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.
American democracy was born when members of our own oldest churches in New England focused their attention on the oldest stories in the Bible and said, "We don’t need a human king either. We, too, can be free to live in covenantal fealty, in faithful love, to each other and to God.
And Jesus and his disciples spoke politically; that is, with regard for organization. They said, Lord knows, it is not always easy to figure out what are the ways of love! But even in this empire, we can form covenanted congregations we decide to enter, one by one, and help each other live in a context far larger than the puny Roman Empire which - however strong it looks - will fade sooner or later, as all empires do. Caesar will not like us forming congregations and meeting to worship and to help one another discern what is love requires of us. He will hound us and persecute us for presuming to claim our ultimate loyalty is to something bigger and more important than he is. But, unless we let him intimidate us, he cannot stop anything like all of us from organizing to worship and to learn to live freely in accord with the laws of love.
Find, together what is more meaningful, more loving, more worthy of your attention, and be empowered in devotion to these things. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. The truth will make you free.
It makes sense to me to believe all the great religious traditions of the world began with somebody’s extraordinary insight into what, in all this great buzzing banging, blooming and silent mystery really matters most for human beings, to love, to understand, to trust and be faithful to, because it is life giving and life enhancing. If anybody wants to call such extraordinary insight revelation, it’s all right by me.
A vital religion keeps us tied together, so we can stand up and move and get things done and live, with love and meaning, together, when a healthy cult is the heart of a culture.
our truth partial and our love uneven,
From our own experience and from
the witness of our faith tradition
that new light is ever waiting to break
through individual hearts and minds
to illumine the ways of humankind,
that there is mutual strength
in willing cooperation,
and that the bonds of love keep open
the gates of freedom.
Therefore we pledge
to walk together in the ways
of truth and affection
as best we know them now
or may learn them in days to come
That we and our children may be fulfilled
And that we may speak to the world
with words and actions
by Alice Blair Wesley, The Minns Lectures 2000.