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Unitarian Universalism draws from many sources:

(Click on a plate to see a more extensive explanation of the symbolism in these disks.)


Interpretation of this experience for each of us originates from such a deep, personal space that it remains beyond symbol.

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.

These joined human hands - composing a unity of strength, wisdom and compassion - are a symbol of the moving courage and depth of character that is a source of these prophetic words and deeds.

Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.

 


The Lotus - a prevalent symbol of purity for both Buddhism and Hinduism which represents the state of enlightenment and the doctrine of Buddhism. Unity of the Yin and Yang - The opposite forces of Yin and Yang are inter-dependent and contain the seed or potential of one another. Yin is associated with darkness, water, and the feminine; Yang with light, activity, air, and the masculine. OM, Sacred sound and symbol of Inclusive Spirituality - OM, or AUM, is the most sacred sound for Hindus. It represents the first sound of creation. The Hilal, or Crescent Moon and Morning Star (Venus) - has become the accepted symbol of Islam, bearing resonances of the lunar calendar, which orders religious life.

Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.

 

The cross is the universally recognizable symbol of Christianity. When offset, it is also the symbol for Universalism. The Jewish menorah was chosen for its connotations of light, hope, and thanksgiving.

Jewish and Christian teaching which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.

 

Here is a human hand of Copernicus measuring his revolutionary concept of our solar system. Over time this new idea of the Earth not being the center of the universe so threatened the Church that it jailed Galileo himself for speaking about the results of his own scientific experiments, which had proven the Copernican cosmology theories correct.

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

 

As in nature, this image contains simultaneous systems of vital change, each at their own crucial pace, each an eternal circle. The lunar monthly cycle is both a tool for time-telling and a literal, physical force upon most or all life on earth. It pulls the tides of the great oceans, effects our moods, urges our wombs to give birth. The oak tree's annual cycle is an homage to our planet's delicately tilted trip around our sun, to life spans, to a food staple of the indigenous people of our local valley, to the health of change.

Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle to life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

 

These plates hang in the sanctuary and are designed by artists Lisa Benham and Bonnie Kayser.

The times we live in demand something of us. In fact, I believe they demand more from us than many of us ever expected.

I believe that in rising to the occasion of what is asked of us now, we will discover a depth of strength and a richness of love and courage that we did not know we could achieve. I believe that in rising to the challenge of our times we will wade into the mystery of life to a depth we did not know was [possible]….

More is asked of us than we could have imagined. The beauty of life is such that it will not let us go until we have offered the blessing we have to give. So let the beauty we have seen become the good that we do, and let us, … in faith with all those who have gone before us, place ourselves among those who bless the world.

- Rebecca Parker