The Choice to Belong

…all relations between persons ought ideally to rest on mutual, free consent and not on coercion.
~James Luther Adams

In many religious traditions, you are made a part of the community through ritual acceptance. A Baptism, Birthday, or some other ritual that shows the community’s acceptance of you. They sanctify you; you receive their welcome.

Unitarian Universalism is a choice. We don’t stand against the world and all are invited to consider their participation. You choose us, and we are pledged to accept you as you are while encouraging you to grow and be your best. You choose to be one of us; you bless us by your desire to work with us.

We do not require recitations of creed. There is no test of loyalty or knowledge. That is a crucial part of liberal religion. It is our good fortune that UU decides to be part of our movement.

This is not a one time choosing, either. Some of us have left for a time, found a new way to participate, or even just longed for a different option than what is available. We choose over and over to be Unitarian Universalist, and how we will do that. We can leave freely, knowing that there is no sin in doing so. We can come back, knowing we will not be shunned for our time apart.

This is one of the great joys of liberal religion: We choose it, and we are loved for the choosing. We belong because we want to, for as long as we want to. For me, that is a self-reinforcing principle. I want to be part of a movement that strives to accept and encourage people who want to accept and encourage one another.

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