Dear members and friends of the Fellowship,
We had a small gathering on January 8, but we set to work on polishing a couple of places in the Charter of our organization (that had been approved May 2016). I hope all members approve of the changes.
Please email me with any dissensions or comments. All suggestions will be considered but not all can be incorporated into the text (as was the case last Spring).
We will vote to approve the slightly modified Charter at our March (not February) 2017 regular meeting.
The full text is attached.
Main changes to the Charter are in Point II and Postscript
Point II now says:
II. In the Unitarian tradition we have no requirements of doctrine or creed. We welcome all English speakers who seek intellectually stimulating presentations (by a broad range of speakers) and interactive discussions on topics about religion, culture, social justice and world peace. We are a small group who share a common search for meaning or truth through the free and friendly examination of spiritual, moral and existential aspects of religion, philosophy and cultural traditions. We are all on individual paths of inquiry and commitment to others (and society), no matter what our starting points.
We respect each person who comes to Fellowship and extend hospitality and friendship to all.
However we will not tolerate threats of violence, sexual harassment, or malicious gossip. (The moderator and core members shall meet and take speedy action in such cases.)
And we added to our postscript at the end of the main points of our Charter.
The modified postscript now reads:
We respect David Rankin’s (Unitarian/Universalist Association of North America) list of “What do Unitarian Universalists Believe In?”
Freedom of religious expression and individual conscience.
Toleration of religious ideas.
Authority of reason and personal conscience above any institutions.
An ongoing search for truth.
Unity of experience [that sees no inherent conflict between secular and sacred].
Worth and dignity of each and every human being.
Ethical application of religion/faith in social involvement.
Motive force of love [and of finding non-violent solutions].
Necessity of the democratic process and transparent governance.
Importance of [religious] community.
To which we add our obligation to preserve and support the interdependent web of existence of all living beings on the planet.
And we look to the UU Covenant of Congregations that posits that Unitarians draw from many sources;: direct experience, words and deeds of prophetic women and men working for social justice and peace, wisdom from the world’s religions (including Jewish and Christian teachings and other traditions including Buddhism), and the Humanist teaching to heed science and reason.
On January 8 we looked at our Charter partially because our topic for discussion was "Unitarians and Prayer" and we talked a bit about "Who do we (Unitarians/personally) pray to?" especially the non-theists or humanists amongst us.
We decided to talk more about the topic at a later meeting and recommend two essays in the Church of the Larger Fellowship newsletter.
Sunday, February 12
3:00 to 5:00
International House of Japan (see their website or call them for directions in English).
Near Roppongi and Azabu Juban subway stations.
Update: We are currently confirming our speaker for February.
Peggy Kanada, moderator