What’s Your Question?

Yesterday was the annual Question Box service. Titled, What’s Your Question?, it was described this way:

This morning Rev. Kathy will use the time typically dedicated to the sermon to address questions from the congregation. Everyone will have an opportunity to submit questions earlier in the service and they can be on any topic including UU beliefs & history, 1U happenings, about Rev. Kathy, theology, or politics or current events. Not all questions can be answered in the time allowed, so some will become fodder for future sermons.

Questions were submitted on index cards that people received as they entered the sanctuary. Cards were collected after about 15 minutes giving volunteers 15 minutes to sort them into the 5 predetermined categories listed in the description above. Many of the questions could have gone into more than one category. (I’ve listed all the questions, by category and service time, below.  I did not necessarily answer them in the order listed.) I had a quick chance to look through the questions during the offertory before jumping in.

You can listen to the 9:30 am service responses here or the 11:00 am service responses here. To view the whole audio archive check here.

I did manage to at least read all the questions out loud though some were only addressed tangentially. I may come back to some of those in sermons, or posts, or other ways. Some I would probably address a little differently with more thought but there is nothing I currently feel compelled to “take back” this morning.  So, I guess that’s a good thing.

I love finding out what is on people’s minds.  I also love the challenge of addressing questions that have been framed in new ways. An example from yesterday was: Some might say UUism is a religion stripped of true faith. Do you see it that way? Why or why not?  When our own beliefs are questioned, it can help us to clarify them.

For those who wish to continue the celebration of questions, there is a monthly chance to do so at the Francis David Cafe one of our Sunday morning adult religious education programs. Each session, those present submit questions for the group to consider and everyone has a chance to respond. It’s a great way to hear the views of other folks and be challenged to articulate your own. Check the Weekly Update email (also posted to the front page of the website) to see when that is currently scheduled.

Meanwhile, here are the questions that were on people’s minds at First Unitarian Church of Orlando yesterday morning.

Questions from the What’s Your Question? Service 10/20/13

UU Beliefs & History

9:30

  • I still don’t have an easy/short way to explain what it means to be a UU. Can I hear what other people in the congregation say?
  • What’s your “elevator speech?”
  • When asked what I believe, “Is the worth and dignity of all enough?” It is for me.
  • How do we balance our principles of tolerance and a free, open search for truth against our righteousness and outrage for those opinions we deeply disagree with and which offend our spiritual values.

 11:00

  • Is Unitarian Universalism a religious philosophy or a philosophical religion or both – or who cares? It is what you make it. Does that work?
  • Some might say UUism is a religion stripped of true faith. Do you see it that way? Why or why not?
  • Traditional church membership/attendance is waning in this country. Can/will UU fill the void?
  • The move of the UUA from Beacon St to 24 Farnsworth in the Innovation District (of Boston) seems to be signaling much more than just a change in buildings. Could you comment on the move, and growing emphasis on technology?

1U Happenings

9:30

  • I am wondering why people clap after the band or individuals sing during the service, It makes it seem more like performance than a part of the service. Thank you.
  • At 1U we have groups: couples’ dinner, retired men, children’s programs. Are we practicing separate and unequal?
  • Is there a way the youth of 1U can hear some of our wonderful musical presentations?
  • We are a Welcoming Congregation. Are we truly welcoming to children and adults with special needs?
  • I was particularly struck on the day of your service after the Trevon Marin verdict that, although the sanctuary was full, there were less than 10 people of color in the room. This made me wonder what we do as a congregation to be attractive to all people?
  • I need some tips – There are 2 families I would like to encourage to join us but I can’t seem to come up with a good enough inventive – HELP!
  • As a visitor looking for a new spiritual home, what are the strengths of 1st U?

 11:00

  • What do you see for us in the next 5 years?
  • Web says “Religion 201” on Monday, October 21. Paper update says Tuesday, October 22. Which is it?
  • I would like more “things” behind you on the pulpit. Don’t have any suggestions but, what do you think?

 About Rev. Kathy

 9:30

  • How do you feel about eating at Chickfil-A?
  • What is your vision for 1U’s role in Central Florida’s social justice efforts?
  • What community partnerships would you like to see 1U make, and why? Do you have a vision/dream for how we might find and make these partnerships?
  • What do you predict will be the biggest/best benefit from having an intern? The trickiest/negative?
  • How do you decide what to “take off your plate” & how are you doing with this particular professional challenges?
  • What’s your definition of being successful?

 11:00

  • What does faith mean to you? What place does faith hold in our society?
  • What is your generic overall goal for a sermon?
  • What to you (Rev. Kathy) do for fun?
  • Do you have any daily or weekly spiritual practices you just can’t live without?
  • What are your personal spiritual practices?

 Theology

 9:30

  • Why do people hurt people?
  • Is there a danger that our social justice efforts become a given religious doctrine/dogma (e.g. Catholic reverence for sanctity of life and God’s will means no birth control.)
  • Without traditional Christina promise of everlasting life, what do we as UUS offer to those facing crisis and death? How do we comfort?

 11:00

  • If you don’t believe in God and are generally a humanist, how do you address the small nagging doubt about the ultimate creation question?
  • To your mind, is feminism compatible with Christianity?
  • When my mate had a serious illness, s/he would not tell our children or close friends I was not allowed to share the news either, but I craved some wisdom and comfort when I was SCARED. What’s a mother to do?
  • What about God? What about Jesus? What about the Holy Spirit? (How do we view the trinity?)

 Politics or Current Events

 9:30

No questions put in this catagory

11:00

No questions put in this catagory

 

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