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The Spiritual Practice of Welcoming Accountability, by Rev. Tovis

On September 24th, our worship service focused on the spiritual practice of accountability: holding ourselves and one another accountable for the values we share, the promises we make to one another, and the mission and purpose of our Unitarian Universalist community. At the end, I invited the UUSM community to reflect on some questions as we enter a new stage of ministerial transition. To help keep these questions alive among you, I am sharing them again here. (To watch the full sermon on YouTube, click here.)

Here we are my friends, at the turning of the season, when our Jewish kin are focused on accountability and repair, and we are on the cusp of a transitional year with a new co-ministry team. The time is ripe for this discernment around accountability. So I want to leave you with some questions. And I hope they will be generative for you.

How do you practice accountability here at UUSM? What are you responsible for, as a community with many shared resources? And who are you accountable to in utilizing those shared resources in line with your values and your purpose? How do you hold your own selves, your staff, and each other accountable for what you have agreed is your mission? And if your mission no longer inspires you, no longer supports you in working together toward a common goal, then what does? What is your purpose, your calling as a religious community, now? And how will you hold each other accountable for living that out, together, in a spirit of love?

These are questions that only you can answer, my friends. Rev. Terri, I, UUA staff will have our informed opinions and advice, and our hopes for you, but ultimately this community is yours. The values you prioritize, the purpose you articulate to guide your programming and your resources. The extent to which you trust each other to commit to this endeavor and share equitably its burdens and its joys – all of that is up to you.

So I hope you will engage these questions earnestly and in good faith, recognizing that communal religious life is a continuous process of returning, renewing, recommitting to the core values and common visions that call you forward together.

May it be so!


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