Prairie Spruce Commons is looking forward to presenting at The Unitarian Fellowship this Sunday May 3 at their 10:30 am Sunday morning service. In preparation for the presentation, I looked over their statement of principles and listened to a podcast of a recent service where a Unitarian minister addressed those principles. I am excited by the similarities of their principles to ours:
“The Regina Unitarian Fellowship affirms and promotes the following principles: the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
A few words stood out for me from my research. Unitarians have a vision of a better world. Connection, belonging and relationships are important to them. They recognize hospitality and care, not stones and glass, to be what their community is built of.
The principles of Prairie Spruce Commons are: “being respectful, caring and sharing”. We carry these out in how we make decisions and how we do relate and will relate to one another on an everyday basis. Unitarians value working through difficulties with respect and compassion. They affirm the use of the democratic process. We use our consensus decision-making process to listen to everyone’s voice and to generate decisions that everyone can support.
Sustainable living is important to both Unitarians and Prairie Spruce. They value awareness and actions that support the interconnected web of existence. Our building design incorporates many sustainable features, both in the building itself and in how we plan to live in our home, such as reduced ongoing use of resources and use of the communal garden.
The way the Unitarians spoke so lovingly of their symbol, the chalice, really warmed my heart. It was described as a living flickering flame cupped in a beautiful container. It was likened to the spark of life within all beings which need oxygen and care to be renewed. This chalice can be a beacon of hope.
Our symbol is the prairie spruce tree. The spruce tree is also a living being, needing the natural elements and nurturing to flourish. Given these, the spruce tree can provide that green hopeful presence in the wintry times of our lives and a cool refuge when things heat up. We are lovingly surrounding our spruce tree with the container of our nurturing community. Our beautiful built-to-last building is merely the visible expression of our values. We are each, the Unitarian Fellowship and Prairie Spruce, building a sustainable and respectful community which values each individual at the same time as espousing values that are based on the collective good.
Thank you to the Unitarian Fellowship of Regina for inviting us to talk at your service next Sunday. It is fitting that these two communities who share visions and values are opening up a dialogue. I expect that we will have much to contribute to each other.