For Your Consideration
An Intriguing Way
of Doing Church
A Unitarian Universalist congregation can transform the people it serves, inspiring them to help transform the world. This requires an intentional, sustained, integrated, holistic process of deepening that informs, nurtures, and challenges.
Developed over eleven years, this theme-based ministry project has been dramatically expanded to make a meaningful difference in people's lives within your congregation.
We invite you:
1. To browse our website to learn how
what we offer can transform
2. To request our materials for the
theme of beauty to facilitate a
comprehensive review by your staff and key volunteers.
3. To schedule a call with us so that we
can answer any questions that you
4. To order a trial-subscription for
three months to implement and
evaluate our program.
5. To extend your subscription for the
balance of the program year, which
ends in August of each year.
Click here for information about subscriptions.
Beauty is an intrinsic good that enhances our well-being. It is a relationship between our senses and reality that soothes, elevates, and charms. Our enculturation, however, can restrict our ability to see beauty in other cultures and expressions. Instructive in this are words by Robert McAfee Brown: “Where beauty is apparent, we are to enjoy it. / Where there is beauty hidden, we are to unveil it. / Where there is beauty defaced, we are to restore it. / Where there is no beauty at all, we are to create it.” In a similar vein, Albert Camus wrote, “Yes, there is beauty and there are the humiliated. Whatever the difficulties involved, I should like to be unfaithful to neither the one nor the other.” By choosing to be faithful to both, Camus advocated for justice and beauty in support of the common good.
Dove: Real Beauty Sketches
with John X. Carey (6:35)
“This is an amazing, important video. In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising….”
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE
Special for 2023-2024
The annual theme for the the year September 2023 to August 2024 year will be Reimagining the Common Good. The monthly themes will include the seven values that are proposed for Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant in Article II of the UUA Bylaws: Love, Interdependence, Pluralism, Justice, Transformation, Generosity, and Equity to replace the seven principles. See the
Overview for 2023-2024 by
clicking the PDF icon.
From Broken to Beautiful:
The Power of ‘Kintsugi’
Val Jon Farris
In Japanese, the word Kintsugi means “golden rejoining,” a 15th-century oriental master craft dedicated to the restoration of fine ceramic pottery. The essence of Kintsugi is the practice of focusing one’s intention on life’s hidden beauty and power. …It’s about the power of transforming broken ceramic pottery into beautifully resurrected masterpieces.
Beholding the artistry of Kintsugi one can immediately see its transformative power. Shattered pieces of a pristine vase are artfully rejoined with gold-laced epoxy to create a stunning masterpiece; and evoking an intriguing question. If such astounding beauty can emerge from the shards of a shattered vase, could a similar transformation also be possible with the parts of us we believe are shattered beyond repair?
…Kintsugi’s first essential practice is to set aside our self-defeating emotional conclusions, the “stories” we’ve constructed about how impossible it is for us to recover from our devastations, betrayals and losses. And not only this, but to release the investments we have in keeping our lives broken as a reminder of how we’ve been unfairly treated, used or abused. Or even more detrimental, our tendency to cling to misfortunes as a way to prove to ourselves and others that we are “damaged goods,” not worthy of love, recognition or success.
…Rather than our wounds being only destructive, the moment we realize they are also constructive, we cross the threshold from the impossible to the possible. The moment we do this we are on the way to transforming what is broken into what is beautiful.