Question Box Sunday

by BC

Below are the questions submitted during our first ever Question Box Sunday.  I’ve divided them into some basic categories — including the ones we answered during the service.  Over the next few months I will answer 2-3 of these every week and make them available here on this website for you all to read.  Questions are powerful things that can create space for the unexpected to emerge.  In that spirit, you have my gratitude.

Question Box Sunday

Questions Answered During Service

  • What are Unitarian Universalists?
  • What is one single action that each of us can take to enhance the life of at least one person?
  • How do we square our desire to be open to, and informed by, many religions, when some of those call for exclusion, conversion, or injury to those who don’t follow their particular path?
  • What is your favorite place in the world you would like to visit?
  • Why do certain religions believe it is a sin to be cremated and why? And what is the UU belief on cremation?
  • How does UUCL honor our 7th principle?
  • Why do we sing so many songs about peace but vote for politicians who start one war after another?
  • Given the history of every religion, the reasons men organized them, the mentality of those men, and the brutalities, injustices, and attitudes those men committed, and had others commit – Why do UUs still call themselves a church? Why not create a better name such as Meetings, etc?
  • How do we find balance between the joys and deep/devastating sorrows of life? Is balance one of the great myths of our time?
  • We hear a lot about radical religious fanatics who “hijack” the religions principles to support their own agendas. Is a fanatical UU radicalism possible? If so, what did, could, or does it look like?

UUCL Specific

  • How old is the church?
  • What is the “common purpose” for which UUCL comes together?
  • Does this church have a sister/brother church in another country?
  • Why can’t we get the geothermal heating/cooling project underway?
  • What is a good UU elevator speech?
  • Some say UUCL is the only UU church in Lexington. But what is the status of the Richmond congregation?  (They have an attractive advert on NPR.)
  • What is your greatest, most loving, hope for this congregation and Unitarian Universalism?
  • Would we notice any differences in northwest UUism versus Lexington’s?

Worship & Religious Exploration/Education

  • Why do we continue to use the word “worship” when so many of us don’t really believe in its traditional definition?
  • What holidays does this church celebrate?
  • I wonder why so many UU family children drop out of UUism.
  • Do we follow the standard UU RE curriculum?
  • Why do we only do spoken Joys & Sorrows once a month?
  • Have we ever celebrated our important earth-centered holidays – solstice, etc – outside with a full outdoor service? If not, could we?

Growth

  • How do we get the message out to many who need us here at UUCL?
  • How do you think UU churches should change to make their message known and draw more youth, that in growing numbers are seeing themselves as “spiritual but not religious?”
  • What ideas do you have to increase volunteerism at UUCL?
  • How do you see UUCL growing our membership? Better ways to get known by fellow seekers?
  • UU is so awesome. Why are we not growing faster – both this congregation and worldwide?

Justice & Multiculturalism

  • How can we create a more ethnically diverse community?
  • Why are UU congregations still so white, and how can we work for further outreach?
  • Are there ways that we can, together as UUs, include kids in service events for the community?
  • How has UUCL gone out into the community to practice their values?
  • How can we help the Black Lives Matter movement?

Ethics & Living

  • How can you enjoy life and a path you are no longer passionate about when you have discovered a different calling and feel meant to be elsewhere?
  • When politics center on core moral issues – and when certain moral obscenities are exemplified by a particular candidate, how does the church address those moral concerns without being political?
  • How is the path to loving one’s self fulfilled and when will they know that the journey has begun?
  • Is it more important to be happy or to do the right thing?
  • Turning the other cheek vs. standing your ground?
  • What do you do when you don’t want to go to church to get you back into the church again?

Theology & History

  • First UU congregation in the United States?
  • Where do the souls of UUs go when they die?
  • Did Jesus laugh?
  • Where did the idea of purgatory come from and when?
  • What do UUs think of joy?
  • The founding fathers were all Deists, were they not? The best form of our “faith” is Deism – yes?  Expound, please.

God

  • Why do so many people need to believe in a god or gods, regardless of what name they give to god(s)?
  • God is often identified in many religions as “the creator of all.” So, who or what made God?
  • How do UUs cultivate a sense of a “personal God?” What are practices that have worked for UUs?  Or – is this something UUs generally don’t do?

Ministry

  • What do you love most about this congregation? What do you love least?
  • What is the spiritual or humanist text you draw on the most for inspiration?
  • When did you decide to become a minister and why?
  • How has UUism – and this church in particular – shaped who you are?
  • Who is your favorite Unitarian/Universalist and why?
  • What are some things that surprised you during your first year as our minister?
  • What does a stole mean? Can anyone wear one?  Can one who is qualified wear it at any occasion?
  • Was there one particular event in your life that brought you to the Unitarian Universalist church?

Personal

  • I read your bio online and, as a fellow geek, I wonder who your favorite comic book character is and why?
  • Do you have a favorite Rumi quote? If so, what?
  • How did you spend your time away this summer?
  • What is your favorite kind of taco?
  • What about Lexington surprised you the most?
  • Did you ever meet Obama in Chicago?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are your favorite cookies?
  • Parker Palmer writes that the power of questions is not about satisfying the curiosity of the listener, but on being a gift for the person offering their vulnerable, whole, self.  What is the question that you most need today?