In February, our theme was trust. Have you noticed how the themes move into one another? We went from trust, to journey in March and to wholeness for this month. We need trust to make the journey. We need to journey to reach wholeness. As we strive for wholeness, I thought it might be a good time to revisit what it is that we trust.
During our Service for All Ages in February, everyone was invited to complete a link in the chain of trust that became our central art piece. Each person wrote a word or words about what they trust. As we disassembled the piece, I took note of different categories of trust. Many people noted family members or friends, either generically or by name. A few specified UUFM members, or the fellowship as a whole, as people they trusted. Some named other particular categories of people–bridge part-ners or Vietnam vet buddies. Some named people they work with, customers, students, clients, even bosses. A number of people named themselves as who they trust. Several people mentioned children or youth. Someone named the group Funds for Wildlife. There were a few interesting people who got unique mentions: people in need, the people who trust me, the people who give us confidence, and “anyone when I need help.”
Then there were people-oriented answers that didn’t relate to specific people. Among us, we have trust in the basic goodness of people, in civilization joining together for mutual benefit, in kindness, in fruits of human cooperation, and in the good will of others.
Values figured strongly for some: justice, empathy, growth, education, and even “our common values.” One person paired empathy with spirit. Methodologies came up in answers like questioning, gut, “the process,” intuition, reason, and logic. Several mentioned science or the scientific method in particular. At least one person trusted facts.
A few trusted particular assertions. “The sun comes up every morning with a fresh new day.” “Life is full of opportunities.” “There is good in the world.” “We will have clean water to drink.” “Things will turn out alright in the end.” “Change will happen.” In fact, change and growth received other endorsements.
Finally, one listed their dog as trustworthy.
Overall, our humanism came out strongly. Our connections with people, with one another, matter deeply and are a key place we turn to in need and in celebration. As we move forward together as a congregation, considering questions that will shape the future for Unitarian Universalism in Manhattan, may we remember who and what we trust and find ways to engage what matters most to us.
In faith and freedom, Jonalu