UUs to consider the role of religion in relation to politics

By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Unitarian Uuniversalists (UUs) are a strange lot, according to some. Many UUs (not all) are perfectly comfortable spending Sunday morning considering the issues that threaten our democracy and call that church. Actually, this strange behavior stems from a core belief that our purpose should be to improve the lives of people in the here and now rather than be concerned with the hereafter.
This Sunday morning, Joan Ward will read a sermon by the Rev. Greg Ward. Borrowing the title from the book by Jim Wallis, “Why the Right Get It Wrong and the Left Just Don’t Get it,” Greg Ward provided this sermon for the UU Community Church of Santa Monica, Calif., last December. Its content in part describes our broken system, whether it’s the health care industry, the oil industry or a dozen others.
He said: “A system we are part of. And there is the great tragedy … because we don’t seem to be cognizant of where we are in the brokenness all around us. And yet our understanding of the role we play will help determine whether millions of people enjoy a healthy democracy or suffer from capitalistic exploitation.”
He then discusses Wallis’ views on the role of religion in relation to politics: “He concedes that there is as much bad religion as there is bad politics in this country. But the best response to bad religion, he contends, is not secularism but, in fact, better religion. Because if you want better politics, you won’t get there without better religion standing up and demanding accountability.”
This sermon won this year’s Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Social Witness Sermon award. Greg Ward presented it at the UUA General Assembly this past June for the UUA Commission on Social Witness.
Greg Ward serves as the senior developmental minister of the UU Community Church of Santa Monica, Calif. He often says “Community Organizing is the future of religion,” which is in part what today’s sermon is about.
Joan Ward is a member of the Steering Committee of the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
The Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship extends and invitation to all to attend our service — whether you seek community, encouragement to spiritual growth, freedom to seek truth where ever it resides or simply a quite interlude of reflection.
We are a welcoming congregation and invite everyone to share in our faith community. We cherish diversity and foster a safe environment for all. Service begins at 10:30 a.m. and, following that, we invite you to share refreshments and conversation.
Find us in Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn right onto Park Avenue and right again into Greenbriar Plaza, then turn left and continue around the complex until you see the Unitarian Universalist sign as it faces the mountains. Come in and join us. You are welcome.
For further information about the Pagosa UU Fellowship, visit pagosauu.org or call 731-7900.

This story was posted on September 1, 2018.