Tag Archives: Seven Principles

Building A Beloved Community

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Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. clay Nelson © 5 March 2017

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on why, since the age of five, I’ve more often than not been in church on Sundays. Of course, for most of my adult life it has been my vocation. It paid the bills. But in my reflections I’ve wondered, if that was not the case, would I still find myself here almost every Sunday? What need does it fulfil? Continue reading Building A Beloved Community

Being Grounded

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Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 2 October 2016

Being grounded doesn’t always have the best connotation, especially if you are a teenager being restricted after misbehaviour, but in religious terms it captures the spiritual revolution that is transforming religion. Last week, in discussing the evolution of Unitarianism, I touched on this revolution when I said many of today’s Unitarians are rejecting Kant’s “religion within the bounds of reason alone” as lacking any mystical or spiritual dimension. They are embracing what has been described as “ecstatic naturalism.” They seek an experience that is beyond the capacity of words to describe, except perhaps in poetry and music. Continue reading Being Grounded

Can Love Trump Hate?

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Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 21 August 2016

This election year has seriously challenged this Unitarian’s efforts to live out our first principle: “To affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” Even during the primaries when I was feeling the Bern, I managed to view Hillary with respect even though I agreed more fully with my candidate’s positions on the issues and trusted him to follow through. I managed to do this even when some Hillary supporters, who are my friends, disparaged him and me for daring not to support her pre-ordained right to be president. I managed this even when it was confirmed that the game was rigged just as Bernie’s supporters had long believed. Of course it was. Those in power have never given it up easily. Continue reading Can Love Trump Hate?

The Rise and Fall of Higher Education

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Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 3 July 2016

Even if you have been attending worship here only for a short time you know about the Seven Principles that guide Unitarians in our efforts to live life in an ethical, compassionate and just manner. The banner that lists them is hard to miss in our sanctuary. But even life-long Unitarians are often not aware of the six sources that inform our living faith tradition. They are like wells from which we draw the waters of wisdom and spirituality that give life to our tradition. They include our direct experience of mystery, wisdom from world religions, our Jewish and Christian heritage, reason and science, Earth-centred traditions, and the one that inspires my thoughts on higher education today: “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.” Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Higher Education

What Is At The Root Of Everything That Is Wrong?

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By Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 8 May 2016

This week in Adult Religious Education I was given a gift—an “Aha” moment. We are looking at “Saving Jesus from Christianity.” This week we asked the question, “Who was Jesus?” There were many answers offered: a wisdom teacher, a prophet, a healer, a mystic, but then one scholar said Jesus was a conversationalist. I had never had that insight before, but he’s right. The gospel is full of conversations Jesus has with a wide variety of people. When I reflect on those conversations he converses with me as well. Continue reading What Is At The Root Of Everything That Is Wrong?