Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A testimonial from Christopher Sande

Presented at the Unitarian General Assembly meetings, April, 2012:

“It is necessary that religion should be held and professed in a liberal spirit.” So said the great William Ellery Channing.

To me these words epitomise the beauty of our approach, and I am thankful for this Unitarian spirit for it has provided me with a cherished and cherishing family of faith. Our commitment to freedom of belief, freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry, leads us to approach our religious life with complete liberty, released from all creeds and all dogma, though not inevitably or necessarily from valuable, unifying shared beliefs. This liberty has given me the confidence to play a full and enthralling part in the life of my local church and also shortly, in the form of secretary, in the life of our district association, as we strive in serving our local communities and our wider movement. Coupled with this liberty is the Unitarian commitment not to sacrifice human needs, human wants and human nature on some religious alter, but instead to elevate them all in the service of the One, however understood, who is greater than all of us, yet present in each of us. This can only lead to our special covenantal understanding of fellowship, which embraces all people with a true and loving welcome.

A great man, whose words inspire me daily once said “blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness.” I hunger and thirst for our blessed and unique voice to bring greater unity, peace and vision to all those around us in our diverse society. To help enthrone kindness, virtue and compassion as inspirational and aspirational ideals to be sought-out and followed. I am sure the future will continue to see more people of all faiths and none joining with us in sharing the hope that though we may not think alike we might certainly love and care alike."

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