May Message from Our Minister

The Spiritual Practice of Plurality

Rev Andrée Cornelia Mol

Rev. Andrée Cornelia Mol
(pronouns: she/they)
Minister, Central Unitarian Church

Among the cherished possessions of our congregation are the interfaith symbols created by late CUC members Allen and Marjorie Kubach, which hung over the doors at the back of our sanctuary in Paramus. This art piece speaks of the openness to spiritual diversity that our faith tradition embraces and that is important to many of us at CUC.
We don’t turn to one faith tradition for the absolute truth. Instead, we embrace faith traditions from around the world, knowing that each one offers wisdom and truth that may guide us on our life journeys. This is one of the many ways that Unitarian Universalists emphasize the importance of diversity.

Our latest articulation of our UU values names this “pluralism” and states the following:

We celebrate that we are all sacred beings, diverse in culture, experience, and theology. We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We embrace our differences and commonalities with Love, curiosity, and respect.

This statement ties our existing 4th principle (“a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”) directly to community. While we must all feel free to explore our own truth and meaning, we must balance it with the responsibilities of doing so within the context of a community of sacred beings.  Within such a diverse community, we learn from each other.

By binding our individual search to each other, we recognize how our project of congregational life plays an important role in our spiritual lives. This stands in contrast to a culture that increasingly emphasizes personal spiritual exploration. And it points to the importance of diversity and interfaith activities, which, unfortunately in our polarized world, continues to be surprising for many who encounter it in Unitarian Universalism for the first time.  For many who have struggled to find an inclusive spiritual home, our pluralism serves as one of the saving aspects of our faith tradition.

This month, I encourage you to consider the role of pluralism within our congregation and how it relates to your own search for truth and meaning. This value will continue to play an important role at CUC, as enshrined in the artwork left to us by the Kubachs. Our current design for our new building in Westwood already designates a prominent place for this piece in our new sanctuary. It will continue to proclaim to all who enter that there is room for each of us in our sacred space. What a beautiful and important message we continue to share with the world, and what a liberating and vital spiritual practice we must embrace every day.

In faith,

Rev. Andrée

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