ERUUF Christian Fellowship (ECF)
Meets 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm. (less frequently during the summer).
UU Christians look to the teachings of Jesus (not about Jesus) as a source of wisdom and guidance in building the Beloved Community. The ERUUF Christian Fellowship has been meeting regularly since Fall 2008. The group shares prayer, reflections on Bible passages, and thoughts on contemporary writings of liberal Christians. A communion service is held quarterly. Come join us!
Who are We?
We are UU Christians, and the overlapping symbols of the Chalice and Cross describe us perfectly. We're a diverse group of Unitarian Universalists who find value in following the Way of Jesus. As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm that there are many paths to the divine, and no one spiritual tradition has a monopoly on truth or salvation. As progressive Christians, we find special nourishment and meaning in the UU's fourth source, Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Some of us believe in God; some of us don't. Some of us think Jesus was just a human; some of us don't. Individually, we have unique ways of interpreting what we read, of experiencing God's presence and of putting into practice what Jesus taught. What binds us together is a celebration of the love and compassion central to Jesus' message and a desire to build the Beloved Community of justice and love about which Jesus and the Hebrew prophets before him preached. We seek to continually grow together and support each other on our spiritual journey.
"The liberal Christian outlook is directed to a Power that is living, that is active in a love seeking concrete manifestation, and that finds decisive response in the living posture and gesture of Jesus of Nazareth." ~Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams, "Neither Mere Morality Nor Mere God," 1951.
What do we do?
We pray together, sing together, share joys and sorrows, read and discuss scripture as well as the writings of contemporary progressive Christian authors, and celebrate communion. The simple order of our meetings provides a comfortable structure within which we can share our questions and doubts as well as our personal revelations. Members rotate leading the meetings, and we celebrate communion with homemade bread, wine and grape juice. Our group leadership style is informal, participatory and democratic in spirit.
What's in it for you?
In the company of UU's like yourself, you will....
- Become more acquainted with Jesus the teacher, Challenger of the Status Quo, and his message of Unconditional Love while exploring what it means to be a follower rather than a believer.
- Expand your personal search for life's truth and meaning by digging deeper into the 4th UU Source and Jesus' teaching - Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.
- Discover inspiring authors of UU/Progressive Christian thought who are reclaiming what it means to consider oneself a "Christian".
Books we've recently used
The Bible version used by most progressive Christians is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Copies are available for borrowing from ECF.
Touching the Heart
- The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith. Marcus Borg
- A Wind Swept Over the Waters. Reflections on 60 Favorite Bible Passages. UU Minister John Nichols
- Meditations on the Lord's Prayer. Patricia Hill Martin
- Living the Questions: Wisdom from Progressive Christianity. David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy
Studies of Jesus
- Teacher, Guide, Companion: Rediscovering Jesus in a Secular World. Erik Walker Wikstrom
- Meeting Jesus Again For the First Time. Marcus Borg
- Jesus Was A Liberal. Scotty McLennan
- Zealot. Reza Aslan
- Why Christianity Must Change or Die. Bishop John Shelby Spong
- A New Christianity for a New World. Bishop John Shelby Spong
Book Review: Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life, 2010
In her TED Prize presentation, Karen Armstrong, noted religions historian, asserted that one pervasive idea running through all major religions is the Golden Rule. As first stated by Confucius (551-479 BCE), the ideal is “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” Phrasing varies in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but the message remains the same. The virtue underlying the Golden Rule is compassion, from the Latin com – patiri meaning “to endure or experience [something] with another”. To walk in their shoes, feel what they feel. Armstrong’s TED Prize wish for humanity was a Charter for Compassion that individuals and organizations worldwide would adopt as their guiding principle. The UU movement “Standing on the Side of Love” is one way that our denomination puts compassion into action. Armstrong shows us other ways. The ERUUF Christian Fellowship is now reading Armstrong’s book that expands on her TED talk and the Charter. Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life first guides the reader through several practical steps of learning and self-awareness — when are we compassionate and how can we practice compassion in our daily lives. Then the steps shift perspective outward. Putting compassion behind every interaction and decision each individual, organization or government make can change the world.
Armstrong’s writing is clear and smooth; her approach, practical. Her message is simple and complex: put compassion in the center of your living. The book is available in many retail stores and in the ERUUF Bookstore. For deeper discussion, join the ERUUF Christian Fellowship at their bi-monthly meetings.
An example of our celebration of communion
[All Gather in a circle. Bread is lifted]
Leader: Blessed are you, God, Mother and Father of all creation,
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, bread of our lives.
Wheat that must fall to the ground and die and be ground between stones before it gives life.
Yeast of your love which is within us, growing in patience. Honey that reminds us of the sweetness of everyday life.
[Wine and juice are lifted]
Blessed are you, God, Holy Spirit of Life,
Through your bounty, we have this fruit of the vine to offer,
This fruit of our lives grown up under the sun, watered by your rain,
Our lifeblood poured out that we might become blood kin.
We share this bread and cup of our life that we might become one in the spirit of Jesus.
In hope that all the people of the earth might be one body,
In hope that all the people of the earth might become blood kin,
We eat this bread and drink this cup.
Who is Welcome?
Become part of our extended family
If progressive Christianity interests you and you are unable to come to our meetings, you can still connect with us through our e-mail list. When we begin a new study book, take a field trip or plan a special event, we'll notify you of the details. We encourage our friends to keep in touch, ask questions and partiipate as you are able. To join our e-mail list, write us and ask to be added.
For more information on UU Christians, please visit the website of the Unitarian-Universalist Christian Fellowship (UUCF) at http://uuchristian.org/. For a more personal perspective, one of our own members writes a blog on her experience as a UU Christian at http://liftingthespirit.blogspot.com/.
- Contact Person: Stephen Edgerton
- Contact Person: Stephen Edgerton