This Side of Love: Women’s History Month & the Role of Power
#28 Small Group Ministry Session on “This Side of Love” Written by Rev. Jude Geiger, MRE, First Unitarian,Brooklyn – Based on his sermon preached at First UU on 2/19/12 found here:
Welcome & Opening Chalice Lighting (Please read aloud) by Rev. Jude
We come together this hour, A reprieve from a world that makes so many claims upon our lives. May this time of sanctuary offer us: the strength we need amidst the chaos, a sense of love that asks us to stretch, and a calmness that may seem just out of reach.For we meet upon holy ground this hour, May our hearts bless those we meet.
Statement of Purpose: To nurture our spirits and deepen our friendships.
Brief Check-In: Share your name and something you have left behind to be here.
Reading: An Excerpt/Edit from the sermon, “This Side of Love.”
Right now, we hear stories in the media of struggles around religious freedom. What are some things we think of when we hear religious freedom? What do we mean by freedom – (worship, belief, faith of the free, personal choices, medical treatments, congregating where and how you need, etc.) It’s an important value in our country. It’s also an important value in our faith tradition. It comes from the Edict of Torda. In 1571, a Unitarian, Francis David, convinced the King of Transylvania to pass a law that said that “no one shall be reviled for their religion by anyone.” Francis famously said, “We need not think alike to love alike.” It’s thoughts like this that influenced the foundations of this nation.
The connection that’s being made in the media between Religious Freedom and Women’s Reproductive Health is stretched so thin it must soon break. Religious freedom is about being able to worship as you see fit – or don’t see fit for that matter. It’s about belief and it’s about personal choices (and you can hear the emphasis on personal right). Personal freedom, or liberty, is not about having the freedom to make the world do what you want. It’s about making your own best choices regarding personal matters – especially those matters that affect no one but yourself. I think managing one’s own body is the clearest definition of that I can imagine.
How are we acting in such a way that we’re trying to mold people in our own image? How is our personal freedom affecting the freedom of those around us? How are our immediate wants hurting our neighbor? Do you speak over everyone around you? Do you let others be heard? Are you kind when someone does something that you disagree with? Do you seek to understand where someone is coming from – or do we try to fit their actions into our way of seeing things?
Closing: (please read aloud) #706 from Singing the Living Tradition – the gray hymnal by Kathleen McTigue