by Sara Lewis

This year our monthly themes are taken from the new OUUC Vision and Mission, giving us an opportunity to deeply engage with the ideas that come together to form our understanding of purpose. The OUUC Vision and Mission is:

Vision: A loving, just, and healthy world

Mission: Our spiritual principles affirm the worth and dignity of every person, and that we are part of the infinite, interdependent WEB of life. We: Welcome and Wonder, Embrace and Empower, Bridge and Become

In September we explored the theme of the Interdependent Web, and in October we’ve explored Loving. What is Loving? What would a Loving World look like?

In some ways, I think this is a very easy theme for us. Love is a comfortable emotion, a warm and fuzzy idea. We’ve focused in worship on different things we love: our community and the institution of OUUC itself, the Earth, Life itself. Love is often at the center of our theological understanding and discussion. Everyone just loves Love. What could be easier?

But what about when Loving is a challenge? Consider the Christian Bible verse:

(from I Corinthians 13: 4-8; James Moffatt New Testament)

Love is very patient, very kind;
Love knows no jealousy;
Love makes no parade,
Gives itself no airs,
Is never rude, never selfish;
Never irritated, never resentful.
Love is never glad when others go wrong.
Love is gladdened by goodness,
Always slow to expose,
Always eager to believe the best,
Always hopeful, always patient;
Love never disappears.

That kind of love doesn’t seem easy. That’s a tall order, in fact. Can we embody the kind of love that is very patient, very kind? Can we create a world that is never rude, never selfish? Are we a people who are eager to believe the best and always hopeful?

As we finish this month in our congregational life, I wonder what Love is asking of us in this time? If our Vision is a Loving World, how are we living faithfully into that vision?