For Your Consideration
The Touchstones Project
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.
Please note that the materials can easily be adapted for use by all liberal, progressive congregations.
Developed over eight years, the Touchstones Project has been dramatically expanded to make a meaningful difference in people's lives: those within your congregation and those who live in the community that your congregation serves.
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 conference call with
us so that we can answer any
questions that you and others
4. To order a trial subscription for
three months to implement and
evaluate our program.
5. To become a member of the
Touchstones community by
extending your subscription for the
balance of the program year, which
ends in August of each year.
Click here for information about subscriptions.
Authority & Leadership
We do not have a creed that serves as the authority for belief and action. Rather, in our liberal tradition, authority draws on experience and is informed by reason. Our authority is further informed by our principles and sources. Authority is necessary for leadership—not power over, but power with. Leadership is both to act and be acted upon, to be formed and moved by, and to suffer and celebrate with those led.
Positional and Relational Authority
Positional Authority is a cup half-full. Relational Authority is the necessary addition to be an effective leader.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm8EIp7PM5U
Great Power Lives in Our Love
Parker J. Palmer
(Note: The nexus of authority and leadership is power. Its polar opposites are power-over and power-with. The latter requires love.)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of ideas, as reflected in his comments about love and power, delivered in his last presidential address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on August 16, 1967: “…Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose…. …And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love…. …Now, we got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love…. …It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times….”
Here’s a question worth asking: Am I using whatever power I have in the service of love — via my voice, my vocation, my personal and public witness?
Dr. King was also a man of action, non-violent action. Here’s another question worth asking: Am I willing to engage in acts of love, truth, and justice whenever I have a chance? Each of us has such chances every day — in our families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations, and workplaces.
…Let’s honor his legacy by joining love to power in our personal and public lives. Let’s ask our political leaders to do the same.
Like our Facebook Page where we post something inspirational each day related to the theme.
Our theme-year began in
September 2019. Please see the
attached flyer for information about
the themes for the coming year.
Annual theme for 2019-2020
Building Beloved Community