Tomorrow marks the first day of Chalica for 2017, and this year, I will be celebrating/observing the Unitarian Universalist holiday.
If you are unfamiliar with UUism as a whole, let me give you a brief rundown of the holiday:
Unitarian Universalism is a non-credal faith, with its followers trying to live by the seven UU principles. Chalica starts the first Monday of December and goes for seven days (one principle per day). The purpose is to take a closer look at the meaning behind the UU principles and how we can do better about living them everyday. It’s a great way to get children involved in understanding the faith better, but it’s also a great way for adults in the faith to do some self-reflection on how we can truly live our lives as UU’s, especially those of us who adopted the faith and weren’t born into it.
Each night, you light either a colored chalice, or a colored candle on a chalice that corresponds with the principle of that day, and discuss (or write down) what it means and how you embodied that principle that day. This blog post has fantastic activity ideas to celebrate each day, geared more towards children.
1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person
UU’s believe that all people are created equal and are all worthy. Every human life has value and adds value to the world.
2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
We try to use our voice to speak up for those without one or whose voice, for one reason or another, isn’t heard as loud or taken as seriously as it should. We fight for each other and we build each other up.
3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
The capacity our souls have for love and acceptance of others is at limited or limitless as you decide. As UU’s, we acknowledge that there is always more to learn and grow.
4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
As UU’s, we believe that there’s no “right” answer in the search for spiritual truth. What makes sense to me, might not make sense to you, but that’s okay. We just have to keep moving forward, keep learning, and keep listening.
5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
To quote Theodore Parker, “My connection with the sacred is only as precious as my willingness to acknowledge the same connection in others.” UU’s truly believe in democracy and the democratic process and try to make sure that all voices are heard.
6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
Remember in Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock, how she makes fun of the other pageant contestants for saying they wish for world peace? What’s so bad about that? It may seem lofty, but it’s a valiant goal and one that, if we continue to work towards, we can improve our world one day at a time.
7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
“Our seventh Principle may be our Unitarian Universalist way of coming to fully embrace something greater than ourselves. The interdependent web—expressed as the spirit of life, the ground of all being, the oneness of all existence, the community-forming power, the process of life, the creative force, even God—can help us develop that social understanding of ourselves that we and our culture so desperately need. It is a source of meaning to which we can dedicate our lives.” —Rev. Forrest Gilmore, Executive Director of Shalom Community Center, Bloomington, IN
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be able to follow along as I share how I embodied each principle and what it truly means to me.
If you’d like to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and our principles, visit https://www.uua.org/. And if you’re looking for a local UU congregation, you can find that on their home page.
P.S. Here’s a fun Chalica song to get stuck in your head 🙂