Unity and Diversity: Weekly Summary

Unity and Diversity

Summary: Sunday, June 2—Friday, June 7, 2019

Unitive consciousness—the awareness that we are all one in Love—lays a solid foundation for social critique and acts of justice. (Sunday)

In the Trinity, the three must be maintained as three and understood as different from one another. Yet the infinite trust and flow between them is so constant, so reliable, so true, and so faithful that they are also completely one. (Monday)

Gravity, atomic bonding, orbits, cycles, photosynthesis, ecosystems, force fields, electromagnetic fields, sexuality, human friendship, animal instinct, and evolution all reveal an energy that is attracting all things and beings to one another, in a movement toward ever greater complexity and diversity—and yet ironically also toward unification at ever deeper levels. (Tuesday)

People can meet God within their cultural context but in order to follow God, they must cross into other cultures because that’s what Jesus did in the incarnation itself. —Christena Cleveland (Wednesday)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s observation that eleven o’clock on Sunday mornings is the most segregated hour in America still stands to challenge each congregation to examine the difference in its midst and to develop a higher capacity and moral compass to embrace it and to celebrate it. —Jaqueline Lewis (Thursday)

Nothing exists without these three interdependent energies that emerged from the first flaring forth over 13.8 billion years ago: differentiation or diversity; subjectivity, interiority, or essence; and communion or community and interconnectedness. —Joan Brown (Friday)

 

Practice: You Belong

At the Center’s spring conference, The Universal Christ, we read the following call and response with 2,000 people gathered in Albuquerque and thousands more online. Later we heard from so many people that this litany of welcome was powerfully moving. Read it aloud to yourself and feel truly welcomed—all of you, even the parts that culture or church have denied. Are there pieces of you not named here that you would like to recognize? Consider sharing your own welcome statement with your faith community and invite others to collaborate in making this vision more complete and actualized.

We would like to let you know that you belong. . . .

People on all parts of the continuum of gender identity and expression, including those who are gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, cisgender, queer folks, the sexually active, the celibate, and everyone for whom those labels don’t apply. We say, “You belong.”

People of African descent, of Asian descent, of European descent, of First Nations descent in this land and abroad, and people of mixed and multiple descents and of all the languages spoken here. We say, “You belong.”

Bodies with all abilities and challenges. Those living with any chronic medical condition, visible or invisible, mental or physical. We say, “You belong.”

People who identify as activists and those who don’t. Mystics, believers, seekers of all kinds. People of all ages. Those who support you to be here. We say, “You belong.”

Your emotions: joy, fear, grief, contentment, disappointment, surprise, and all else that flows through you. We say, “You belong.”

Your families, genetic and otherwise. Those dear to us who have died. Our ancestors and the future ones. The ancestors who lived in this land, in this place, where these buildings are now . . . we honor you through this work that we are undertaking. We say, “You belong.”

People who feel broken, lost, struggling; who suffer from self-doubt and self-judgment. We say, “You belong.”

All beings that inhabit this earth, human or otherwise: the two-legged, the four-legged, winged and finned, those that walk, fly, and crawl, above the ground and below, in air and water. We say, “You belong.”

Reference:
Adapted from “Diversity Welcome,” Training for Change, https://www.trainingforchange.org/training_tools/diversity-welcome/.

For Further Study:
Christena Cleveland, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart (InterVarsity Press: 2013)

Jacqueline J. Lewis, The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leading Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations (Abingdon Press: 2008)

Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, eds. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018)

Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent Books: 2019)

“Unity and Diversity,” Oneing, vol. 6, no. 2 (CAC Publishing: 2018)

Image credit: Pure Diversity (detail), Mirta Toledo, 1993. Art Collection of TCU University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: People can meet God within their cultural context but in order to follow God, they must cross into other cultures because that’s what Jesus did in the incarnation itself. —Christena Cleveland
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