are prohibited from eating meat on Fridays. The wedding of the son of this man’s landlord was being held on a Friday during Lent. Being poor, this man could rarely afford


Pakistan p.8 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

to eat meat but during the wedding celebration, he ate and enjoyed the meat being served. His family criticized him harshly and their pastor told him he had sinned. His feelings of guilt were such that he couldn’t eat, sleep or do his work well. As a Unitarian lay-minister, Mr. Bhatti gave him and his family religious counseling for months to help restore this man to living life normally once again. For this, Mr. Bhatti was criticized by the local Christian churches (Naz, 2003). One of the concerns of the UUs in Pakistan is the situation of women and girls. During a Sunday service focused on gender equality and respect of women at the individual, family and community levels, the story of a beautiful teenage girl of one of the villages came out. This girl had been raped and was thus considered unmarriageable. “Her parish pastor viewed the rape as a curse and warning from God to the victim for some sinfulness she or her forefathers did (because ‘God punishes and rewards until seven generations’). He told the victim and her family, “Rape is the justice of God; God did not want this young woman to marry; and as God’s children, they would have to accept and fulfill His plan because He always does what is Right and Just” (Naz, 2003). These ideas are abhorrent to the Pakistani Unitarians. So it is that the UUs of Pakistan focus their ministry on liberating people from fears, phobias, guilt and feelings of sinfulness. They want to give people confidence in themselves and in meeting their potential. The Pakistani UU group gathers in members’ homes to worship. Worship starts with the lighting of two chalices, one by a male, the other by a female, to symbolize equality. (The order is reversed for the next service.) Then a prayer is said (see Order of Service for Small Group Worship in this curriculum). This is followed by a reading from the Bible or by a community issue needing reflection. Discussion follows. Then comes the time to offer prayers: members of the group offer prayers first and then the lay-minister offers all of these prayers to God. Finally, there is a benediction and blessing. When possible, there are two lay-ministers, one male, one female, who take turns leading the service, but services are not conducted by the lay-minister alone; everyone participates and expresses their concerns and intentions. This is in keeping with their belief that no one has authority or monopoly on truth, wisdom, ability, nobility, humanity or on God; and that truth, wisdom, religions, faiths and cultures are never final but evolutionary (Bhatti, 2001). The aims and objectives of the UUC of Pakistan are to: “promote justice, peace, human dignity and social development; mobilize communities against cruelty and slavery of all sorts; do therapy to socio-religiously confused and disturbed people: and work with people for social, economic, educational, environmental, cultural and religious uplifting and attitudinal change at [all] levels. Ultimately, it aims at religious liberalism and social justice for the accessless, resourceless, and demoralized people in Pakistan” (www.icuu.net, 2004). The “Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan” became a member group of the UUA of the U.S. in 1994 and is a founding member group of the ICUU. Like the hardy native Fountain Grass that grows wild in Pakistan, the small group of UUs in Pakistan tenaciously holds on in spite of the harsh conditions around them.

Hoeing Many Pakistani UUs remain “silent and invisible” for fear of being ostracized by family and tribe. Are there things you believe that differ from your family’s beliefs? Do you often remain silent about them with your family? How does that make you feel?


Pakistan p.9 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 12) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


Pakistan p.10 Small Group Worship

II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the Small Group Worship – Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan (p. 11), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html, ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 12) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Pakistan to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Have two chalices ready for your small group worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship for Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan is based on a covenant group format, which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up two chalices. Have matches handy. ___ Display a bouquet of ornamental grasses, especially Pennisetum Orientale, or a photo of ornamental grasses. ___ Have music from Pakistan playing in the background. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead the service comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that fits the theme of the service. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 12), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the additional activities listed in this unit (See Harvesting, p. 12) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from, including making masks, writing and performing a skit, making a comic book, designing a game and more.


Pakistan p.11 Small Group Worship

Handout: Small Group Worship – Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan After you have read the article, Unmasking the Fears, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. The outline for this service follows a typical order of service of the Pakistani UUs. Bring an item from Pakistan to display, if you have one. This Small Group Worship service is also based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service which is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

Emblem of the Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan

❀❀❀


Pakistan p.12 Additional Activities

Harvesting: Additional Activities 1. Get a feeling for the sounds of Pakistan. Listen to popular Pakistani music midi files at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Lounge/5018/ or you can listen to Pakistani songs from the government radio station at http://www.radio.gov.pk/mili.htm or you can hear radio news from Pakistan in English or Urdu at http://www.asiansociety.com/resources/pakistan/radio.html 2. Cook and share a Pakistani meal. There are many great recipes available at http://www.desicookbook.com/ or at www.recipes4us.co.uk/ Cooking%20by%20Country/Pakistan.htm or at other sites on the Internet. 3. Write and perform a skit about Mr. Bhatti and his life and work as a Unitarian Universalist in Pakistan. Get ideas from the article and also from McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. (pp. 237-240). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Share your skit with your congregation. 4. Make a group illustration of some of the images you take away with you after having read the article Unmasking the Fears. 5. Make masks that represent your fears. These can be made with something as simple as paper bags or paper plates, or as elaborate as plaster. 6. If you’ve played any of the Partner Church Council Partners games, try designing a similar game about the UUs in Pakistan. Invite others to play your game. You can download the PCC games at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ 7. Write and illustrate, comic book style, the “Adventures of Super UU”, planting seeds of love and compassion in Pakistan. Remember, Pakistani UUs give equal time to male and female; how might this affect your depiction of “Super UU”? Share your “book” with the children of your congregation. 8. What is your definition of sin? What actions and behaviors do you consider sinful? Are thoughts sinful? Discuss your ideas with your group. 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled in or had personal experience with Pakistan, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


Pakistan p.13 References and Resources

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Amnesty International, USA. (2004). Pakistan: Human Rights. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/pakistan/summary.do Bhatti, I. (2001). “Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan” in Hill, A. et al. A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 242-249). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Crompton, S. (2003). Modern World Nations: Pakistan. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers. Hill, A, J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. Lavanhar, M. (December 16, 2001). Hell, Holidays and Harry Potter. A sermon delivered to All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.allsoulschurch.org/sermons.asp?sermon=45&action=menu&value=136&pagecode=9 2 Library of Congress Country Studies. (1994). Islam in Pakistani Society. Retrieved February 2005 from http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+es0062) McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. (pp. 237-240). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. (Available at www.icuu.net) Midgley, J. (2002). in Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Naz, E. (2003). Unitarian Universalism in Pakistan. (Personal correspondence). Sheehan, S. (1994). Cultures of the World: Pakistan. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. Thandeka (2002). “The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.” in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Unitarian Universalist Association (eds). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press. U.S. Dept. of State. (December 18, 2003). International Religious Freedom Report 2003: Pakistan. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24473.htm


Sharing/Community Issue Pakistani UUs work hard to spread light, love and hope to those around them. How can each of us do the same in our lives? Think of 3 things you can do to bring comfort and gladness to others. Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen.

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

Discussion This is a time to respond supportively to something another person said or relate additional thoughts. Hymn (#121) Barbara Zanotti

We’ll Build a Land We’ll build a land where we bind up the broken. We’ll build a land where the captives go free, Where the oil of gladness dissolves all mourning. Oh, we’ll build a promised land that can be. Come build a land where sisters and brothers, Anointed by God, may then create peace; Where justice shall roll down like waters, And peace, like an ever-flowing stream.

)

The Unitarian Universalist Christians of Pakistan

Offering of Prayers or Candles of Joy and Concern Benediction Samina Tufail Gill Pakistan

O God of life, we come to your refuge. We pray to you. As you have made the earth to give crops, the sun to give light and heat, moon and stars for guidance, and the same air to breathe for all human beings, we pray that you will shower the blessing of love and unity for all humanity.

Extinguishing of the Chalices Samina Tufail Gill O God, as we now extinguish these candles we ask you to keep Pakistan the light and warmth in our hearts and minds, so that we may amend our thoughts words, and deeds and be at one with you and with all humanity. Amen. Resources: The hymns can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. Chalice lightings, etc. are from One and Universal edited by John Midgley, published by Skinner House Books, Boston, 2002 for the ICUU www.uua.org/skinner and from the ICUU website: www.icuu.net The prayer is from A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists 12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

The spirit of God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn, to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. You shall be named ministers of our God. Isaiah 61


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers (one male, one female) to light the two chalices, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting

Aiay Khuda hum iss Chirage ko array naam say roshan kartay haian. Takay tarray naam ki yeh roshani tarikie kay tamaam bandanoan ko torrh day, tauasibat, shakok, aur ghussa. Aur hamariay dariman aik dusaray ko samajanai,qabool karnay,bardashit karnay,makarisiat aur bahmiat koo laiay takaay tarey roshani chamack sakay. Paiar aur mhabaat ki roshani jo tornaay ki bajaa hamashah ikkhatta rakkhati haay. Amen.

Inderias Bhatti Pakistan

Oh God, we light up this chalice in your name. May the light spread in your name break all the bounds of darkness, the bounds of prejudices, doubts, and anger. Bring us understanding, acceptance, tolerance, pluralism and mutuality so that your light may shine. The light of love that rather binds forever instead of dividing. Amen. Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly a high or low point of your life from this past week.

Prayer (UU Christians

We admit our disobedience, O, Yahawa; Bring us a Moses who can get us: Love instead of Hatred; Earnings instead of Wagelessness; Health instead of Diseases; Food instead of Hunger; Joys instead of Sorrows;

of Pakistan)

Clothes instead of Nakedness; Shelter instead of Homelessness; Relaxation instead of Human Tensions; Security instead of Fear; Righteousness instead of Guilt; Certainty instead of Anxiety; Divinity instead of Demons; Truth instead of Injustices; Attention instead of Carelessness; Equality instead of Inferiority; Fortune instead of man-made disasters; Wisdom instead of Discouragement; Understanding instead of Prejudices; Companionship instead of Loneliness; Light instead of Darkness;

Guidance instead of Wilderness; Condolence instead of Cries; Comfort instead of Mourning; Compassion instead of Sufferings; Excitement instead of Stresses; Growth instead of Sterility; Truth instead of Doubts; Modesty instead of Harshness; Tolerance instead of Religious Orthodoxies; Goodness instead of Corruption; Justice instead of Violence; Nobility instead of Pressures; Non-Violence instead of Tortures; Enoughness instead of Poverty; Forgiveness in our sins; Solidarity in our Voiceless; Morality in our Temptations; Mutuality in our Divisions; O Yahawa!!! When would our cries reach to you? When would you remember the Covenant made with our Father Abraham? The Covenant of the Holy Land, where we can Praise You in public rather than secretly; Serve You openly rather than in Silence; Witness You freely rather than being invisible; O Yahawa!!! How much more should we wait to be delivered From the hands of our enemies, from our Captivity? O Yahawa!!! Ignore our waywardness; Captivity! Yes, our Captivity Is the Ultimate Reason. Sitting in Silence Hymn (#95) African-American hymn

There is More Love Somewhere There is more love somewhere; there is more love somewhere; I’m gonna keep on ‘til I find it; there is more love somewhere. There is more hope somewhere; there is more hope somewhere; I’m gonna keep on ‘til I find it; there is more hope somewhere. There is more joy somewhere; there is more joy somewhere; I’m gonna keep on ‘til I find it; there is more joy somewhere. (The service is continued on the back)


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 13: Scandinavia and Eastern Europe

Unitarian*Universalism in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe Angelica Archangelica

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p. 2

Unitarian Universalism in Scandinavia & Eastern Europe: Angelica

Table of Contents for Unit 13 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: History, Context, Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handouts: A Faith, By Any Name, Would Smell as Sweet (with pre-reading activity) Handouts of UU Groups: Russia Latvia Finland Norway Iceland Post-reading activity

p. 4 p. 4 p. 5 p. 5 p. 6-7 p. 8 p. 9-10 p. 11-12 p. 13-14 p. 15-16

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship

p. 17 p. 17 p. 18

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 19

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 20-22

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p. 3

Unitarian*Universalism in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 explores the history, context, beliefs and practices of Unitarian*Universalists in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of the Unitarians and Universalists of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit. Decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 19) to do after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit in one meeting to discuss the readings first and then moving on to participate in a Small Group Worship, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat) and the interests of the group. The group may include an additional Harvesting activity between the discussion and the Small Group Worship service, or after the Small Group Worship service, or at a separate meeting time. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Introduction p. 4

Unitarian Universalism in Scandinavia & Eastern Europe I. History, Context, Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, A Faith, By Any Name, Would Smell as Sweet (p. 5 and p. 15-16) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make at least one copy of each article about the five Scandinavian and Eastern European UU groups to give to individuals to read and summarize (p. 6 –14). ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 20-22) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 19) to do after your discussion or Small Group Worship service. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from Scandinavia or Eastern Europe for display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a world map or globe on which to locate the countries being covered. ___ Display a bouquet or a photo of Angelica Archangelica. ___ Have Scandinavian or Eastern European music playing in the background or the music of Edvard Grieg. Grieg and his wife were Unitarians from Norway. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session in order to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants. 2. Chalice lighting: We have gathered here to light the chalice with a flame that symbolizes freedom - of expression, faith and other individual liberties. Flame that brings light, helps us to see, and fends off the darkness. Flame that warms us up when it is cold, either outside or in our hearts. Let’s have a moment of meditation. –Aki Pulli, Finland 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about today’s session. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 19) for next time, if appropriate. 4. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 5. Ask members to share their answers to the exercise, Tilling, p. 5. Do they agree with and/or find any problems with the definitions of religion and philosophy given? How do they define religion? 6. Ask members to share what they learned about their chosen U*U group. 7. Ask members how they define religion and philosophy and how they would categorize Unitarian*Universalism (Hoeing, p. 15-16). 8. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: Lai butu miers pasaule (Latvian) May peace prevail on earth. 9. Gather for an Additional Activity from Harvesting, p. 19 (if your group decided to do so): designing chalice symbols, starting a “blog”, folk dancing, cooking or more.


Introduction p. 5

The Unitarian*Universalists of Scandinavia & Eastern Europe Handout: A Faith, By Any Name, Would Smell as Sweet

Tilling Religion is defined in one dictionary as the belief in and worship of a god, gods, or superhuman power, or any such system of belief and worship. Do you agree with this definition? Do you find any problems with this definition? How do you define religion?

Planting Read the following introduction to the articles on the history, context, beliefs and practices of Unitarian*Universalist groups from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. After reading the introduction, choose a country you would like to learn more about and read the accompanying article. Be prepared to summarize and share what you learn with the group. Please note that some articles are longer and more detailed due to availability of information. A Faith, By Any Name, Would Smell as Sweet Angelica archangelica: to some it is a weed; others cherish it as a lovely flower and find its medicinal properties useful. Many enjoy its sweet perfume. Angelica can withstand adverse environments and thus grows well in Scandinavia and the cold climates of Eastern Europe. Unitarian*Universalism in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe is like Angelica. It offers a fresh sweet fragrance to those for whom the State religion has grown stale and to those whose religious lives were suppressed. For U*Us in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, our religion is powerful medicine, an antidote to religions that have offered them little meaning or comfort. But, of course, there are still those who don’t consider Angelica a lovely plant to be cultivated in the garden. And there are some who don’t consider Unitarian*Universalism a religion though it does bring spiritual richness and meaning to the lives of those who call it their religion. Unitarian*Universalism in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe looks different in different countries. But U*Us in those countries (with the exception of Latvia) all have one thing in common. They have all had to deal with, or are dealing with, getting their faith defined as a religion. Narrow definitions of religion have kept Unitarian*Universalism in some of these countries from being considered anything but a philosophy or charity. In most of these countries, there are advantages to being a recognized religion. Unitarian*Universalists seek this recognition and the legitimacy that comes with it. It’s a difficult environment to live and grow in but like Angelica, Unitarian*Universalism continues to seed, grow and, tended by loving hands, even thrive in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe despite the sometimes adverse conditions. In this unit you will read about U*Uism in Russia, Latvia, Finland, Norway and Iceland. New groups have recently formed in Estonia and Croatia. You can learn about them by going to http://www.icuu.net/news/index.html and http://free-zg.t-com.hr/uu-hr/indexen.htm. Though Unitarian*Universalist groups and their faith may be called philosophies, charities or something else by their countries’ governments, the ICUU and its member groups recognize them as co-religionists, brothers and sisters in a shared faith. They are welcomed flowers in our Garden.


Russia p. 6

(Chalice symbol used by Russian Unitarians, http://www.uuottawa.com/world%20emblems.htm)

Unitarianism in Russia Russia, in northern Asia, borders the Arctic Ocean between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean and is the largest country in the world. Christianity came to Russia in the 10th century in the form of Eastern Orthodoxy. Before the Russian Revolution of 1917, the main religion was Russian Orthodox. Following the Revolution and until the 1990s, Russia was a Marxist country where all religion was banned. Today Russia has nearly 9000 registered religious associations; over half of them are Russian Orthodox. Muslims make up the second largest group. Then, in descending order, are Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Evangelicals, Old Believers, Roman Catholics, Krishna, Buddhists, Jews and Unified Evangelical Lutherans (www.russianembassy.org). Unitarian Universalism is not considered a religion in Russia at this time but it does have a presence in Russia. The Moscow Unitarian Advocates was founded in 1994. An American minister, Paul Sawyer, was then in Russia in a missionary role. The Reverend Sawyer managed to gather together Russians who had had any contact with Unitarian Universalists in the United States. It was quite an impressive number. He stayed for four months and met with the group several times (Hill, 2002). After he left, some group members left as well, but there remained those who held fast to the values of Unitarian Universalism and who were committed to building a community. Over time they have shared their thoughts, their ideas and their faith with trusted friends who hold similar values. Some time after Sawyer’s departure, a Canadian Unitarian couple came to work at the AngloAmerican School of Moscow. They proved an inspiration to the fledgling Russian UU group, as did other Unitarian Universalists who came to Russia to visit or work for a time. Russian UU, Nina Nazarenko attended leadership training in Boston and in Klingburg, Germany in 1996 and that proved both stimulating and encouraging for the group. Nina Nazarenko wrote in 2001, “This is the time when people are searching for answers. People need each other more than ever. During the Communist time life was predictable. The main things, necessities, were provided, such as medical help, also work and a minimum salary. People did not know that life could be difficult. People want to think for themselves. Traditionally Russians are Orthodox Christians but [some] are not very inspired with this religious approach because it does not give them answers to their questions. Still people continue coming because they need support. Life outside is severe and frustrating, and when our small UU group comes together people feel different…People need each other. But for us there’s no time. People don’t have the education or the money to build a sustainable group.” Nina Nazarenko notes that the Russian Unitarians need books, worship materials, music, “maybe chalices because for Russians, symbols are very important. People, even though they don’t consider themselves to be Russian Orthodox, wear crosses traditionally” (Nazarenko, 2001). The Moscow Unitarian Advocates is a founding member of the ICUU. There are two congregations, one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg. As of 2004, there are approximately 15


Russia p. 7

members, ages 16 to 50. They hold services twice a month. Most services are lay-led although some UU ministers from other countries have participated in the Guest Minister Project and have led services. Sermons are also sent by email to members. Unitarianism in Russia is not an official religion. Russian law requires a 15-year probation period for new religious organizations. The Unitarians in Russia hope to register first as a secular organization and after a year of â&#x20AC;&#x153;positive educational work, to apply for registration [as a religion]â&#x20AC;? (www.iccu.net, 2004). Although they may at times feel discouraged, the Unitarians in Russia are a hardworking, dedicated group.


Latvia p. 8

(Chalice designed by Scott Abbotts, USA, not an official symbol of Latvian Unitarians; http://www.uua.org/CONG/chalices/)

Unitarian Universalism in Latvia Latvia is situated across the Baltic Sea from Sweden, lying next to Estonia and Finland to the north, Lithuania to the south and bordered on the west by Belarus and Russia. For much of its history Latvia has been dominated by other countries and cultures, which has influenced the development of religion in Latvia. In ancient times, there were native religions in Latvia that viewed all of creation as “a harmonious entity, to be respected and honored” (Barlas, 2000). Christianity was introduced in the early 1200s and blended with some of the native beliefs. Like much of the rest of Europe, Catholicism came with conquering armies. The Protestant Reformation in Latvia started in Riga in 1521 and soon spread. Lutheranism in particular took hold, in part because of Swedish domination in the 17th century. Since 1918, when Latvia became a free republic, the principle denominations were Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox. Latvia was occupied by the Nazis during WWII and taken over by the Soviet Union in 1944. During the years of Soviet occupation, religious freedoms were suppressed. In 1991, Latvia reestablished its independence after the breakup of the Soviet Union and religious life returned. Latvia’s constitution provides for freedom of religion. There is no state religion. The main religions continue to be Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox. There are also smaller groups of Baptists, Old Believers, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hare Krishna, Mormons and, yes, a very small group of Unitarian Universalists. Much of the population of Latvia is not associated with any religious group (U.S, Dept. of State, 2002). The government does not require the registration of religious groups; however, the 1995 Law on Religious Organizations gives religious groups certain rights and privileges when they register, such as status as a separate legal entity for owning property or other financial transactions, tax benefits for donors and more lenient rules for public gatherings (U.S. Dept of State, 2002). According to the Law on Religious Organizations, any 10 citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18 may apply to register a church. Congregations, such as the Unitarian Universalists, functioning in the country for the first time that do not belong to a church association already registered must reregister each year for 10 years. A decision to register a church is made by the Minister of Justice (U.S. Dept of State, 2002). Unitarian Universalism is recognized by the Latvian government. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Latvia started in Riga in 1993. According to an article in the Gazette Montreal dated June 2, 2001, Maija Ozolina, a professional dancer in Riga, “was introduced to Unitarianism by a fellow dancer from New York. She pulled together a nucleus of Latvians, largely people active in the arts,” to form a UU fellowship (Shepard, 2001). The group consists of 15 to 20 people who meet regularly every week in an art school (www.icuu.net). They were able to send a representative to the ICUU general meeting in Prague in May 2003. Ms. Ozolina feels that “Unitarianism could help people in Latvia to open their minds” (Shepard, 2001).


Finland p. 9

(Chalice and chalice symbol of the Finnish Unitarians, http://www.uuottawa.com/world%20emblems.htm)

Unitarian Universalism in Finland Finland’s location, nestled between Sweden and Russia, has played an important role in shaping its history and religious culture. Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom from the Middle Ages until 1809, when it became part of the Russian empire. It wasn’t until 1917 that Finland gained its independence. Originally the native peoples of Finland worshipped nature and ancestors. They developed rituals around the rhythms of nature, the hunt, ancestors and guardian spirits. Christianity arrived in Finland by the end of 1000 C.E. but it was not until the early 14th century that a majority of provinces were incorporated into the Catholic realm (Pulli, 2005). The Protestant Reformation reached Finland in the 1520s brought in part by Finnish scholar Mikael Agricola who studied in Germany under Martin Luther. By the early 17th century western Finland was firmly Lutheran and in 1617, the state outlawed conversion to Catholicism. The Greek Orthodox Church influenced the eastern part of Finland where it had taken root in the Middle Ages. Due to shifting borders with Sweden and a movement to convert the Orthodox population to Lutheranism, many Orthodox followers crossed over the border to Russia to practice their faith. Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia from 1809 to 1917, which strengthened the Orthodox Church in Finland. Until the 1889 Act on Nonconformity, every Finn had to belong to either the Lutheran or the Orthodox church. The first law on religious freedom came into effect in 1923. It allowed individuals the right to belong to any religious denomination or none at all. A new law, which came into effect in 2004, makes it easier for people to leave the state church; they no longer have to give a month’s notice nor do they need to deliver their letter of resignation in person. Finland is predominantly Lutheran today but because of the strong individualistic nature of its culture, it is basically a secular society (Lee, 1996). The role of the state churches (Lutheran and Orthodox) in Finnish life is in marking key moments: baptism, marriage, burial and, for many adolescents, confirmation (http://countrystudies.us/finland 2004). Confirmation is required to get married in a state church and to be a godparent. Membership fees to the two state churches are automatically deducted from a Finn’s income tax. Fees average 1% to 2% of yearly income and go directly to the state churches. Census information for deducting this percentage is based on baptismal records. A number of Finns are leaving the state churches because of the automatic tax deduction. Other religious organizations unable to use the income tax system to collect fees, must ask for out of pocket money from their members. Although this is usually substantially less money than the automatic deduction taken by the state churches, most Finns are not in the habit of making this kind of out of pocket expenditure and hesitate to do so, making it difficult for small churches to grow (Pulli, 2005). About 90% of the Finnish population considers itself Lutheran; about 1.5% belongs to the Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church was officially reinstated in 1929 and has about 8000 members today.


Finland p. 10

In the second half of the 19th century, a number of Protestant churches established themselves in Finland including the Pentecostals (who number about 50,000), the Baptists, the Methodists, the Salvation Army, the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists. Their combined membership remains under 1% of the total population but they are growing. There are about 30 other registered religious communities in Finland; however, Unitarian Universalism is not among them because in order to be considered a religious community, Finnish law requires a creed. Unitarian Universalism in Finland is considered a “religious charity.” Finnish UUs would like to have dual status as a religious community and a religious charity so that those UUs who are also members of a church such as the Lutheran Church, which doesn’t recognize membership in more than one church, can be active in both religious groups. There are five founders of the Suomen Unitaariuniversalistinen Seura (the Finnish Unitarian Universalist Society). Each learned about Unitarianism quite separately from the others. Later they discovered one another (Pulli, 2005). Regular, informal meetings of Finnish UUs began in August 1996. Two founding members participated in ICUU-sponsored leadership training in Klingburg, Germany in November 1996, which led to the first Finnish UU worship service held on December 1, 1996 (Pulli, 2005). There are currently about 25 active UUs in Finland and another 20 or so less active individuals. In Helsinki, regular meetings are held the first Sunday of each month in the Quakers’ meeting room, a small studio close to the city center. Other, less regular meetings take place in members’ homes; these include bimonthly informative meetings and interfaith meetings with liberal Muslims and others. There are also UUs meeting in the cities of Kuopio and Turku. In addition, the Finnish UUs have active email discussion groups. As in the United States, among the members there are UUs who are Christian, pagan, humanist and other persuasions. The UUs of Finland are very proud to identify themselves as a tolerant religion (Pulli, 2005). The Finnish UU Society became a full member of the ICUU in 2003 and is also a member of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF), an interfaith group of liberal religious organizations. The society has published two books in Finnish. The first, titled Free Faith – Thoughts of Unitarian Universalists and Quakers, contains articles on the history of Unitarian Universalism and on religious liberalism in general, Free Religious and Quaker principles, as well as personal ideas of faith by Finnish Unitarian Universalists (www.netlife.fi/~nl02067/uu/). The most recent book is a translation of the Catechism of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church. They are currently working on translating Steve Edington’s and John Sias’s pamphlet, 100 Questions that Non-Members Ask about Unitarian Universalism (Pulli, 2005). Much to the delight of the Finnish Unitarians is the recent discovery of Unitarian texts translated into Finnish in the late 19th and early 20th century as well as texts of Finnish-born North American Unitarian ministers that served in mainly Finnish-speaking congregations. Plans are being made to publish these texts to serve as historical documentation of the continuity of the Finnish UU movement (Pulli, 2005).


Norway p. 11

(Designed by Steve Bridenbaugh, USA, not an official symbol of Norwegian Unitarians; http://www.uua.org/CONG/chalices/)

Unitarianism in Norway Norway sits at the top of the European continent with the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Sweden to the east and to the south across a strait, Denmark. Norway’s nearness to Sweden and Denmark effected the establishment of the Lutheran church as its state church. Religion in ancient Norway was based on nature worship and on Norse mythology. The conversion of Norway to Christianity, starting in the 9th century, occurred because of contact with Christian Europe through trade and Viking raids. Anglo-Saxon, German and Danish missionary activities also helped Christianity to gain a foothold in Norway (www.embnorway.ca, n.d.). The conversion to Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism “took 200 years and was marked by much bloodshed” (Kagda, 1995), but the last wooden idol remained until burned during a revival campaign in 1837. Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation came to Norway in the 1520s. The Lutheran church became the established state church of Norway in the late 1530s as part of the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden. Today the Evangelical Lutheran religion is the official State Church of Norway. Although there is no separation of church and state, a 1964 amendment to the Constitution gives all inhabitants the right to exercise their religion freely (www.emb-norway.ca, n.d.). About 86% of the population is considered as belonging to the Church of Norway, but only about 10% attend church services or other church-related activities more than once a month. “Norwegian religious expression is largely private; whereas most individuals state that religion is important to them, this is not generally expressed through active religious participation in organized communities” (www.emb-norway.ca, n.d). About 8.7% of the population belongs to other religious communities, while 5.6% do not belong to any religious community at all. The largest religious and life-stance communities outside the Church of Norway are the Humanist Movement, represented by the Norwegian Humanist Association with close to 70,000 adult members and Islam with approximately 78,000 members. The Pentecostal Movement and the Roman Catholic Church have about 46,000 members each; the Evangelical-Lutheran Free Church around 21,000; the Jehovah’s Witnesses over 14,000; and the Methodists almost 13,000. Religious groups with fewer numbers are Baptists, Buddhists, Jews, Greek Orthodox, Anglican Church, Hindus and others (Statistics Norway, 2004). As of 2004, Norwegian Unitarians number about 28 members (www.e.unitarforbundet.org, n.d.). Unitarianism is not yet recognized by the government as a religion. Currently there are two freethinking Unitarian movements in Norway, the Unitarian Association (10 members), created in May 2004, and some liberal Protestants within the Church of Norway (18 members). But Unitarianism isn’t a new religion in Norway. In the 19th century, Kristofer Janson learned of Unitarianism while in America where he came across the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and other American Unitarians, and established and led several congregations in Minnesota: The Nora UU Church in Hanska survives to this day. (See http://mankatofellowship.org/nora/index.html). He returned to Norway in 1895 and founded the first Unitarian church in Oslo. Janson also helped to establish a Danish Unitarian church. Edvard


Norway p. 12

Grieg, the composer, and his wife Nina Grieg were both Unitarians and Nina was very active in the Danish church after his death. Our knowledge of organized Unitarianism in Norway comes mostly from writings by and about three people: Kristofer Janson (1841-1917), Hans Tambs Lyche (1859-1898), whose wife Mary Tambs Lyche, studied at a Unitarian seminary in her native USA, and Hermann Haugerud. They were the intellectual leaders of the Unitarian community in Norway at the time (www.e.unitarforbundet.org, n.d.). When Janson quit as minister in 1898, Haugerud took over. He published a magazine called The Unitarian in 1906-1907. Apparently Haugerud did not have the personality necessary to keep the group going and by 1930, the census recorded only a small number of Unitarians about which almost nothing is known. But Unitarian beliefs have endured in Norway and have seeded themselves again in the form of the Unitarian Association (UA). The Unitarian Association shares the faith of the Transylvanian Unitarians, “inspired by the never-ending reformation started by Francis David in the 16th Century and also by Szekler Sabbatarians…” or “spiritual Jews” of Transylvania. {Sabbatarianism originates from the 17th century in Transylvania. It is not Christian or Jewish, but a special mixture of the two (Thiel, 2004)}. The Unitarian Association recognizes non-Christian Unitarianism as part of the modern Unitarian family while adhering to the original Unitarian religion as it developed in Transylvania. They are in close association with the Unitarians in Transylvania (www.e.unitarforbundet.org, n.d.). The basic theology of the Unitarian Association is: God is one. God is spirit. Jesus was a human, now dead, and is regarded as a great spiritual teacher. The Bible is literature and has to be understood as such. There is eternal life for everyone. We all have to create our own understanding of God, nature and ourselves. No dogmas. Faith and religion may change as part of our understanding of God, nature and ourselves. (www.e.unitarforbundet.org, n.d.). Although the Unitarian Association does not identify itself with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in the USA, it does affirm the seven UUA principles. Members of the UA come together in their homes to celebrate their faith. “There is no fixed liturgy but normally the Unitarian chalice or Sabbath candles are lit and the service takes place during dinner, in this way re-living the communion celebrated by the first Christians” (www.e.unitarforbundet.org, n.d.). In addition to Christian holy days, UA members also observe Jewish holy days. In 2004 the UA held its first annual meeting where it elected its first pastor and established a publishing firm. The UA also manages two online discussion lists: one for Scandinavian Unitarians from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway; and one for members and friends of the Petrosani Unitarian Christian Church Diaspora. They maintain partnerships with the Béla Bártok Unitarian Church in Hungary and the Petrosani Unitarian Church in Romania and are an associate member group of the ICUU. The Norwegian Unitarian Association applied for registration by the State in May 2004. Their application was rejected because Unitarianism is not a religion as understood by the Government. They protested this decision, arguing “that our Unitarianism is plain Christianity” (http://www.icuu.net/news/, 2004). In May 2005, the UA was able to register as a Unitarian free church in Oestfold county in Norway under a 1969 law concerning religious societies.


Iceland p. 13

(Chalice design by Pacific Unitarian Church of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA, not an official symbol of Icelandic Unitarians; http://www.uua.org/CONG/chalices/)

Unitarian Universalists of Iceland The island nation of Iceland lies in the North Atlantic Ocean just south of the Arctic Circle between Greenland and Norway. Iceland was settled by Vikings from Norway in 874 C.E. In 930 C.E., the settlers set up an elected government, the first such government in the world. In the year 1000 C.E., the citizens voted to accept Christianity (Roman Catholicism) as the national religion. Up until that time, people followed the Norse traditions. Christianity was introduced into Iceland through trading, Viking raids and new settlers. Two hundred years of peace and freedom ended when powerful clans began battling for power in 1230. The Icelandic government asked Norway’s king to help restore law and order and in 1262, Iceland lost its independence and became a colony of Norway. In 1380, when the royal family of Norway died out, Norway and its holdings fell under the control of Denmark. In the 1500s, the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church began in Europe. Denmark accepted the teachings of Martin Luther and, after much bloodshed, Iceland was forced to follow Denmark’s lead, becoming a Lutheran country in 1550. The 19th century saw a long political battle for independence. By 1940 Denmark and Iceland had planned to discuss independence but Hitler had already invaded Denmark and so Iceland took over its own governing once again. In April 1944, in the midst of WWII, Icelanders voted to declare independence (Somervill, 2003). Since 1550, the Evangelical Lutheran Church has been the state church of Iceland. There are other Lutheran groups in Iceland as well and together they make up about 96% of the population, although most Icelanders are not active churchgoers. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by Iceland’s constitution, which also provides for government-collected taxes for church support. Taxes from people who do not belong to a church go to support the University of Iceland instead. There are many other smaller religious groups in Iceland, including Lutheran Free Churches, Catholics, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists and many more. Also growing in numbers is the Icelandic Ethical and Humanist Association (U.S. Dept. of State, 2003). The Unitarian Universalists of Iceland are an unregistered religious group. No restrictions or requirements are placed on unregistered religious organizations, which have the same rights as other groups in society but they do not get taxed-based support. To become registered, a religious organization must, among other criteria, be well established within the country and have a core group of members who regularly practice the religion. The Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs handles applications for registration of religious organizations. The 1999 law provides for a three-member panel consisting of a theologian, a lawyer and a social scientist to determine the legitimacy of an application (U.S. Dept of State, 2003). All registered religious organizations are required to submit an annual report to the Ministry describing the organization's operations over the past year. The law also states that the leader of a religious organization must be at least 25 years old and pay taxes in the country (U.S. Dept of State, 2003). The present UU congregation in Iceland has “several dozen active members and a much larger group of sympathizers, people who would join immediately were [the UUs] registered with the state as a religious organization” (www.icuu.net, 2004).


Iceland p. 14

It is interesting to note that in the late 1800â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Icelandic immigrants brought a liberal Protestant tradition to the Canadian and U.S. northern prairies, which influenced the growth of Unitarianism in that region (http://www.unitariancongregation.org/kelowna/iceland.htm). There is a long tradition of cooperation between the Iceland State Church and the Icelandic Unitarians of Canada (www.icuu.net, 2004).


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe.15 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

Hoeing 1. Share what you learned about a Scandinavian or Eastern European U*U group with your study group. 2. Now read the following passage. American Unitarian minister Fredric Muir defines religion as “a set of beliefs that gives meaning to your life.” The word religion comes from the Latin, religare, meaning to bind. The words ligament and rely come from the same Latin root. So, Muir points out, religion is a set of beliefs that binds your life together; it holds your life in place; it is something you can rely on to give meaning, purpose and direction to your life. In answering the question, Is Unitarian Universalism a religion? Muir acknowledges that when looking for a religion, many people would like to see creeds, prayers, dogma and rituals, things associated with more traditional worship experiences. But even without these, Unitarian Universalism is still a religion. Everything we do as a religious people is about making meaning in life, about understanding the gap between what is and what could be. “We don't recognize a single person, scripture or creed as determining, sacred or essential to our way of religion. [But] Yes, we are a religion - the Unitarian Universalist way of religion whose theology is unitarian, its faith universalist, its worship creedless and its polity congregational. Like every religion, we have a unique way of ordering our lives together as a community [that gives direction and purpose to our lives]” (Muir, 1998). The Reverend Peter J. Luton explains it this way, “Unitarian Universalism is a religious home that honors each person’s religious journey within the context of the interplay of human dignity and divine beneficence. We believe in religious freedom and the right and responsibility of each person to explore what he or she truly believes to be good and true and beautiful. Unitarian Universalism upholds the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and [we] will not be constrained in our faith by arbitrary and unchanging doctrines and dogmas” (Luton, n.d.). Unitarian Universalism is a religious home not a secular organization because it is a place where one explores the big religious questions, in community with others who are exploring the same questions. 3. What would you say to someone who says that UUism is not a religion? (Consider the definitions offered in the Order of Service for Small Group Worship – Unitarian*Universalists in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, which can be downloaded from http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html)

4. How is Unitarian*Universalism a religious home for you?


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe.16 History, Context, Beliefs, and Practices

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 19) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need. ❀❀❀


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p.17 Small Group Worship

II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the Small Group Worship – Unitarian*Universalists of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe (p. 18), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarian*Universalists of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 19) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from the Scandinavian and Eastern European countries represented to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Have a chalice ready for your small group worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship to honor Unitarian*Universalists in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe is based on a covenant group format, which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display a bouquet or photo of Angelica Archangelica. ___ Have music from Scandinavia or Eastern Europe playing in the background or music of Edvard Grieg. Grieg and his wife were Unitarians from Norway. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead the service comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that fits the theme of the service. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 19), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the additional activities listed in this unit (See Harvesting, p. 19) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from including blogging, designing chalice symbols, folk dancing, cooking and more.


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p.18 Small Group Worship

Handout: Small Group Worship – Unitarian*Universalists of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe After you have read the article, A Faith, By Any Name, Would Smell as Sweet, and shared information from the accompanying articles about individual UU groups in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, you are ready to gather in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – Unitarian*Universalists of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. Bring an item from one of the represented Scandinavian or Eastern European countries to display, if possible. This Small Group Worship service is also based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service, which is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

❀❀❀


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p.19 Additional Activities

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities that you might want to do later as a group or at home with friends or family. 1. Attend a Lutheran or Russian Orthodox service to get a feel for the dominant religions in the countries covered in this unit. Meet after the service to discuss some of the differences you think the U*Us of these countries might have with these churches. 2. Cook and share foods from the countries covered in this unit. There are many great recipes available on the Internet including those at http://www.galaxylink.com.hk/~john/food/cooking/scan/scan.htm, http://www.recipegoldmine.com/worldscand/scand.html http://www.simnet.is/gardarj/recipe.htm http://cookbook.rin.ru/cgi-bin/cookbook_e/national.pl?cuisine=30&nat=30 http://www.ruscuisine.com/cooking-recipes/ 3. Learn some folkdances from Russia, Latvia, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Croatia or Estonia. 4. Take a look at some of the chalice symbols of UUs around the world at http://www.uuottawa.com/world%20emblems.htm. Also look at the chalice symbol of the UUs of Croatia at http://free-zg.t-com.hr/uu-hr/indexen.htm. Then try designing a chalice symbol for one of the U*U groups covered in this unit. Consider what you learned about the group and what distinguishes it from other U*U groups. 5. Learn more about Norwegian Unitarians Kristofer Janson and Nina Grieg in Don McEvoy’s book, Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. (2003). (pp.161-168). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Credo International. Available at www.icuu.net. 6. We selected Angelica Archangelica to represent the Unitarian*Universalists of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. If you were to symbolize each of the groups covered in this unit with a flower or tree, what plant would you assign to each group/country individually? Why? 7. The Internet has provided a wonderful way for members from some of the smaller UU groups to communicate with other UUs through discussion lines, email lists, blogs and websites; UUs in Sweden and many other countries have gotten sermons from a UU minister in Australia via email. The Church of the Larger Fellowship also keeps many isolated U*Us informed and connected (http://www.uua.org/clf/). Make your own contribution to the global UU network. Start your own online discussion group or blog, or add links and information to your church’s website to share what you’ve learned about international Unitarian*Universalism with others in your congregation. 8. Many of the Unitarian*Universalists groups covered in this unit translate into their native languages materials from other U*U groups that they find particularly useful or meaningful. If you were asked what one thing you thought is most worth translating from materials in your U*U tradition, what would you suggest? Why? 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled to or had personal experience with any of the countries covered in this unit, set aside time when they can share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p.20 References and Resources

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Finland Finland. U.S. Library of Congress. Culture Studies. Retrieved October 2004 from http://countrystudies.us/finland. Kääriäinen, K. (Feb. 19, 2002). The Orthodox Church. Retrieved January 2005 from http://virtual.finland.fi Lee, T.C. (1996). Cultures of the World: Finland. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. Paarma, (June 11, 2004). Impact of New Law on Religious Freedom – Why Belong to the Church? Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.lutheranworld.org/News/LWI/EN/1462.EN.html Pentikäinen, J. (2003). The Ancient Religion of the Finns. Retrieved January 2005 from http://virtual.finland.fi/finfo/english/muinueng.html Pulli, Aki (January 2005). The Finnish Unitarian Universalist Society. (Personal correspondence). Short History of Finnish Jewry. (Dec. 30, 1996). Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.jchelsinki.fi/history.htm Unitarian Universalist Society of Finland. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.netlife.fi/~nl02067/uu/ Iceland International Council of Unitarian and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. McNiven, W. (January 5, 2003). The Icelandic Connection. A sermon retrieved January 2005 from http://www.unitariancongregation.org/kelowna/iceland.htm Somervill, B. (2003). Iceland: Enchantment of the World. New York, NY: Children’s Press. U.S. Dept. of State. (December 18, 2003). International Religious Freedom Report 2003: Iceland. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24413.htm Latvia Barlas, R. (2000). Cultures of the World: Latvia. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. Shepard, H. (June 2, 2001). Canadian Unitarians to Fly Solo. “The Gazette Montreal.” Canadian Unitarian Council/Conseil Unitarien du Canada. Retrieved March 2005 from http://www.cuc.ca/business/council/fly_solo.htm U.S. Dept. of State. (October 7, 2002). International Religious Freedom Report 2002: Latvia.


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p.21 References and Resources

Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2002/13944.htm Norway Knut Berg. (2005). (Member of the Humanist Movement in Norway and historian of religion in Norway. Personal correspondence). Kagda, S. (1995). Cultures of the World: Norway. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish. Morgenstierne, Anette Margrete von Munthe. (2005). (Member of the UA of Norway. Personal correspondence). Religion in Norway. (n.d.). Edited from Aschehoug and Gyldendal's Norwegian Encyclopedia Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.emb-norway.ca/facts/religion/general/gereral.htm Embassy of Norway in Canada. Statistics Norway. (October 2004). Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/07/02/10/trosamf_en/ Thiel, R. (2004). In Search of Thyatira. Retrieved February 2005 from http://members.aol.com/cogwriter/thyatira.htm Unitarian Association of Norway. Retrieved January 2005 from www.e.unitarforbundet.org U.S. Dept. of State. (December 18, 2003). International Religious Freedom Report 2003: Norway. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24426.htm Russia Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Nazarenko, N. (2001). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unitarianism in Russiaâ&#x20AC;? in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 266-272). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Religion in Russia. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.russianembassy.org/RUSSIA/religion.htm General Buehrens, J. (Ed). (1999). The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide. Boston: Skinner House Books. Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. Luton, Peter. (n.d.). What is a Unitarian Universalist and Might I Be One Without Knowing It? Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.eastshoreunitarian.org/whatisauu.htm McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. (pp. 161-168). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Available at www.icuu.net.


Scandinavia & Eastern Europe p.22 References and Resources

Midgley, J. (2002). in Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Muir, Fredric (February 22, 1998). Is Unitarian Universalism a Religion? A sermon retrieved February 2005 from http://www.uuca-md.org/sermons/religion.html Thandeka. (2002). â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.â&#x20AC;? in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Unitarian Universalist Association (ed.). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press. UUA ClipArt at http://www.uua.org/CONG/chalices/ Worldwide UU Emblems, First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, Canada. Retrieved February 2005 from http://www.uuottawa.com/world%20emblems.htm

The chalice symbol of the Unitarian Universalists of Croatia


International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Resources: The hymns and readings can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993. The chalice lighting is from the collection of Global Chalice lightings available at www.icuu.net.

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.

Scandinavia and Eastern Europe

Love is the doctrine of this church, The quest of truth is its sacrament, And service is its prayer. To dwell together in peace, To seek knowledge in freedom, To serve human need, To the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the Divine – Thus do we covenant with each other and with God. - arranged by L. Griswold Williams

12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting

We have gathered here to light the chalice with a flame that symbolizes freedom - of expression, faith and other individual liberties. Flame that brings light, helps us to see, and fends off the darkness. Flame that warms us up when it is cold, either outside or in our hearts. Let’s have a moment of meditation.

Aki Pulli Finland

Hymn (#188)

Come, Come, Whoever You Are Come, come, whoever you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. Ours is no caravan of despair. Come, yet again come.

Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly a high or low point of your life this past week.

Reading

Impassioned Clay Deep in ourselves resides the religious impulse. Out of the passions of our clay it rises. We have religion when we stop deluding ourselves that we are self-sufficient, self-sustaining or self-derived.

(#654) Ralph Helverson

Sharing Do you consider yourself a religious person? Why or why not? Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen. Discussion This is a time to respond supportively to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts.

Hymn (#300) Alicia S.

Carpenter

A mind that’s free to seek the truth; a mind that’s free in age and youth to choose a path no threat impedes, wherever light of conscience leads. Our martyrs died so we could be a church where every mind is free.

We have religion when we hold some hope beyond the present, some self-respect beyond our failures.

A heart that’s kind, a heart whose search make Love the spirit of our church, where we can grow and each one’s gift is sanctified, and spirits lift, where every door is open wide for all who choose to step inside.

We have religion when our hearts are capable of leaping up at beauty, when our nerves are edged by some dream in our heart. We have religion when we have an abiding gratitude for all that we have received. We have religion when we look upon people with all their failings and still find in them good; when we look beyond people to the grandeur in nature and to the purpose in our our own heart. We have religion when we have done all that we can, and then in confidence entrust ourselves to the life that is larger than ourselves.

Sitting in Silence

With Heart and Mind With heart and mind and voice and hand may we this time and place transcend to make our purpose understood: a mortal search for mortal good, a firm commitment to the goal of justice, freedom, peace for all.

Benediction Theodore Parker USA

Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere; its temple, all space; its shrine, the good heart; its creed, all truth; its ritual, works of love; its profession of faith, divine living.

Extinguishing the Chalice Lai butu miers pasaule. (Latvian) May peace prevail on Earth.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 1

Unitarianism in Africa The Ana Tree

Faidherbia albida

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 2

Unitarianism in Africa: the Ana Tree Table of Contents for Unit 14 Preparing for this Unit Session I: History, Context, Beliefs and Practices Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handouts: Tilling: Pre-reading activity Planting Introduction Handouts of UU Groups: South Africa Nigeria Burundi Handouts: Hoeing: Post-reading activity

p. 3 p. 4 p. 4 p. 5 p. 5 p. 6 pp. 7-11 pp. 12-14 pp. 15-18 p. 19

Session II: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session II Facilitating Session II Handout: Small Group Worship

p. 20 p. 20 p. 21

Harvesting: Additional Activities The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 22 pp. 23-25

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 3

Unitarianism in Africa: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 covers the history and context of Unitarianism in Africa and the beliefs and practices of African Unitarians. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of Unitarians in Africa. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. In this unit, we ask participants to read all of the material covering Unitarianism in South Africa, Nigeria, and Burundi and then to briefly summarize information that they found particularly interesting about just one of the African Unitarian groups. They will later share their summary with their study group. The group or facilitator may choose an additional activity from the list of activities under Harvesting (p. 22) to do as a group after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create more informal ways to make connections with one another and to lend variety to the group meetings. Some of the activities may be directed more toward the younger participants in the program. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit over three sessions depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a weekly class or itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done in a workshop or retreat setting), and the interests of the group. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 4

Unitarianism in Africa I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT/BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies, and hand out in advance, the articles on Unitarianism in South Africa, Nigeria, and Burundi and accompanying pre- and post-reading activities, pp. 5-19, or ask participants to access these pages online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies of and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (pp.23-25) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 22) to do after your discussion. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activity. ___ Invite members to bring items from Africa to display. ___ Arrive early to set up your room. You may want to use African style fabric to cover your chalice table. Provide nametags if group members are new to one another. ___ Have African folk music or music by an African musician playing in the background. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a map or globe on which you can locate the congregations mentioned in this unit. ___ Display a picture of the Ana tree (Faidherbia albida) ___ Make copies of handouts for the next session you plan to cover. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants and invite those with items to display to put them out on a table. 2. Chalice lighting: We kindle this light in the centre of our circle. May it symbolise the light and life and warmth in the centre of our beings. May it mirror the light of fellow Unitarians here and around the world. - Patricia Oliver, Unitarian Church of South Africa 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point in their week. Make announcements about today’s session and upcoming sessions as needed. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 22) for next time, if appropriate. Distribute handouts for the next session you plan to cover. 4. Locate congregations mentioned in this unit on a map or globe. 5. Ask members to share their answers to the Tilling exercise p. 5. 6. Ask members what surprised them about Africa’s indigenous Unitarianism. As time allows, continue your conversation with questions listed in the Hoeing section on page 19. 7. Extinguishing the chalice: When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice: When love is doubtful, And our choice is not clear, We turn to worship, To cast out fear. Teach us forgiveness, Make love our end. Show us, O spirit, how to befriend. – (based on a text by Bishop Dr. Adedeji Ishola, Nigeria and found in Singing the Living Tradition #179. 8. Gather to engage in an additional activity from Harvesting, p. 22. Listen to the travel experiences of others, discuss cyber-religion, or enjoy an idea designed by your group.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 5

Tilling What do you know about religion in Africa? What questions do you have about Unitarianism in Africa? Jot down a few notes.

Planting Read the following introduction and articles on the history, context, beliefs and practices of Unitarian groups in South Africa, Nigeria and Burundi. Be prepared to share a brief summary of what you learned about one of the countries. Please note that some articles are longer and more detailed due to availability of information.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 6

AFRICA Africa is the second largest continent on earth. It has the most countries of any continent - about 53. The countries of Africa have rich and fascinating histories. “Pre-European Africa was essentially a decentralized Africa. While there were great empires in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia and Nigeria, these were the exceptions. The fabric of Africa was one of local management and control of livelihood resources” (Ford, 2004). According to Richard Ford in a sermon presented to First (Unitarian) Church, Houston Texas, “Of all the changes that Europe brought to Africa, the destruction of local governance practices, traditions and institutions of decentralization has probably had the largest long-term http://www.africanconservation.com/africareliefmap.html negative impact.” (Ford, 2004). For a better understanding of Africa, its past and present, we recommend the Reverend Richard Ford’s sermon available online at www.uupcc.org/docs/LessonsFromAfrica.doc

UNITARIANISM IN AFRICA We find Unitarianism well-established in three countries in Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, and Burundi. (As of 2005, the ICUU learned of another Unitarian group forming in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As varied as is the continent and its people, The Ana Tree so too is the manifestation of Unitarianism in these countries. Faidherbia albida, or Ana tree, has been chosen to represent Unitarianism in Africa in our Garden of Unitarian*Universalism. Like the seed of Faidherbia albida, Unitarianism survives in sometimes harsh conditions. The Ana tree helps prevent erosion, provides shade and food for humans and animals, and has medicinal properties. It is a life-sustaining tree. Unitarianism in Africa, with its message of hope is a life-sustaining faith. There is great variability in the species Faidherbia albida across Africa as there is in Unitarianism in Africa. Unitarianism in South Africa developed out of the Dutch Reform tradition; the Nigerian form of Unitarianism grew out of both an indigenous, non-western tradition and an Anglican tradition; Burundi, a more current growth, sprouted entirely from the quest of a contemporary seeker.


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South Africa/Cape Town The Republic of South Africa is located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland. The native peoples of southern Africa had complex and meaningful religious practices for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. “In 1665 A chalice of the first Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) minister from Holland established Unitarians in South a small congregation in South Africa. For the next hundred years no other Africa church was allowed to establish a congregation. Between 1688 and 1700 some 150 French Huguenots arrived. They were Reformed Christians who were assimilated into the DRC community. In 1737 the first Christian missionary to the local indigenous people arrived. He was a Moravian, George Schmidt (1709 – 1785). It was in the late 1700s that large South African numbers of 1Christian missionaries began to immigrate to South Africa, mostly from Britain and Chalice Holland” (Oliver, 2006). The “Reformed” churches (the Dutch Reformed among them) originally used this designation to distinguish themselves from the "unreformed" Roman Catholic church and are those denominations of Protestants that are Calvinistic in theology and usually Presbyterian in church organization. They trace their origin to the reforming work in Zurich of Ulrich Zwingli and in Geneva of John Calvin. The doctrines of the Dutch Reformed Churches of South Africa assert that God is eternal, infinite, wise and just. The doctrines also assert “the complete depravity of humanity, unconditional election, and limited atonement… essentially a restating of the Calvinist position: that God has predestined who will and who will not be saved and, therefore, people cannot contribute to their salvation” (St. Martin’s College, 1999). The history of the Dutch Reformed Church “has been very much bound up with the politics of the Afrikaner community of South Africa. The most controversial aspect of the Dutch Reformed Church's theology has been its support of the apartheid system: that is, the institutionalized separation of the people of South Africa according to their race” (St. Martin’s Press, 1999). In 1986, congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church were desegregated and “in the post-apartheid years since 1994, the Dutch Reformed Church has acknowledged and apologized to the country for its support for apartheid” (Oliver, 2006). In the 1860s, a ministerial student coming from this faith tradition helped to establish a more liberal religion in South Africa – the Free Protestant Church of South Africa. The Free Protestant Church of South Africa was an indigenous religious group founded by South Africans of European descent and was the progenitor of today’s Unitarian Church, Cape Town. The Unitarian movement in South Africa was established in 1867 by the Reverend Dawid (David) Pieter Faure, a first generation Afrikaner and member of a well-known Cape family. His family subscribed to the Dutch Reformed Church, regularly attending services twice every Sunday (McEvoy, 2003). Deciding to train for ministry, Faure enrolled art Leiden University in Holland. It was customary for Dutch Reformed ministers to train at more orthodox seminaries such as Ultrecht or Edinburgh, but Faure was drawn to Leiden by a “Mysterious Power,” and likely by the fact that that was where his father had studied law (McEvoy, 2003). It was not until


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Faure attended Leiden University in the Netherlands to study for the ministry that he encountered advanced liberal religious thought (Visser, 1999). On his return to South Africa he preached a probationary sermon in the Groote Kerk, Cape Town. He was not well received in the “Mother Church”; in fact, he was reportedly shunned by visiting clergy and church wardens (McEvoy, 2003). Faure, undaunted, was determined to preach. In August 1867, he hired a hall at his own expense and held a series of public talks on what he called the New School of Modern Theology. Responding to popular appeal, Faure gathered a congregation of people who felt the need for a church unfettered by traditional dogmas, open to the advances of modern knowledge and receptive to new spiritual insights. As a result of this following, the “Free Protestant Church” was born (McEvoy, 2003). The 'new theology', as preached by Dawid Faure, was grounded in the following principles: 1    That God is a loving, not an angry or cruel, God; hence that the doctrines of eternal punishment, atonement for original sin and predestination are not necessary to uphold. 2    That it is everyone’s religious duty to love their neighbour; hence that people of all faiths and races, should be treated as equals. 3   And that the human potential for goodness and conscious personal growth exceeds the tendency towards evil; hence, that there should be continuous striving for improvement and use of the faculty of reason in all religious pursuits. (Visser, 1999) Although Faure was influenced by the writings of American Unitarian Theodore Parker, the founding of the Free Protestant Church was independent and without the assistance of any existing Unitarian association in the world (Heller-Wagner, 1995). Throughout his life, Faure was an outspoken defender of justice and promoter of the liberal religious tradition. He sought truth and meaning wherever it might be found. In 1893, Faure conducted the mayoral service for John Woodhead. The media remarked on the fact that he used readings from non-Christian scripture, such as the Koran. “The Reverend Faure continued as minister until 1897, when he was succeeded by the Rev Ramsden Balmforth from England. Balmforth conducted a thriving ministry to 1937 and brought the Free Protestant Church into the international Unitarian Movement in 1921” (Oliver, n.d.). At that time the name Unitarian was added in brackets: Free Protestant Church (Unitarian). Ramsden Balmforth, unlike Faure, came from a very poor working-class English family. He was one of ten children, self-taught and, perhaps as a result of his impoverished childhood, Balmforth was a socialist. This initially upset the local Cape Town congregation, but he soon proved himself to be an effective organizer, orator and writer and was accepted. Following Faure’s tradition, Balmforth took controversial stands on social issues such as women’s enfranchisement, old age pensions, a higher age of consent for girls, better schools, equal pay for


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men and women, compulsory education for black children, and better living conditions for blacks (Visser, 1999). Notably, during his ministry, there was a small but significant number of Blacks attending his services. He also hosted the first ordained woman minister to preach in a church in South Africa, as well as inviting speakers from non-Christian religions, a practice which has continued to the present. During Balmforth’s time, a Unitarian congregation also existed in Johannesburg, from 1889 to 1919 and in Pretoria during the 1930s (Visser, 1999). “Ministers who followed Balmforth were William and Wilma Constable (1937 to 1941), Donald Livingstone (1941 to 1949), Magnus Ratter (1949 to 1960 and 1971 to 1976), Victor Carpenter (1962 to 1967), Eugene Widrick (1968 to 1971), and Leon Fay (1977 to 1979)” (Oliver, n.d.). Robert Steyn served as minister of the Cape Town, South Africa Unitarian Congregation from 1982-1997, a particularly volatile period of South African history. His opposition to apartheid was long-standing. Under the restriction imposed by the Group Areas Act, black South Africans could live and shop only in segregated townships. Steyn, working with the Cape Town Interfaith Forum, organized people dedicated to justice and tolerance. The Reverend Gordon Oliver has been the UU minister of the Cape Town, South Africa congregation since 2002. “Prior to his UU ministry, he was the activist mayor of Cape Town in the tumultuous last days of apartheid. Two days before he was sworn in, police killed dozens of Blacks taking part in a peaceful protest. Immediately after his inauguration, Gordon walked to the memorial service to honor the victims. There he pledged to join Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a protest march, disregarding the government's long-standing ban on protests. ‘Mayor Defies Law’ read the headline in the Cape Times. A year later, apartheid had crumbled” (Holmes, 2003). Oliver's commitment to social justice remains strong and is further demonstrated in his work as president of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU). Unitarianism in South Africa has a fascinating history and this is recorded in the doctoral thesis of the Reverend Eric Heller-Wagner, an American Unitarian Universalist who visited Cape Town in the early 1990s in order to complete his doctorate at the University of Stellenbosch. His thesis, entitled "The Unitarians of South Africa - A Socio-historical Study" is a comprehensive record of the movement in South Africa. “The Cape Town Unitarian Church currently has a membership of approximately 100 people, of whom about 45 are regular church attendees. Of these, eight are experienced in conducting worship services and they share the pulpit roster with the Reverend Gordon Oliver” (Oliver, n.d and 2006). After attending a service at the Cape Town Unitarian Church in 2004, one visitor reported in an article that “[she] was surprised at how comfortable the service felt. They had all the same basic elements: chalice lighting, a version of ‘Joys and Concerns’, readings (one by Philip Hewitt), FOUR hymns -all familiar- from the [UUA] hymnal Singing the Living Tradition, etc. The sermon was on the [topic of the] New Year. Gordon started by reading the Walt Whitman poem Song of the Open Road. It was a good sermon for New Year’s Day” (http://nonprofits.accesscomm.ca, 2005). In Global Conversations, Oliver tells us that the congregation honors “high days and holy days” of all the great faiths. All religions’ prophets and great teachers are honored at Christmas


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time. Annually, there is held a Harvest Day Sunday, Flower Communion, World Environment Day, Women’s Day, Remembrance Day, Youth Day and Founders’ Day (Hill, 2002). The UUA’s UU World magazine reports that Oliver has introduced adult education programming and plans to start a church school to attract younger members with an interest in social action (Holmes, 2003). There is an active Women's League that meets regularly and organizes fundraising events for the church. A special service dedicated to families is held at 10 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month (Oliver, 2005). “The church has grown in recent years. Eleven new members have been registered in the last two years and regular "Build Your Own Theology" programs for interested persons who are not Unitarians have been held; some of these have become members or attend church from time to time. The Church provides services to non-churchgoing couples who come for marriage or to have children blessed and in the conducting of memorial services” (Oliver, n.d.). There are three other Unitarian communities in South Africa, all younger and smaller than the congregation in Cape Town, but just as passionate about their liberal religious faith. Somerset West Unitarians “Since 1984 there has been an active fellowship in Somerset West, about 40 kilometres outside Cape Town. Their meetings, originally held in a private home but now held at “The Playhouse” [due to growth in their numbers], are in the form of a discussion with readings and prayer” (Oliver, n.d. and www.unitarian.co.za/unitarians_somerset_west.html, n.d.). Johannesburg Unitarian Fellowship According to Wayne Visser, a Unitarian congregation existed in Johannesburg, from 1889 to 1919 (Visser, 1999). “In the 1950s, the Johannesburg Fellowship was started by Rev Donald Livingstone with the help of [British] Unitarian minister, Margaret Barr, who worked with the Unitarians of the Khasi Hills in India for many years. She visited South Africa in the fifties and was invited by Livingstone to address a meeting of interested persons in Johannesburg. This Fellowship has remained active since then and meets monthly” (Oliver, n.d.). Durban Unitarians “The Durban Congregation has been active since 1986 and meets twice monthly in Westville” (Oliver, n.d.). From their web page, we learn that this is a small, lay-lead congregation. Services include readings, music, 'sermons' and stimulating discussions thereof and are followed by coffee and tea during which the subject of the next sermon is discussed. They proudly remark that “Durban Unitarian services are living proof of a commitment to create a spiritual environment that encourages participants to think for themselves” (www.unitarian.co.za, n.d.). In early 2000, the four Unitarian groups of South Africa - Somerset West Unitarians, Johannesburg Unitarian Fellowship, the Durban Congregation and Cape Town – “met in Cape Town to plan for the future, and it was decided to establish a national body of South African Unitarians which would have the role of coordinating and planning growth and activities on a


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national level” (Oliver, n.d.). The Second National Gathering of South African Unitarians was held in Cape Town from November 11 to 13, 2005. The guest speaker was Judge Albie Sachs of the South African Constitutional Court, a well-known anti-apartheid activist who was severely injured by the apartheid government. The aim and focus of the gathering was to explore a common South African Unitarian identity and differences with a view to: • • •

considering ways and means of co-operating with each other; exploring how, on a national basis, each congregation can nurture, inspire and strengthen the others in the future; and charting the future of Unitarianism in South Africa. (Oliver, 2005)

On considering the future of Unitarianism in South Africa, Oliver’s quote in UU World testifies to his optimism and conviction: "We can't change everything overnight, but we're on the threshold of a big opportunity. Unitarianism is so right for this country right now. There are millions out there seeking something other than orthodoxy" (Holmes, 2003).


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Nigeria Nigeria is in western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, surrounded by Benin and Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Its southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus with mountains in the southeast, plains in the north. Swamps and mangrove forests border the southern coast; inland are hardwood forests. Nigeria is one of the most populous and fastest growing countries in Africa (Columbia University Press, 2003). “The people of Nigeria belong to over 200 different ethnic groups, each with its own language, customs, and traditions. Of these groups, ten constitute over 90% of the population.” (Gelbein, 2002). Religion has always played a major role in Nigerian society, where there is a strong relationship between ethnic and religious identity. The dominant ethnic group in the northern part is the Hausa-Fulani, the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslim. The Yoruba people are predominant in the south. Over half of the Yoruba are Christian and about a quarter are Muslim, with the remainder following mostly traditional beliefs. Southwestern Yorubaland contains a more diverse group of religions. A country study of the U.S. Library of Congress notes that religion is a tool for social mobility, providing the means for integration into business, political and educational circles throughout Nigeria (Wikipedia, 2006). To understand Unitarianism in Nigeria it is important to know something of the rich Yoruba tradition in which it is steeped. According to Nigerian Unitarian Asao Taiyewo Aiyefuwa, “Yoruba civilization involves three factors – religion, government and kinship” (Hill, 2002). To most Nigerians, religion and faith are important aspects of everyday life. Religion controls the laws and influences thought, actions, belief, values and daily practice. There are religious rituals for each phase of life. Most African traditional religions have no sacred texts and no written documentation of beliefs and practices. Tenets of the religion are handed on orally, adapting to time and need (Motherland Nigeria, 2002). In the book Global Conversations, Aiyefuwa tells us that Yoruba is a sacred word, and when the Yoruba refer to themselves as Yoruba they understand that to mean that they are the children of God, and children of Oduduwa; in fact, they understood themselves to be the first religious family born of the Grand Creator God, Ifa (Hill, 2002). “The oral history of the Yoruba describes an origin myth, which tells of God lowering a chain at Ile-Ife, down which came Oduduwa, the ancestor of all people, bringing with him a cock, some earth, and a palm kernel. The earth was thrown into the water, the cocked scratched it to become land, and the kernel grew into a tree with sixteen limbs, representing the original sixteen kingdoms” (Art and Life…, 1998). According to Yoruba mythology, Oduduwa became the first Yoruba king (oba) at Ile-Ife. “The Yoruba cosmos is conceived of two distinct but interrelated realms: the world of the living (aye) and the other world (orun), which is the realm of the Supreme Being, the ancestors,


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spirits, and gods (orisa [also called orisha])” (Exploring Africa, n.d.). The king is considered important to the spiritual well being of Yoruba peoples because he has been accepted as a link between these two worlds, as a representative of orun living in this world. Because he is divine, the king has access to special powers and extraordinary wisdom. The king of course has many responsibilities and privileges that come with his high-status role (Exploring Africa, n.d.). “The orisha are archetypes, patterns of behavior. The spiritual power they possess is called ashe (ah-shay), ‘the-power-to-bring-things-to-pass’. Orisha, divine spirits, are humanized in rich storytelling, made available to the people’s rich imagination. They can select an orisha that relates to their own lives and create personal power in the relationship. There are many personal and communal altars and great celebrations created for the orishas. Art, dance, and storytelling flourish” (Gelbein, 2002). With some knowledge of the stories and culture of the Yoruba, we can better understand Unitarianism in Nigeria.

Unitarianism in Nigeria

(Clip art chalice design, not an official symbol of Unitarians of Nigeria) The history of the Unitarian Brotherhood Church (Ijo Isokan Gbogbo Eda) in Lagos, Nigeria as described by the Reverend Asao Taiyewo Aiyefuwa in Global Conversations reflects theological and political independent thinking, personal conviction, determination, and courage in the face of persecution. Aiyemuwa tells the story of the rise of two Unitarian communities embracing an indigenous culture and its values. Dr. Bishop Adeniran Adedeji Isola, the father of Nigerian Unitarianism was described as a “liberal and principled man” (Hill, 2004) who in 1915 found his relationship with the Anglican church in Lagos, Nigeria untenable. He distanced himself from Holy Trinity Church and began prayer meetings and discussion groups that grew steadily. Aiyefuwa tells us that, “the sole aim was to promote the fatherhood of the one Grand Creator God.” By March 1918, the group was fully inaugurated as a church by liberal religious people of varying religious backgrounds. Meetings were held morning and evening and were conducted in the Yoruba language. They incorporated the use of Yoruba musical instruments including native drums. Hymns, which they composed, were also in Yoruba. “Dr. Isola’s teaching was based on religious ways of life with reference to Christianity and the exemplary leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Hill, 2002). “To speak of the Holy Trinity was the same as saying that brothers are all one family” (Hill, 2002). Isola based his liberal Christianity “on knowledge of the Bible; but also on a deeper understanding of the Yoruba concept of religion and faith in Ifa scripture” (Hill, 2002). The widening appeal of these services led to strong disapproval in the Christian community and saw the initiation of harassment by leadership from surrounding churches. Despite (an unsuccessful) court action to close the Unitarian Brotherhood Church, forced job transfers and an attempt on his life, Dr Isola continued his work in Lagos until 1929. At that time he retired to his home village where he continued writing hymns and compiling worship materials for his church (Hill, 2002).


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Despite external persecution and some internal strife alluded to in Global Conversations, Unitarian Brotherhood Church continued to thrive. By 1936 they expanded and built a church and primary school (ICUU, 2004). In 1958 they hired their first full-time minister. They continued to grow and flourish. There are currently two Unitarian groups in Nigeria. In 1994, the Rev. Olatunji Matimoju, one of the long time leaders of the Unitarian Brotherhood Church, with others left Unitarian Brotherhood Church to establish the First Unitarian Church of Nigeria (Hill, 2002). Their stated goal is to propagate a gospel of freedom and service in Nigeria (ICUU, 2004). Both groups are members of the IARF and both are listed on the ICUU website. Ijo Isokan Gbogbo Eda (Unitarian Brotherhood Church) is a founder member of the ICUU and has approximately 100 members (ICUU, 2004). The Rev. Taiyewo Aiyefuwa wrote in a letter published in UU World in 2002, “Unlike other religious organizations, Unitarianism does not disturb traditional customs” (UU World, 2002).” In fact, effort is made to retain critical components of traditional African religion including the continued use of the Yoruba language, native musical instruments, original hymns written in Yoruba, and baptism of children with names in the Yoruba language done one week after the baby’s birth as tradition warrants. Services at Unitarian Brotherhood Church ordinarily follow a typical Protestant format, but of course, all in Yoruba with original hymns: Processional Hymn Hymn to start worship Call to worship Prayer and Congregational Prayer - Lord’s Prayer Hymn First Reading Second Reading

Hymn Second Prayer and Oath of Faith Hymn Sermon Announcements Closing Benediction Processional Hymn

It is interesting to note that Dr. Isola wrote his own version of the Lord’s Prayer in Yoruba. Translated to English, it says, “Our Father who knoweth the minds. Your name is Holy. Let the time come for us to know the Truth as we express the same with our mouths. In faith and the truth bless us with spiritual strength for our uprightness, for overcoming all evil acts all the days of our life. Amen. (Hill, 2002). Like other Unitarian*Universalist communities in struggling areas the Rev. Taiyewo Aiyefuwa makes a plea for “cooperation from sister congregations interested in sharing our difficulties and supporting our vision.” He writes: “…We continue to struggle to propagate Unitarianism as we face modern challenges, always having in mind that Unitarianism is most suitable to the continent's people, especially the Yoruba in Nigeria, as they maintain their faith in Ifa, sole God and grand creator God (UU World, 2002).


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BURUNDI Burundi is located in east central Africa between Tanzania and Zaire. “Landlocked, beset by population pressures and meagre economic resources, Burundi is one of the poorest and most conflict-ridden countries in Africa and in the world. Its small size belies the magnitude of the problems it faces…” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2006). Burundi was controlled by Germany beginning in 1884, and later by Belgium from 1919 until 1962 when it gained independence (World Atlas, n.d.). Ethnic conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi resulted in more than a decade of civil war. Burundi suffers from high population density and very limited natural resources. Most of the citizens barely survive through subsistence agricultural farming. Soil erosion is severe as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation is pronounced (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel) and habitat loss threatens wildlife populations. In Burundi fewer than 50% of children go to school and the country is ravaged not only by war but by AIDS (World Atlas, n.d.). The U.S. Department of State reports that “reliable statistics on the number of followers of various religions are not available [though] a Roman Catholic official has estimated that 60 percent of the population is Catholic, with the largest concentration of adherents located in the center and south of the country. A Muslim leader has estimated that up to 10 percent of the population is Muslim, a majority of whom live in urban areas. The remainder of the population belongs to other Christian churches, practices traditional indigenous religions, or has no religious affiliation” (U.S. Dept. of State, 2005). One of these uncounted churches is L’Assemblée des Chrétiens Unitariens du Burundi, or the Assembly of Christian Unitarians of Burundi.

Unitarianism in Burundi

(Chalice design by Marilyn B Walker and Pamela Walker, not an official symbol of Burundi Unitarians)

In the often despairing and harsh environment of modern day Burundi, Fulgence Ndagijimana dared to plant a new seed, tended it and is watching it grow. Fulgence questioned the religious thinking around him. Armed with curiosity and conviction, he began an internet search for like-minded people. The search led him to Unitarianism. He made contact with the Rev. Dr. Ray Walder of Blackpool (England) Unitarian Church and asked what would be required of him to become a member of the Unitarian community. Dr. Walder responded (and in October 2003, shared that response with his congregation in Blackpool):


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“Thank you so much for your letter. There is no such thing as a typical Unitarian, of course, but I should warn you that I, and Blackpool Unitarian Church, may be very untypical. Please, then, do not take what I say in this letter or, indeed, what I say in my sermons*- as being an example of Unitarianism generally. I am proceeding along a personal spiritual path which seems right to me, and the good folks in Blackpool Church are, I believe, finding something of worth in what I have to say. ... I was fascinated to read about your own spiritual journey and how you came to question your faith. You are fortunate - I am twice your age and spent many, many years without knowing how to raise the questions. It's also wonderful that you have already more than 15 Burundians who are interested in Unitarianism. There are churches in England who would dearly love to have fifteen regular attenders! It's grand that you are in contact with Gordon in Cape Town. I do not know what he would advise as far as your becoming a member of a church, but I have one, very simple, piece of advice: BUILD YOUR OWN CHURCH! How to do this?: pray together. By praying together regularly those of you who are already interested in this religion will find that the Spirit brings more people to you. Gradually, then, you will become a stronger and stronger community - and miraculous things will happen (- you'll see!). But I have two very important things to say about prayer. The first is that the words you use to enter into prayer should always be affirmations and never requests. This, it seems to me, is the way in which Jesus prayed. I love the words of John 11:41-42: ‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me. And I [know] that Thou hearest me always’ because they are so completely affirmative. The second thing is that true prayer is silence. All the mystics tell us that, and Meister Eckhart's words 'There is nothing that so resembles God as silence' should always, as I see it, be heeded. I referred just now to your church as a 'community'. In our church we have, every week, a Communion service. That is a service which consists mainly of prayers and silence - and, of course, the sharing of bread and wine. Sharing bread and wine is, in our service, nothing to do with 'the body and blood of Jesus Christ' but is a ritual way of affirming our oneness as a community. That is to say, Communion is about community. [Respectfully, Rev. Dr. Ray Walder] [Dr. Walder to the Blackpool Congregation]: So that was part of my reply (it continued with copies of the prayers I say at our Communion service). I didn't hear again from Fulgence until the other week, for he had waited a full year so that he could let me know what had transpired.


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Then he sent the following lovely letter: [Dear Rev. Dr. Walder,] 'I hope I find you in good health, you, your family, and your Church. I waited a full year before I replied because I wanted to put in practice the wise recommendation you gave me, namely: TO BUILD OUR OWN CHURCH. We decided to start by organising ourselves by our own means and make our own church. Today, we are 25 people meeting twice a month (the first and last Sunday of the month). I profit on my small knowledge of the Bible, the philosophers (I did philosophy at University) and other inspired readings to have something to share and grow spiritually with. You gave me a number of prayers and I use them but translated and adapted in French. Many thanks for this. We have instituted an evening of Silence and reflection/meditation on the second Friday of the month. We don't have enough means to afford wine so that we can have the rituals of bread and wine. It may come later. We have now a plan to rent a house where silence is possible and meetings are undisturbed. I am requesting that if possible, the Blackpool Unitarian Church supports us. We would like to rent it for one year starting by January 2004. Your support, whatever it is, will be appreciated. I was invited to the ICUU council in Prague last May but I couldn't make it. This is to say that we have good contacts with them and we believe that the new President (Gordon [Oliver of South Africa]) will do something to promote Unitarianism in Africa. We are playing our part and are ready to do more because IT IS OUR CHURCH. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon and accept our deep feeling of gratitude. Love, Fulgence Ndagijimana.'” (Walder, 2003). With financial gifts from the Blackpool Unitarian Church in Great Britain, the Assemblée des Chretiens Unitariens du Burundi rented a place to hold their services. In his letter of thanks to the Blackpool congregation, Fulgence Ndagijimana wrote “Having an important place of worship is a big deal for us because we are in a stage of visibility and witness, our own way of telling the UU story. We run now a project in favour of HIV/AIDS people and this is a way to get our humanitarian side known” (Walder, 2003). Mr. Ndagimimana continues to network with Unitarian*Universalists and other religious liberals worldwide. According to an article in Correspondance unitarienne, posted by the Fraternité unitarienne de Bordeaux, Fulgence Ndagijimana traveled to France, Spain, Belgium and Holland in the fall of 2004. He visited and presented to the Unitarians and Baha’i of


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 18

Bordeaux; liberal Protestants in Agde, and Montpelier; the Christian Unitarians (AFCU) of Marseilles; the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris and the European Unitarian Universalists at their retreat; and met with Unitarians and liberal Christian groups in Lille and Brussels. Mr. Ndagijimana was also asked to represent the network of French-speaking Unitarians at the ICUU Council meeting in Spain in November 2005 (Correspondance unitarienne, 2004), which he was able to do. While there, he connected with Canadian Unitarian Council Executive Director, Mary Bennett and through her obtained a copy of a bilingual (French-English) Unitarian curriculum called Side by Side (Canadian Unitarian Council, 2005). The Assembly of Christian Unitarians of Burundi (ACUB) also maintains a partnership with l'Assemblées Fraternelles des Chrétiens Unitariens (AFCU), a French Christian Unitarian organization. Full of determination, Fulgence Ndagijimana and a small group of like-minded people built their own church. Founded in 2001, ACUB is a group which, “on the basis of the postulate that "’Christian’ and ‘Unitarian’ are not opposed concepts, proposes to believe in only one God (whatever that image and experience may be for members) and to be open to the message of Jesus who for us is a model to be imitated and not a God to be adored” (Ndagijimana , 2004). Fulgence Ndagijimana writes “Our group is committed to living a liberation Christianity… the message of Jesus guides us, leads us towards God and connects us with our brothers and sisters. We think that we do not need the doctrine of the Trinity upheld in Nicea (325 CE) and in Constantinople (381 CE) and which is not based in scripture” (Ndagijimana , 2004). This community of Unitarians draws from “the Bible, human wisdom expressed in philosophical texts, and other texts worthy of meditation” (Ndagijimana, 2004). In an online periodical Mr. Ndagijimana wrote that his was a congregation of Liberals, former Protestants and Catholics who gather to worship – or more specifically “to celebrate the love, the life, and the brotherhood of the community…[They] endeavour to build a community within which differences are viewed as a richness and spiritual search is limited only by the finite capacity of the human mind…” (Correspondance unitarienne, 2004). Truly, the story of Unitarianism in Burundi is one of a seed being nurtured and cared for by a loving group of gardeners who see its life-sustaining potential.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 19

Hoeing 1. Share your summary, or information you found particularly interesting, about one of the countries or groups presented in this unit (see Planting, p. 5). 2. In his presentation, “The Future of British Unitarianism” in Global Conversations, George Chryssides looks at “societal trends that are likely to shape life in (British) society in the future.” Of particular interest is his look at the use of the World Wide Web and the broader availability of the Internet worldwide. The ICUU webpage hosts an international U*U discussion group. The Cape Town South Africa Unitarian’s web page also includes a link to a South African Unitarian discussion group. Burundi Unitarian, Fulgence Ndagijimana, first learned of Unitarianism through the Internet. We learn from a Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly report in 2000 that the Rev. Matimoju of the First Unitarian Church of Lagos (Nigeria) relies on e-mail from the ICUU for information about other Unitarian organizations. In February 2006, the Regroupement francophone unitarien universalist (RFUU) announced its rebirth as a virtual UU group for French speakers. (http://www.rfuu.net/). In more than 20 countries, Unitarians and Universalists stay in touch through the Internet resources of the ICUU or other U*U websites. What is your view on the use of the Internet in religion? Should the Internet be used as a means of propagating Unitarian*Universalist ideas?

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 22) following the discussion of the reading or following the Small Group Worship? If so, prepare any materials you might need.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 20

II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Small Group Worship ___ Make copies and hand out the Small Group Worship – Unitarianism in Africa, in advance. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – Unitarians of Africa, which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 22) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring items from the African countries represented to display at the Small Group Worship service. ___ Have a chalice and matches ready for your Small Group Worship service. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Small Group Worship Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship to honor Unitarians in Africa is based on a covenant group format, which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Display a bouquet or a photo of the Ana tree. ___ Have African music playing in the background. Order of Service - If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead the service comfortably. Songs - You can hear a midi file of the tune to the song Siyahamba at http://ingeb.org/spiritua/siyahamb.mid or hear the tune and pronunciation of the Zulu words at http://www.kwasizabantu.com/audio/choruses/learn_some_zulu_choruses_.htm Preliminaries - This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 22), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service - If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the additional activities listed in this unit (See Harvesting – Additional Activities, p. 20) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from including games, cooking, storytelling, discussions, and more.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 21

Handout: Small Group Worship – Unitarianism in Africa

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – Unitarianism in Africa, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This Small Group Worship service is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service. This is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator.

Here’s what you can do: 1. Bring an item from one of the represented countries to display, if possible. 2. Before the Small Group Worship, listen to the song that will be part of the service. You can hear a midi file of the tune to the song Siyahamba at http://ingeb.org/spiritua/siyahamb.mid or hear the tune and pronunciation of the Zulu words at http://www.kwasizabantu.com/audio/choruses/learn_some_zulu_choruses_.htm 3. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 22

Harvesting: Additional Activities Below are activities you might want to do later as a group or at home with family and friends. 1. Continue the conversation that began with the Hoeing questions on p. 19: How does your congregation make use of the Internet? Are there other ways you could use the Internet to your advantage? Could there be a religion that exists purely in cyberspace, or, as Chryssides asks, “…is it an essential feature of a religion, or indeed a community, that it consists of people physically meeting face to face, or being in a religious building where the traditional activities of singing, reading, and listening to a sermon occur?” (Hill, 2003). 2. Games! Play Mancala or the Nigerian game “Ludo”. Directions for Ludo can be found at http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/games/ludo.html 3. Most native African religions have no sacred texts and no written documentation of beliefs and practices. Tenets of religion are handed on orally, adapting to time and need. It is a way we can honor and learn from our ancestors and stay in touch with our roots. Our ancestors’ stories are not mere biographies, but rather colorful stories that tell us who we are; they are a celebration of life. Share a family story. What does it say about who your family is? 4. Learn more about South African Unitarians David Faure and Robert Steyn in Don McEvoy’s book, Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. (2003). (pp.161-168). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Credo International is available at www.icuu.net. 5. Research Yoruba baby naming ceremonies. Information is available at http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/byrnes-africa/aindex.htm. Does your congregation have a child dedication ceremony? How does the Yoruba baby-naming ceremony compare with your local traditions? If you do not have a child dedication or naming ceremony consider developing one. What would it include? 6. Is there an obligation of larger established Unitarian*Universalist communities to support emerging or fledgling U*U communities? If so, how can we support smaller, isolated U*U communities? 7. To most Nigerians, religion and faith are important aspects of everyday life. How would you describe the role of religion and faith in your life? 8. Cook and share foods from the countries covered in this unit. There are many great recipes available on the Internet including those at www.motherlandnigeria.com/people and at www.folklife.si.edu/africa/foods.htm. 9. If members of your group have lived in, traveled to or had personal experience with any of the countries covered in this unit, ask them to share what they know with the group. 10. Your own ideas.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 23

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources South Africa Heller-Wagner, E. (1995). The Unitarians of South Africa – A Socio-Historical Study. Doctoral Thesis, University of Stellenbosch, 1995. From papers held by Gordon Oliver, Minister, Unitarian Church, Cape Town, South Africa. Hill, A, J. McAllister, and C. Reed. (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Holmes, O. and T. Stites. (Jan./Feb. 2003). Cape Town Unitarian's journey from mayor to minister. Retrieved January 2005 from http://www.uuworld.org/2003/01/living.html http://nonprofits.accesscomm.ca. (2005). A brief article in The Chalice, (January 2005) the newsletter of the Unitarian Fellowship of Regina, Saskachewan, Cananda. Retrieved February 2005 from http://nonprofits.accesscomm.ca/unitarian/2005_Jan/Page6.html ICUU (International Council of Unitarians and Universalists). (2004). Unitarian/Universalism Around the World. Retrieved July 2004 - January 2005 from www.icuu.net. McEvoy, D. (2003). Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World. (pp. 161-168). Del Mar, CA: Humanunity Press. Available at www.icuu.net. Oliver, Gordon. (n.d.). Unitarian history – South Africa. Retrieved August 2005 from http://www.unitarian.co.za/unitarian_history_rsa.html Oliver, Gordon. (2005 and 2006). Personal e-mail communication with Marilyn Walker. St. Martin’s College. Division of Religion and Philosophy. (1999). Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa. Retrieved August 2006 from http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/christ/cep/drcsa.html U.S. Library of Congress. (n.d.). Dutch Reformed Churches. Retrieved Aug. 2006 from http://countrystudies.us/south-africa/53.htm Visser, W. (December 1999). A History of the Unitarians of South Africa. A presentation to the Parliament of World Religions at Cape Town, based on the doctoral thesis of Eric HellerWagner. Retrieved August 2005 from http://www.waynevisser.com/sa_unitarians.htm. Ward, Greg. (October 19, 2003). The Search for Our Becoming. A sermon delivered to Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North. Retrieved Aug. 2005 from www.uuman.org/pdf/Becoming.pdf www.unitarian.co.za. (n.d.). Website of the Unitarians of South Africa. Retrieved August 2005.


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 24

http://www.unitarian.co.za/unitarians_somerset_west.html. (n.d.) Webpage of the Somerset West Unitarians. Retrieved September 2006. Nigeria Art and Life in Africa. (Nov. 1998). Yoruba Information. Retrieved September 2005 from www.uiowa.edu/~africart/toc/people/yoruba.html. Columbia University Press. (2003). Nigeria. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/. Retrieved December 2006 from http://www.answers.com/topic/nigeria Exploring Africa. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2005 from http://exploringafrica.matrix.msu.edu/students/curriculum/m12/activity1.php. Gelbein, J. (Nov. 17, 2002). Native Religions – Alive with Spirit. From the series The Challenge of Religious Pluralism – The Big Answers. Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Retrieved September 2005 from www.uucava.org/sermons/BA3_Native_Sermon_111702.htm Hill, A, J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Motherland Nigeria. (2002). Peoples [of Nigeria]. Retrieved September 2005 from http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/people.html UU World. (Sept./Oct.2002). In the Letters section. Retrieved September 2005 from http://www.uua.org/world/2002/05/letters.html. Wikipedia. (August 2006). Nigeria: A Country Study. Retrieved August 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria. Burundi Canadian Unitarian Council. (Dec. 2, 2005). A Letter from Mary. Newsletter of the Canadian Unitarian Council. Retrieved January 2006 from www.cuc.ca Correspondance unitarienne. (Dec. 2004). Retrieved August 2005 from http://prolib.net/unit/correspondance.unitarienne.htm Encyclopædia Britannica. (2006). Burundi. Retrieved August 30, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9108325 Ndagijimana , F. (Feb. 9, 2004). Les Chrétiens Unitariens du Burundi. Profils de libertés. Retrieved August 2005 from http://prolib.net/libresens/208.017.burundi.fn.htm. U.S. Dept. of State. (November 8, 2005). International Religious Freedom Report 2005 – Burundi. Retrived February 2005 from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2005/51453.htm


The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 14: Unitarianism in Africa, p. 25

Walder, R. (October 2003). Communications between the Reverend Dr. Ray Walder and Fulgence Ndagijimana. Retrieved Feb. 2005 from www.blackpoolunitarians.org.uk/calendar/caloct03.html World Atlas, (n.d.). Burundi. Retreived August 2006 from http://worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/bi.htm Other Ford, Richard. (2004). Lessons from Africa. (a sermon). Retrieved November 11, 2005 from www.uupcc.org/docs/LessonsFromAfrica.doc Thandeka. (2002). â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.â&#x20AC;? in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Unitarian Universalist Association (ed.). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press.


Discussion This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

Extinguishing the Chalice Wisdom of Solomon I called on God, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me… I do not hide her wealth, for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals. Benediction

Share your wisdom with the world. Be open to the wisdom of others. Africa

Resources: The chalice lighting is from the collection available on the ICUU website www.icuu.net The tune to Siyahamba is available at http://ingeb.org/spiritua/siyahamb.mid The tune and pronunciation of the Zulu words are available at http://www.kwasizabantu.com/audio/choruses/learn_some_zulu_choruses_.htm Chalice design by Marilyn B. Walker and Pamela Walker. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for “and/or” to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden. 12/2005

http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

Blessed is the fire that burns deep in the soul. It is the flame of the human spirit touched into being by the mystery of life. It is the fire of reason; the fire of compassion; the fire of community; the fire of justice; the fire of faith. It is the fire of love burning deep in the human heart; the divine glow in every life. Eric Heller-Wagner


Call to Worship

Use a drum, shaker, or other traditional instrument of Africa.

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting As we gather in the shadow of our mountain, Karien van der Walt The ocean laps around our feet. (South Africa) We reach deep for the silence within… Feel the rhythm of the ancient drum… (In English) We light our flame, it lifts us high. Our rainbow seems alight. Diverse as we are Together as one! Our flame will shine afar And guide our journey's light. (In Afrikaans)

Ons vergader in die skadu van ons berg. Branders spoel om ons heen! Ons streef na dieper inner stilte… Voel die ritme van eeu ou trom… Die aansteek van ons vlam, dit hef ons hoog! Ons reenboog skyn verlig! Uiteenlopend soos ons is, tersame as een. Gloeiend is ons vlam van ver, dit lei ons reistog's pad.

Song

Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos (We are Marching in the Light of God)

(South African freedom song in Zulu)

Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos' (4X) Siyahamba, hamba Siyahamba, hamba Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos' Siyahamba, hamba Siyahamba, hamba Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos'

(In English)

We are marching in the light of God (4X) We are marching, marching We are marching, marching We are marching in the light of God. We are marching, marching We are marching, marching We are marching in the light of God.

(Feel free to add new verses to this song such as “We are singing in the light of God or we are dancing in the light of God. See Resources on the back page for learning the tune and pronunciation of Zulu words).

Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly a high or low point of your life this past week.

Reading

Why Wisdom is Everywhere – A Nigerian Folktale

A long time ago, Anansi the Spider, had all the wisdom in the world stored in a huge calabash gourd. Nyame, the sky god, had given it to him. Anansi was told to share it with everyone. The pot was full of wonderful ideas and skills, and everyday Anansi looked in the pot and learned new things. Anansi became greedy. He liked having all the wisdom for himself. “I will not share the treasure of knowledge with everyone. I will keep it for myself and become wealthy and powerful.” Anansi decided to hide the wisdom on top of a tall tree. First he took some vines and wove some strong string with them. He tied one end of the string firmly around the pot and the other end around his waist so that the pot hung in front of him. Anansi then began to climb the tree. He struggled as he climbed because the pot of wisdom kept bumping against his belly and getting in his way. Anansi's son watched as his father struggled up the tree. “Father, if you tie the pot to your back, it will be easier to cling to the tree and climb," said his son. So, Anansi tied the pot to his back and continued to climb the tree, with much more ease than before though he felt annoyed and angry: "A young one with a little common sense knows more than I, and I have the pot of wisdom!" This thought boiled inside of him. By the time Anansi got to the top of the tree, he was very angry. In his anger, he threw down the pot of wisdom. The pot broke, and bits of wisdom flew in every direction. The people found pieces scattered everywhere. If they wanted to, people could take some and even share it with family and friends. That is why to this day, no one person has ALL the world's wisdom. People everywhere share small pieces of it whenever they exchange ideas. "There is no way to hold all the world's wisdom in a calabash." (an Ashanti saying) Sharing What is wisdom? What wisdom do you carry with you that you can share? Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen. (Service continued on back)


Tending the Garden of Unitarian*Universalism Unit 16 Closing Unit

International Unitarian*Universalism: Tending the Garden Closing Unit

The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism (12/2005) by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden.


Closing Unit p. 2

International Unitarian*Universalism: Tending the Garden

Table of Contents for Unit 16 Preparing for this Unit

p. 3

Session 1: Common Ground Preparing for Session 1 Facilitating Session 1 Handout: Common Ground (with pre- and post-reading activities)

p. 4 p. 4-5 p. 6-8

Session 2: Small Group Worship Preparing for Session 2 Facilitating Session 2 Handout: Small Group Worship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; One Garden, Many Flowers

p. 9 p. 9 p. 10

Harvesting: Additional Activities

p. 11

The Tool Shed: References and Resources

p. 12

Please note that if you are accessing The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism from the Internet, the Small Group Worship Order of Service is a separate document and must be downloaded separately, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html.


Closing Unit p. 3

Common Ground: Preparing for this Unit This unit is divided into two sessions. Session 1 explores what Unitarian*Universalists around the world have in common and the future of our global movement. Session 2 is a Small Group Worship service in a covenant group format in honor of the values shared by Unitarians and Universalists everywhere. Facilitators should look over the entire unit to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the unit. Decide which session(s) or parts of a session to cover, which activities to do, and how long to spend on each part. For each session, facilitators should make copies of the readings and accompanying questions and hand them out in advance of the meeting time, or ask group members to access the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. This gives participants time to read and reflect on the material before sharing with the group. The group or facilitator may choose one or more activities from the list under Harvesting (p. 11) to do after discussing the readings. These activities have been designed to honor other ways of learning, to create informal ways to make connections with one another and to add variety to the group meetings. Some groups may prefer to cover this unit in one meeting to discuss the readings first and then moving on to participate in a Small Group Worship, depending on their time frame, how the class is set up (whether it is a weekly class, a workshop or a retreat) and the interests of the group. The group may include an additional Harvesting activity between the discussion and the Small Group Worship service, or after the Small Group Worship service, or at a separate meeting time. Some groups may prefer not to do the additional activities and just do the readings and accompanying questions for reflection and discussion. We have tried to allow for flexibility.


Closing Unit p.4 Common Ground

International Unitarian*Universalism I. COMMON GROUND Preparing for Session 1 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the article, Common Ground (p. 6-8) and accompanying pre- and post-reading questions, or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Make copies and hand out The Tool Shed: References and Resources (p. 12) in advance. ___ Choose, or have the group chose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 11) to do after your discussion or Small Group Worship service. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite/Remind members to bring a bit of soil, a rock, a shell, or other bit of nature that represents where they come from (their garden, so to speak) for display (Hoeing, p. 8). Have a ceramic plate in which to collect the soil and space prepared for the other offerings. Or you may wish to do this at the Small Group Worship (Session 2). ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Add an international flair to it by displaying artifacts from countries around the world where Unitarians and Universalists are represented. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Bring a world map or globe to display ___ Display a bouquet of a variety of flowers, plants and tree branches and/or a photo of a mixed bouquet. ___ Have world music playing in the background. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session to be prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 1 1. Welcome participants. If you have chosen to share symbols of where participants come from (soil, rocks, shells, etc), ask group members to hold on to the rock, soil, shell, etc. until a little later in the group meeting. 2. Chalice lighting: This church does not demand all people to think alike, but to think uprightly, and get as near as possible to truth; it does not ask all people to live alike but to live holy, and get as near as possible to a life perfectly divine. May it be so. - Theodore Parker, 1841, USA (adapted). 3. Check-In/Announcements: Give everyone in the room an opportunity to tell their names and a high or low point of their week. Make announcements about todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s session. Choose an additional activity from Harvesting (p. 11) for next time, if appropriate. 4. Ask members to tell the group something about the soil, rock, shell, etc. that they brought with them and to place it next to the chalice or other space set aside for this (Hoeing, p. 8). 5. Allow members to quickly and silently reread the article and look over their notes. 6. Ask members to share their answers to the exercise, Tilling, p. 6. After studying parts of this curriculum and seeing the great diversity among ICUU member groups, what do they feel Unitarian*Universalists worldwide have in common? 7. Ask members whether they feel an individual could believe in the Trinity and still be a Unitarian*Universalist (Hoeing, p. 8). 8. Ask members what they think Unitarian*Universalism has to offer the world (Hoeing, p. 8). 9. Ask members to share other ideas and questions they had from the article.


Closing Unit p.5 Common Ground

10. When discussion has wound down, extinguish the chalice with this responsive reading found on p. 7-8 of the handout: May the flame of our living tradition help us hear the call to transformation: If not us, who?... If not here, where?... If not now, when? If not us, who will model for the world a deep respect and appreciation for diverse peoples? If not Unitarians and Universalists, who will celebrate the worldwide affirmations of faith that nurture the human spirit? If not on our soil, where will justice between widely differing groups be built? If not in our congregations, where will the warmth and light of inter-group co-operation be kindled and tended? If not now, when will we fully embrace our responsibilities to serve as models in international relationships? If not in this moment of opportunity, when will our religious movement initiate the transformative outreach to which our principles call us? If not us, who?...If not here, where? ...If not now, when? Harold Rosen, (adapted by Marilyn Walker for use in this curriculum) http://www.uua.org/families/fam_justice/rainbowmaking.html 11. Gather for an Additional Activity from Harvesting, p. 11 (if your group decided to do so): share an international potluck meal, design a worship service for your congregation or a sharing service for the children of your congregation, design a bulletin board display â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whatever you and your group have chosen to do.


Closing Unit p.6 Common Ground

Tending the Garden of International Unitarian*Universalism Handout: Common Ground

Tilling After learning about a variety of Unitarian*Universalist traditions, the diversity of our movement is obvious. What then, in your view, holds us together? What do you think Unitarian*Universalists worldwide have in common?

Planting Now read the following article. Common Ground “If we add up the most generous estimate of memberships of adults and children of all groups in the world that identify themselves as Unitarians, Universalists or Unitarian Universalists, we get just over 350, 000 – a tiny proportion of the total world population. Given that relatively small number worldwide, we are then challenged by the fact that we don’t know each other very well – and, when we actually do get to know each other, we discover that our faith has many ways of expressing itself …” (Rex, 2003). Our international movement is clearly diverse. The variety of plants in our garden is astounding. We are diverse ethnically, culturally, and socially. We differ in beliefs, theology and practices. And yet we “welcome and embrace this diversity as part of our identity” (Rex, 2003). As David Usher, British Unitarian and first president of the ICUU said, “It has long been one of the cornerstones of Unitarianism to celebrate diversity, to leave the individual free to exercise his or her own conscience in the ultimate and intimate matters of faith. What is true at the individual level remains true at the national and international level” (Usher, 1995). In his article, A Big Picture of Our Faith, American minister John Rex paraphrases his colleague, the Reverend Alice Blair Wesley who noted that when we join a church, we make its history our history. In order to be at home in the church, we adopt new ancestors (Rex, 2003). Perhaps we also adopt new family members when we learn about and connect with other Unitarians and Universalists around the world. With such great diversity, we might wonder what it is that has brought us together in the first place – what common identity do we share? The Reverend Clifford Reed of the United Kingdom suggests we are held together “by membership in a movement founded on a way of being religious rather than on a doctrinally-defined religion” (Reed, 2002). Reed’s colleague, the Reverend John Midgley, after attending an ICUU symposium in 2001, identified several things ICUU members hold in common: the ICUU principles and purposes, the impulse to make connections, the fact that we want to be religious without being heavily dogmatic, and that we are people-centered. “It is not shared doctrines but shared values” [that hold us together] (Midgley, 2001).


Closing Unit p.7 Common Ground

It has never been the purpose of the ICUU “to standardize all the different manifestations of Unitarianism around the world. [Nor] to impose definitions of what constitutes Unitarianism or Universalism … It is not our purpose to establish a world religion; our vision is not to create a one-size-fits-all faith. [Our] purpose is to encourage the growth and development of our faith in ways which are true to the broader values of those who are drawn to us…[to build] an interconnecting network of co-religionists working for the support of each and the strengthening of all” (Usher, 1995). Spanish Unitarian Jaume de Marcos holds great hope for the international U*U movement: We are changing from scattered churches and associations, separated by cultural and political borders, to a new era of mutual understanding and deeper cooperation. Many more changes will certainly come in the future. But there is nothing to be afraid of. If we accept the idea that the universe is creative and that the change produces valuable things, we will welcome this change with wonder and happiness, knowing that, by doing so, we are in harmony with something that is greater than us. (de Marcos, 2001) This curriculum workbook is one small effort at tending the garden of Unitarian*Universalism. We hope that those who have had the opportunity to use it come away with a broader understanding • of the cultural context that has shaped and is shaping the religious communities of Unitarian*Universalists everywhere, • of what it means to be a Unitarian*Universalist in the world today, and • of the promise this global U*U movement holds for the future. Both our differences and our commonalties are reasons for tending this unique garden and for taking care of our faith, wherever it is found growing. Ours is, in every sense of the word, an uncommon faith. May we continue to cultivate our common ground.

We close this curriculum with the following responsive reading: May the flame of our living tradition help us hear the call to transformation: If not us, who?… If not here, where?… If not now, when? If not us, who will model for the world a deep respect and appreciation for diverse peoples? If not Unitarians and Universalists, who will celebrate the worldwide affirmations of faith that nurture the human spirit? If not on our soil, where will justice between widely differing groups be built? If not in our congregations, where will the warmth and light of inter-group cooperation be kindled and tended?


Closing Unit p.8 Common Ground

If not now, when will we fully embrace our responsibilities to serve as models in international relationships? If not in this moment of opportunity, when will our religious movement initiate the transformative outreach to which our principles call us? If not us, who?…If not here, where?…If not now, when? Harold Rosen, (adapted by Marilyn Walker for use in this curriculum) http://www.uua.org/families/fam_justice/rainbowmaking.html

Hoeing 1. Given the diversity of beliefs and practices in the international U*U movement and the value we place on freedom of conscience in matters of faith, do you feel that a person could believe in the Trinity and still be a Unitarian, a Universalist or a Unitarian Universalist? Explain.

2. What do you think Unitarian*Universalism has to offer the world?

3. Bring some soil, a rock, a shell or other bit of nature that represents where you come from (your garden, so to speak) to display at the next group meeting or at the Small Group Worship.

Harvesting Has your group decided to do any of the Additional Activities from Harvesting (p. 12) following the discussion of the reading? If so, prepare any materials you might need to participate. ❀❀❀


Closing Unit p.9 Small Group Worship

One Garden, Many Flowers

II. SMALL GROUP WORSHIP Preparing for Session 2 ___ Make copies and hand out in advance the Small Group Worship – One Garden, Many Flowers (p10), or have members read the material online at http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Download and copy the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship – One Garden, Many Flowers which is a separate file, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. ___ Choose, or have the group choose, in advance, one or more activities from Harvesting: Additional Activities (p. 11) to do after your Small Group Worship service, if appropriate. Prepare materials needed for the chosen activities. ___ Invite members to bring soil, a rock, a shell or some item of nature to represent where they come from to display at the Small Group Worship service, or have on display the items brought to the group meeting for Session 1 of this unit. ___ Look over the instructions for facilitating the session and the Order of Service so you are prepared and comfortable with the material and the flow of the session. Facilitating Session 2 Small Group Worship is designed to be a worshipful time for self-reflection and for connecting with one another. The Small Group Worship for the ICUU is based on a covenant group format which is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). After creating the space and preparing the materials, simply follow the Order of Service. Space ___ Arrive early to set up your room. Create a worship space that is different from how the space usually looks. ___ Set up a chalice. Have matches handy. ___ Have “world music” playing in the background. Order of Service If you haven’t already, download, copy and have available the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html. It has been designed to be printed or photocopied front to back and folded. Read through it carefully so you can lead the service comfortably. Songs If you are not familiar with a chosen hymn or don’t have the music for it, feel free to substitute a different hymn that fits the theme of the service. Preliminaries This is a time to make announcements and to ask for volunteers to help with the Small Group Worship tasks. If you will be following the group worship with one of the additional activities listed in Harvesting (p. 11), you may want to announce your agenda and what you need from the group. After the Service If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make plans to do one of the additional activities listed in this unit (See Harvesting, p. 11) following this Small Group Worship. There are many to choose from, including playing the Partners games, and designing a bulletin board display.


Closing Unit p.10 Small Group Worship

Handout: Small Group Worship – ICUU After you have read the article and had an opportunity to reflect on the international Unitarian*Universalist movement, you are ready to share in Small Group Worship.

Small Group Worship Your facilitator will download and have ready the Order of Service for the Small Group Worship Service – One Garden, Many Flowers, http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html Bring a small bit of soil, a rock, shell or other item of nature that represents where you come from for display at the service, if you haven’t already done so for Session 1. The Small Group Worship for the closing unit is based on a covenant group format that is now being used at many international U*U meetings and conferences. (See Thandeka, 2002 in references). There is no article to accompany the Small Group Worship service, only an Order of Service which is a separate file and will be downloaded and copied by the facilitator. While participating in the Small Group Worship, listen deeply to the words of hymns, prayers and readings. Listen deeply to the words of others in your group as feelings and ideas are shared with one another.

❀❀❀


Closing Unit p.11

Harvesting: Additional Activities 1. If you didn’t do so already, have an international potluck. Ask members of the group to bring a dish from any one of the countries represented by ICUU member groups listed in Unit 1, p. 11-12. 2. Go to the ICUU website, www.icuu.net and look at the global chalice lightings. Ask your worship committee or minister to include some of these in regular services throughout the year as a reminder of our global connections. 3. Become the ICUU “representatives” for your congregation. Stay abreast of ICUU-sponsored conferences, trips, news, etc. and spread the word through your newsletter and weekly announcements. 4. Design a worship service in honor of the ICUU for ICUU Sunday or other worship time. 5. If your congregation doesn’t already have a partner church, consider getting information about how to become a Partner and what being a Partner entails. Present your findings to your congregation and take the necessary steps to become a Partner Church. Partner Church Council can be found at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ 6. Design a sharing service or religious education material for children and youth in your congregation that focuses on the ICUU and its member groups. Don’t forget the games at the PCC website http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ designed especially for kids. 7. Have a game night to play the PCC Partners games. You’ll need to prepare the games ahead of time. Set up several tables with a different game at each table. Let gamers rotate from table to table. (This was done at an ICUU meeting with the ICUU representatives and a great time was had by all!) http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ 8. Evaluate this curriculum and your group meetings. What worked well for you? What didn’t work well for you? What would you recommend be done differently in the future? What images, thoughts and feelings will you take away with you? What would you like to share with others who did not participate? 9. If you haven’t done so already, make a bulletin board display about the ICUU and its member groups. 10. Your own ideas.


Closing Unit p.12

The Tool Shed: References and Additional Resources Canadian Unitarian Council. (March 2004). Worship Materials for an ICUU Sunday. Retrieved May 2004 from www.cuc.ca de Marcos, J. (2001). published in March 2004 in Canadian Unitarian Council. Worship Materials for an ICUU Sunday. Retrieved May 2004 from www.cuc.ca Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (2004). Retrieved March 28, 2004 from www.icuu.net. Midgley, J. (2002). in Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Partner Church Council at http://www.uua.org/uupcc/ Reed, C. (2002). in Hill, A., J. McAllister, and C. Reed (eds). (2002). A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Rex, J. (2003). A Big Picture of Our Faith. Unitarian Universalists of Palm Beach, Florida website. Retrieved May 2004 from http://communitylink.gopbi.com/servlet/groups_ProcServ/dbpage=page&GID=00026000001016 743266826663&PG=00035000001019355649502396 Thandeka (2002). â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Spiritual Life of Unitarian Universalists, Lost and Found.â&#x20AC;? in A Global Conversation: Unitarian/Universalism at the Dawn of the 21st Century. (p. 163-194). Prague: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. Unitarian Universalist Association (eds). (1993). Singing the Living Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press. Usher, D. (1995). Speech printed in The Global Chalice. Newsletter of the ICUU. July 1995, Vol 1, No. 1 ICUUed@uua.org Parts of it are also quoted in Rex, J. (2003). A Big Picture of Our Faith. Unitarian Universalists of Palm Beach, Florida website. Retrieved May 2004 from http://communitylink.gopbi.com/servlet/groups_ProcServ/dbpage=page&GID=00026000001016 743266826663&PG=00035000001019355649502396


Resources: The hymns can be found in Singing the Living Tradition published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, 1993.

International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

The reading is from One and Universal edited by John Midgley, published by Skinner House Books, Boston, 2002 for the ICUU. www.uua.org/skinner Words for the lighting and extinguishing of the chalice came from Canadian Unitarian Council. (March 2004). Worship Materials for an ICUU Sunday. Retrieved May 2004 from www.cuc.ca The poem One Light Through Many Windows by Barbara Brannon can be found at http://www.uua.org/world/2001/05/hymn.html Archives of the UU World published by the UUA.

One Garden, Many Flowers

Love is the spirit of this community, and service is its law. This is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace, to seek truth in love and to help one another. Welcome to this community. The Garden of Unitarian*Universalism may not be published or used in any sort of profitmaking manner. It is solely for the use of individuals and congregations to learn about international Unitarians and Universalists. Copies of the material may be made for educational use or for use in worship. The entire curriculum may be viewed and downloaded by going to http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism Every effort has been made to properly acknowledge and reference sources and to trace owners of copyrighted material. We regret any omission and will, upon written notice, make the necessary correction(s) in subsequent editions. * The asterisk used in this curriculum in Unitarian*Universalism stands for â&#x20AC;&#x153;and/orâ&#x20AC;? to include Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist groups that are part of our international movement. The flower shape of the asterisk helps remind us that we are part of an ever-changing garden. 12/2005 http://www.icuu.net/resources/curriculum.html

James V. Blake


Call to Worship

Ringing of the bell

Sharing

Take a minute to write down some of the images you will take away with you from having learned about Unitarian*Universalism in other places. How have you been changed? Share your thoughts with the group. Listen deeply as members share their reflections. Do not respond at this time; just listen.

Preliminaries

Announcements, volunteers to light the chalice, lead readings, etc.

Chalice Lighting Pearl Green Marbaniang, Khasi Unitarian, (speaking about ICUU member groups) Hymn (#389) Sing 3 times

Diverse are our traditions but liberal, all accommodating, encouraging, enterprising, and adventurous – indeed, they are all but one way to personal and spiritual development. One journey, many paths.

Discussion

This is a time to supportively respond to something another person said or to relate additional thoughts that may have occurred as others shared.

Gathered Here Gathered here in the mystery of the hour Gathered here in one strong body. Gathered here in the struggle and the power. Spirit, draw near.

Thank You Peace

Say thank you or peace to each other in as many languages as you are able to. Here are some to start you off: Kublei (God bless you in Khasi), Köszönöm (Thank you in Hungarian), Tak (Thank you in Danish), Dankie (Thank you in Afrikaans), Kiitos (Thank you in Finnish), Frieden (Peace in German), Pokojowy (Peace in Polish), Maglipay (Be joyful in Cebuano).

Check-In

Take a minute or two to share briefly the high point or the low point of your life this last week.

One Light through Many Windows

Reading Elspeth R. Vallance New Zealand

Increasing Our Awareness

Meditation Barbara A. Brannon 2001, USA

We are here together, like-minded people, arriving after different journeys, ready to respect and learn from each other, ready to search together for the meaning of our puzzling lives – indeed for the great puzzle and wonder of life itself.

One light through many windows in different colors shines; one flame from many candles burns bright within our minds. One life to us is given, its seconds ours to spend; how manifold its living and infinite its ends! One God with many faces we meet on many roads, who dwells in holy places and lives in low abodes. One earth with many nations must share a common sun; a world of celebrations, a universe at one.

Our journey is not ended, but we now take it together in companionship. As we travel, may we grow in wisdom and as spiritual people. Let us be aware of the great miracle that our different paths have led us to discover each other. (adapted)

One song with many voices now rises from our hearts, and from our separate choices one chorus, many parts. One light through many windows in different colors shines; one flame from many candles burns bright within our minds.

Sitting in Silence Hymn (#318)

We Would Be One We would be one, as now we join in singing, a song of love to pledge ourselves anew to that high cause of greater understanding of who we are, and what for us is true. We would be one in searching for that meaning which binds our hearts and guides us on our way.

Hymn (#414)

As We Leave This Friendly Place As we leave this friendly place; love give light to ev’ry face; May the kindness which we learn, light our hearts till we return.

Extinguish the Chalice R. Pariat, India

On this day, let us pledge to be firm and true in our faith, to take it into our daily life with sincerity, humility and generosity and to keep it aglow in our hearts.

The Garden of Unitarian Universalism  

A Curriculum Workbook by Melinda Sayavedra & Marilyn Walker Acknowledgments: This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Unive...

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