Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Welcome Visitors!

Greetings! Welcome to RevThom. Here I post sermons and blog for the church that I serve, the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Overland Park, Kansas. A special welcome to everyone who is visiting from Tony's Kansas City blog or from Mike Hendricks' story in the 9/8/10 Kansas City Star.

Here's a link to my sermon on Islam and Islamophobia that I delivered last Sunday.
Here's a link to the (somewhat) comical slideshow that accompanied that sermon.

And, of course, I invite you to check us out at the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church. We are a progressive denomination with a history that stretches back more than 200 years in the United States. Our church practices pluralism, acceptance, and our members engage in an open-minded free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

We live in a time in which so many religious groups are torn apart by social issues and struggle to reconcile their tradition with an evolving understanding of humanity. Not us. We fully welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and families to full participation in our congregation and our ministry. We welcome a diversity of families. We respond to exclusion and intolerance by standing on the side of love.

We live in a time in which so many religious groups struggle to reconcile their beliefs with the teachings of science. Not us. Our members embrace the teachings of science. During the last evolution/creationism controversy involving the Kansas Board of Education, we offered classes taught by college biology professors and high school biology teachers on the science of evolution.

We live in a time in which so many religious groups struggle to reconcile the particularity of their own faith with an increasingly diverse America and an increasingly interconnected world. Not us. We don't see ourselves in competition with the great religions of the world: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism. Embracing our own tradition does not invalidate the understandings of other religious traditions.

We live in a time in which many people find doctrine restrictive and limiting. Throughout our history Unitarian Universalists have held that we need not think alike to love alike. And love is the main thing. Because we don't insist that we need to think alike, our congregation is a place where theists and atheists can come together and rejoice in each other's presence. Our congregation is a place where we can dwell together in peace, seek knowledge in freedom, and serve humanity in fellowship.

Feel free to check us out on the web or come visit us on a Sunday morning for either our 9:30 or 11:00 service.