By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Most Unitarian Universalists (UUs) came to UUism as adults; few grew up with the tradition. And with that arrival comes a wonderful sense of freedom — liberation from the oppression of religious beliefs that never fit us. But is freedom the end or just the beginning? Without a prescribed theological tradition, we believe it is incumbent upon each one of us to create our own theology — to engage in theological reflection.
Here, the traditional theistic definition of theology is expanded to include its modern usage: “the full range of religious and philosophic beliefs and humans’ understanding of the meaning and purpose of life and of ultimate reality.” The result is that we are better able to align our actions with our values; we live a more conscious life one in which choices are made deliberately and perhaps differently than otherwise.
Let it be said quickly that one need not be a UU to live a conscious life; however, being part of the UU community means that we benefit from our third principle, “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregation.” Thus, theological reflection becomes a community endeavor, substantially deepening the experience.
Sunday’s service by UU lay leader Pauline Benetti will examine the ideas of several UU theologians — ideas that offer guidance for this creative process.
Benetti holds in her history a teaching career devoted to shaping and forming creative, thinking individuals and a corporate career as a trainer and technical writer. The transition from one to the other was successful, but not easy.
In her retirement here in Pagosa, Benetti has returned to her genetic roots — soil, water, plants and critters — for she is the daughter of Italian parents who came separately to this country, met in California and farmed the land to build the American Dream for themselves and their children. And, now that she has time, she has added to her life the satisfaction of service — whether it be with the Pagosa UU Fellowship (PUUF), the Pagosa Farmers Market or the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership.
Our fellowship is about community; it is about spiritual growth. We are a welcoming congregation and invite everyone to share in our faith community.
Service begins at 10:30 a.m., and following that we invite you to share refreshments and conversation. Leadership is by Pastor Dean Cerny on the third and fourth Sunday or by a lay leader on other Sundays.
The Religious Exploration program for 2- to 9-year-olds begins on Jan. 20 and 27. For more information, contact Anna Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 PUUF, visit pagosauu.org or call 731-7900.