In the Interim: Reverend Terry Sweetser

“Where is our holy church? We are standing on the side of love.” - Rev. Fred Small

This church year we look at our Unitarian Universalist community in Wellesley Hills through the lens of love. Have we always been loving? No. But we have been steadfast in looking for love and possibility in every situation. Speaking for myself, I admit to having some unloving thoughts and have found occasion to vent them! Yet, unpredictably but reliably there has been one of you to call me back to my better self, to finding enough love to do what needs to be done.

At it’s core Unitarian Universalism is about love. I believe my friend Fred Small has it right when he says, “Many Unitarian Universalists suffer from a chronic identity crisis. People ask us, what do Unitarian Universalists believe? And—we freeze! We don’t know what to say, because UUs believe so many things, so many different things. We are priests of paradox, apostles of ambiguity, nattering nabobs of nuance.

And so the Unitarian Universalist Association produces seven principles and six sources and countless pamphlets and little wallet cards all to remind us what we kinda sorta believe. We are exhorted to compose elevator speeches, summations of Unitarian Universalism so pithy they might be recited on an elevator in its fleeting passage between floors.

Do we believe in God? Question—simple. Answer—impossible.

Define “God.”

Define “believe.”

Define “we.”

Define “in.”

Whatever God is or is not, I don’t think God cares what we believe. I don’t think Jesus cares what we believe. And I know the Buddha doesn’t care what we believe.

The important question is not what we believe, it’s where we stand.

I want to be standing on the side of love.

Of course when I say “standing” I’m not talking about a physical posture. Rosa Parks stood on the side of love by remaining seated.

I’m talking about a moral stance not just assumed privately in our hearts but witnessed boldly in our families and schools and workplaces and communities, at the State House, in the halls of Congress. I’m talking about faith in action.

I’m not talking about sanctimony. I’m talking about intentionality. Understanding that our practice will be imperfect as each of us is imperfect, what is our purpose? What is our aspiration? What is our commitment?

Standing on the side of love.”

This month as our theme turns to embodiment, we look for ways to embody love, audaciously, purposefully, and yes, imperfectly. Our Sunday celebrations are focused on what it take to stand on the side of love.

May 7th we welcome Dr. Ejaz Ali, to get a sense of the Muslim experience in Wellesley and the love it takes to live it.

May 14th two people from our congregation share their experience living on the side of love: Lelia Elliston, the LGBT experience, and Brenda Ross, the African-American experience.

May 21st for the love of beasts! We will stand on the side of love with a blessing for the beasts that love us. Bring your live animal, your photo of a beloved animal or stuffed beast of love and bless them to the world.

May 28th Joe Senecal from our congregation stands on the side of love with the handicapped experience.

“Where is our holy church? We are standing on the side of love.” See you there.