From Our Minister: Love at the Center 

UUA Centered with Love logo

Unitarian Universalists from across the country and around the globe gathered online for our annual UUA General Assembly and made history! Delegates voted to name Love as the center of our liberal faith and adopted the UU Values of Interdependence, Equity, Pluralism, Transformation, Justice, and Generosity as the expressions of love in action. The new values incorporate the 8 Principles, and our 6 Sources were evolved into a statement of Inspirations. These changes to the essence of UU identity follow years of work that involved thousands of members. They passed with the support of over 80% of delegates at two General Assemblies.  The delegates also passed with overwhelming majorities the Business Resolution: “Embracing Transgender, Nonbinary, Intersex and Gender Diverse People is a Fundamental Expression of UU Religious Values,” the Actions of Immediate Witness: “World on Fire: Humanitarian Work and Climate Change,” “Solidarity with Palestinians,” “Centering Love Amidst the Ongoing Impact of COVID-19,” and the Responsive Resolution: “UUA General Assembly Support for October 7 Hostages.” It was a momentous gathering with many moments of elation and grief, and it was a blessing to have taken part in this watershed moment in our religious movement. 

Grace is our spiritual theme for the month of July. It seems fitting to consider grace in the wake of our movement’s embrace of Love as the heart of our religious identity. Grace is defined in the realm of theology as the gift of unearned benevolence. In many respects, it is an extension of Love as it too is often offered as an unearned gift. Our heritage affirmed the radical benevolence of the divine and humanity in contrast to traditions which affirmed a vengeful deity or a corrupted humanity. We affirmed the goodness of both and believed that humanity could unlock its full potential not through a religion centered on condemnation and repentance but through spreading the good news of hope, faith, and love. When we are hopeful, faithful, and loving, it is easier to offer grace to others, even when we may think they do not deserve it. Grace invites us to consider our better angels and what it means to live as agents of compassion and mercy in our broken and hurting world. 

A few questions to deepen our consideration of the theme of grace this month in our church gatherings and committee meeting: 

  1. Were you ever transformed by offering grace to another? 
  2. Have you been the recipient of grace? Who or what was the source of this grace? Were you able to receive it? 
  3. What did your family of origin teach you about mercy for yourself or others? 
  4. How has your understanding of grace changed as you’ve gotten older? 
  5. How might a grace-centered community practice this spiritual art? How would you know if grace was a part of a religious community’s identity? How would it be embodied? What might you feel? 
  6. Is there anyone in your life in need of some grace right now? How might you offer it? 
  7. Are you in need of grace from someone in your life? 
  8. Is there anyone offering you grace that you may not have noticed or appreciated? 
  9. What might it mean to ask “What would grace do?” as you consider dilemmas in your life? 

I encourage everyone to take some respite from ordinary congregational responsibilities this summer to live into healthy, sustainable, and regenerative patterns of congregational life. 

While I am away, our Pastoral Associates will still be available to provide spiritual support to those in need and the Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, our Consulting Minister, will be available for any pastoral emergencies. You can request support by emailing or by calling the church office. 

As always, if you have a joy, sorrow, or milestone to share in our weekly announcements and on a Sunday morning from the pulpit, please email or call the office to share news with our beloved community. 

I wish everyone a restful and restorative summer! 

Yours in love and ministry, 



Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae

Developmental Minister