Weekly Message from T. J.

Asked and Answered

Many of us know that over the past few months we have been working with monthly spiritual themes. The theme of “covenant” this month was one that included some discussion in worship as well as some action in our annual meeting on the church’s living document, the covenant of right relations. I hope some of us have a deeper, or at least a richer understanding of covenant now.

We are approaching June (more quickly than some of us can really fathom). And the spiritual theme for June is “reverence.” Now, reverence is not something Unitarian Universalist communities are known for—at least not in a worship or a liturgical sense. We express ourselves a bit more freely than a lot of our neighbors and siblings in faith in worship settings, much to the delight of many of us.

But among those things we do revere as a community is the history in our faith of asking questions. Indeed the beginning of any free and responsible search for truth and meaning usually begins with a question. And at the root of our tradition of a truly free faith, one will always find a practice of asking questions. Luckily for a minister in our tradition, answering questions isn’t as important—or as possible—as asking them. But sometimes you have to give it a try.

One way to do this is to invite questions of any kind and then to do my best to answer them. And a setting where this can be fun is actually in a sermon. Some of my colleagues call these “Question Box” sermons. Others call them “Ask-it Basket” sermons. Many of you may know that at the end of some Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes, participants all put a piece of paper in a box or basket. Some of those have questions on them, though many just have comments or are blank. The point is that everyone puts a piece of paper in so no one can be singled out as a “question-asker.” Then at the beginning of the next class the instructors answer all of the questions that were put in the box or basket.

So, in this rich tradition, on June 2 my sermon will try to answer as many questions as I can about our community, our faith tradition, or really anything else on your mind. But I need your questions to really make this work!

You can e-mail me a question at my regular email address: minister@unitariansofhi.org. If you’d like to submit a question electronically and anonymously, you can email it to Suzette here: office@unitariansofhi.org. She promises not to tell me who sent it. Or you can write a question this Sunday and put it in the “Ask-it Basket.”

I’m looking forward to June 2 and trying to answer all of your questions!

Rev. T. J.