Spring 2016 Series: Rev. Stephen Kendrick
Kosmos: Remembering a Future for Unitarian Universalism

Wednesday, April 27

The Truth Will Set You Free, but First It Will Depress You...

Rev. Kendrickpresented an overview of where American religion stands (or limps) right now, and where Unitarian Universalism fits within that somewhat depressing picture. Says Rev. Kendrick, "I do this not to further daunt us, but to help break us free from denial, magical thinking, and fatalistic (or even cynical) acceptance. And any one of these responses will keep us from doing what needs to be done, and thinking clearly about how to move forward. And we will end with some very good news indeed, because what we need in the refreshment and revitalization of UUism is in fact already present within our tradition; it is just that we have strangely conspired to jointly forget our past."


Wednesday, May 4

Figuring Out Who We Are and How We Got That Way

Unitarian Universalism is not purely an eclectic faith drawing from all world religions, nor a purely humanist movement capable of challenging other recent start-ups such as the Humanist Hub. Nor is UUism a vibrant alternative to classic church structures composing a unique religious entity. Any of these possible structures is noble, but they are not who UU's are, and none reflects the more than 300 years of history that have made us the way we are. Rev. Kendrick proposes that there is "something very special to revive and remember within [UUism's] own tradition.  In a world growing hotter by the day," he says, "and more confusing in terms of religious and national borders, we could use a refresher course in Margaret Fuller's 'A New Manifestation Is at Hand,' and Emerson's cry, 'I will left up my hands and say, Kosmos.'"


Wednesday, May 11

The Core of Our Faith, and How to Share It

Rev. Kendrick elaborated on his deeply held belief that the spiritual core of the Unitarian Universalist faith lies in the Transcendetalist tradition., which remains UUism's "hidden strength." For Rev. Kendrick, "The issue is not institutional survival, but recovering a spiritual messagethat might make UUism's survival worth fighting for... If we still have something vital and necessary to say, then we will find the means to testify to the truth within us. The vision of Kosmos is both spiritual and ecological and rises above the old (and tiresome) arguments about the word "God," and speaks to many who are floundering in their faith, resentful of organized religion and yet still wistful, still wondering, about the powers that fuel the heavens, not to mention the mysteries of our hearts. I don't think this story is over.  But we have some remembering to do."