Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

4 Thoughts on “Vision is the Vertical in our Covenant

  1. David–

    Thanks for one of the most insightful–and useful–contributions to the current discussion. Re-imagining the “vertical” in our covenants in this way offers fertile common ground for discussion among disparate individual members and can bridge the alienation we each sometimes feel. It is a reminder to recall the words of one of our earliest ancestors–“We need not think alike to love alike.”

  2. DairyStateDad on Sunday August 30, 2009 at 16:16 +0000 said:

    David, I really admire the way you’ve found a legitimate and helpful common ground that has the potential to bring the theists and the humanists together in our religious movement. The solution you offer seems to me deep and real, not just a feel-good one. Your voice enriches the UU community, inside and outside the blogosphere.

  3. We do not form covenant in our churches to have peaceful churches… we form covenant in our churches (and in couples whom I perform UU weddings for) so that our lives are constantly called to serve the vision of the world we wish to create. We are reminded by these sacred commitments that we live not just for the now, but also for the future that others will inhabit. Covenant should be a constant reminder that we, as Unitarian Universalists, do indeed serve something greater than ourselves.

    This paragraph suggests to me that it does not make sense to covenant at the congregational level at all but, rather, only at the denominational level. The vision you used as example was the vision implied in the 7 Principles of the UUA. And if the covenant we are party is to be a reminder to us as Unitarian Universalists rather than as members of First Unitarian Church of Whatsitville, then it can only be a covenant among UUs rather than a covenant within a congregation that is at issue.

  4. Paul,

    I believe that we can covenant at many different levels of engagement with our faith. I mentioned in the article that I work with many of the UU couples that I do pre-marital work for them to covenant together…

    The vision at each level might be different… I used examples from the UUA in discussing vision because it is something that most UU’s can find some connection with… but my point remains true whether it is a congregation, a couple, or an entire denomination…

    Covenant requires both a vertical and a horizontal element… and I beleive that for those who do not accept that that vertical should be an understanding of Deity, a vision of the world they work to create can serve as that vertical…

    And I do believe that, for many UU’s, there are deep connections between the vision that might serve as the vertical in a personal, a congregational, and a denominational covenant.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify!

    Yours in Faith,


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