Next week, we are going to be posting links and quotes about prayer, from many sources and perspectives, because how we consider the deep questions and pressing issues is as important as knowing what those issues are. Liberal Religion is about seeking truth, not dictating it, and prayer can be an important tool in that search for many of us.
Some people are already thinking, “Oh no, not more religious language” and others, likely more, are thinking, “Are we going to have another discussion about religious language?” Let me say that the language is mine, and it is the language of religion in English and the cultures native to that language. I am a religious person, and Unitarian Universalism is a religion, and this is the accepted term for the practice, though the form can be flexible, and if your spirituality is not native to the English language, or has its own lexicon for such things, feel free to translate, but the word “Prayer” is used because it requires the least translation for the most of our potential readers. The same can be said of the potential visitors to most UU Sunday services.
I am a religious person. I grew up in family practicing a nondescript, fairly generic form of Protestantism. The reason I pray, which is different from meditation or the casting of circle (I also do each, though more rarely) is much the same reason that I attend Unitarian Universalist services instead of Quaker or Buddhist services; familiarity and comfort. I believe that this is true of most people north of the Rio Grande valley all the way up to the permafrost, and so it is the language I encourage you to use openly. Religious Language, used thoughtfully and with room for personal interpretation, is welcoming to those seeking religious community.
So, we will have links and quotes all we about prayer and those things that are like prayer in different traditions. We encourage discussion, but insist on keeping things polite, or at least constructive. We are touching on issues to which some are deeply committed. We are all working towards the goal of Beloved Community, and we wouldn’t be part of Unitarian Universalism if we didn’t all want the best from each other and ourselves.