What is theology? The word comes from the root Theo meaning God and logy meaning study or meaning of. As UUs we can substitute any number of ideas for God such as human spirit, Spirit of Life, Creator Presence, and so on. The name doesn’t matter as much as the idea that we are trying to find a source for that which gives us the greatest meaning in our lives.
The question to ask yourself is: What matters most? When you answer that you are on your way to creating a theology. I ask myself this question quite often. What matters most to me are the loving relationships I keep; relationships wherein trust and service reside. These include all of you, my family and the earth upon which we reside.
I once described myself as an enchanted agnostic with mystical tendencies. This is largely still true. But equally important to me is the natural world in which we live. I call myself a religious naturalist these days; finding, as I do, strength and meaning in the world in which we live. Walking along the beach is for me a holy practice. Finding a balance between the competing forces in our lives is for me a guiding ethic. That balance might be in terms of how much we consume. What is true in finances is true of our planet. As an old friend once told me “when your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.”
That balance also extends to the relationships I keep. If all our time is spent in pursuit of an ideal (consumption, beauty, justice, wealth, health, etc.) we will find ourselves out of balance with those who love us. I am honored to be your minister and I must keep time to be in relationships with the ones I love. I honor my Sabbath. I take time off to restore balance and remain in love.
This theology of balance informs our life as a congregation as well. I have found that when a congregation is struggling with issues, it is best to return to our core practice; providing a place for spiritual sustenance and a practice of pastoral and loving care. I practice this re-balancing religiously and I invite you to do so as well.
With Grace and Grit, John