Rev. Shirley Ranck

The Grandmother Galaxy

Home / Session 5 – What Do We Believe?

Session 5 – What Do We Believe?

Resources:  Spiral Six, Chapter 24

Materials:  Pens, journals, newsprint and marker, copies of Bumbaugh and Parker statements.

Chalice Lighting:  Light the chalice and read this quote by Raymond Baughan:

Here in the space between us and each other
lies all the future
of the fragment of the universe
which is our own.

Introduction:  Unitarian Universalists and women involved in feminist spirituality are often troubled by our difficulty in explaining to friends from diverse traditions who we are and what we believe.  Faced with a growing ethnic and thea/ological diversity in our society and in our congregations, UUs often wondered what kind of thea/ology could possibly hold us all together.  Classical systematic theology is really about the existential questions we all face as human beings:  Who am I?  How do I know what I know?  What is my relationship to the universe?  What is my relationship to other people?  (Put these questions on newsprint.)

David Bumbaugh has offered a rather elegant answer on pages 158-159.  (Ask participants to turn to those pages; have copies of the Bumbaugh statement available for those who didn’t bring their books.  Then read the statement aloud.)

Journaling:  Have the following questions on newsprint:

  1. How well does the Bumbaugh statement answer the classical questions?
  2. Does the statement work for you? Why?  Why not?
  3. What changes or additions would you make?

Allow ten minutes for writing.  Put the responses on newsprint and discuss.

Break

Information:  Present the following:  Rebecca Parker suggests that within our diversity we do have a “defining focus” or purpose in life.  (Ask participants to turn to page 160; have copies of Parker’s statement available for those who didn’t bring their books.  Then read her quoted statement aloud.)

Journaling:  Have the following questions on newsprint:

  1. Does Rebecca Parker’s statement work for you? Why?  Why not?
  2. What changes or additions would you make?

Allow ten minutes for writing.  Then put responses on newsprint and discuss.

Extinguishing the Chalice:  Extinguish the chalice and read the following quote by Sophia Fahs:  “Some beliefs weaken a person’s selfhood.  They blight the growth of resourcefulness.  Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and enrich the feeling of personal worth.”