Thursday, August 4, 2016

Unitarian Universalist

I happened to know UU last week in my previous post. And I paid a real visit to the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City last Sunday. Here were my encounters:
  1. We got a warm welcome there and a lady showed us around, handed us booklets, and introduced us to everyone we met.
  2. The number of people there is smaller than I expected. Just a few tens. Maybe it’s because summer session.
  3. To eat a donut, you will have to pay. But the coffee is free.
  4. The order of service at 11 AM took place at Sanctuary. They usually take turns to lecture. Today is about UU jokes, which totally blew my mind. I am surprised they are so open to different beliefs and opinions that they can laugh at themselves.
Here are my favourite UU jokes:
  • What do UUs have in common with Pontius Pilate?
    They ask, “What is truth?” and then don’t stay around for an answer.
  • What’s the difference between an agnostic, an atheist, and a Unitarian?
    I don’t know, and I don’t care one way or the other.

A youtube video by Aaron White explains the basics:

  1. rejection the notion of Trinity. Jesus is a human prophet.
  2. rejection the notion of original sin.
  3. rejection the notion of eternal punishment. How could God do that to God’s children?
    book: a treatise on atonement.
    It makes no sense to me that an infinite God infinitely punish a finite human being for making finite mistakes. An unlimited force brought down in punishment unlimited to people who do what limited people do.
We take the scripture and traditions of our Christain ancestors seriously, but not literally.
Credo religion vs Covenantal religion. we are the latter kind. I don’t come here to be better or more worthy than anyone else or to secure a special place for myself in my family. Everyday we wake up and keep a promise we’ve made about how we will live.
A promise guided by profound humility and active love.
  1. even we want certainty about life’s biggest questions,we’re unlikely to find it.
  2. not passive response
As limited human beings, we just can’t know everything. Our best response to the gift of life is to love and serve as many others as we can while we’re still alive for this might be the only life we have.
whether the story is true or not is not important; but what’s true about it?

The Five Reasons You Shouldn’t Be a Unitarian

  • you can’t believe anything you want.
  • I don’t have argument with fundamentalism, because I can’t argue with them.

My local branch:

West Wind UU
1309 W Boyd St, Norman, OK 73069, United States
Sundar Flansburg on 2016-7-10
-what disturbs me: so many people seem to blindly apply their very limited experiences to other people and complex societal problems, failing to recognize that those experiences are not shared ones. Raising children, getting a job, driving through the city, going out to a club to dance—all of these things can be profoundly different experiences, depending on your race, gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic status. We need life skill, community building skill, of being able to step outside of our direct knowledge and imagine something else.
  • I’m convinced that in sharing stories we develop and expand empathy Like travel, art, music, reading, and other ways we step out of our everyday lives, listening deeply to other stories helps us see the world in a different way, helps us step into the experiences of people different from us.
Maureen Harvey on 2016-2-14
  • Fear stands in our way of living in a state of pure love. It causes us to be small, to shrink, to disconnect, to isolate. So, what can we do about fear? I believe it’s best to invite fear in and allow ourselves to really feel it, to sit with it, of course, draw about it, befriend it and learn from it, including our fear of dying. Resisting unpleasant feelings like fear causes them to grow and wreck havoc in our lives while befriending such feelings helps them to shrink.
  • Study shows 85% of the things we worry about never happen, and when things did happen, most people discovered they could handle the difficulty better than they expected, or they learned a valuable lesson from it.
    -97% of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.
  • An experience we had 10 years ago does not have to define us. We are not the same as we were last week or yesterday. Our feelings are just feelings and our thoughts are just thoughts—they are not who we are.
  • If each one of us focuses on one issue we are passionate about, and puts our energy towards justice in that area we can make big changes.


  • God is not so much about what I believe. God is about what and how I serve.
  • We believe that personal experience, conscience, and reason should be the final authorities in religion. We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds
  • We believe that religious wisdom is ever changing. Human understanding of life and death, the world and its mysteries, is never final. Revelation is continuous.
  • We affirm the worth of every person. We believe people should be encouraged to think for themselves. We know people differ in their opinions, choices, and identities, and we believe these differences should be honored.

resources, books

notable believer

  • John Adams(2nd president of US): regular church service was beneficial to man’s moral senses; strove for a religion based on a common sense sort of reasonableness;
  • Clara Barton (founder of US red cross)
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (Asso.Justice of Supreme Court)
  • Louisa May Alcott (author of little woman)
  • Waldo Emerson (thinker)

Matt’s Tech Conference Survival Tips

  • Today’s networking contacts are tomorrow’s clients
  • If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
  • ‘Don’t take on any project unless you’ll learn something from it’. So my take away here is when given a choice, choose the topic that pushes your boundaries, even if some of it goes over your head.
  • Kick it Old School – Use Paper notebook & pens. maximize your focus.